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Lingle showed insight on drug measure

I applaud Hawaii lawmakers for passing a bill to enable needy citizens access to more affordable prescription medications.

Sen. Sam Slom's knee-jerk reaction blaming the rising costs of medication on Hawaii's taxes is laughable. Medications are exorbitantly priced throughout the United States, even in states with few or no taxes. Pharmaceutical companies blame it on research and development costs. Yet analysis shows that, on average, they spend a mere 13 percent of their budget on R&D, which is as much as they spend on marketing.

I also am impressed with Governor Lingle's reasonableness. After studying the facts, she had the political courage to change her position and lend her support to the bill. This bill is a shining example of bipartisanship.

Pradeepta Chowdhury, M.D.
Hilo, Hawaii

Verizon buyer may have little loyalty

In the past few weeks there has been much interest in the sale of Verizon Hawaii ("Verizon confirms Hawaii sale talks," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 20). For more than 100 years, this company -- as Verizon Hawaii, GTE Hawaiian Telephone, Hawaiian Telephone and Mutual Telephone -- has provided telephone service in the state and territory of Hawaii.

We have been purchased or merged in the past by phone companies that had long-term goals for our company and employees. The key always was to provide quality service to the residents of Hawaii.

As an employee of 37 years, I understand why we were bought or merged with another phone company. They understood our business and our mission.

We now face our greatest test. We are faced with the probability of being bought by an investment company. They buy a company and raid the profitable parts of the company, then sell it. For Verizon Hawaii, these items would be our property and pension plan.

Investment companies buy and sell companies and make the highest profits possible as quickly as possible. They have no long-term expectations.

I am concerned for the residents of Hawaii and the quality of service that will be delivered by this type of company. I am also concerned for the employees. Will they gut our pension plan and sell off properties for their own profits?

Maybe the best bet for Hawaii residents is to buy Verizon Hawaii and turn it into a cooperative venture like Kauai Electric. That would provide local management and quality service and keep jobs locally.

George M. Waialeale

Employees need right to choose own doctors

I see that you support Governor Lingle's proposal that injured workers be prohibited from being treated by their own doctors ("Systemic change would cut workers comp cost," Editorial, Feb. 18). Do you believe that the doctors treating injured workers are incompetent? Do you think they are committing insurance fraud?

There is no need to take away an employee's right to be treated by the doctor of his or her choice. Hawaii law already requires injured employees to submit to an examination by the employer's doctor. This new proposal is just another example of government interference with the doctor-patient relationship by the political party of John Ashcroft and Linda Lingle.

Anthony Rogers

Thanks, Hawaii, for taking care of soldiers

I would like to thank all the wonderful and thoughtful people who put together the care packages from Longs Drugs and sent them to our troops in Iraq. They were given to all soldiers from Hawaii and all those stationed in Hawaii. My niece from the Black Hawk Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, was among them.

A big mahalo to all of you for your support in the aloha way!

D. Kapea
Oak Harbor, Wash.

Follow rules in taking dog to Moanalua park

The city's first off-leash dog park opened Feb. 3 in Moanalua and has already attracted many happy dogs and their humans. The Moanalua Gardens Community Association did a lot of work behind the scenes to help make the park a reality.

During the past three years, we have assured the city that park users would follow the rules and regulations and be conscientious in keeping the park clean. Now it is up to all who use the dog park to make sure this pilot project is successful. This involves learning the rules, educating others about the rules and exerting peer pressure to enforce them.

This involves cleaning up not only your dog's poop, but any other that may have been missed -- not just walking past it because it isn't your dog's. It involves supervising any other young family members, not just dumping them in the park with the family dog while you play tennis or basketball. And it involves volunteering to help monitor the park if you will be using it frequently.

The Diamond Head Bark Park set the stage for other dog parks. The poop bags we take for granted at the Bark Park are paid for by private donations, not the city or state. Similarly, the dispensers and bags at the Moanalua Dog Park are paid for by our organization and the Yuppie Puppie Grooming Salon. So please bring your own, or use the recycled bags first. The Dogipot dispenser bags are for emergency backup use only.

Review the rules at www. and enjoy the beautiful Moanalua Dog Park.

Betty and Clayton Kamida
Moanalua Gardens Community Association

Name-calling won't help public schools

Educator Thomas Stuart (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Feb. 29) may want to enroll in a refresher course in civics. Solutions to public problems, such as with our Department of Education, must evolve from our elected leaders. Needed changes in the DOE therefore must evolve out of the Senate, the House and the governor's office. No individual or political party has a monopoly on the wisdom necessary to evolve a workable solution for improving public education in Hawaii.

Resorting to calling opposing party members rats, cockroaches and child abusers is out of line. Such outbursts are polarizing.

The just-released report of the local Business Roundtable, which recommends against smaller school districts, is but one indicator that alternatives to the governor's and GOP's proposal must be considered. It would be good to see cooler heads prevailing, free of self-aggrandizing name-calling.

Larry T. Hayashida

How about 'pairriage' for gay partners?

Possibly we should leave the "marriage" definition as it has been understood for ages, and create a new but equal status called "pairriage," in which two partners of any sex can become legally bound or wedded, similar to marriages. There still could be weddings and all the legal survivor status.

P. Minczer

It's not about equality, it's about paying taxes

Same-sex marriage is not about equal rights, nor is it about corrupting the institution of "traditional marriage." No, it's about something that the politicians don't want you to know: It's about tax dollars.

Married couples get tax breaks because they produce children who will pay future taxes. Most same-sex couples don't produce children; male couples can't, and female couples need donor sperm for artificial insemination. Same-sex couples who can't legally marry are, in effect, two singles. And singles pay the most taxes.

Miles Kaneshiro
Zushi City, Japan
Former Pearl City resident

A life is worth more than a speeder's car

Losing a car is trivial compared to taking a life. Excessive speed kills. There's no need for police to store confiscated vehicles, which can go straight to the auto auction. If speeders want to buy back their cars, no problem, though they should not be allowed to drive them for at least one year.

Draconian? Think again: A life is worth far more than a couple of tons of metal.

Tom Dolan

Community hospitals need funds restored

On Friday, the House Finance Committee passed the '05 Supplemental Budget. Hawaii Health Systems Corp.'s request of $31.2 million was reduced to $20 million. If the request is not restored, the community hospital system will have to cut services. Most at risk is long-term care.

HHSC provides life-saving emergency, acute and long-term health-care services at 12 hospitals, 10 on the neighbor islands and two on Oahu. The state auditor's unfavorable report does not reflect the real success that HHSC has brought to neighbor island communities. The community hospital system has managed the taxpayers' money in a responsible manner. It has maintained and improved critical medical services while confronting severe financial and political constraints.

The numbers don't lie: Revenues are up, operational costs are down and services are improving. This is clear to the community. I'm not sure why the legislators don't get it.

Davelyn (Nani) Keohohou-Fukino
Waimea, Kauai

Nothing can topple powerful senator

The article on Sen. Cal Kawamoto ("Senator diverts election funds," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 22), while interesting, will have no impact on Kawamoto or his re-election. With the biggest war chest in the Legislature and with no opponent, Kawamoto knows he will be in the Senate as long as he likes, and he doesn't care what anyone thinks.

The people of Waipahu love him, especially his neighborhood of Harbor View. At taxpayer expense he had a 20-foot-tall concrete-block wall installed to insulate his neighbors from the traffic entering the H1. He also is installing a traffic light from his neighborhood's Honowai Street to make all traffic on Fort Weaver Road stop so his friends can travel without the inconvenience of having to merge to go to Wal-Mart. Millions were spent to upgrade and landscape the median strip going through Waipahu.

While the article on his suspect spending was revealing, Kawamoto is laughing all the way to the Capitol.

Garry Smith
Ewa Beach




Does Honolulu need a city museum,
and what should be in it?

Does history matter? If so, whose history? Bishop Museum is one of the leading cultural museums in the United States, but it is not a history center. Honolulu seems to be the only state capital city without a municipal museum. Does Honolulu need a city museum? What should be in it? Where should it be? Should such a museum be a collection of artifacts or a learning center? Would such a museum be geared for Hawaii education or for entertaining tourists?

Send your ideas by March 17 to:

Or mail them to:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

c/o Nancy Christenson


How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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