Letters for Saturday — April 15, 2006

• Hawai’i’s poor being used

• Disappointed by criticism

• Don’t make another mess

• Why KIUC gets a bad rap

• Questions DLNR’s priorities

• Bothered by O’Reilly statement


Hawai’i’s poor being used

Do Hawaiians in rural areas deserve to have unqualified people give them potentially harmful medications? Let’s call a spade a spade. Psychologists, trained in talk therapy and in giving psychological tests, are lobbying hard to win the legal ability to prescribe psychiatric medications to Hawai’i’s poor mental health consumers under the notion that it increases access to medications. Truly, it increases access to danger since House Bill 2589 does not ensure that psychologists get as good medical training as advanced practice nurses or even physicians’ assistants.

Family doctors in rural communities are the current prescribers for mostly depression and anxiety while psychiatrists care for more complex psychiatric cases in rural communities. Community Health Centers are choosing to hire family practice doctors to get more bang for their buck, leaving no funding for psychiatrists there. Do Hawaiians want more prescribers? What is needed is more access to reimbursed Kupuna services, more housing and funding for indigent mentally ill, more dual diagnosis treatment programs, and, most especially, more respect for Hawai’i’s mentally ill on our neighbor islands.

  • Denise C. Kellaher, DO
    Forensic psychiatry fellow
    University of Hawaii

Disappointed by criticism

It’s disappointing that William Smith (Letters, 4/12) and Brian Christensen (Letters, 4/2) chose to attack my credentials and qualifications instead of accepting what I saw.

To clarify my account (Letters, 3/31), I observed a tour helicopter flying in fog and rain with visibility less than a half-mile. It was following Waimea Canyon Road near Kitano Reservoir at 150 to 200 feet above the road. My estimate of visibility is based on a quarter-mile long passing zone in the road which I could not entirely see due to fog. My estimate of height is based on a 100-foot tower which I work around every day.

I’m sure my judgment will be questioned, but I know what I saw. William and Brian would have the readers believe only tour helicopter pilots are qualified to read and understand the Federal Air regulations. Unlike William and Brian, I am not a helicopter pilot. But that doesn’t invalidate my observation. After all, I could spot bad driving before I knew how to drive.

I am an airplane pilot and studied aeronautical science in college (including graduate classes in safety taught by an NTSB investigator). But also unlike William and Brian, I have no financial stake in the issue. I was simply alarmed by what I saw, and even more alarmed that industry spokesmen insist it was safe and legal. You would think with the recent accidents in bad weather, they wouldn’t get so comfortable on their moral high ground.

  • Christopher Becker
    Waimea

Don’t make another mess

We’ve already made a mess in Afganistan and Iraq. Isn’t that enough? Didn’t our mothers teach us to clean up the messes we make? By what international law is it okay for us to have a nuclear arsenal and then attack and invade other nations who might possibly (but not necessarily) be considering needing their own defense against us? This is NOT even remotely about democracy.

  • Dr. Lucy Miller
    Lihu’e

Why KIUC gets a bad rap

In a general inquiry into how large my home utility bill is, I found that my home is listed as small commercial. I was told that KIUC had not received a final approval from the county. When I talked with the county, I was told that, as a courtesy not a requirement, it had been faxed over to the KIUC.

Some months ago I tried to get this straightened out. The county says it faxed it, KIUC says it never received it. The completion is recorded in the county computer. Everybody points the finger.

The system doesn’t work! It is illogical that one gets caught in the middle. After 15 months of being charged a customer charge of $21.89 instead of $9.78, the county has finally agreed to resend the FAX. Will it work this time? Why am I angry at KIUC?

And why is there a difference in rates anyway?

  • Marjorie Gifford
    Princeville

Questions DLNR’s priorities

Aloha to the residents of Kaua’i. My heart goes out to all of you in this time of recovery from the recent catastrophe. I am a frequent visitor to your island and cherish my relationship with your people and land. I have followed the events of the last month with intense interest and concerned sympathy. Apparently, although the wounds will heal with time, the scarring left by this event may possibly last forever.

With all of the discussion of the cause and effect of the events influencing this disaster, I can’t help but wonder if the resources of the DLNR might not be better served by concentrating on the protection of the people and land of Kaua’i by making the inspections of these man-made features more of a priority rather than spend so much time and money policing camping permits in the state parks. When my wife and I camped in Kalalau Valley State Park in 2003 (with permits), we were rousted by armed rangers in a well-funded paramilitary raid.

In light of recent events, it seems to me that the safety of the island residents and the health of Kaua’i’s reefs and streams might be improved by a shift in priorities from the policing of illegal camping and its expenditure of what must amount to tens of thousands of dollars in man-hours and equipment costs, not to mention helicopter fuel, to policing the long ignored infrastructure impacting the land and waterways of the island.

I respectfully realize that this is the opinion of an “outsider,” but I felt like someone should express this perspective.

  • Woody Garrison
    Athens, Ga.

Bothered by O’Reilly statement

This letter is in response to Bill O’Reilly. He basically said on national television “Mexicans have no right to be here in America.” Who is he, to tell anyone they don’t belong in the “free world?” The Mexican (and Native Americans) have always been here. Before Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci, these people were here thousands of years before. Maybe some Native Americans should tell him to “Go back to Europe.”

  • Benehakaka Kaili
    Anahola
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