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Maui's getting shorted on medical care

Hey, legislators! Don't you realize how important health care is on the neighbor islands? Or do you forget? We need more health care than is already available. We have shortages of beds for our kupuna, no long-term drug treatment programs for our teenagers, no emergency helicopter if someone falls and breaks their head in Hana, no dentists for Quest (have to fly to Oahu to have your teeth fixed).

These are real needs and you want to cut health care short on Maui? No way Bruddah!

Val Zacharski
Pukalani, Maui

Senator stands in way of improved schools

With great shock, dismay and anger, I read the Star-Bulletin's story about Sen. Norman Sakamoto's refusal to hold a public hearing on Governor Lingle's local school boards initiative ("Panel hears opinions on education reform," April 1).

The Senate Education Committee chairman led us to believe he would give fair consideration to the governor's plan. Instead, he merely condescended to sit through a briefing before unilaterally deciding that his committee was not going to hear the bill. In other words, "We'll let you talk for a while about how to improve our schools, but don't expect me to do anything about it."

With a wave of his hand, he is defending the status quo of an education system that has failed our students for decades!

Sakamoto is well aware of the overwhelming, statewide support for letting the people decide the issue of local school boards and other education reform measures. He is also aware that if the voters get a say in the future of their keiki, they will vote against those special interests he so zealously protects.

Patricia M. Schafer

Chairman bottles up 'Booster Seat Bill'

I am writing this letter in support of Senate Bill 2018, the Booster Seat Bill. This bill has successfully passed through three Senate and House committees. Unfortunately, the House Judiciary chairman, Rep. Eric Hamakawa, does not plan to hold a public hearing. I have attempted many times to contact Hamakawa, but my calls have not been returned. If a hearing isn't held by Thursday the bill will be dead.

Under Hawaii law, children under age 4 are required to be secured in child safety seats. Unfortunately, children ages 4 through 8 are not. There are 85,000 keiki between 4 and 8 in Hawaii who are physically too small for an adult seatbelt. They need to be properly secured in a booster seat to be fully protected by auto seatbelts and avoid injuries.

When a child is not properly restrained he or she can be severely, if not critically or fatally, injured.

The cost of a booster seat is as low as $18, and under Senate Bill 2018 the purchase of a seat would be covered by the $25 state tax credit for a child passenger restraint system. Therefore, a financial burden would not be incurred by parents.

Highway deaths are the No. 1 killer of children in our nation. Between 1990 and 1999 more than 16,500 children under the age of 10 died in motor vehicle crashes. In other words, 33 children under age 10 die every week in a motor vehicle crash.

I ask your readers to support to Senate Bill 2018 and protect the 85,000 keiki who are at risk of becoming a statistic. The decision to hold a public hearing rests solely with Hamakawa. Please call his office at 586-8480 and request that he hold a hearing on this bill.

Ann Medeiros

GOP comes closer to banning abortion

Unbelievable! I never thought the U.S. Senate would pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. The Republicans did say that they would "take apart Roe vs. Wade brick by brick." So here's the first bunch of bricks to come tumbling down.

I also blame the 13 Democrats who voted with the majority. They will have to live with this abomination.

So now these dirty old men can sit around giggling about how they have a small amount of control, in the most brutal way, over the most intimate part of a woman's life.

Well, if this administration wins another term, Roe vs. Wade will be toast. I don't know if it will be in '05 or '06, before or after they invade Iran, but when you see the law in shambles, remember, you read it here first.

Michael M. Stroup

County can expect suit over Hokulia fiasco

I'm afraid the County of Hawaii is exposed to lawsuits from Hokulia's developers and lot owners. Since the county gave the green light to develop this luxury 730-lot subdivision on agriculture zoned land, the county and Hokulia were gambling that it would pass legal muster.

In reality, Hokulia is a urban luxury subdivision on ag land. Hokulia developers should have gone to the state Land Use Commission and requested that the land be re-zoned to urban.

The prior county administrations saw dollar signs when the Hokulia developers expressed a desire to develop the ag land below Kealakekua. Greed led the county astray, especially since the developers promised to build a new bypass road and shoreline park. Plus the county was going to get new property tax revenue on those future million-dollar homes.

But Hokulia had to shut down most of the multimillion-dollar project after Judge Ibarra's decision. Thus most of the Hokulia's employees were laid off, and the badly needed Hokulia bypass road sits unfinished.

Even more disturbing is the liability faced by the county of Hawaii. After Hokulia's developers and lot owners have exhausted their legal options, they will certainly sue. The judgment could bankrupt the county. What an ugly legacy that would be for future generations.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Our nation was not created with price caps

In response to Frank Young's March 30 article about justifying the gasoline price-cap law, my response is read your history books. In all our years of existence there has never been an instance where price controls have worked. Never!

Instead of controls, we should allow more competition, not scare businesses away by threatening government intervention. If we implement these controls, we all might save 10 or 15 cents a gallon but does anyone out there remember the long gas lines of the '70s?

Supply, demand, competition and open markets is how this great country was founded and how it flourished. Let us not interfere with it.

Peter Stoddard

Gay partners already can have benefits

If homosexuals who want the right to marry were really interested in more benefits, they would be working to expand the benefits already provided under Hawaii's reciprocal beneficiary law.

This law was passed by the Legislature in 1997 and allows two people, regardless of sexual orientation, to register with the Department of Health and have their relationship recognized by the state.

The law provides worker's compensation, inheritance without a will, hospital visitation and health-care decisions, property rights (including joint tenancy), tort liability and protection under Hawaii domestic violence laws. Other benefits also could be added.

But gays aren't interested in looking at this alternative because it isn't really benefits they want, it's social acceptance.

Mary Papish




Hawaii is popularly known as "The Aloha State." What might be a better slogan?

To get started, think about what you might see around the islands -- rainbows, waves, sand, traffic jams, homeless orangutans ...

Send your ideas by April 21 to:

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

Or by fax:
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
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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