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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Letters to the Editor

HOMELESS

KEEP GOOD OF ALL IN MIND WHEN VOTING

It's never akamai to generalize. For example, some homeless have hit mental, physical or financial rock bottom, while some simply can't afford to pay rent even while gainfully employed. In our democratic society, however, even Americans who are homeless can register to vote.

Let's work toward constructive, sustainable solutions for the benefit of all Hawai'i. Let's focus on providing access to housing and employment for our deserving citizens of today and providing access to quality education for our citizens of tomorrow.

And, let's keep the good of the whole in mind when we vote.

Kristi Sue-Ako
Kaka'ako

FISHERIES

DON'T BLAME SNORKEL, DIVE SHOP OPERATORS

Brian Kimata's March 23 letter accuses Peter Young and the Department of Land and Natural Resources of a commitment to commercial dive operators, part of a continuing rant by a few "fishermen" insisting that fisheries depletion can be cured by more aggressive fishing.

At the hearings recently for House Bills 2587 and 2881, this strident group stood in back, arms folded, claiming environmental racism and calling for more "science." The elephant in the room was the absence of a single scientist testifying for more science.

Neither Snorkel Bob's nor any other dive/snorkel operator I know has contributed to any political cause for favors.

I offered to make Marine Protected Areas off-limits to snorkelers, too. But the "fishermen" present didn't hear me or Buzzy Agard, lifetime fisherman, who decried these so-called "fishermen" with their electronics that remove every chance for all fish and pleaded for fisheries recovery.

The issue is not Peter Young or the DLNR. It's a group of angry fellows who want what doesn't exist more fish.

Robert Wintner
President, Snorkel Bob's Hawai'i

MEDICATION

PSYCHOLOGIST MEASURE IMPERILS PUBLIC HEALTH

Once more the public's health is at risk in our Legislature: this time a bill to allow psychologists (Ph.D.s) to prescribe medication, House Bill 2589, SD1.

The public often confuses psychiatrists and psychologists because they both begin with "psych" and overlap in doing talking therapy. But psychiatrists are physicians who go through the strenuous medical education of four years and then at least four more years of supervised patient care during a residency. This bill, now in the Senate, is an attempt to "end-run" this rigorous training, and it needlessly endangers the public's health.

The issue is presented as fulfilling a need in rural areas, but psychologists like to practice where psychiatrists do in urban areas. Unless funding incentives are dedicated to get physicians to rural areas, we will continue to see a lack of all specialty medical care in rural areas.

I had a psychologist in my residency who went to medical school to become a psychiatrist. That path is always open. But why do by academic degree what you can just get by legislative decree?

The hardest task for our elected representatives is to say no to special interests when public safety is involved, but it is their most important duty.

Mark Dillen Stitham, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Kailua

GREED

DON'T TRUST GOVERNOR ABOUT THE GAS CAP

The way Gov. Lingle uses her office to repeat the mantra "the cap on gas prices causes higher prices" should have you wondering: Are some of those large fuel tanks at Campbell Industrial Park filled with money for her next gubernatorial campaign?

Keep in mind that the governor appointed the PUC chairman, who issued the report that uses a hypothetical study to arrive at the conclusion that the gas cap is costing the consumers more than if there were no gas cap. It makes as much sense as saying, if my sister is me and I was a short hairy dude with a tail, that my sister is a monkey's uncle.

The oil companies' bottom line is to maximize profits, and a gas cap keeps them from the goal line, unless they have someone in government to run interference. Are you going to be fooled by the Republicans who put corporate profits ahead of the best interests of the people, as they did when they conned the country with folklore and fables about WMDs?

In the fourth quarter of 2005, Chevron's profits climbed 20 percent to more than $4 billion. It would have been more without the cap.

Smoky Guerrero
Mililani

RECRUITERS

FIND A WAY TO KEEP POLICE OFFICERS HERE

I was shocked to hear that the Federal Way Police Department is here recruiting our officers. Didn't we go through this a few years ago?

I now know that this reflects on the leadership of the Honolulu Police Department. When the survey on Chief Boisse Correa first came out, he commented that if morale within the Police Department was bad, there would be officers leaving for other jobs.

Well, I guess this is just the start. From what I understand, police departments from Oregon, Washington, California and other states now know that it would be worth it for them to send recruiters here.

I feel that Mayor Hannemann and the Police Commission really need to fully investigate this matter and make the changes necessary. Otherwise, we will lose valuable trained officers to elsewhere, all at the cost of the hardworking taxpayers of Honolulu.

Sasisopin Kobayashi
Mililani

SEWAGE LOGIC

SOMETHING SMELLS HERE

Let me get this straight: We can spend $2 billion on an airport to bring tourists to Waikiki to watch raw sewage being dumped into the Ala Wai, yet we cannot spend a few million to fix the drainage so they will not get here and spend their thousands to see a pristine environment? We are trying to civilize other countries with this type of logic?

Robert Moore
Honolulu