Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

Lingle wrong on naturopaths

As the health-care crisis escalates and we urge new doctors to come to Hawaii, there seems to be a natural solution that is being overlooked: naturopathic physicians. These doctors graduate from medical schools that not only train their physicians in standard medical practices like pharmaceuticals and minor surgery, but also educate them in natural and preventative techniques like nutritional counseling and herbal medicine.

While naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are licensed as primary care physicians in Hawaii, they are limited by antiquated laws in the ways that they can help you. Whether this trend continues is up to you. Last week Gov. Linda Lingle listed Senate Bill 420 on her list of bills she intends to veto. Her objection statement shows a clear lack of understanding as to the education of these physicians.

There are about 100 naturopathic physicians licensed in this state—can you imagine what expanding their abilities to treat would do for our health care? This bill would not give these doctors rights they have not earned. It would simply allow them to practice as they were trained to do. Don't we owe it to ourselves to help support this bill? Please tell Lingle to pass SB 420. Learn more online at www.naturopathic.org.

Sarah Strong, N.D.

Hilo Natural Health Clinic





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Return to table and start fresh

Even after the decision of Judge Karl Sakamoto declaring unconstitutional Gov. Linda Lingle's furloughs, state workers continue to be the subject of unkind and unjustifiable criticism for having not agreed to the arbitrary and unilateral order of the governor.

On the contrary, they should be congratulated to have fought for their rights and for not being intimidated by her threat of layoffs. Plain and simple, it is indeed very unjust for the low-paid public employees to have a pay cut of 13.7 percent of their salary when Lingle and her high-salaried administration officials had a cut of 5 percent.

Lingle should now go back to the bargaining table with the labor union leaders to find a reasonable and fair decision for all.

Gene A. Albano

Salt Lake


Look at options to settle budget

I hope Gov. Linda Lingle, the legislative leadership and the union leaders use the furlough decision as a cooling-off period and sit down at the negotiating table. Put aside egos and scoring political points and negotiate in earnest until they can agree to a compromise.

Look at different options: a one-day furlough a month, the rainy day and the hurricane funds, implement a temporary increase in the excise tax (excluding food and drugs) with an iron-clad sunset date.

Look at California as a worst-case scenario—a $24 billion deficit and the IOUs—and see it as a warning to our leaders of what can happen when all sides in a negotiation won't agree to give a little to come up with a livable budget.

Theodore Taba



Education board needs bold action

Commenting on budget shortfalls, Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi is quoted as saying, “;Hawaii's public schools are waiting for bold and decisive action to be taken in strengthening the local economy”; (Star-Bulletin, July 3).

Everyone wishes the economy would improve, but simply waiting for improvement is counterproductive. We must do what we can within our fiscal limitations.

Instead of continuing to rely on an obsolete, inefficient and ineffective organization, the BOE should be developing a modern, efficient and effective organization for managing our schools.

Budget shortfalls should not preclude bold and decisive action. It is needed now more than ever before.

John Kawamoto