to the Editor

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Saturday, June 16, 2001

Queen's clinic has been there, done all

Mahalo to Helen Altonn for her balanced article (Star-Bulletin, June 4) on the Queen's Dental Clinic.

The dental residency program has been serving the people of Hawaii for more than 40 years, and has only recently had to overcome its largest obstacle ever, funding. Quietly fulfilling the will of Queen Emma to improve the health of the people of Hawaii, the dental clinic has never sought the spotlight of attention.

As a result, the public has been essentially unaware of the value of the program to the community. When HIV and AIDS patients were having a hard time getting dental care, the Queen's Dental Clinic was there and never turned its back on these patients. When patients with severe disabilities required special care that they could not receive in a regular dentist's office, the Queen's Dental Clinic was there. When patients had traumatic injuries to their head and face that required hospitalization, the residents at the Queen's Dental Clinic were there.

You may never need the services of the clinic, but isn't it nice to know it is there just in case the need arises? Hopefully, the wisdom of the people in charge of the program and the state can get together and fund the clinic for the sake of the people of Hawaii.

Kevin K.L. Ching DDS
Queen's dental resident, 1981

Give rebate to 'losers' under Bush tax plan

Americans who receive $300 rebate checks should transfer them immediately to their grandchildren who lost this sum from funds from which all student aid, Social Security and Medicare flow.

Richard Y. Will


"I don't know about testing every kid every year. You don't need to take the plant out to check the roots but every so often."
Paul LeMahieu,

Hawaii superintendent of schools, on national education bills now in a U.S. House and Senate conference committee that require annual testing for students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school.

"They're a weapon when you think about it, like a loaded gun."
James Arakaki,
Hawaii County Council chairman, on the need to strengthened laws against dangerous dogs after a child was killed and his mother mauled by a pitbull last week on the Big Island. A bill signed into law this week will give each county the power to create its own ordinances against vicious dogs.

Long was in charge, not the police

In response to those who think that police erred in anyway during the Karsten Drive incident in which Dustan Long was killed: I am a retired police sergeant trained in negotiations and behavioral science.

If anyone thinks that the police were in control of the situation, they are wrong. Long was in control. The police did what they had to do based on Long's actions.

Based on my experience and training, I am sure that Long's mother was given every opportunity to speak with her son via the negotiator's phone. My question is: After the police made it clear to her that they could not risk her life by letting her go to Dustan why did she choose not to talk with him by phone?

Patti Adolphson

Police gave abridged version of shooting

Every time I see or read the police's abridged version of the unnecessary death of Dustan Long, I am horrified about how easy it is for law enforcement officers to kill at will.

Dustan was a good friend of our family's and a helpful neighbor who was ready to lend a hand even after the early death of his father who was one of our closest friends.

The gang of youths that provoked this travesty have indicated remorse for instigating the circumstances that lead to his death. They crashed the graduation party that was being held on Dustan's pool deck. When Dustan called the police and they didn't respond, Dustan responded in the way we have all been taught to defend our castles from invaders.

When Dustan's mother arrived and pleaded to be able to see and talk with her son she was denied the opportunity for two hours while the police improved upon their position to shoot at this defender of our liberties. The excuse being given is that it was against police policy that it might inflame the accused.

When Dustan began to surrender at dawn, knowing then that he could be seen as unarmed, he was shot down like a mad dog. No alternatives were tried first. No telephone calls, no bean bags, no loudspeakers from his mother, no friend's encouragement, nothing -- just shot dead at his door unarmed.

Did Dustan know he was faced by police or by the returning gang with their weapons? At dawn he obviously knew it was time to give up, but he was shot dead on sight, unarmed on his own property by the gang called police.

I would like to know when the media in this town are going to start getting the truth and all of the facts instead of just accepting the police interpretation of every misunderstanding in our streets? It is appalling what happened in Wahiawa.

Carol Y. Leeds

Letter guidelines

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.

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