Maui doesn't have adequate health care
I was born and raised on Maui. I have been living with horrible, debilitating pain in my right knee for years. At 79 years old, I had lost my independence. There was no physician on Maui who would take my case.
Fortunately my primary care physician pulled out a favor with a wonderful physician on Oahu. I had a knee replacement earlier this month at Castle Medical Center and have tears of joy that I am now pain free.
Why does it have to be this way? Access to care is critical, especially for those on neighbor islands. The Legislature has to do something now.
Stop talking about it -- let Malulani open
There have been numerous meetings, letters, inquiries and discussion in the last two to three years regarding Maui's need for Malulani hospital. This is what the people of Maui want and need. What will it take for the people who supposedly represent the people of Maui to support this? Given that Malulani will not cost taxpayers to build and operate, how can this possibly be anything other than a benefit? Let the system determine whether or not it will succeed.
Are there other reasons for this level of bureaucracy? I am quite discouraged with how inefficiently our county and state governments operate. I see this with most everything that involves our government approval in Maui. I wonder what the costs are of spending years debating something that ultimately results in no action?
Our representatives have much greater things they can and should be doing; why all the distraction for something so clearly needed and at virtually no cost to the state? Please, let's get House Bill 1067 passed and move forward with Malulani. Let's see if our elected officials are willing to take a stand even at the risk of failure. Let's see some courage and leadership.
Doreen D. Patterson
Convert storage units to homeless shelters
After inquiring of the mayor about our love affair with concrete and what appears to be a new high-rise on every other block, adding to the congestion of vehicular traffic, I was informed this is progress and cannot be stopped. In our Pacific paradise of Oahu we must have one of the world's largest shopping malls, and now it would appear we are becoming the storage mecca of the globe, with facilities of eight and 10 stories high on every other block.
May I ask what on earth is going on? Are we buying so much stuff we can't even fit it in our homes? Perhaps it's high time we all took a careful inventory of what is sufficient in our limited space.
Then the governor can acquire and redecorate all these hideous boxes, to house the homeless. I'm sure they would enjoy a few plants and floral decor too, and help beautify our surroundings, instead of destroying it block after block .
John L. Werrill
We need more sense, not more legislation
Why do we have to keep on legislating and passing laws to cover common sense? Helmet law, seat belt law, locking your child in a hot car law ("Leaving toddlers in parked cars should be made illegal," Our Opinion, March 22
). My father always told me common sense is uncommon.
Enough laws folks -- just start using your head.
Paying attention can save a lot of anguish
The local news reported last week that another motorcyclist without a helmet was killed in an accident. Why does the first reaction always seem to be to ask whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet? The main reason motorcyclists die is from cars or trucks pretending not to see them, but in reality they are truly aware of the cyclists around them. People seem to have the mentality that their vehicle is bigger, so they can tailor the rules of the road toward their own benefit, which is, of course, wrong.
Are you going to feel good about yourself for the rest of your life, knowing that you illegally turned into the path of a motorcyclist, or even a crosswalk pedestrian? Your conscience will forever haunt you if someone is now handicapped or dead from your mistake.
Come on, everyone! All you have to do is safely and legally pay attention to everyone around you. And a lot of it is simple common sense. The roads and people around us can be safe if you choose to be safe. Then, police can focus on other things such as protecting us from burglaries and violent crimes, catching the copper thieves, putting illegal dumpers in handcuffs ... if you drive safely, it is a win-win situation for all of Hawaii.
Prescription bills would be harmful
Senate Bill 1004
and House Bill 1456
, which propose prescriptive rights can be given to certain psychologists, are flawed. There is no argument that Hawaii could use more qualified psychiatrists (medical doctors who specialize in psychiatry), but why should the public settle for nonmedical personnel who are allowed to prescribe medication? Medication errors and side effects account for many a trip to the local emergency rooms and community health centers.
Most health center clients are already on medication because of diabetes, hypertension, asthma or other diagnosis. They also might be experiencing some degree of depression, anxiety, psychosis or substance abuse. If psychologists want to prescribe medication on top of existing medications, then public safety dictates a better qualified provider. The proposed training of SB 1004 and HB 1456 falls short. At a minimum, psychologists need to attend nursing school with an advanced practice degree in prescribing psychopharmacological drugs.
Our community health center clients deserve no less, and so does the general public.
Nancy Manali-Leonardo, RN
Musicians thrilled to play with Catingub
If Hugh and Sandra Castell of Bellevue, Wash., enjoy concerts in Hawaii so much ("Letters," March 17
), then they should know that Matt Catingub is the Honolulu Symphony Pops conductor whose arrangements and performances with Rosemary Clooney and in the film "Good Night and Good Luck" have earned him the highest awards from the movie and recording industry.
The "Return to Romance -- the CD" concert was a re-creation of Catingub's best-selling CD, where Matt and producer Allen Sviridoff selected and recorded America's great love songs with the Matt Catingub Orchestra of Hawaii, utilizing some of Hawaii's and the nation's singing stars. These singers, myself humbly included, were all honored and proud to be part of Catingub's CD, which led to the live concert. In other words, we were HIS guests at HIS concert. We all wanted to have musical and verbal interplay with Maestro Catingub since our respect for him was the primary reason we were there.
Every singer in Hawaii and most in "upper America" would give a king's ransom just to own some Catingub arrangements. In fact, many major singing stars come to Hawaii for a greatly reduced fee just to have his highly prized charts.
The Castells are entitled to their opinion but when that opinion flies in the face of what the singers they admire hold dear, then I must speak up for myself and my fellow concert performers.
U.S. attorney firings really can't compare
Congress achieved a new height in silliness yesterday when it began the process of subpoenaing Karl Rove, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and others to testify about the political firings of U.S. attorneys.
If President Bush can order invasions and launch wars that lead to the violent deaths of thousands of Americans and tens, even hundreds of thousands of other human beings, why shouldn't he be able to fire anyone he doesn't approve of, for whatever reason? Small matter, indeed!
It's time for Congress to quit fretting over warts and to seriously do something about malignancies.
John A. Broussard
Gonzales should serve Americans, not Bush
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales seems to have confused "serving at the pleasure of the president" with serving the president's pleasures. I'm pretty sure that he's supposed to be serving all of the American people by enforcing the laws and defending the Constitution, not kowtowing to the political whims of an out-of control-executive branch.