Loss of Kailua lot a hazard to health
Your Jan. 8 article, "Kailua lot opposed for housing,"
did not touch on one of the major consequences for Kailuans should the city proceed with construction of an affordable housing project on the site of the town's only public parking lot. Of all the affected businesses in the area, the large medical community will suffer the most, with negative repercussions for all who use its doctors, dentists and associated health services.
More than 60 percent of all central Kailua's medical pro-viders are in offices on Aulike and Uluniu streets, bordering the subject parking lot. A critical mass of doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, physical therapists, medical labs, X-ray labs and medical clinics are concentrated in this small area. It is the backbone of Kailua's health-care delivery system. The three buildings where the bulk of the medical professionals are located have no parking outside of the public lot that the city is considering for development.
Most people seeking medical care are ill, injured, infirm, elderly, pregnant or pediatric. They cannot park blocks away and walk to their doctor's office. Easy access is vital. What will happen to the health-care providers in these offices when the parking lot is plowed under? When patients cannot access their physician's offices, they will be forced to go elsewhere to seek medical care. As patients leave, so will their doctors, dentists and all the associated medical facilities that contribute to this vibrant health care community.
Medicine is a profession already in crisis. Physicians all over the state have been closing their offices. According to a report in your Jan. 4 edition, "Paradise costly for health care workers," Kailua-Kona is in a health-care crisis because of the exodus of physicians in the past few years. It is already happening here, too, and the loss of this parking lot could be the tipping point for Kailua.
No one can argue against affordable housing, but the unintended consequences of building such a facility in this location will be huge. There are better sites that will not destroy a valuable community resource in the process of building another.
Editor's note: Mollie Foti's husband, Philip Foti, M.D., has been practicing medicine in the Kailua Professional Center, 30 Aulike St., since 1968.
Government salaries should be frozen
This could be a great year if the people in our elected state and city officials would put a freeze on raises for themselves until all basic infrastructure is upgraded to standard, and a visionary five-year maintenance plan is created and followed.
That includes water, sewer, electrical, roads, airports, schools, police, fire, ambulance and civil defense facilities. Perhaps a year moratorium on money spent on sand, which will drift away, and tourism will help, including the surplus no one seems to agree what to do with.
We pay so much in taxes, but what do we have to show for it?
We'll be back to watch Colt Brennan play
Colt Brennan coming back to play for the university means my wife and I are coming back to Hawaii for a big game, maybe two (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 18
What a guy, what a champ.
University of Hawaii
Class of '74
Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Patronizing attitude will bring down Say
As I sat on the House floor during the opening session Wednesday, I was in awe of the three Democrats who stood and spoke in opposition to Rep. Calvin Say's re-election as speaker. As Rep. Scott Saiki spoke, I thought, "What is he doing?" As he described how disenfranchised he and other House majority members had become by those who used to be their mentors, my next thoughts were, "Oh my God, finally -- they're actually standing up for themselves, gosh ... they're standing up for all of us!"
Barely a day later and after confessing to his acceptance of constructive criticism, Say is already taking his typical "father knows best" posture with the governor's tax plan. He's unable to offer anything of substance on his own or take a positive and supportive look at what's being proposed -- allowing for the needed public discussion before deciding for the rest of us.
I guess he doesn't know how to count. If you add together the three Democrats brave enough to speak up, those in the minority caucus and the other fence-sitter Democrats who could only muster the guts to vote "kanalua." I see a new speaker around the corner.
Say needs primer on renewable energy
It was a hopeful speech on opening day in the House chamber when Speaker Calvin Say mentioned renewable energy and acknowledged that Hawaii was importing way too much oil. Then everything went down the drain when he ignored the fact that wave energy technology already exists.
The speaker should know that a Scottish crew from Ocean Power Delivery is putting the final touch on its Pelamis power plant and will deliver electricity to the town of Povoa de Varzim in Portugal, and two other wave power plants have been installed by the Australian firm Energetech in Port Kembla, Australia, delivering electricity to 500 homes and is also working on the Green Wave project in Rhode Island. There is more, with Wavegen in the Isles of Orkney, Scotland, already on a commercial grid.
Does Say need to find new golf partners other than HECO's lobbyists to keep up on new technology? Or maybe he is still using a dial-up connection to do his research beneficial to our island energy crisis. This speech would have been great five years ago.
Lost surfer was master of his craft
Regarding "Surfer opened his heart and his home to others,"
Star-Bulletin, Jan. 17:
Last year Joaquin Velilla shaped my new surfboard. I suggested to him that before he shaped my board he should observe my surfing style.
So we met at Kewalo Basin and he watched me surf. Afterward, he went back to his shop to shape my board. When the board was completed I went back to Kewalo Basin and tried it out.
I have been surfing for 50 years and have had many surfboards. I had boards shaped by Jerry Lopez, Dick Brewer, Ben Aipa, Rex Kashinoki, Dale Velzy, Hap Jacobs, Hoby Alter and Joe Kitchen.
I must admit that Joaquin's shaping style is ranked among the best of the world.
The board he shaped for me is so maneuverable and loose on the wave. It's a aerodynamic work of art. Joaquin was a true master; his family and friends should be very proud of him.
Democrats, too, are keeping us in Iraq
Alan Murakami's Jan. 15 letter to the editor
claims about Iraq, "The people made their voice heard, and if the president isn't going to listen, the Democratic Congress will."
I agree that the American people sent a message that it's time to let the Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites have the proper civil war they want, unhindered by U.S. troops. And Murakami is certainly right that the president isn't listening to us. But I disagree that the Democrats intend to heed the message of the voters.
If the House Democrats really meant to end the war, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's top priority in the first 100 hours of legislative business would have been cutting off funding for operations in Iraq, not raising the minimum wage. Her Democratic colleagues certainly wouldn't be mouthing platitudes like "let's support the troops," which is doublespeak for "let's keep funding the war."
So think for a moment like congressional Democrats, who, just like their Republican counterparts, deeply care about holding onto power even if that means abandoning principles they purportedly care about.
Ask the question, "WWPDD?" (What would partisan Demo-crats do?) The answer? Quietly keep funding the war for two more years while loudly talking about doing the opposite, and then blame the continuing deaths and chaos on President Bush when the next elections roll around.