Letters for Wednesday, May 2, 2012

• Highway craziness • Malama Pono and the community • Obama and slogans

Highway craziness

With the price of gas stuck around the $4.80 a gallon mark, I’m restricting my travels to Lihu‘e to once every week, if possible.

On Saturday, my son wanted to watch a movie which was playing at Kukui Grove Cinema. Without the Coconut Marketplace Cinema, Lihu‘e is now the only option.

We ventured out from Kapa‘a headed to Lihu‘e, discovering that now that everyone has gotten used to the traffic pattern on Kuhio Highway fronting Coco Palms through the Kuhio Highway and Kuamo‘o intersection, the State DOT has decided to change it again. The only problem is that not everyone has noticed it yet.

The right lane offered you the option of going straight through the intersection or making a right turn up Kuamo‘o. That lane has now been re-painted with a Right Turn Only arrow and a sign erected at the start of the turning lane.

The left lane still remains a straight-through Lihu‘e-bound lane. In other words, if you’re traveling between Haleilio passing the Coco Palms eyesore, Lihu‘e-bound, you will no longer switch into the right lane to get onto the Wailua Bridge.

You now have to get in the left lane to travel to Lihu‘e. But get on the Wailua Bridge and hurry up and switch back to the right lane, or you’ll be forced to make a left turn onto Leho Drive.

Confused yet? Don’t worry, I’m sure you’re not the only one. Just more highway craziness on Kaua‘i.

Francine Grace, Lihu‘e

Malama Pono and the community

There has been concern raised in The Garden Island about Malama Pono’s partnership with Planned Parenthood of Hawaii. These concerns, also raised by those of us at Malama Pono, relate to the number of unwanted pregnancies in our community.

Such pregnancies force difficult decisions on women of all ages. There is good reason for these concerns. The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and the Hawai‘i Department of Health, (Reference: Advocates for Youth Bulletin) reveal patterns of behavior in the youth of our community that greatly affect the individual, the family and our island.

Thirty-six percent of Hawai‘i high school students report having had sex, and 24 percent are currently sexually active. Hawai‘i has the ninth highest rate in the nation for pregnancy in young women ages 15-19, and the frequency of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the same teenage group of young women is one of the highest in the nation.

The mission of Malama Pono is: “To stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, STDs and infectious hepatitis on Kaua‘i through education and to serve those persons infected with or affected by these diseases.”

 Malama Pono accomplishes this mission in part through our program of “Condom Sense” that provides condoms free of charge in a number of locations throughout the island. The locations are listed with maps at our website: www.malama-pono.org. This program not only helps to stop the spread of STDs, but it has the added benefit of preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Malama Pono provides a safe and confidential environment for men, women and transgender individuals to receive education and services to help prevent HIV/AIDS, STDs and hepatitis.

Consistent with this goal, our organization provides space to Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i to counsel and examine patients who may have concerns about these health problems.

The vision of Malama Pono is “to honor and preserve the love of family and community and to meet the challenges of today and the future.”

This vision, along with the mission of the organization of which I am so proud, works hard to preserve families and lessen the burden on our youth, our disenfranchised community members, the economically challenged and all other people in need of support due to infectious diseases that carry great stigma in our society.

With consistent use of condoms, therapeutic abortions will be unnecessary. I urge individuals who share our public health concerns to support Malama Pono so that the life promoting programs we support can continue in the future.

                  

Dr. Judy Shabert, Kilauea

Obama and slogans

Just as a response to the re-elect Obama campaign’s not so new slogan “Forward,” we ought to counter with the watchword “Forewarned.”

Freedom-loving, constitutionalist Americans now have ample evidence of the president and his kommiecrat buddies’ absolute intention to transform this nation into a worker’s paradise — i.e., socialist cesspool.

I find it incredible that we, who’ve enjoyed the blessings of freedom since our inception, could now reject the civil society and embrace what will become (sooner or later during a slide further into the abyss) fascism.

 Perhaps its just a conceit of mine that since the founding we’ve been a cut above the rest of humanity throughout history.

Rather, unfortunately I think, too many of us are unaware beneficiaries of the divinely-inspired wisdom of a mere handful of forebears who set forth a blueprint for the most just society on Earth — the existence of slavery notwithstanding, as the seeds of its abolition were firmly planted in the letter and spirit of the founding documents.

For those of us who are aware, we must resist any power grab by politicians and bureaucrats who’ve begun to style themselves our political masters.

Steven Souza, Koloa

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