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Monday, July 6, 1998

Legalized assisted suicide will bring too many woes

Governor Cayetano's support of legalized assisted suicide has alarmed many who have studied the effects that such a move would have on this state.

While his Blue Ribbon Panel on Living and Dying with Dignity recently presented to the governor its disputed findings in favor of assisted suicide and euthanasia, experts in the field of end-of-life studies and medical ethics are alarmed that such a move could be seriously contemplated.

Pointing to the evidence that safeguards are not foolproof, experts agree that those who will be hardest hit from assisted suicide abuse are the disadvantaged, handicapped, the depressed and minorities.

It's as though the governor is trying to solve our problems with end-of-life care in the same way he's trying to solve our problems with the economy -- by trying to sweep the issue under the rug instead of dealing with it.

When an issue raises this many objections, questions and possible problems, it is foolish to believe that it can really be the right answer for us.

Bob McDermott
State Representative
32nd District, R

Trent Lott knows little about homosexuality

Homosexuality is a genetic variant. Just as from 5 to 10 percent of the population are usually tall or unusually short, a minority are genetically determined to prefer same-sex partners.

Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, a "choice" or a sin. That these recent scientific discoveries are not known to the entire population is not surprising; massive reversals in beliefs and prejudices take time.

But that U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, a member of this country's elite -- very bright, well informed, with access to the latest information -- is a Neanderthal is cause for great melancholy.

Martin Blinder, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of California
San Francisco

Big Island has chance to elect great senator

Many people are critical of the Legislature for its lack of action on important issues. We can change this picture, one position at a time, by learning about the candidates and voting.

Dr. Fred Holschuh, from Honokaa, is running for the Senate. Rarely do we have the chance to elect a person of such integrity, genuine concern for the welfare of others, a high sense of purpose, great ideas and the energy to promote them.

I served with him on a committee that helped pass an important law in 1997 to combat drunk driving. He flew to Honolulu four times to testify at the state Capitol, and his efforts were critical to passage of the law.

Dr. Holschuh is in the business of saving lives -- not just with this law, but for more than 25 years as an emergency room physician in Hilo. He will bring to the Legislature a knowledge that will translate into better priorities for spending our money, ideas for improving the economy, better education and strengthening families.

Roz Luther

Travel magazine isn't credible source

That the globe-trotting readers of Conde Nast magazine found Maui "The Number One Island In The World" does not mean that Maui has a "pretty good environment" (quotes courtesy of Conde Nast and Maui's Mayor Lingle).

First, Maui demands more than a "pretty good environment." Second, for a mayor to cite a travel magazine as an arbiter of environmental quality is ludicrous, but not surprising.

As a mayor with poor environmental grades but a high anti-regulatory quotient, Lingle will not provide any relief from the problems that the state administration has caused or failed to address should she become governor.

Indeed, her dismissive attitude toward environmental problems in Maui County and her disdain for those who call attention to them are indicative of an immature political personality.

R. Harding Teves

Heco must show proof of need for power line

The June 20 letter of Kerstan Wong, Hawaiian Electric Co. project manager for the Kamoku-Pukele Line, unequivocally states that prior blackouts "could have been avoided if Oahu had an alternate southern corridor of transmission lines at the time."

For years, we have requested the data supporting this conclusion. But even now, with the release of the environmental impact statement, the information is still being withheld.

The East Oahu Transmission Requirements Update Study and the East Oahu 138 KV Requirements Study Update are referenced in the document, but are notably absent from the EIS.

Why are Heco's attorneys not allowing us to see them? These studies could help us understand how an electric transmission route connecting Iolani to Palolo would prevent future outages. We want the proof.

Christen Mitchell
Safe Power Action Network

Dance performance was inspiring to witness

The affairs of the State of Hawaii are dismal. Therefore, it seemed unusual to be present at a local dance performance so creative, so powerful that it felt as if the audience was participating in the birth of a new, strong, artistic entity: the Tau Dance Theater, founded by Peter Rockford Espiritu.

"Petroglyphs" opens with a chant of Hawaiian beginnings, but soon expands to represent the origins of all people. The dancers come from a dynamic base of athleticism, but it is as partners and elements of the other that they shine. Espiritu refers to the "art of partnering" and it has never been more beautifully evident than in "Petroglyphs."

Watching this event gave me hope for Hawaii. If there are still this many creative juices flowing in the field of the arts, in what other areas are there ideas, solutions and possibilities waiting to be born?

Lou Ann Woddell

Kapolei move is brilliant way to cut state budget

Thank you for your June 29 front-page article, " 'Second City' plan runs into trouble." At last we have found the best way to downsize, eliminate and/or trim the state budget -- move all government employees out to Kapolei.

May I now suggest moving the state Legislature, City Council and city administration to the Island of Kahoolawe? That way, rather than relocate, they will quit!

Cy Barker

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