Hiding the homeless won't fix the problem
In India, broken people are bypassed by those who avert their eyes. That way, it's possible to keep walking past the broken people. Shouldn't Americans think, as we pass our own broken people in the streets, what would it be like to have a brief taste of their anguish?
City officials want to hide the homeless, attempting to create an invisible caste. Rounding up and herding the homeless, to where? Pali cliff?
Can't a state of emergency be declared and Army tents be put up for housing the refugees?
Take care of our own, not wealthy outsiders
Two articles in the March 28 Star-Bulletin
highlight opposite ends of a contentious issue: "Homeless evicted from Ala Moana Park
" and "Realtors see gold in Golden Week
On one end, we see a crisis in growing numbers of homeless people. Many work, pay taxes and obey the law, yet they are "swept," evicted, arrested and treated as criminals. All they want is dignity and a place to call home. Given the right circumstances, any of us could be in their shoes.
On the other end are the real estate agents, salivating for big money they can make from rich Japanese coming for Golden Week, by selling them investment properties or high-end second homes and condos. Most of these remain empty, save for the occasional vacation. This removes precious inventory that could house people who live here, yet can't compete with rich outsiders.
Are we so myopic not to see the correlation between selling off our island to greedy investors, spec buyers and flippers, and the rise in numbers of hard-working local people who can no longer afford rents or home prices, thus pushing more onto the streets? We are selling Hawaii to the highest bidder with no thought of the repercussions. We don't need more luxury. We need to take care of our own first.
Don't let psychologists prescribe drugs
I urge citizens of Hawaii tell their representative to vote no on HB 2589
. This bill would give psychologists with degrees in the social sciences the ability to prescribe psychiatric drugs after only 450 hours of training, less than one semester of school.
It is dangerous because our most medically complicated patients are in rural communities. They need care from psychiatrists, who are medical doctors, not psychologists who have no medical training.
It is discriminatory against the mentally ill, the poor and native Hawaiians. They are easy targets who cannot stand up for themselves. Equal and accessible care is an inalienable right.
It is deceiving because psychologists prescribing will not solve the access-to-care problem. The access problem comes from artificial barriers due to under-funding. If clinics need psychiatrists, then they need to hire psychiatrists.
It is deceiving because it is not cost-effective. A new prescribing group would need a quality-assurance system to monitor standards of care as in the rest of state health care. This will cost millions that could be better spent hiring a psychiatrist in every clinic.
The people of Hawaii need to demand that their lawmakers guarantee quality mental health care for every man, women and child in the state.
LiLi Kelly, M.D.
Mental illness 'cures' can do great harm
I hope that state legislators talk to some of the lucky survivors of psychotropic medicine disasters before they allow anyone but doctors to prescribe these life-saving, sometimes life-ending, sometimes life-changing medicines.
Walk through any psychiatric ward and look in the faces of those for whom the cure is far worse than the illness -- people who have tardive dyskenesia whose eyeballs roll around uncontrollably, or whose tongues jut in and out because of the permanent damage psychotropic medicines can do. Talk to those who will never walk again because of neuroleptic malignant syndrome caused by psychotropic medicines. These are some of the lucky ones.
Make no mistake, the right medicine at the right dosage with the right amount of fluids can make a very sick person a very well person. But do not open the door to more tragedy by allowing anyone who is not a doctor to prescribe psychotropic medicines. Keep Pandora's box closed.
Singer's voice came straight from above
When God said, "This is what a human voice can sound like at its finest," he created Renée.
Those who attended Renée Fleming's concerts last weekend heard the true American Idol (try International Idol)! The beauty of tone, the intensity of feeling and the perfect presentation stunned my sensory capacities to the point where miraculous incredibility became the norm.
I will never be the same after experiencing the magic spell called Renée Fleming.