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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Letters to the Editor

A big mahalo to all our supporters

I just wanted to share with the public my appreciation of the generosity of our supporters. Dec. 6 made Day 4 of The Queen's Medical Center registered nurses' strike. It started from Day 1, around 1:30 p.m., when Shannon, a private citizen working at the Department of Education, came over to walk with us for about an hour in front of the ER entrance.

She told us that she was a patient at QMC and had chemotherapy at our Outpatient Oncology unit and that she wanted to give back to the Queen's nurses. We all enjoyed talking story with her. From Days 2 to 5, physicians have dropped off manapua, doughnuts, fresh fruits (even washed grape bunches in small bags), and chow funn and beef with green pepper plate lunches for us.

A retired OR nurse dropped off granola bars, a Social Worker bagged Goldfish and Ritz crackers for us, physical therapists dropped off pizza and an OR assistant brought us doughnuts and hugs of encouragement.

St. Francis and Kapi'olani nurses dropped off malasadas and candy, too. The picket line I mainly walk is outside of POB I. There is a coffee cafe called Ala Kart that is run by Paul Richards and Willie. They are fabulous. Each day they have provided hot coffee and bottled water and today they gave us an iced tub full of bottled orange juice.

With fewer customers from us because we are on strike and they are on Queen's property (off limits to us), they come out to the sidewalk and provide us with treats that mean so much to the early morning pickets, especially when the hot sun takes its toll. How special they are.

There's also the elderly, walking to the doctors' appointments, who quietly say "hang in there" and "good luck" as they walk by. Truckers and motorists who patiently wait to drive through Lusitana Street honk and wave to us. It means a lot to us.

On Day 1, as I walked to work and saw the charter buses unload the replacement "scab" nurses, I couldn't believe it was happening. It seemed like a dream as we were escorted out of the hospital that we've dedicated many years to.

On Day 2, as I was yelling "Go home scabs" to the packed charter buses, I felt terrible inside. I got chicken skin and teary eyed. How could this be happening? I'm a nurse; nurses are caring. What am I doing yelling at other nurses? But each day from 5 to 6:30 a.m., as the buses are brought in, I'm shouting at them to go home and it has become easier, but I do say "please" once in a while.

We are the ones dedicated to this hospital and its patients. We should be the ones caring for them — not these temporary nurses. We are the collagen, the fiber, the skin that holds Queen's together. I wonder what scars will be left after the strike.

These temporary nurses will be the only winners with their pocketfuls of money to pay off their mortgages and on to the next striking hospital. Hopefully, this will end soon and the priorities sorted out as to the worth of a Queen's nurse. Plenty of mahalos to those who have shared their support.

Frances Ohira, RN
Queen's Medical Center OR Nurse

Why not ask Santa for some cold hard cash?

In regard to your Advertiser Christmas Fund story, "Newly drug-free mom needs bed for family," I really do care about the less fortunate.

Furthermore, I am quite sure that this "newly drug-free mom" is a very nice person, and that her family really does need that bed. I sincerely hope she gets it.

However, let's try something a little different in the next Advertiser Christmas Fund article:

"Highly-skilled, always hard-working, always drug-free, always non-lazy, always noncriminal, always pays bills on time, always pays taxes on time, always pays rent on time, always suffers year after year with Hawai'i's notoriously high taxes, high rent and low wages. For Christmas this year would like Santa to bring him some cold hard cash. Oh yes, just some good ol' greenbacks."

After all, just once he would like to fulfill that yearly promise to his loved ones that indeed, "Next Christmas will be better."

Bah humbug!

Michael Lauck

Cars must be able to enter parking lot faster

Traffic on the streets around Aloha Stadium is terrible. A better plan is a must. There are more cars out on the streets than in the stadium parking lot.

Most are like me, driving almost 360 degrees to get to the gate that designates the parking area where we prefer to park. It's ridiculous. All entrances should be utilized to get traffic off the streets and into the stadium as soon as possible. This would also relieve the frustration for residents and shoppers getting to their destinations.

L. Masuda
UH fan for 30 years, Kane'ohe

No named champion would be best lesson

I feel Castle High School, St. Louis High School, the OIA, ILH, DOE and indeed the State of Hawai'i missed an opportunity to teach our young people a valuable lesson on Dec. 6. The lesson? That actions have consequences.

The bench-clearing brawl that took place in the fourth quarter left the referee with no choice but to call the game. There were not enough players left to continue.

What I would like to have seen done was to not have a Hawai'i State High School Football Champion named. Leave the contest, "Did Not Finish." This unprecedented action would get the attention of our young people and slam home the message of accountability and consequences for one's actions.

These are amateur high school athletes. They won't miss out on championship bonuses, endorsements, contract re-negotiations or higher stock in the free agent market. What they have missed is a lesson easier learned now rather than as an adult.

Dan Mersburgh
Kailua-Kona, Big Island

Forcing landowner to sell is wrong

This is referring to the Dec. 5 article in The Advertiser about a Kahala Beach condo owner's comment. Ruth Rand, a widow on a fixed income, would never be able to afford a pay hike in lease rent and losing her home at age 80 would be traumatic and devastating. No elderly person should have to go through this worry.

With all due respect and with compassion, she must have been fully aware of the leasehold terms when purchasing her beachfront condo in the upscale Kahala community.

When we were ready to purchase our first home, the first question we asked was, "Is it fee or leasehold?" Based on that fact, we were faced with decisions on where we could afford with the full understanding if it were a lease, we'd be obliged to pay lease rent for the years stated, then if money allowed later on, we could find a fee simple home.

I may be ignorant of the "land reform law" and all the legal issues, but the way I see it, in layman's terms, government forcing a rightful, legal landowner to sell his or her land to the renter is wrong. Renter, by the way, was fully aware and initially agreed to the terms and conditions before the purchase of the condo.

I bet if any one of those council members who voted for condemnation had his or her investment property (remember the one they bought for their kids' future?) on the list to condemn, their decision would be quite different.

S. Kawasaki

Meeting tonight on surf contests' rules

The city will hear firsthand what the public thinks of surf contests on the North Shore at a meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight at Sunset Beach Elementary School. Surfers and residents will have an opportunity to voice their concerns and desires on this topic to Manny Menendez, the executive director of the Office of Economic Development.

Mayor Harris recently appointed Menendez to draft new rules governing surf contest permits, although responsibility for administration of O'ahu's beach parks remains with the Department of Parks and Recreation, headed by William Balfour Jr.

Let's Surf Coalition wishes Menendez success in establishing a new set of rules that balances the public's right to enjoy its beaches with a limited number of surf contests.

Gil Riviere
Let's Surf Coalition

Stop trying to create greater criminal rights

Robert Rees in his recent Counterpoint column, "Hawai'i's lawless legal circles," is so far off the mark it is hard for me to know where to start.

Yes, Peter Carlisle drummed up support for Constitutional Amendment No. 3, as did many private citizens who contributed money for brochures and TV time (I did) because we are tired of watching our tax dollars go down the drain while victims suffer under the clumsy and archaic process that ties up our police officers and ultimately sets criminals free. Yes, Hawai'i is soon to move away from this old process and join most states that have the equivalent of Amendment No. 3.

However, I must agree with Rees when he says Amendment No. 3 will only work if there is probable cause to charge someone with a felony — which is our basic right to due process. If only Rees would turn his attention to the victims who are suffering under the current system and stop trying to use our Constitution to create greater criminal rights ... he should leave this to the ACLU. If Rees wants to contribute to society, how about exploring why a failure to vote on an amendment becomes a "no" vote on the amendment.

The citizens of Honolulu know that Peter Carlisle is the opposite of lawless, both in beliefs and in actions, and I fail to see how Rees can come to any other conclusion.

H. Robert Hampton

We need mix of bus, train, car technology

Letter writer C.K. Nakagawa doesn't need private vehicles. Fair enough. He apparently loves trains ... and for good reasons. Trains have been very important for the development of modern society.

When trains connected cities in the 19th century, it was a tremendous step forward. There is a beauty about these wonders of steel. But when you are in love with something, you are no longer objective. That is OK when your passion is financed with your own money.

Transport today is about solving problems for modern people who are engaged in a mixture of activities in many places around the city. Transport today is not about getting to work and back again. Transport today is a chain of movements from A to B to C to D.

Trains can never fulfill this demand. Trains and buses combined cannot do it either. When buses and trains have to meet at stations, you ask for problems. Buses will never be able to avoid delays from unexpected events during the trip. The consequence is unpleasant delays at transfer points.

This is where the new Dual Mode principle can help. With the maxi-ruf bus you can be collected at your doorstep and brought to the "station" (the place where vehicles can enter the rail network). Here you don't have to wait for the train because the bus is the train. If you want to continue on the monorail network, you just remain seated while the bus enters the monorail and joins the flow of vehicles running automatically on the network.

The consequences of such a system, compared to a normal traffic system, can be seen at www.ruf.dk/rufcph.exe. It shows how it will work in Copenhagen, but I think the effects are universal.

It is important to note that RUF Dual Mode is not only about cars, but a combination of bus, train and car technology. Trains can derail —and they have poor brakes because of the steel wheels against steel rail. Many animals are killed every year because of this.

A RUF train cannot derail because of the way the vehicles "ride" on top of a triangular monorail. RUF trains can brake because of the special rail brake that can squeeze the top of the rail for emergency braking. Since there are no standing passengers in the RUF system, people will not get hurt if the vehicle brakes hard, unlike in a train with standing passengers.

RUF has been evaluated by many transportation experts and received letters of recommendations from around the world. See www.ruf.dk/letters.

The religious war between train fanatics and car lovers can be ended when the Dual Mode concept is implemented. It is only a question of what becomes the first.

Palle R. Jensen
Inventor, RUF System

Link driving rights to residential status

I agree with John L. Shuppe's letter that driving is a privilege and not a right. However, I think that instead of punishing students who are pursuing higher education, we should take all the people who have lived in Hawai'i for less than 10 years and force them to take the bus, walk, ride a moped or bike; no exceptions. This would definitely alleviate "our traffic woes."

Monica Lee