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Sunday, September 21, 2008
Letters to the Editor September 21, 2008
By Andrew Walden @ 11:33 AM :: 3071 Views

Plastic Bag Ban: Micromanaging our lives

Dear Mr. Mayor:

I’m taking the unusual step of writing to you today (Aug 29) because of concern about the pending ban by the county on plastic bags.

You may think that this is a minor item to me, in as far as it affects my life personally, and that is true. Plastic bags do play a useful function that paper can not, not the least that they don’t leak when wet things are in them, and they are transparent and so easy to see what’s in them, easy to lift from the top as opposed to supporting underneath, easy to store, less costly, etc.

But my purpose in writing you about this ban goes beyond that, to this important point: The county council and you are about to force us to change the way we do some simple and basic everyday things and how we live, all without asking our permission first.

Representative government allows you to do so, and we delegate authority to you to make decisions on important matters like where to build bridges, and tax rates, etc., but most folks don’t think this is in that category. Why is our government micromanaging our lives like this, without asking us if we WANT to do these things? This sort of thing should be put to all the people first, as in a referendum. To not do so is demeaning to us all, and quite frankly a bit insulting.

Please either veto this bill (my preferred choice) or insist on a referendum at the least.

warmest aloha

Edward Gutteling, M.D., Hilo, Hawai`i

Ban the banners

Dear Editor,

Newsflash to our legislators: You work for all of us “people”--not just your special interest groups. You are locally elected politicians who are supposed to address local peoples’ problems and needs and not act like anointed planetary saviors on a mission to impose your world views and global agendas upon all of us. You are our servants and not our masters.

Now since the majority of our present State and County employees (elected ones) have forgotten all of the above and have become addicted to power and imposing their eco-religious edicts and punitive bans upon all of us peons who are too stupid in their eyes to even know how to flush a toilet, here are some of our proposed bans for them.

We “the people” propose banning all our politicians from banning any more of our legal products and from imposing their product choices and product outlets upon us.

We propose banning all the bans of our legal products – like electric water heaters, plastic shopping bags, ethanol-free gas, coconut oil theater popcorn, meat (new UN mandate!), supersized fast food servings and Super Wal-marts, toilets that flush all the way to the septic tank, etc. – that have either been enacted or are in the pipeline to be banned. Banning our things is outside your job description and above your pay grade!

We propose banning all politicians who have been involved in banning our legal products to be banned from using all such products until they leave office. That means no more gas golf carts at Muni for any of those who banned tobacco use on the course because surely gas carts are worse than stogies for any eco-sensitive person like you. That means no more plastic bags of any sort for you – from the day Kim signs the ban (no grace period) till you leave office – so you can fully walk your talk from day one.

We propose banning all Banners from investing in alternative shopping bags (cloth, paper), energy resources, solar heaters, windmills, etc. No conflicts of interest please!

We propose banning all banners from office!

Gerald Wright

Pahoa, Hawai`i

Free Speech vs. Political Correctness

Dear Editor,

The American Constitution and its Bill of Rights were written to guarantee certain liberties to Americans. These liberties are protected by American courts, police, and military forces.

It is illegal and unacceptable for any person to use intimidation or force to suppress any of these liberties.

“Political correctness” is just another form of free speech suppression. It is the responsibility while in our country’s jurisdiction for any followers of political or religious beliefs to adapt such beliefs and refrain from law suits and threats of violence if we exercise our freedom to make critical remarks. That is the way to gain our respect and tolerance. Lawsuits and demands that we not cross a “red line of offensiveness” only increase our determination to reciprocate.

If there exists a God that is all-powerful and invincible, then surely He or She is not a God at all to need humans for defense. They who are offended by religious criticism are offended without cause and merely show lack of faith in their deity. We refuse to be coerced into respecting those who believe in a deity so weak as to require protection and pampering from humans.

Robert Williams,

Na`alehu, Hawai`i

DoE’s Drive for Mediocrity

Dear Editor,

The only way to truly combat our Department of Education’s daily drive for mediocrity is to hold them accountable for their actions or lack there of.

According to the College Board’s 2008 SAT State Profile Report for Hawai`i, a total of 8,195 students took the SAT this year.

Of them, 4,963 students were from Hawai`i’s public school system. According to the report, the mean scores for these students were 456 in Critical Reading, 473 in Mathematics, and 441 in Writing.

The public school national average, however, places the scores at 497, 510, and 488 respectively.

Contrary to what other editorials or letters to the editors may have you believe, it is cause for worry. The best way to secure a bright future for our youth and our state is to ensure they are receiving a sound education. These numbers tell us we are failing our children.

Kristi Malia Temple, Pahoa, Hawai`i

SHPDA stalls W. Maui Hospital

Dear Editor,

I have sad, but totally expected news.

Joe Pluta’s and Bryan Hoyle’s West Maui Hospital Certificate of Need (CON) is being purposefully stalled until after the November 4th election. If the CON were to be denied prior to the election, it would hurt Roz Baker’s chances of reelection. Therefore, SHPDA, the State Health Planning and Development Agency, is postponing the CON by complaining of spelling errors and punctuation. This is the same game that SHPDA played with Dr. Ron Kwon’s Malulani, the proposed South Maui Hospital.

I will tell you what happens next: After the election, SHPDA will turn down the West Maui Hospital. Then, HHSC, the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation will come in with Roz Baker’s blessing, and give Maui another low quality, no services government hospital. West Maui will have a facility whose profit goes to HHSC and supports the other neighbor island government facilities.

The private hospitals on O`ahu want to keep the status quo. They count on our Maui dollars to keep their private O`ahu hospitals afloat. Roz Baker, as chair of the powerful Ways and Means committee could help if she really cared. Of course, her donations come from the island that she works for: O`ahu.

The government hospital system will bankrupt the state. Governments should not be running hospitals. I believe we could save a lot of our tax dollars by closing down SHPDA. We need to encourage private businesses so that we can diversify our economy. We need medical tort reform and increased compensation for our doctors.

We don’t need another four years of Roz Baker politics.


Jan Shields, Lahaina, Maui

Urgent Care in Puna

Dear Editor,

Urgent Care Kea`au announces they are open and began treating patients on August 25th.

This satellite clinic of the Hilo Urgent Care Center was developed due to the pressing need for access to medical care by the East Hawai`i community, especially in Puna. Open weekdays 8:30 a.m. through 6:30 p.m., the clinic serves an unmet need for access to medical care for urgent but non-emergent care.

Located on the Old Volcano Highway in Kea`au Village, they see patients with a variety of medical needs including sudden illnesses, injuries, cuts , and also perform physical examinations for school, sports and for PUC licenses.

A special Mahalo goes to Bill Walter, President of W. H. Shipman Ltd. who recognized the severe need for medical care in their community and graciously expedited the clinic in opening as a tenant on one of their properties.

Urgent Care Kea`au is the only new addition to medical care in the Puna area in many years. They hope to expand as demand indicates, and already have plans for additional services by adding limited x-ray capability in November. For more information call 966-7942


Urgent Care Kea`au


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