Letters to the Editor
Use court bailiffs to execute warrants
Your Feb. 19 front-page article about the backlog of arrest warrants overlooks the fact that not that long ago, arrest warrants were executed by the state courts' own bailiffs. If the county police and state sheriffs cannot handle all of the backlog, why can't the court bailiffs execute some of the warrants?
The article on the other backlog in the land court registration branch, published in your paper the same day, points to a wider pattern in our state government's dysfunction.
What is the Legislature going to do about all of the problems caused by underfunding and understaffing the state bureaucracy? Why doesn't the governor use her surplus to fund the executive departments in need of help?
Wayne W. Gau
Malpractice column misses the facts
J.P. Schmidt, in his Feb. 21 column on malpractice insurance, states that we are short on doctors overall and particularly in rural areas because of the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. The National Bureau of Economic Research in 2004 found that "increases in malpractice costs ... do not seem to affect the overall size of the physician workforce."
Doctors, like many people, prefer to live in urban areas where there are a variety of lifestyle options.
There are other, less drastic ways to address this problem than by the caps Mr. Schmidt advocates.
Mr. Schmidt also attributes higher malpractice insurance premiums to increased damage awards in malpractice suits. According to the NBER study cited above, "past and present malpractice payments do not seem to be the driving force behind increases in premiums." There are many other reasons insurance companies have increased their premiums.
Finally, Mr. Schmidt feels that damage awards for pain and suffering (and loss of quality of life) are based on emotion and, therefore, irrational. It is certainly not irrational for us as a community to permit the severe losses caused by medical malpractice to be determined by a jury of fellow citizens or by a judge rather than by a rigid bureaucratic standard. One size does not fit all in such matters.
Swap meet should be free of pakalolo image
Although the proposed ban on alcohol during tailgate parties at Aloha Stadium has been rejected for now, I'd like to propose a ban on pakalolo-related items for sale during the weekday and weekend Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. By this I mean the pakalolo leaf logos used on T-shirts, hats, jewelry items, posters, etc.
Perhaps the one agency that reaches out the most in educating children about the ills of illegal drug use is the D.A.R.E. program. Pakalolo is one of many drugs that children are educated about, so it is sad to see pakalolo-related items being sold at what is suppose to be a family-friendly environment such as the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet.
Besides D.A.R.E., there are also many anti-drug agencies, both public and private, that do their best not only to combat illegal drugs but also educate the general population about illegal drug use.
But ban swap meet merchants from selling drug-related items on public property, and you'll probably hear about freedom of expression lawsuits.
Punahou and Iolani showed right stuff
Congratulations to Punahou School for yet another state high school soccer title. Kudos to their always very quick and tireless Iolani opponents for making it an entertaining game. Four games in four days would exhaust the fittest athletes.
Punahou's Nick Love's mature and unselfish playing ability belies his junior status. He may well go on to emulate Kamehameha's Ching and Iolani's Hashimoto in college and MLS pro teams.
Congratulations to both teams' coaches, who have coaxed their teams' playing skills another notch higher in this wonderful sport.
State quarter could have many images
What to put on the Hawai'i state quarter? There are many things that could represent our state.
Let's start with a lau-lau and a poi bowl, an image of Diamond Head, a bowl of saimin, a coconut tree with a hula girl and Diamond Head in the background, Duke Kahanamoku with a surfboard at Waikiki Beach, with Diamond Head for back-up, or the Japanese, Hawaiian and U.S. flags with the Arizona Memorial for the sake of memory.
Curtis R. Rodrigues
Tripler has always provided great care
I am a Nisei whose father was interned in New Mexico when I was 13. I am now a 77-year-old widow of a U.S. Air Force master sergeant.
I married at age 21 and I have given birth to two sons, Eric and Hank Jr., at Tripler Army Hospital (now Medical Center) and one daughter, Jenny, at a Tokyo Army hospital. I can't say enough about the tender care I received at both hospitals and the hundreds of thousands of dollars I have saved in medical care throughout my life at all the American military clinics and hospitals throughout the world.
Tripler Army Medical Center has been my major and most frequented hospital and I thank God that it exists. The doctors, nurses and staff members are "A-1" like no other in their fields of endeavor.
For the past five years, I have been under the care of Dr. Hastings in oncology and I love her dearly like my own daughter, as I love all the rest of the members in the Army/Air Force facilities.
I firmly believe that all members in the medical field are taught and trained to be warm and gentle, whether in civilian or military life. There are absolutely no ifs, ands or buts in their profession.
Jane (Midori Morimoto) Watanabe
Correction: Brian Ching played soccer at Kamehameha. The wrong high school was named in an earlier version of this story.