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POSTED: Friday, August 14, 2009

Families' health requires reform

There are so many arguments about health care reform that the opportunities are in danger of being lost. But our country has a great opportunity to fix at least two serious problems.

The first is we need to make sure that every woman can get maternity coverage. For example, if pregnancy is defined as pre-existing, then a woman might not be able to afford needed maternity care. A second reason to improve the current system is to make sure that children who are born with a birth defect or serious condition, including disabilities caused by being born pre-term, can get the quality, affordable and comprehensive medical care they need to survive and thrive. This is not about special interests; it's about our families.

As a March of Dimes volunteer, the health of women, newborns and children matters to me. I hope that our leaders in Washington remember this and don't lose sight of what this generation should be doing to ensure healthy future generations.

Delight Sato

Kaneohe

 

Shriver helped so many in need

On Tuesday, Special Olympics bid farewell to its founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. While the Special Olympics Hawaii ohana mourns the passing of a great woman, the world will also miss an inimitable individual who fought her entire life for equality and inclusion for all individuals, especially those with intellectual disabilities.

From a day camp in her back-yard in 1962, Special Olympics has since grown to an international movement with more than 3 million athletes throughout the world, including over 2,000 athletes in Hawaii.

Mrs. Shriver believed that there was always more that could, and should, be done. She would constantly ask us, “;What more can you do?”; Her work forever altered the course of mankind by leading a human-rights movement to bring dignity, respect, opportunity and hope to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the world.

I encourage you to visit the tribute site established in her honor, www.eunicekennedyshriver.org. To learn more about Special Olympics Hawaii, please visit http://www.specialolympicshawaii.org.

Nancy Bottelo

President, Special Olympics Hawaii

 

Fish cage risks must be addressed

Nine out of every 10 pounds of harvested fish will be shipped out of Hawaii from the fish farm planned off North Kohala. Two pounds of feed will be shipped in for each pound of fish produced; 1,200,000 pounds of fish a year, 20-plus jobs, and returns for investors is what Hawaii will gain. What will we risk?

Twelve cages, each 30 yards across, will float untethered 1,300 feet deep, dependent on new propulsion technology to hold them against currents, storms, and tsunamis. No bond will be posted in case of disaster.

Disease from farm fish, caged off from culling by predators, may cause epidemics in wild fish. Drugs and antibiotics may not help, since residues may linger in the fish, and spread into the ocean from fish droppings. Vaccines take years to develop.

Two-hundred-fifty acres of public ocean waters will be used for private profit. More is coming: Hawaii is the only state that allows ocean leasing. Two existing fish farms plan expansion. Three more may start up.

We urge that upcoming hearings for a Conservation District Use Permit be held in West Hawaii and be well-publicized. We urge that the state address all risks, and “;incorporate ecological perspectives,”; like the Hawaiian fish pond, to integrate fishing, aquaculture and conservation.

Cory Harden

Sierra Club, Moku Loa, Hilo

 

Why wait until the last minute?

Ask any Boy Scout about the art of being prepared — and so it was as Felicia trickled through with drizzly humidity; shelters at the ready; ample awareness from the weather bureau's daily forecasts; stores left barren of bottled water; batteries; just name it, we were ready.

Yet why on earth does the City and County suddenly start cleaning up canals, rivers, blocked up drainage culverts that turn into raging torrents the day before?

John L Werrill

Honolulu

               

     

 

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