Pilot was skillful and personable
My husband and I returned to Seattle last Tuesday. The day before, we had taken a Heli-USA helicopter tour with "Captain Joe" ("Kauai copter crash kills 4 and injures 3," Star-Bulletin, March 9
). We enjoyed an amazing and expertly piloted trip with no worries or concerns. Joe had been very personable and professional, handling the craft with ease and knowledge. At no time did we even have a flicker of concern for our safety at his hands.
We are shocked and deeply saddened that Joe and the other six people were involved in this horrendous crash. It is a terrible loss to have someone of his professional caliber and endearing personality die so prematurely. All the passengers were lost too soon. I am so sorry. I wanted to say that I would fly with pilots of his caliber again anytime.
My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.
Tourists, use common sense to deter thieves
I have visited the Hawaiian Islands more than 20 times, and I have never had anything stolen from my rental car ("Visitors should be told of high theft rise," Letters, March 10
). Sure, there's crime in Hawaii, but you know what? I don't keep $2,000 worth of ANYTHING in the rental car to tempt thieves. I never leave my purse, camera, or anything I value in the car. It's just common sense.
The cars I rent all seem to have a bright orange sticker in the back, warning me about the risk of my personal belongings being stolen. Most of the major tourist spots also warn people to not leave items of value in the car. It's too bad the Meades' anniversary trip was spoiled, but it certainly isn't the fault of their hotel or rental car company.
Teacher calls it like it really is
Hooray! Sunday's "Gathering Place" article written by Waianae Intermediate teacher Kriss Conley
read so true and so honest I felt that I just had to write a letter of support. The article makes one think, "What will it take for our Legislature to act?" So much lip service is paid to the serving our children in public schools, but clearly nothing is really being done. Conley's honest and impassioned article is our call to action ... we must do better, for our community, for our teachers, for our kids and for our future.
School problems reflect bad values
I was saddened by Kriss Conley's "Gathering Place" column Sunday
and I feel his frustrations. I am concerned about the direction society is moving, especially in places like Waianae, Nanakuli and Waimanalo. For some reason people are shameless about their irresponsible behavior and the rest of us have to pay the high price.
Pure selfishness is to blame for all of these problems. Unemployment and poor education show a lack of personal initiative by individuals who are given more than they give. These so-called "values" become transmitted throughout the household, which is often out of control due to poor family planning and a lack of birth control. Often over-indulging in animalistic pleasures rather than practicing moderation, they feel entitled to their welfare though they contribute little to it. And the ones who get hurt are the few who care, or those victimized by these people's ignorance.
As an educated native Hawaiian I am appalled at the behavior of my demographic group. I was never taught that hatred toward innocents was justified whatever their background. Lately, with all that is happening locally, I am fast losing my optimism for a peaceful society. But all I can change is myself and as long as I can still love others for their faults, the "aloha spirit" remains in one of us.
Matthew Kaopio Jr.
Don't experiment on Hawaii's poor
The authors of Saturday's "Gathering Place,"
headlined "With training, clinicians can help mentally ill," argue that the state Legislature should create a specialty of licensed psychologists who can practice medicine. The authors point to a need for greater access to psychoactive drugs among the poorest sector of Hawaii.
Where the authors miss the mark is by stating that the medical training for psychologists proposed in Senate Bill 1004 and House Bill 1456 is "well documented." I am a professor of clinical psychology and I can assure you that this statement is unfounded. The amount of training required by these bills is less than half of that required of all other health professionals in the state with the authority to prescribe medication. There have been no independent scientific evaluations of consumer safety as a result of this drastic reduction in medical training.
Even the State of Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau's 2007 report "Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists: Issues and Considerations" concludes the little amount of training involved in these bills is not justifiable. The poor in our state suffer enough. Let's not add the burden of their being involuntary subjects of an experiment.
Elaine M. Heiby, Ph.D.
Hawaii fans should stay on the high road
After New Mexico State's victory in the Western Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament, coach Reggie Theus was quoted as saying, "When you come into the Pan-Am you're in a very hostile place, a tough place to play. The atmosphere is tremendous" (Star-Bulletin, March 11
It is one thing to congratulate fans for being supportive of a team but it is completely inappropriate to thank them for creating a hostile environment for opposing teams. After all, in collegiate sports the emphasis is supposed to be on collegiality not hostility.
Let us hope that here in Hawaii we will never stoop to coach Theus's level. As fans we should support our student-athletes while showing our opponent's student-athletes the aloha they are entitled too. Anything less reflects poorly on us -- not our opponents.
Democrats should back ed initiatives
Our keiki should not have to leave their island home to find decent paying jobs in the area of business they plan to pursue. We have an opportunity now, with the governor's initiatives, to improve our children's education opportunities here in Hawaii. And consistently improve workers' skills and increase higher paying jobs from the diversity of businesses we would attract. Gov. Linda Lingle has proposed many smart changes that would help every one of us improve our quality of life.
The future of Hawaii depends on our ability to shift from a land based market to a global information and technology economy. But Democrats have decided to ignore this critical moment in Hawaii's history. They pride themselves on helping the average working person, like you and me, but continue to overtax us and keep the status quo. We need to find a way to convince the legislature to work with Lingle and pass her initiatives package. Let's do it now for our keiki, before we lose more talented minds to the mainland and continue to see more homeless families on the beach.
Anti-prostitution group uses flawed logic
Melissa Farley, director of San Francisco-based Prostitution Research & Education, has attacked proposed reforms to our prostitution laws ("Another Perspective," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 25
). Although I don't agree with her, the fact that her arguments are published here in Hawaii should prompt more debate on this issue.
Farley represents the ideas of a group that wishes to justify with research and argumentation that since there is harm done to women in prostitution, all men involved (johns, pimps) should be rigorously prosecuted. Both their research and their logic are faulty. Interviewing Dutch prostitutes to see if the majority would rather be doing some other job doesn't prove they are being "exploited." Maybe they'd all rather be high-fashion models or movie stars. Nor does the argument that most Dutch prostitutes are foreign born prove they are enslaved.
Farley's arguments lack the concept of individual action and responsibility. People are described and judged based on membership in a class ("prostitute," "john," "trafficker"). The specific acts of individuals are no longer relevant to criminal law in this model.
Farley decries several foreign areas where reforms have been made. I would welcome a legislative study into the situations in these areas to help people in Hawaii decide for themselves what direction we might take.
Libertarian Party of Hawaii
Everyone loses when tort reform dies
The Legislature has again failed to pass medical tort reform for emotional pain and suffering. With increasing malpractice insurance costs, Hawaii is becoming anything but paradise for medical specialists. Sometimes, I think lawyers see receiving one-third of malpractice awards as hitting the lottery.
This state refuses to recognize that doctors, especially specialists like obgyns and neurologists, are choosing not to practice here.
Tragedy, accidents and misfortune can happen to anyone at anytime. But when our legal system grants excessive monetary awards when a doctor or hospital are involved, the payee is us. We are losing out.