Cheers to university softball team, coach
In a quiet way our University of Hawaii softball team has been slowly making history. Thanks to the diligent and continued efforts of Coach Bob Coolen, the team has climbed nationally from 21st to 18th and now to 15th. Bob has woven a group of very skilled players into a force to be recognized. We haven't heard the last of them and they might surprise us by going all the way.
Give physicians break on state income tax
I have followed the Hawaii Medical Service Association and physician debate closely for many months. I have had HMSA for 32 years and HMSA has done right by me. I do not know how HMSA treats the physicians, but have heard the physicians' concerns and complaints and understand the physicians' position.
In as much as the Legislature is leading the charge to make the physician/HMSA situation pono it would be a good start if the Legislature would exempt all physicians in Hawaii from the state income tax, retroactive to the start of this year.
That way the physicians would get an immediate raise and this tax relief would attract other physicians to practice in Hawaii.
Just a thought from the coffee fields of Kona.
G. Rick Robinson
HMSA generous in drug-abuse efforts
Hawaii Medical Service Association has been criticized for not giving back enough of its profits to community health causes (Star-Bulletin, April 10). To clarify, HMSA donates monies back to the community not only through its foundation. It consistently supports substance abuse issues by sponsoring community awareness and education events such as the Ola Pono Awards, the Hawaiian Style Backyard Jam and Recovery Walk. In addition, HMSA agreed to drug treatment parity to increase third-party insurance treatment slots for ice and other drug abusers.
There is much more to be done to address substance abuse and other related health issues and we need HMSA to continue as a committed and generous partner.
Coalition For A Drug-Free Hawaii
Where does shoreline bacteria come from?
Both Sand Island and Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plants discharge primary treated wastewater into Mamala Bay through outfalls located in 200 feet of water and more than 9,000 feet offshore.
Ocean data and studies conducted during the Mamala Bay Study in the mid-1990s show that the wastewater plume reaches the water surface about 20 percent of the time, and when this occurs the treated wastewater is very diluted. Most of the time, effluent or treated wastewater stays below 80 feet, and thus shoreline contamination cannot occur.
On the south shore of Oahu, where the effluent is discharged, the wind blows primarily offshore, which pushes the surfacing effluent plume away from beaches and coastal areas.
Bacteriological measurements at the shoreline and nearshore areas have consistently shown that the populations of fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria are related to runoff from rainfall. The higher bacterial counts occur during the wet season, when runoff from land is high. These bacteria live in soils in warm climates like Hawaii, and are the cause for the high bacteria counts that occur near shore during rainfall.
It is wise to consider the scientific facts and to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before committing to expensive secondary treatment.
Imus sparks important dialogue for Hawaii
I saw on the news that, in light of the recent incident surrounding the "shock jock" Don Imus' racially insensitive remarks directed at the Rutger's women's basketball team, many groups are now calling for a national dialogue on what is and isn't "racially insensitive." For example, why is it all right for rap artists to use the same words, but inappropriate if uttered in jest by a DJ?
People in Hawaii should join in this national dialogue, especially because of the "f***ing haole" incident in Waikele a few months ago.
Just ignore comments if they offend you
A very successful Rutgers University women's basketball team is playing a very bad PR game, as games go. Invariably, winning games are played with strategies considered and decided upon.
When the Rutgers women's basketball team reacts with hurt and indignation, they are giving credence to radio personality Don Imus' influence and his audience. I am certain that they are well aware of the importance of one's choice of strategies that can mean the difference between success, failure or the middling of mediocrity.
Therefore, I would suggest that they relegate Imus to the status that he obviously has proven himself deserving: Ignore his statements for what they are -- I don't have to state them here -- and go on with your life as though Imus was just another idiot rapper.
Why harass people enjoying First Friday?
Last Friday, the Honolulu Police Department apparently decided to seize the opportunity to ticket pedestrians and autos arriving in Chinatown for the First Friday celebration. This event has been promoted without any city or state funds by the merchants of Chinatown in an attempt to revitalize a former drug- and crime-filled neighborhood. On any other night of the week, police presence is minimal, drunks still stumble down the sidewalks and there are homeless camped out in doorways. However, on First Friday thousands of average citizens come to visit the art galleries, see performances and patronize the bars and restaurants in the area.
On this particular Friday, cops were posted at every street corner from Bethel to Maunakea, handing out tickets to pedestrians who crossed the street outside of the crosswalks and to cars that might have looked as if they were encroaching on anything with shoes on. Mind you, traffic during this evening event crawls along at barely 10 mph if you are lucky.
There are few elderly pedestrians who brave the crowded sidewalks at that particular hour and event; it's mostly able-bodied and cognizant 20-50-year-olds looking for food, fun and entertainment. This is not an area where there has been a high rate of pedestrian fatalities. HPD should have sent its officers to stand guard on Farrington Highway, where last weekend yet another tragic auto-related fatality occurred.
It's disgusting to see this kind of police harassment going on at one of Honolulu's few innovative events.