For Tuesday, October 12, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 12, 2010
Keith Kaneshiro has begun his role within the city prosecutor's office with a bang. By terminating three prosecuting attorneys, one of whom had been there since 1989, he has shown his true colors. At least two of the defunct attorneys were supporters of Mr. Kaneshiro's rival, Don Pacarro.
Firing someone through an e-mail or letter just because of his or her friendship or business affiliation with Mr. Kaneshiro's election rival tells the people of Honolulu to be ready for a new "sheriff in town."
I, for one, think that by starting off his tenure by pulling a stunt like this shows us what our state has to look forward to: trouble.
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There are 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths from influenza each year. Infants and young children and older adults are at highest risk. It is the leading cause of a vaccine-preventable disease every year. The influenza vaccine is efficacious and safe.
I just returned from the American Academy of Pediatric annual meetings in San Francisco. Pediatricians in Texas and Kentucky and other areas of the South shared their horror stories from last year's H1N1 outbreaks in their states.
Last year, Hawaii was fortunate for its lower incidence of flu. Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona stated that he is "not convinced that vaccines are more beneficial than harmful." That is an ignorant statement. Does he remember the wards of iron lungs? Has he witnessed a measles encephalitis or HIB meningitis death? Does he know there is an epidemic of whooping cough in California right now?
For Aiona to make a comment like that is astonishing in this day and age.
Message to Lee Cataluna: You ought to be ashamed of yourself!
Your column ("Aiona's U-turn on flu shots smacks of political hypocrisy," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 5) was a sad commentary on our Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona.
Carrying your thoughts to their logical conclusion, it would be hypocrisy if I publicly supported gay rights and am not a lesbian, or if I voted to support drug abuse legislation and am not a substance abuser, or if I provide sensitive nursing care for an unwed mother although I believe children should be conceived within a marriage.
Duke Aiona apparently believed the risks of a flu shot far outweighed the benefits. He changed his belief and got the vaccine -- that is not hypocrisy; it's called "a change of mind." I'm happy to know that our government officials can change their minds on various issues.
Usually I don't get mad enough at what politicians do to actually speak out about it. But a recent change in the U.S. tax code just steams me to the point that I can no longer remain silent. My tax preparer just sent me a letter detailing why she is no longer preparing individual tax receipts this year: The government has decided that all tax preparers need to take a yearly test and have yearly continuing education to ensure that they are competent at their jobs.
Most would say, "Who cares? What is wrong with making sure that tax people know what they are doing?"
I would counter by saying that small tax businesses cannot afford (as evidenced by my tax person) to comply with those regulations. I trust my tax lady to prepare my taxes accurately and smartly, and I assume all risks knowing full well that she is not a CPA or whatever alphabet allows one to prepare taxes. If the risk I assume is worth the price I pay, then why does the government feel like they need to "protect" me from myself? This is the height of government intervention as a small regulation affects real people's lives.
Why can't we have a state Board of Education that is composed of both elected and appointed members?
All of this debate about an appointed versus elected Board of Education misses the point that there are benefits to both leadership routes of selecting highly qualified board members.
Some very qualified educational leaders do not want to experience the rigors of an election. These same individuals may very well accept an appointment to serve.
Other well-qualified individuals, who may be out of favor with the current political leadership, can appeal for service to the public through elections.
A combination of elected and appointed officials to make up our Board of Education makes sense.