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Friday, August 6, 1999


Medical payment system needs finetuning

Your July 27 story, "Third appeal of hospital bill a charm," about the medical payment dispute between the Kaaialii family and Queen's Preferred Plan, was an eye opener. As a practicing physician for 30-plus years, I keep getting surprised by our "progress" in medicine.

This case should have been easily resolved. It appears the reviewers weren't eager to get the facts to rectify this promptly.

Even worse was the appearance of the need to "conserve costs." To refuse payment for Ann Kaaialii's subsequent hospitalization was merely adding insult to injury.

Although more lawsuits won't necessarily improve the quality of care, the system certainly needs improvement, pronto. I have heard experts discuss the reasoning behind what is happening in medicine, but it still doesn't make much sense. Oh well, who says the law has to make sense?

Clayton Ching, M.D.
Pasadena, Calif.
Via the Internet

Bridal service doesn't deserve liquor license

It's a shame that a company like Gloria Bridal Services can set up its business on a residential street, cause years of nuisance and then add insult to injury by saying it needs a liquor license to have "champagne toasts" for wedding couples.

Even worse, this company's representatives are making insinuations of every kind -- alleging various wrongdoing against citizens who are lawfully expressing their opposition to this idea.

A good 34 percent of its neighbors protested Gloria Bridal Services' first attempt to obtain this liquor license in January 1998. Last month, 53 percent protested.

Residents simply don't want to take the chance that this liquor license will be used to its fullest profit potential and lead to more and bigger events.

Marguerite Ige

Mink is champion of human rights

Congresswoman Mink and her staff are doing a great job. I recently met with Anne Stewart, Mink's legislative assistant in her D.C. office, to discuss the Human Rights Information Act.

Stewart informed me that Mink would agree to co-sponsor this bill in the House. The bill would allow for the declassification of U.S. government documents about human-rights violations in Honduras and Guatemala.

If HR 1625 is passed, not only will information on human-rights abuses in Guatemala and Honduras be released, but data on abuses throughout the world will also be available to many people who don't know the whereabouts of relatives who have disappeared in foreign countries.

Katie Shannon
Wailuku, Maui

Hawaiian inmates aren't majority in jail

In his July 31 letter, David K. Kealoha wrote that "people of Hawaiian ancestry make up nearly 40 percent of the inmates in this state." This does not tell the whole story.

For many years now, I suspect that when police charged a person for something, they always asked, "What nationality are you?" Because so many local or kamaaina want to be at least a small part Hawaiian, the answer has almost always been "part-Hawaiian."

Yet many of these people have no Hawaiian blood at all. Some may be as little as 64th part-Hawaiian but they claim to be Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian. I've seen kids I went to school with claim to be part Hawaiian when I know they are pure Chinese, Japanese or Portuguese.

We should stop asking everyone about their nationality, and stop using terrible hyphenated labels such as "African-American people." It is destroying our country.

Don McDiarmid Jr.
Via the Internet

Seattle is great beat for former Hawaii cops

The exodus of island police officers doesn't involve only the Honolulu Police Department. I am a former Maui police officer, now working as a deputy for the King County Sheriff's Office. I work with former officers from Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii County.

Although HPD is the state's biggest police department, other county departments may actually feel more of a "hit" when they lose officers, due to the realities of the hiring and training cycle.

The pay is only a part of what makes it better here. I hope to see more of my brother and sister officers in the future.

P. Whitney Richtmyer
Seattle, Wash.

The minimum wage can always be higher

Regarding Cayetano and minumum-wage hike: Is $5.25 an hour enough? Only a liberal Democrat would ask such a dumb question.

No, $5.25 an hour is not enough. If the minimum wage were to go up to $10 an hour, it still would not be enough.

Even a blooming idiot knows that if the cost to do something rises, the price of that service goes up as well.

Bruce Tetreaults

Estate doesn't have 'persuasive' influence

Did you intend to give the Bishop Estate a back-handed compliment or another smack in the face? Your July 28 article on Lingle vs. Bronster referred to Bishop Estate as "having a persuasive influence on island life."

"Persuasive" refers to convincing or advocating a particular belief. Had you used the word "pervasive" (to extend its influence) or "perverse" (to go counter to what is expected), it would not be an implied pejorative.

J. Arthur Rath
Kamehameha Schools, Class of '49
Casenovia, N.Y.

Stender should be reappointed trustee

We need extremely experienced people on the Bishop Estate's board of trustees. The five interim trustees no doubt have a lot of experience in their chosen fields, but they all lack the experience of Oswald Stender.

The past record of Stender with Campbell Estate and Bishop Estate cannot be matched, even if you put all of the five interim trustees together.

He should be reinstated as a Bishop trustee or be made an adviser to guide the interim board.

I. Okemura

Bishop Estate Archive


"I fought against (culture)
for the longest time. I wanted to be
Annette Funicello with
her big tatas."

Ann Asakura

On how the 20-year-old Palolo-based nonprofit organization
that offers education in traditional crafts helped her appreciate
her island and Asian heritage


"What a way to start the day!"

Ken Kmett

After fire swept through the apartment
complex next door on Varsity Circle

Defendants change appearances to fool juries

Your July 29 story on the Dana Ireland case, "Witness identifies wrong man," is an example of a developing trend among criminal defense attorneys. This was similar to what happened in the 1998 Kenneth Brewer murder trial. In both cases, defense attorneys had the benefit of time to re-create their clients.

In the Ireland murder trial, the defendant Frank Pauline Jr. of July 21, 1999 is a far cry from the Frank Pauline Jr. of July 31, 1997. He lost weight, shaved his goatee and started wearing glasses, dress shirts and ties. There's little wonder the witness did not recognize him.

The same thing happened in Brewer's case. The buff, well-muscled defendant was a far cry from the meek, slight-bodied person appearing before the jury. Who would ever believe such a person could possibly batter an overweight 58-year-old to death?

Carolyn Martinez Golojuch
Via the Internet

Real men don't laugh at dirty jokes

Diane Chang was so right in her July 30 column. When men laugh at a dirty joke or tell one that has as its main focus the denigration and humiliation of females, they are quietly supporting the abuse of women.

Real men have the courage to tell their pals that it's not acceptable.

Gwen Kraft
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Via the Internet

Transsexual paddler did not have advantage

Charles Memminger's July 30 column about the transsexual paddler is off base. Memminger's insistence on segregating people strictly by appearance of their genitals reduces the complicated biological, psychological and sociological questions of gender to the level of the playground.

A person undergoing a transsexual experience will undergo a massive treatment of female hormones. This treatment is so profound, it is referred to as chemical castration. The change in gender, as it relates to the question of athletic competition, occurs then.

Someone who takes up a new sport following hormonal treatment would not have any particular advantage. Lianne Taft was a novice paddler when she first started with her team; only long months of training made her a

Viable component of that team.

Questions about her gender status and proposals for the racing association's rules did not come to a head until her team jelled and began winning.

Tracy Ryan

Paddlers should be allowed to declare gender

It's regrettable that the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association wants to spend its time in a debate over constitutional law and gender identity issues (Star-Bulletin, July 29, "Paddling rule change biased, transsexual woman contends").

It's a phenomenal waste of time and energy. Individuals in the canoe paddling world should be allowed to self- identify their gender and feel comfortable about their sexual orientation, as many have been doing for years. Whether a transsexual would introduce an unfair competitive advantage is ridiculous.

There are many women in my club who are far stronger and better paddlers than their male counterparts.

As for the presentation of birth certificates before getting into the canoe, don't race officials have enough paperwork to process as it is? What's next, a blood test? Dropping our pants for a genitalia check?

MaryAnne B. Maigret
Ocean View, Hawaii
Via the Internet

Good Samaritans deserve a mahalo

Thanks to whoever cleaned up the Three Tables and Pupukea waterfront this weekend.

It's great to have all the trash and broken bottles removed. People are much more likely to keep a park clean if they find it clean.

David Johnson
Via the Internet

Guns don't go off by themselves

According to your July 31 editorial, guns are responsible for killing people. What an insightful observation!

Using that same logic, shoes would be responsible for jaywalking, pencils for spelling errors, cars for hit-and-runs, bathing suits for drownings, credit cards for overspending and baseball bats for strikeouts.

So all we need to do now is outlaw shoes, pencils, cars, bathing suits, credit cards and baseball bats.

Then we can all live in a world free of fear.

C.T. Marshall
Via the Internet


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