Friday, May 20, 2022 |
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• Tree cutting
• Optometry and the Governor
• Dunlap letter
With regard to the recent news coverage of the cutting of trees due to fear of lawsuits, I offer the following solution: First, we need to establish a long and very expensive study so all voices may be heard. Of course, this study should be contracted without bidding to someone’s relatives on O‘ahu to ensure that the following conclusion be reached: All trees on county property should immediately be removed. They might fall on someone. All trees on private property should immediately be ordered by the county to be removed with hefty fines for those who do not comply. After all, the county issued permits to build on those properties and if someone is hurt the county could be held liable. Furthermore, all trees in Koke‘e should be cut down because they might fall on an endangered species resulting in irreparable damage to the environment. It is especially imperitive that the 50-100 year old Norfolk pines across from Kapa‘a School be removed immediately as they have only survived 200 mph plus winds and the next hurricane might be 400 mph.The removal of the large tree at Kaua‘i High was such a success we should build upon that wise decision. We wouldnt want to risk anything less than 100% guarantee that our population is protected by government.
Optometry and the Governor
Governor Lingle is to be commended for her recent veto of Optometry bill HB 1797.
Her veto faced an almost certain over-ride by the Legislature and this has, indeed, occurred. She courageously chose to draw attention to the legitimate concerns of the medical community toward HB 1797 which grants optometrists, who are not medical doctors, the privilege of prescribing oral drugs, which included antibiotics. The guidelines that made referrals mandatory to ophthalmologists (Eye MDís) when the optometrists encounter severe eye diseases are removed by the new statutes.
The optometrists told the legislators that the previous Hawai‘i statutes, unlike those of 47 other states, did not allow treatment of glaucoma, a potentially blinding disease. What should be emphasized, however, is that these states have restrictions that vary considerably throughout the country. For instance, 26 states forbid the use of oral drugs for glaucoma by optometrists. Thirty-three states prohibit oral steroids and 18 states prohibit oral antibiotics by optometrists. House Bill 1797 has no such restrictions.
If the governor’s veto had been sustained, the Ophthalmology Division at the John A. Burns School of Medicine was willing to assist the optometrists in establishing the guidelines necessary to promote eye safety in Hawai‘i. Perhaps our optometric colleagues, on their own, will adopt carefully constructed guidelines, such as those now functioning in the state of California. In California, an optometrist who wants to treat glaucoma has to complete a two year apprenticeship under the guidance of an ophthalmologist before he or she is certified to treat a single type of this disease. The citizens of Hawai‘i deserve no less protection under the law.
Malcolm R. Ing, M.D., Chair, Division of Ophthalmology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘i
Edwin C. Cadman, M.D., Dean, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘i
Paul Dunlap (in his letter of May 12) says that his “aloha solution” could achieve the “compassionate aims of most Americans without undermining the institution of marriage or giving social approval to homosexual behavior or relationships.” It is time to set aside such “half-measures” and realize that committed couples of any human persuasion deserve the same benefits and recognition of their commitment.
As an up-front “out” homosexual and Kauaian, I demand the same rights as others. No apologies, no excuses. At the time when I have a partner to whom I wish to pledge “my troth” I will marry — whether it is in British Columbia, the Netherlands or other locale where marriage has been modified to be more universal in spirit. As an American, I would prefer that my country join those who recognize that marriage, as an institution, is not threatened by the inclusiveness which same-sex permission involves and that relationship is just as valid as the traditional male-female marriage.
With marriage comes legal codification that brings into play certain procedures and practices should the relationship be dissolved. Some wag a few years ago in a gay publication noted that “gay folks need gay marriage for gay divorce” and as flippant as that might sound, it’s true. As more and more same sex couples adopt (or create their own children in unconventional ways) it is important that the court system include the orderly transition of these offspring. Similarly, the financial concerns of the couple when parting ought not to be left to just “working it out” as sometimes contentious financial affairs need a third party to adjudicate the right and fair path.
For all of these reasons and more, marriage is just “the fair thing” to provide for same-sex couples. Broaden your mind, Mr. Dunlap, and take your tired compromise measures and “defense of marriage” mentality with you and just do what’s right.
Kevin Fletcher Tweedy
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