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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

Letters to the Editor

HEARTBREAKING

ARREST WARRANTS STORY MAKES HAWAI'I BETTER

Like many who read this astounding article on arrest warrants, written by Ken Kobayashi and Jim Dooley, I am brokenhearted with the story of little Ethan Thomas.

It is investigative reporting such as this that makes a community better. I am sure that Hawai'i will be a better place to live and visit because of this informative article in The Advertiser.

Bill Goodrich
Miami

PRICE GOUGERS

REINING IN OIL FIRMS IN HAWAI'I IS GREAT IDEA

I would like to respond to the outraged Ken Adams' assertion that the "overwhelming majority" wants the gas cap repealed (Letters, Feb. 21). I don't know what majority he's talking about; every person I talk to thinks reining in the oil monopoly in Hawai'i is a great idea.

Using the information gained when the state sued Chevron, we can figure that we have been overcharged at least 20 cents a gallon. That works out to $8 a week or $416 a year that I've been bilked out of.

If it is arrogant, as Mr. Adams asserts, to stand up for the people of Hawai'i over the price-gouging oil companies, I want 24 more arrogant state senators just like Ron Menor.

Brett Pruitt
Honolulu

PROGRAM SUCCESS

'METHADONIA' DIDN'T GIVE A BALANCED VIEW

The art of prescribing methadone, as is the case with practicing any type of medical specialty, requires years of academic training.

More importantly, however, the challenges of treating the special requirements of opioid dependence require an in-depth understanding of the underlying issues that led to the opioid dependence in the first place.

Classes in coping skills and individual counseling sessions are all essential components of treatment. At the Drug Addiction Services of Hawai'i, we have many participants who are currently working full time, attending school, or are joining other parents in getting their children to soccer practice or hula lessons.

The citizens of Hawai'i who are a part of this treatment program are also taxpaying community members who are working just as hard as everyone else to make this world a better place.

When television programs such as "Methadonia" focus specifically in sensationalizing the worst possible aspects of outpatient methadone maintenance treatment, I feel very disappointed because we are being cheated out of a fair and balanced view of an integral part of treatment that has helped many people in getting on to the road to recovery.

Currently, we have members in our community who are working at high-level executive positions or are raising happy, healthy children as a result of their success with methadone treatment for opioid dependence. You'd never know who these people are because they're just like all of the other hard-working members of our society who continue to make a difference in each day of our lives.

T. Vivian Ishimaru-Tseng, M.D.
Medical director, Drug Addiction Services of Hawai'i

'RIGHT TO RULE'

VOTE FOR ED CASE AND END DEM IN-BREEDING

Upon reading The Advertiser this a.m., I could hardly contain my laughter. It seems that the "good old boys network" is in full swing. They are even enlisting the "big guns" from the Mainland.

What more can you expect from folks who believe that they have have "the right to rule" handed down to them from the high muck-a-mucks in the Democratic Party? This in-breeding is the very reason that I abandoned the party years ago.

I would hope that the "little people" will get behind Ed Case's campaign and elect a senator who will truly represent all the people of Hawai'i and not just the "chosen few."

Bill Weatherton
Honolulu

PRESIDENT

MCCLAIN ALREADY FITS THE BILL AT UH

Why search for a president for the University of Hawai'i when we have an acting president who has demonstrated he is more than capable of filling the job.

The last time we searched nationally for a president, we ended up with a lemon.

President David McClain's decision on UARC, supported by Dr. Fujio Matsuda's take on a complicated issue on Feb. 12, convinces me he should be selected by the Board of Regents to be president.

I am a UH graduate (1951) who is increasingly concerned with the direction UH has been moving. As with many universities, the UH faculty has moved too far to the left. There is a need for balance at UH.

Lawrence Chun
Honolulu

RULING WRONG

MAKUA IS NOT WORTH OUR SOLDIERS' LIVES

In response to The Advertiser's report of U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway's Feb. 3 decision to deny the Army live-fire training in Makua out of concerns for endangered species and Native Hawaiian cultural sites, the state of Hawai'i Veterans of Foreign Wars wants to express its disappointment with the decision.

When federal laws concerning the land are in conflict with the lives of federal soldiers, there can be no justification to rule in favor of the land.

Judge Mollway's statement to the Army's warnings that casualties will increase without the training as "vehement pronouncements and speculation" is in fact without basis. We who have "been there and done that" can attest to the accuracy of the warnings. There is no substitute for live fire and realism in training when preparing for combat, and without it, casualties will indeed increase.

The state of Hawai'i's VFW wants to urge our elected officials and the citizens of the state to support our men and women in uniform. There is nothing in Makua that is more valuable or more sacred than the lives of those training there.

Samuel H. Araki
Commander, VFW, Department of Hawai'i

FREEDOM

GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF ELECTIONS BAD IDEA

The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin have made it obvious that they favor full government funding of candidates for election. The key reason, they say, is to combat special interests from influencing with money, etc., our elections and therefore public policy and law. But both papers themselves are special interests that maintain much of their information and sales ability through government access.

From this perspective, the largest special-interest group is the government itself and its interest is to decrease your personal freedom. Most of the people and organizations that so intensely support government funding of elections want a more and more intrusive, all-powerful government, because they live off it. Pleasing and manipulating one government system is easier than researching and pursuing many private people or organizations.

Government-funded elections, if they took over the country, would eventually destroy freedom of the press, which the newspapers profess to venerate.

To quote P.J. O'Rourke's rule of happy living, "Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people."

Thus, if you want your children to become mindless serfs, support government funding of elections.

Richard O. Rowland
President, Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i

NO CRIMINAL

PRISON TERM ISN'T APPROPRIATE IN FATALITY

I am compelled to write on behalf of Aadam-Frederick Akiona, who was sentenced to one year in prison for negligently causing a head-on collision (Advertiser, Feb. 15).

Yes, it is tragic that a person's life was lost due to his negligence. But "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Most all of us are guilty of speeding at one time or another, but we were fortunate not to get caught or cause an accident.

It seems to me that giving this young man a year in prison is an archaic form of sentencing. Mr. Akiona is obviously not a criminal. But putting him in jail for a year just might make him one as he is forced to rub shoulders with real criminals.

Couldn't justice be better served by making this repentant young man serve a year working in a hospital or elderly care unit, or some other form of public service?

Wasting a year of this man's life in prison is an emotional sentence, not a logical one. It serves neither him nor the victim nor the public.

Ray Graham
Honolulu