It's not difficult to recycle, so just do it
Recycling doesn't take too much effort. At my house we have three separate bins; one for regular trash, one for bottles and one for cans. It's not hard at all. On the other hand, I know many people who don't recycle. They think it's a waste of time, or they're just plain lazy.
I'm writing to say, just recycle! Recycling helps the environment, and it helps people. You're probably thinking, "It doesn't help us!" But think first. By recycling, you're reusing the bottles and cans to make new ones to sell. If we don't recycle, the manufacturers will just take more from the environment. If we keep taking more, the supply might run out, and the stock will go down.
If everyone recycles, there will be less trash going to the landfill, and less being taken from the environment. So just help out and recycle, because it doesn't take too much effort!
Witnesses to boy's death need support
Like many others, I'm saddened not only for baby Cyrus Belt but for his entire family. However, as I read the many comments expressing how others feel I cannot help feel that everyone has forgotten some other injured parties involved in this horrible tragedy. I'm expressly talking about the people down on the highway -- specifically the poor driver whose car ran over the body of baby Cyrus. What about how they must feel? And what about the next driver and the ones that followed? I hope they were all able to miss this small innocent body flung so callously over the edge of the overpass.
I cannot even begin to imagine the nightmares or emotional trauma these people are going through. I can only pray they know they were not the responsible party in this tragedy. How do you console such a person? And what about any passengers who might have been riding with this driver? Just because they were not driving doesn't mean they, too, wouldn't be traumatized. I just pray these people can get some help in dealing with their feelings.
Food stamp recipients must be eligible
Steve Jones (Letters, Feb. 1) criticized the Department of Human Services for denying his food stamps application.
It is important to understand that the U.S. Department of Agriculture funds the Food Stamp Program to improve the nutrition of low-income people. DHS administers this program and feeds more than 89,000 residents each month, but the federal government sets eligibility requirements.
One of these requirements promotes self-sufficiency by requiring able-bodied adults not living with dependents to have a job or be involved in a work training program. People who do not qualify for food stamps can obtain help in other ways, however, from both government agencies and private charities.
DHS wants everyone who is eligible for food stamps to receive this benefit. I encourage residents to learn more by calling 643-1643 or visiting our Web site at Hawaii.gov/dhs.
Food Stamp Program administrator
Department of Human Services
We need fresh start with President Obama
We need a real change! We don't need the same business-as-usual types of the Clintons and Bushes! Politicians say anything to get elected and Hillary is a typical polished politician. Many people are fooled by her speeches and Corporate America is banking on her success, which is why it has given her millions for her campaign. I'm not sure about others, but she makes me quiver when she says that she will not be influenced by all the millions contributed to her campaign.
We need a 100 percent change! I hope Obama gets elected and not another Clinton. We need a president we can totally trust, not another experienced politician who says anything to get elected.
Francis K. Ibara
Perhaps Obama is safer in the Senate
I've lived in the islands for 25 years and my heart goes out to presidential hopeful Barak Obama, schooled at Punahou. The first balloon in last Tuesday's Doonesbury cartoon says, "I think you may be right, Drew -- Obama is the first black Kennedy!"
It gave me concern. Two of three Kennedys were presidential. Both were assassinated. The surviving Kennedy chose Congress. I am torn.
Tort reform will help keep doctors in Hawaii
Once again the lawyers' lobbyist, Bob Toyofuku, misleads the public with his comments regarding medical liability reform ("Isle doctors lobby for tort reform," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 5). In reality, there is a very real doctors' shortage in Hawaii. Doctors in critical specialties are leaving or cutting back their practices, and everyday more and more people do not have access to health care when they need it most.
Toyofuku states that "for a person suffering a very bad injury, $250,000 in non-economic damage is not enough." The fact is that House Bill 1992, which doctors urge the Judiciary Committee of the House to finally pass this year, calls for no limit on economic damages (medical expenses and present and future lost earning) and a $250,000 cap for most non-economic damages. Without this cap, doctors have too much uncertainty when practicing medicine in Hawaii and will continue to leave or scale back practices, and people's ability to get health care will get even worse -- especially on the neighbor islands.
Further, Toyofuku claims "rural areas of Texas have experienced no increase in the number of physicians as a result of tort reform." Texas licensed a record 3,324 new doctors in 2007, 808 more than the year before. This includes a net gain of 186 obstetricians, 156 orthopedic surgeons and 26 neurosurgeons. It is absolutely clear that the Texas medical tort reform has attracted doctors.
Hawaii is going the other way thanks to the powerful lawyer lobbyists in the Legislature. The Hawaii Medical Association urges everyone to contact their legislators and ask them to support HB 1992 and give the people of Hawaii the ability to get health care when they need it.
Castle High went above and beyond
I would like to say a deep, sincere mahalo to the teachers, staff and administrators of Castle High School. So many of them went out of their way to help a relative of mine last quarter. They kindly and promptly responded to my requests for information via phone calls and e-mails. They taught good, substantive courses and went out of their way to give the support and special help that was needed. They also provided an excellent and challenging sports program.
We appreciated the many and varied efforts that were made for this student. We didn't know anything about Castle High School before last fall, but now we are firm believers in the school. We wish the entire state could experience firsthand, as we did, the dedication of Castle teachers, staff and administrators and the excellence of the education services they provide.
Anne M. Miller