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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 13, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Peter Carlisle should resign as prosecutor

I am writing to you and to the citizens of O'ahu to call for the resignation of Peter Carlisle as the city's prosecutor for the wrongful acts of his executive assistant in awarding contracts from his office to her relatives or to reward political campaign volunteers for Mr. Carlisle.

We sent Rene Mancho to prison for one year due to her personal use of campaign funds. We are currently investigating Jeremy Harris and his campaign for illegal campaign contributions. Some of these individuals have appeared in court and have been prosecuted by Mr. Carlisle's office.

When are these white-collar crimes going to stop? We send ordinary citizens to jail every day for their little crimes, and the white-collar workers get off "free" with their hands slapped by the courts, and "if you maintain a clean record for the next two, three or four years, we'll wipe this off your record."

Rodney W. Botelho

Punahou wrestling coaches committed

In our several years of experience with coach Matt Oney and the Punahou wrestling team, we were consistently impressed with the commitment, respect, passion and compassion shown by the coaches and the students for each other, for themselves and for their school. The students and coaches worked incredibly hard to prepare physically and mentally for competition.

Although each wrestler had the support and backing of the entire team before, during and after the competitions, each match was won or lost by the individual wrestler's level of skill, preparation and commitment.

Both of my sons felt that no other ILH sport required as intense physical and mental stamina, and both felt safe, motivated and challenged under coach Oney's leadership. We believe their wrestling experiences contributed positively to their moral, intellectual and physical development.

Like Bulla Eastman (Letters, Feb. 3), we hope Punahou conducts a full (and objective) investigation into the "Brawl Day," in which a student was injured. However, we believe a fair and reasonable investigation will show that the safety of students has not been jeopardized.

David and Loretta Nelson

Sprinklers can be paid for over time

I was happy to see the Fire Department speak out again regarding fire sprinklers in residential high-rise buildings. One of the more welcome additions was the sidebar about the component costs, particularly the one separating out the architectural costs of concealing the piping — if that's done at all.

As a construction worker, I have overseen the incorporation of sprinklers in many buildings, including a number of renovations. Yes, installation can be expensive. So can litigation. And it no more has to be paid for in a lump sum than the mortgage does.

It has always been annoying to my trade members to have the cost of the architectural concealment included, without identifying it as such, in the cost of the piping. It is an upgrade, and as much as someone like Stephany Sofos may want it, it isn't required. I can assure her that construction firms as a whole have a much smaller margin than Realtors and are not likely to "make money for the rest of their lives" putting in a few sprinkler systems.

Most concealments in a residential condo would probably be paid for by the individual unit owners to save the association the costs.

Brian D. Bott

Bush is endangering Social Security system

President Bush is endangering my retirement by taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security.

Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed — whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.

We can't stand by and let George W. Bush and the Republicans cut our promised guaranteed retirement benefits while our current account deficit soars well beyond a sustainable level of 5 percent of gross domestic product.

Scott Thomas

First be sure riders will take the rail

Mike Leidemann's Tuesday article references polls that show 55 percent of respondents favor rail and are willing to be taxed for it. One other question should be asked of these respondents: Will they ride it and leave their car at home?

If the national-award-winning TheBus has only 20 percent ridership and the city has to subsidize more than 70 percent of its costs each year, what makes people think that by putting TheBus on a rail, more people will ride it? Many people who support rail think it's being built for the "other guy" to ride.

I think our politicians and public workers should set the example and start riding TheBus and wait for ridership to climb to 70 percent usage before anyone thinks of taking more money out of my pocket.

Bruce Wong

Yellow flag could help pedestrians to cross

This is in response to two letters regarding the hazards of crossing busy streets.

I suggest that a container with poles with bright yellow flags be placed at both sides of the crossing. When safe, cross the street waving the yellow flag. After crossing, place the yellow flag in a container at the other end.

I notice this happening near schools in Japan.

Chiyoko M. Tanaka

Beware Bush's plans

Did you buy G.W. Bush's proposal about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Did you buy his thesis about a nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein? Do you buy Bush's "solution to 'fix' Medicare" and his "solution to 'fix' Social Security"? If you said yes to any of these, there is a bridge in Brooklyn you might want to buy.

Fred Briehl
Lahaina, Maui

Letter critical of HMSA procedures ignores facts

In a long letter bashing HMSA ("HMSA review system a shibai," Feb. 1), Richard Miller sums up his personal opinions with this callous statement: "The sad fact is that HMSA will only be happy when it can deny treatment at its whim with impunity."

In expressing his opinion, Miller ignores historical facts:

• The founders of HMSA did not establish the nonprofit association to deny treatment to its members. Quite the opposite is true.

• HMSA could not have earned the trust of 690,000 members over its 66-year history by denying treatment to those same members.

• HMSA could not have been awarded the highest levels of accreditation from national organizations, like the National Committee for Quality Assurance, by focusing on the denial of treatment.

Miller's impression of our policies, processes and motivations is out of synch with reality. His assertions are simply not true.

HMSA processes 15 million claims each year, and only a very small number are ever denied. The reason for these few benefit denials is often due to a disagreement among medical professionals about the appropriateness or necessity of a particular medical procedure or product.

To characterize HMSA as being "happy" to deny treatment is an insult to the HMSA staff who come to work every day focused on making sure that we do everything possible to quickly pay every benefit claim for healthcare services received by our members. Such statements also do a disservice to the community leaders who serve on HMSA's board and the many community physicians who volunteer their time to advise us on clinical decisions.

Cliff K. Cisco
Senior vice president, HMSA