Letters for July 30, 2015

• Celebrate Medicare’s 50th anniversary • Improve stairway to county building • In honor of Dr. Sims

Celebrate Medicare’s 50th anniversary

As Medicare celebrates its 50th anniversary Thursday, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon the difference Medicare has made in the lives of retirees like me. When Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965, only about half of our nation’s seniors had health insurance. Before then, whenever uninsured seniors had health problems, they faced an impossible choice. Risk financial ruin by seeking necessary care or avoid treatment altogether and watch their health deteriorate. Thanks to Medicare, nearly all of our nation’s seniors now have guaranteed health coverage.

The success of the Medicare program is clear. It has vastly improved the quality of life for millions of older Americans and allowed retirees to spend their later years in comfort and security. It has kept countless seniors from being thrown into poverty by the high cost of medical bills.

There has been a lot of talk in Washington lately about cutting Medicare benefits, further means testing the program, and shifting costs to seniors. These changes would be a disaster for our nation’s current and future retirees. Medicare has been a cornerstone of retirement security for the last half-century. We owe it to future generations to keep the Medicare program strong and healthy.

Jean M. Dobashi, ARA National CAN board member, Lihue

Improve stairway to county building

Regarding Jerome Freitas, “Da Shadow,” July 26 column, here is some additional information regarding the front stairway of the Historic County Building on Rice Street.

When I worked on their first floor with the elections division in 2002, I inquired about possibly building rails on the front stairs, especially when a frail 90-year-oldwoman from the Westside lugubriously made her way up the front steps to register to vote at the elections office. The supervisor (Ernesto Pasion) informed us of theside entrance facing the Kauai Museum, which has both a ramp leading in from the parking lot for Hawaii state and Kauai County government workers, and easilyaccessible steps bounded by good handrails directly racing the small parking lot.

At that time, the request for easier access on the front page of the building was denied. Unfortunately, non-accessibility there wells up again at holiday time when theKauai Chorale singers perform on those steps (I used the wall to help me access several steps up two years ago for our performance).

A new approach, idea, just came to me: How about a handrail on the surface of the wall bordering the stairs, at least on the side nearest to Eiwa Street? Painted thesame color as the building, this rail could be quite inconspicuous.

Also, whereas there exists a sign stating something to the effect of “ADA Accessibility,” I believe it is on the Umi Street side of the Historic County Building, and no clearsignage exists to direct access to the current ADA accessible entrance on the Eiwa Street side of the building.

Hoping for more safe footing and access.

Alice Parker, Lihue

In honor of Dr. Sims

Aloha, councilmembers,

Please consider changing the name of our humane society to a name honoring Dr. Scott Sims.

Dr. Sims deserves this honor as he was respected and loved by so many throughout the islands. His compassion for all animals was his legacy. He dedicated his life toour beloved pets as he did for all animals, he is a true hero.

As we grieve for this beloved man, we all have our stories to tell about Dr. Sims, here is mine.

Scott helped my Maile take her final journey this last April. His kindness and compassion helped me through an unbearable time. I called him to let him know that it wastime for Maile to leave us — her cancer was beginning to restrict her breathing.

In less than an hour, Scott was here at my home. I held Maile in my arms as she took her final breath. Scott stood close by to let me grieve and hold this precious giftthat was only in my life for less than five short years.

Maile was surrounded by love as she made her transition. It was peaceful but yet heartbreaking. I will be forever thankful to Scott, he holds a part of my heart for hislove and compassion for all animals. I know he was welcomed by all the animals as he entered heaven. The joy he must have felt seeing all of them again running,playing, healthy and free of pain. I prayed he would find Maile in the vast numbers of pets he cared for and give her a hug from me. I just know he heard my prayer.Until we all meet again Scott and Maile. XOXO.

I thank you and hope you consider honoring Dr. Sims in this very special remembrance.

Alice Monaghan, Princeville

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