Lingle ought to sign pedestrian safety bill
Does the governor really want to veto an important pedestrian safety bill (Senate Bill 1191
) (Star-Bulletin, June 26
)? With dozens of seniors killed each year, many in crosswalks, and with the senior population becoming much larger in the next few years, doesn't the governor know the facts?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2006, 32 pedestrians were killed (15 of them 65-plus); in 2005, 36 pedestrians killed (13 in crosswalks); in 2004, 30 pedestrians killed; and in 2003, 23 pedestrians killed. The governor must provide immediate leadership on this crucial matter -- sign the bill into law.
Prescription bill should be vetoed
The Hawaii Medical Association appreciates and strongly supports the governor's stated intent to veto Senate Bill 1004
(Star-Bulletin, June 26
), which would allow medically untrained psychologists to have prescriptive authority.
Psychoactive medications are powerful and complex drugs that can cause serious cardiac and neurological side effects. By virtue of their education and training, physicians are able to weigh multiple factors, including the patient's underlying medical condition, before prescribing medications. They also are able to recognize the harmful side effects that might occur without warning.
The core education and training psychologists receive is not medical, and psychologists do not have the foundation for prescribing medication. Physicians receive extensive pharmacological education and clinical training to achieve the skills neces- sary to assess and diagnose patients before selecting a drug.
Allowing psychologists to have prescriptive authority puts people in Hawaii's rural areas at risk. While we agree urgent action needs to be taken to ensure access to psychiatric medical care in underserved areas, we do not agree that allowing psychologists to prescribe medication is the solution.
Hawaii Medical Association
All retirees deserve Social Security
Ever since I began approaching retirement age, I have received mailings from the Social Security Administration. People currently working are taxed to directly pay Social Security retirees in what amounts to be one of the original Ponzi schemes. When our nation's capital is run by friendlier people, I hope that Social Security can be reformed so that just about everyone has a retirement nest egg.
HCDA shouldn't be in the maritime business
I strongly disagree with Bill Littell's June 24 letter to the editor
regarding Kewalo Basin's pending transfer to the Honolulu Community Development Authority. Littell contends that HCDA would better manage the harbor than the two maritime state agencies, Department of Transportation, Harbors Division or Department of Land and Natural Resources, Boating and Ocean Resources.
Littell is 100 percent wrong. By HCDA's own admission, its staff has zero experience or expertise in managing a harbor. Additionally, HCDA's attempts at writing new administrative rules regarding slip fees and harbor rules resulted in major protests by Kewalo maritime businesses. Why should local family companies, fishermen and boaters in Kewalo Basin be guinea pigs for HCDA's attempts at learning the maritime business? Why should a third state agency manage harbors?
Major improvements are under way in many of Hawaii's harbors due to wonderful cooperation between the Legislature and Hawaii's harbors administration. I support and recommend that our legislators remove Kewalo Basin from HCDA's jurisdiction and direct the harbor's transfer and surrounding lands to either DLNR's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation or the DOT's Harbors Division. This is good public policy.
Anne V. Stevens
Former state representative
House District 23
(Ala Moana, Kakaako, Waikiki)
With finite land, gridlock is fated
With 500 buses vs. 727,270 registered vehicles on Oahu, it is obviously not the buses causing near gridlock.
The increase in the number of cars needs more solutions? That's not possible on Oahu with the finite constant in the simple equation. There is just not enough land, sufficient funding or desire to turn what remains of our beautiful Oahu aina into even more concrete.
Only an inevitable form of population moratorium will deter future deterioration of our aina and lifestyle.