Thursday, June 14, 2001
Queen's Dental Clinic deserved to surviveI wish to express my gratitude to the Star-Bulletin and Helen Altonn for writing the June 4 article, "Queen's dental clinic to keep serving poor." It covers a topic, the Queen's Dental Clinic and Residency program, that is near and dear to my heart.
Many people deserve thanks for keeping the program open for another year, including Vicki Cayetano, Drs. Bruce Anderson and Mark Greer from the state Department of of Health, the Queen's administration, including Dan Jessop, and many of our own dental staff members, especially Drs. Angie Chin and Sam Ishimura.
For the past 18 years, starting with my own residency years at Queen's, I have maintained involvement in both the residency and clinic. I have seen how important this program is for the state, Queen's Hospital and our community.
No other clinic duplicates the many and specialized services it offers. Replacing it will be far more expensive in the future, there is no question. Why not save the program for more than just the one year?
John M. Kurahara, D.D.S.
[Quotables]"The tone is that war is good. Future leaders of Japan might be taught by that mindset." Richard S. Lee,
Vice president of the Korean-American Society of Hawaii, on international concern over the use of a Japanese middle-school textbook that whitewashes Japanese atrocities during World War II.
"Due to the stigma that Satanists have had, it's not the easiest thing to find a location to create a church." Andrew Crothier,
Minister of the Satanist Church of Hawaii, saying his small church wouldn't qualify to erect a 20-foot symbol, a pentagram, under proposed city restrictions that would allow symbols that size only on properties at least 20,000 square feet and designated as meeting places.
Relying on fossil fuel has dire consequencesI laughed when I read the June 8 column by Thomas Sowell, "Environmentalists rarely consider the consequences of their actions." He blames environmentalists for the blackouts in California, rent control in New York, malaria in Third World countries and high gas prices. According to him environmentalists are motivated by a desire to "morally intimidate" the rest of us so they can "feel good."
Is Sowell suggesting that environmentalists are not affected by blackouts, higher gas prices and housing shortages, or that no environmentalist has ever suffered from malaria? Is he suggesting that clean air and water, farm animals free from growth-promoting antibiotic drugs, affordable housing and the development of effective antimalarial drugs are not worth fighting for?
Is Sowell such an innocent that he has never considered corporate and personal greed as possible causes of these problems? Is he totally in the dark about alternative, renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar, ocean and wind power? Coal, oil and natural gas are non-renewable. What does he suggest we do when they are gone?
Sowell can't see the forest for the trees, and the trees he sees are already lumber. Maybe he has never witnessed the devastation caused by clearcutting. Perhaps he eats only "farmed" salmon genetically fattened and bred in disease-ridden net cages. Perhaps the closest he has come to fresh, clean water is the picture of a sparkling stream on the bottled water he drinks. It is he who is not thinking about the long-term consequences of deforestation, pesticide pollution, chemical contamination and medical shortages.
Waikiki is too crowded for another towerHilton Hawaiian's sixth tower, the Kalia Tower, is a beautiful addition to the property and completes Henry Kaiser's hotel vision of 5,000 rooms. Hilton's greed for a seventh 350-foot, 400-room timeshare hotel (Star-Bulletin, April 17) is being opposed by the 1,000 nearby condo owners who will lose ocean views as well as many local residents who feels Waikiki is already over crowded and overbuilt. Hilton should stop its greed at some point before all tourists are turned off by crowded Waikiki and start to look for somewhere else for their vacation.
By protesting and sending letters to Peter Schall, Hilton's general manager, they hope to stop or scale back his project. If Hilton's seventh tower is approved, their logo "Perfecting Paradise" must be changed to "Paving over Paradise," "Profiting Paradise," "Parking Lot Paradise" or "Perishing Paradise."
We would like Sam Bren to resign from the Waikiki neighborhood board since he has no interest in trying to stop or scale down Hilton's seventh tower. Economy is one issue but environment and a lack of space are also important issues.
Quality teachers should get quality payI am bothered and concerned to hear that the state is attempting to back out of the contract it negotiated with the public school teachers.
Throughout the negotiations the state repeated that any pay increase must be tied to merit. The state chose to define merit as holding a professional diploma or a master's degree. The state wanted to pay for quality and is now getting more quality than it expected.
Aren't more quality teachers a good thing? The state needs to put its money where its mouth is and pay for the quality teachers our children deserve.
Driving is a pleasure on the mainlandI recently spent two weeks driving through Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado -- a "mainland Paradise." Here's what I saw: drivers who actually stopped at red lights and stop signs, who only changed lanes when they were passing or preparing to leave a freeway, got up to at least the speed limit when merging on a freeway, who when driving slow used the right lane, used turn signals when changing lanes or turning, stayed within 10 miles of the speed limit, who were courteous and well-educated about driving laws.
I also saw beautiful roads and scenery with little or no trash, i.e., plastic bags, beer or soda bottles and/or cans, cigarette butts, food wrappers or other unsightly items. Almost every street or road had individual "Adopt-a-Highway" signs every two miles, and the adopters actually kept their areas spotless.
Now I'm back in Hawaii where red lights are a joke, drivers only think about getting somewhere as fast as humanly possible without regard to their fellow drivers and rubbish is distributed evenly in large amounts everywhere you go. Need I say more? Our own "paradise" has a long way to go to equal what I saw during two weeks in another paradise.
Aiming 'to wound' is impossibleRegarding the Dustan Long shooting: People who think that the police should shoot people committing violent crimes in the arm or leg should take this simple test.
Have a friend collect 20 or 30 good-sized rocks. Now, you get one of those guns with projectiles that stick to walls. Have your friend start throwing his rocks at you as hard as he can. While he's doing this, you try to hit him in the arm or leg with your projectiles. Easy, huh?
Yep, now just imagine those rocks were bullets.
Still think it's easy to hit someone in the arm or leg? Save that kind of thinking for the movies.
Charles W. Santiago
The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.