"I've tried everything. I see it as a civil rights issue, rich against poor."
Homeless man, who with his handicapped wife, has been living at Ala Moana Regional Park where authorities are sweeping out the homeless
. Yanagida says he is a Vietnam veteran and retired federal civil service worker.
It's easy to predict where rail line will go
If anyone wants to know where the rail line will be
in 2011, just watch where our legislators, their friends and families are buying real estate in 2006. The same thing happened with the H-1 route 40 years ago.
Fix roads and schools with state surplus
The recent abundance in tax revenues shows our economy is finally rebounding. However, during the years the state was forced to raid the highways and other special funds many regular maintenance and "should do" projects were put on the back burner. This resulted in severely decreased spending to ensure staying under budget.
Now, with an increase of revenue, perhaps the funding for these programs should resume.
It is nice to say "Here is some of your taxes back," but it is even nicer to drive on roads with no potholes and have schools without leaky roofs.
Perhaps the Legislature needs to remove the excise tax on medication and food, raise the GET to 6 percent and implement a flat tax on income of $30,000 and up.
Mayor's priority is fiscal responsibility
James Lee's concerns (Letters, March 19
) are laudable but misplaced. Mayor Hannemann long ago recognized the need for more fiscal responsibility in city government to ensure the city provides services in a reasonable, cost-effective manner. He arranged for the Mayor's Review to be conducted during his first 90 days in office. More than 100 private industry professionals volunteered more than 3,500 hours to help identify issues that needed to be addressed. The review identified more than 200 issues, and with the green light from the City Council, we created the Project Management Office.
I was hired from private industry to address these issues. The mayor's office has been working with me and the departments and agencies to evaluate, prioritize and implement solutions as time and resources permit.
Thus far, more than 30 percent of the issues raised by the Mayor's Review have been resolved, resulting in a projected impact of more than $4 million for the current year. These funds are being used to pay for overdue maintenance throughout the city. We continue to look for additional ideas, which can be channeled through our "Tell it to the Mayor" program at Satellite City Halls, Honolulu Municipal Building, Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale or by sending e-mails directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor's Review Project Manager
Special interests don't get to vote
I admire someone who's good at his job, and Tim Lyons, president of The Legislative Center and writer of "'Special' interests are constituents, too" (Letters, March 19
), is on top of his field. He's an accomplished lobbyist, representing the interests of clients, including major contractors, a tourist coalition, Anheuser-Busch and the Hawaii Pest Control Association, for which he is listed as agent, director and executive director. Lyons oversees an awesome amount of money that goes each year to lawmakers.
But I voted for the lawmakers who represent ME. Anheuser-Busch doesn't vote, nor do pest-control associations, contracting firms or the other special interests who pay Lyons for his expertise. I wonder if my state representative will see me if I walk in without a checkbook? Or does Lyons get priority because of the special interest money he represents?
It's for this reason that the Voter Owned Election movement is gaining momentum in Hawaii. I'm proud to be on the side of democracy instead of special interests. Special interest money corrupts the democratic process. It's that simple.
Bill wouldn't improve care for mentally ill
As a clinical psychologist for 10 years and a Navy psychiatrist with 11 years of clinical experience, every day I see the need to improve access to quality care for our islands' mentally ill. However, the attempt to address this problem through current legislation (HB 2589
) completely misses the mark. This bill (now in the Senate) proposes to expand psychologists' practice by allowing them to prescribe psychotropic medication -- medication traditionally prescribed by psychiatrists alone.
Psychiatrists' extensive knowledge of drugs and their effects on the body is based on years of extensive study and clinical practice. However, this bill has many flaws, both in its logic and facts.
The bill presumes that there are an insufficient numbers of psychiatrists able or willing to provide services to federally qualified clinics. This assumption is totally inaccurate, as national statistics indicate there is a shortage of psychologists compared to psychiatrists.
As for Hawaii, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of psychologists practicing in our state falls below even the national average. By allowing psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medications, HB 2589 would divert the already limited time and resources psychologists have from serving our community.
Kenneth A. Hirsch
Men should butt out on abortion issue
This is in response to James Roller's letter on March 24
concerning abortion. I just have this to say: If you are not a woman, mind your own business. You are not carrying a baby in your body for nine-plus months, going through the hormone and physical changes a female goes through.You are not being forced to carry a child to term even if the baby was conceived through rape or incest, and you do not want it.
I'm sick and tired of hearing men's opinion on this issue. It is a woman's right to choose, not theirs.
And get the facts straight about what is happening in South Dakota: The new abortion law there says a woman can get an abortion only if it is necessary to save her life. There are NO EXCEPTIONS for rape or incest.
I would never have an abortion myself, but we supposedly live in a free country so allow me the right to choose.
Slom and Trimble stood up for voters
Hats off to Sens. Sam Slom and Gordon Trimble for asking that the voters of Hawaii be allowed to vote on the Akaka Bill to show whether they want racial legislation or not. The predictable slap-down by Micah Kane and Clyde Namuo stands in sharp contrast to this civic-minded request. Surely one day soon the voters in Hawaii will rise up and insist on being respected as are the other voters of this great nation. Well, let's hope anyway ...