Lawmakers should rethink tort reform
When are we going to realize how critical the health-care crisis is in Hawaii? How many people must die or lose a limb due to a lack of doctors before legislators get off their okoles and pass tort reform?
When you are injured or ill, you need medical care immediately. We cannot drive to a nearby state that has passed medical tort reform. Caps on pain and suffering work to decrease malpractice premiums and increase the number of physicians. The Legislature has killed the bill for tort reform, but it can still do something this session. However, I doubt that a Legislature dominated by lawyers is going to pass a law that will decrease the huge pay outs to a few individuals (with the lawyers taking one-third of the money), rather than insuring access to care for thousands of people.
Students can excel with FIRST Robotics
With the help of Gov. Linda Lingle, Hawaii will host a FIRST Robotics Regional (www.usfirst.org
) here in 2008.
As a student on one of the first Hawaii FIRST teams back in 2000, I was fortunate to be involved in a program which brought high school students and volunteer industry mentors together. Experiences such as those are generally available only with college internships.
Students get to use what they learn in the classroom to verify what is happening with their creations. It also develops teamwork, problem solving and time management.
Being on a robotics team was a great achievement that I could write on my resume before I even graduated from high school.
It would be great to see Hawaii teams come out and participate in the Hawaii FIRST Robotics Regional next year. I'm happy to return to my alma mater, McKinley High School, as a mentor. We're going to need many more teachers, engineers, machinists and supporters to come out and support new FIRST Hawaii teams. Investing in our students will help push Hawaii in the right direction toward a more technology-driven economy.
Hawaiian Electric Co.
Hee's efforts helped save Kahuku Hospital
I was born at Kahuku Hospital, raised on the Kahuku Sugar Plantation and now work at Kahuku Hospital while living in Hauula. When the hospital directors surprised us last winter with an announcement that the hospital was bankrupt and closing its doors forever, I immediately called Sen. Clayton Hee. He came out to Kahuku to meet with some of our workers in a hastily organized meeting, where he promised us he would do all he could to save Kahuku Hospital.
Last Thursday, the governor signed into law Senate Bill 1260 making an emergency appropriation of $950,000 to keep our hospital open while the Legislature continues to find a permanent solution for Kahuku hospital.
SB 1260 was authored by Hee. In addition, Hee has been to three of our hospital community evening meetings despite his difficult work as Senate Judiciary and Labor chairman. Say what you will about him, what I know is when we needed his help, he met with us and working with Rep. Mike Magaoay helped us save our hospital when no one else would. He means what he says and he says what he means.
Mary Jean Lindsey
Patient accounts manager
Who is really undermining troops?
Robert Kessler (Letters, April 1
) accuses our representatives of undermining the troops in Iraq by voting on setting a deadline for withdrawal, though they funded the troops.
Who has really undermined our troops? Isn't it a government that sends our youth into harm's way in an unjustified and unnecessary war with the wrong enemy? What about the failure to send enough troops to do the job, exposing them without proper armor and supplies? Where is the exit plan and strategy beyond "have patience," now going on five years? What about the effort to cut the Veterans Affairs budget and the lack of facilities and personnel to care properly for the wounded? Why is there no consequence for atrocities among the upper echelon of officers and leaders? Why does the search for Osama bin Laden lag? Why is there no draft to relieve the dependence on severely stretched and stressed volunteer troops? Why are the standards for recruits lowered to fill the ranks, allowing less education and even those with criminal records? What about the acceptance of torture and denying justice to those accused, as well as the limitations on our own civil rights by the Patriot Act (certainly a misnomer)?
We read of these conditions every day in our papers and they provide us the answer as to who truly undermines not only the troops, but our nation as a whole financially and, worse, politically, morally and spiritually.
Do our leaders have something to hide?
I think we should randomly drug test public school students -- only those with something to hide don't want to be tested, after all. But right along with that, we should drug test elected and appointed government officials.
What, we can drug test kids, but not the people who control our lives? I never would have thought our elected officials would have something to hide.