Letters for Thursday, April 26, 2007

• Chun’s letter was taken the wrong way

• Kaua‘i needs full-time oncologist

• Supports Wal-Mart expansion

• Drug policies unsuccessful

• Decision shouldn’t affect Wal-Mart expansion


Chun’s letter was taken the wrong way

Please don’t turn Dennis Chun’s letter into a “racism issue” as Mary Alexander and Brenda Zafirides are doing. I am “haole” but I didn’t take his letter that way at all.

He was simply pointing out a fact that the way Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and others who came here during plantation times did business was to survive and maybe have a little something extra to treat themselves to.

He was pointing out that the haole way or Mainlander’s style is “take, take, take” and no giving.

It has been this way long before you or I got to Kaua‘i. It is part of ancient history — the Western way was to take all you can for your personal gain.

There was no racist intention or barbs meant. It is the ones with the guilty feelings that take it that way. If you are a giver then you probably saw it the way I did. If you are a selfish taker then you saw it the other way.

True, there are good haoles and bad haoles. There are also good locals and bad locals. We should all try to be good people.

Melody Stine

Kekaha


Kaua‘i needs full-time oncologist

Since Grace Inouye, M.D., resigned her position in June 2006, there still remains no full- time oncologist on staff at Kauai Medical Clinic almost one year later. Instead, there currently are four “visiting” oncologists from Straub who are covering those services on a temporary, part-time basis: Dr. Denny, who begins coverage on Monday mornings, leaving on Tuesdays in the late afternoons; two other physicians rotate coverage on Wednesdays, and another doc covers on Thursdays.

This effort at covering the full-time oncology position is fragmented and regular appointments can be at times inconsistent and unreliable. Approximately 3 percent of Kaua‘i’s population, or about 1,800 people, are either actively battling cancer, or are in remission. To go this long without an oncologist on the island is just not acceptable.

After Dr. Inouye’s departure there was a lengthy period of time that elapsed before some patients could continue, or begin, regular appointments with an oncologist. In my case, I waited almost five months before getting hooked up with Dr. Denny, whom I consider topnotch. As a cancer patient who is in remission, I depend upon “markers” to assess my disease and thus have certain tests performed on a regular basis, after which I meet with an oncologist to go over and interpret test results. I am never comfortable when there are lapses in my testing routines.

Apparently, there continues to be an ongoing recruitment for an oncologist at KMC, but it seems that the high cost of living here on Kaua‘i, our island’s “ruralness”, and a small medical community, remain major stumbling blocks to filling this position. Of course we can’t change any of these things, but I wonder if KMC/HPH can offer any incentives to potential candidates? Whatever creative approach it takes, I urge KMC/HPH to get this long-vacant oncology position filled, and with a top notch physician.

As the departing president and CEO of KMC, Ken Pierce said in part in his prepared statement “….I am very pleased that we were able to bring in new services and improve access to care.” Well, perhaps there needs to be greater efforts made to keep doctors and nurses from leaving, because without them, how then can KMC/HPH “improve access to care” for services, new or established, that are understaffed?”

Pat Tingley

Wailua Houselots


Supports Wal-Mart expansion

Just wanted to let Wal-Mart know I support them in their public meeting with the mayor, councilmen, and the public.

Mayor Baptiste and councilmen, forget Bill 22-03. The people speak,we want a super Wal-Mart.

Mayor, councilmen, and non-supporters, you can continue to shop at your favorite store (or you can join us).

Howard Tolbe

‘Ele‘ele


Drug policies unsuccessful

The “War on Drugs” is a social travesty.

Let’s see, drugs are illegal. Yet, our beloved C.I.A. was running cocaine into the United States for years during the ‘80s. This is a fact that was revealed during the Iran-Contra hearings. Most of the drugs ended up in inner cities with populations made up mostly of poor whites and minorities. Not surprisingly, American prisons began to fill up at an alarming rate.

What was the response from our government? Build more prisons. Under the radar, some states like Texas, passed laws that allowed the new prisons to be “For Profit” prisons. More than half of the prisoners were non-violent, minority drug offenders doing forced labor so that old white men could get rich. Where have I heard about this before? Oh yes, in history class, it was called slavery! Texas now imports prisoners from other states, including Hawai‘i, to keep its modern slavery system running. The United States passed Russia a few years ago, for the lead in the race to incarcerate. More than half of the prisoners are still non-violent drug offenders.

The ramifications on American society, from this “war on drugs” are enormous. We can look at Sweden, Norway, and Holland for more successful drug policies or we can continue with legalized slavery for another 400 years.

Jason Nichols

Koloa


Decision shouldn’t affect Wal-Mart expansion

Why anyone would care what an anonymous writer would say is beyond me.

As to “Wal-Mart, the super store” I believe they had their paperwork already in process for their new building before the council and Mayor decided to make a rules change.

It seems to me that whatever the council decides shouldn’t affect Wal-Mart’s building plans. If the County decides to make the rule/law retroactive, I must assume they will be open to some very stiff litigation and Wal-Mart has deep pockets.

But the County seems to enjoy spending taxpayer money to fight tax- payers’ desires. We’ll see what happens, it should be interesting.

Gordon “Doc” Smith

Kapa‘a

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