Letters for Thursday, June 30, 2011

• Prescription drugs are the real problem • ‘Vote no to

FERC’ •

‘Why not start with hydro?’ • Caring for elders can

create special challenges

Prescription drugs are the real problem

I’m sitting here this  Sunday morning reading the disturbing article “ Pharmacy robbery trend sweeping U.S.”

When is this country going to wake up? One line in particular in the article is really bumming me out: “Prescription painkillers are now the second most abused drugs after Marijuana.” How do you abuse marijuana? Can’t people see that prescription drugs are the real problem, not marijuana.

Even someone with half a brain knows that pharmaceutical companies are one of the richest, most influential entities in existence. Think about it. Our broken system allows these swell guys called lobbyists to basically buy our politicians through the guise of making “campaign contributions” to any lawmaker that will go along with their agenda. They get them to support any cause that makes the pharmaceutical companies richer, while the poor average Joe gets sicker off their “legal” drugs.

Ever wonder why pot is still illegal, even though almost any doctor on the planet will tell you it’s one of the safest, most medically affective substances on earth? Think about it. If the average person could “medicate” themselves, these companies would be bankrupt.

It just frustrates me. It’s kinda like standing in a crowded room shouting at the top of your lungs and no one hears you.

Andrew Gorsline, Kapa‘a

‘Vote no to FERC’

KIUC trying to use the FERC process clearly reveals what should already be evident to astute observers: That KIUC executives have failed abysmally at engaging their members and stakeholders.

If you will remember, KIUC wasted all of 2009 and some of 2010 fighting their membership trying to get a rate increase while making no progress in shifting to renewables. Now they’re trying to play catch up on the backs of compromised Hawai‘i water and property rights.

On other islands around the world (check out Samso), energy policy is steadily moving forward on a weekly basis with regular working meetings between the community and the utility. But no, not at KIUC. If they don’t think of it internally, they’re not interested in it and what’s more, they’ll fight it no matter what to try to keep the membership out of the actual design and decision-making process. And if you’re not a favored insider, they’ll try to thwart your progress, as with energy projects currently in development on Kaua‘i’s westside.

Current KIUC leadership is an abysmal failure because they have not engaged the community in an ongoing working relationship. They would rather rely on marketing, eminent domain and distant federal decisions than to actually have a weekly working relationship with the community to hash out the details of hydro on Kaua‘i.

Make ‘em work for their money. Vote no to FERC and yes for a newly engaged KIUC.

Brad Parsons, Hanalei

‘Why not start with hydro?’

Regarding the TGI letter “Take a deep breathe:” I, too, voted yes on the KIUC hydro ballot.

When I lived in Idaho in a small town called Blackfoot just off the Snake River, we had an hydroelectricity plant put in. We faced the same yeas and nays that we now face here on Kaua‘i.

Of course, the yeas were in favor and the hydro power was put in. After a while, people — like myself for one — drove by the site and found that there weren’t any difference in the flow of the river and we still could use it to do our summer activities — tubing down the river, etc.

We all want cheaper electricity cost and alternative power. Why not start here with hydro? KIUC should still look into the other two elements — wind and the sun — for more alternatives to power up our towns, because not all of our towns will benefit on water alone.

 

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Caring for elders can create special challenges

I recently read that Congresswoman Mazie Hirono would not move into the district she represents. I don’t understand why residing a few miles outside her district is causing such unnecessary commotion. Aren’t there many more important issues to focus on?

The congresswoman said that she was concerned about moving her elderly mother to unfamiliar surroundings. When my mother was in her 80s, many of her friends had to move away to be closer to and looked after by their children. I remember how heartbreaking it was to see them crying as they said their good-byes.

More recently, I had to move my elderly parents only two blocks away. After nine months, they still have not returned to their normal selves, and I don’t know if they ever will. People who have not lived with an elder cannot begin to imagine how traumatizing it can be for an elder person to be out of their element and how much added stress it is for the caregiver and the rest of the household.

The old saying of “a man’s home is his castle” seems to be even more so the older we get.

Gail Fujimoto, Kahului

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