Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cultivate food, not suburbs

With each passing year, Oahu becomes more like the mainland. At one time this would have alarmed us; now we tolerate it.

We also tolerate the problems that come with transformation: a homeless population that grows because of unaffordable housing and insufficient social services; traffic jams; environmental degradation, including construction runoff that harms marine life; dumps filled with our garbage and waste; devaluing of agriculture; and conversion of agricultural land to real estate.

Our most precious resource is the islands' uniqueness, yet we allow—because we are greedy, naive or shortsighted—this uniqueness to be jeopardized. Instead of burying Oahu beneath concrete and asphalt, let's support cultivation of the land to produce our food, help us be self-sufficient and preserve respect for what truly sustains us. This is the right use of the land. Turning Oahu into a suburb of the mainland is not.

Pat Matsueda

Hawaii sets health standard

I find it especially ironic when a Hawaii resident, in this case Jeffrey K. Lyons of Mililani, rails against government involvement in health care (”;Government must loosen its control,”; Star-Bulletin letters, Aug. 15).

Hawaii's farsighted state government passed near universal coverage 33 years ago. And, by the measures that really count, it has been a huge success. I recently read that we have the nation's lowest per capita health care cost. Imagine anything in Hawaii being lowest cost! This is most likely due to the fact that, through universal health care 33 years ago, we shifted from health crisis management to early detection and prevention. And, we in the 50th state live the longest. President Barack Obama is merely trying to take Hawaii's proven health care advantages and expand them to the entire country. How a Hawaii resident could oppose this is beyond me.

Rick Lloyd

Akaka Bill lives up to name

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S1011/HR2314) is known as the Akaka Bill.

The definition of “;akaka”;: a rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale (”;Hawaiian Dictionary”; by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, page 12).

I find the title “;The Akaka Bill”; very appropriate as the meaning of the word “;akaka”; literally describes what will surely happen to the people of Hawaii, and the nation, if it becomes law.

If the Akaka Bill becomes law and is upheld by the courts, it will be the akaka (chink) in the armor of citizens' individual rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.

There will be akaka (separation) throughout Hawaii along racial lines. Families will akaka (split) along bloodlines and ancestry. Businesses, schools and entire communities will akaka (rent, tear apart).

The legacy of Sen. Dan Akaka's bill will not be remembered for his name, but for the meaning of the word “;akaka”; and the destruction it caused.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

Everyone deserves Medicare

Jesus would be in favor of Medicare for all.

The easy solution to end the health care debate is to allow people the option to buy into Medicare or keep their current insurance. In America 46,000 people are uninsured and 18,000 people a year die from not having any health care coverage; 50 million people a year file bankruptcy because they get sick. Illness is the No. 1 reason people face foreclosure.

Thirty-seven industrial countries have made it a felony to have for-profit health care insurance. Private for-profit means they shave off 40 percent off the top for CEOs, corporate jets and this money is made from finding ways to deny procedures for people who are covered.

Medicare operates at 3 percent overhead while the private for-profit health care operates at over 20 percent overhead. Nanos Research Co. conducted a study that showed 86 percent of Canadians love their health care coverage. The California Teachers Association did a study, which found that a single-payer system would produce 2.6 million jobs, $317 billion in business revenue and $100 billion in wages.

Paraphrasing Matthew 25:31, the disciples asked, “;Who goes to heaven?”; Jesus replied, “;The ones who looked after me when I was sick.”; The disciples said, “;We never saw you sick.”; Jesus said, “;No, you were to do unto others as you do unto me.”;

A little common sense accompanied with facts shows that we need a single-payer health care option and we need it now.

Justin Hughey




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