For Monday, March 21, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 21, 2011
Too many people held at state hospital
Thank you, Rob Perez, for writing the important article on House Bill 1070, which proposes an end to the excessive oversight of non-violent misdemeanor patients suffering from mental illness ("Conditional release holds mentally ill in state's care," Star-Advertiser, March 14).
Gov. Neil Abercrombie is on the right track, but we should use some of the savings toward building a secure facility to protect our community from violent mental health patients.
The Hawaii State Hospital (HSH) currently lacks special facilities that separate violent patients from the nonviolent ones.
I saw this problem first-hand when I was assigned to a felony case involving a patient who brutally assaulted a nurse.The unprovoked attacked left this experienced and highly valued worker with a ruptured eye socket, possibly life-long physical pain and prolonged psychological trauma.
She was not able to return to the job she loved and has since left the state. Her injuries are well known to the staff at HSH.
I am fearful that we will lose valuable employees at HSH because of the lack of proper facilities.
Paul R. Mow
Former Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney
Abercrombie needs all of us to help him
Gov. Neil Abercrombie needs everyone's support and understanding in what he is trying to do: deal with the reality that unless drastic steps are taken to correct our state's budget dilemma, we will all be drowning in red ink.
Like the federal government, we have reached the point where we have no choice but to choose the lesser of two bad options. In this respect, no one should expect to be spared from the actions that need to be taken and the consequences that will result from those difficult decisions being made.
With all the red ink that is sinking the ship of state, the governor has no choice but to take some drastic actions that will require removing many outstanding and worthwhile state-funded programs, activities and benefits.
We all have to work together and be prepared to make the sacrifices that are needed to serve the greater good and not just our own self-centered interests.
For better or worse, we are all in this together — no exceptions.
William T. Kinaka
Ethics bill will make us a laughingstock
I oppose the unethical ammendments to Senate Bill 671, the ethics bill.
Not only is this draft an opportunistic mockery of genuine ethical conduct for elected officials, it exposes Hawaii to nationwide ridicule for the obvious open invitation to abuse.
At a time when the public's confidence in government integrity and honesty is at an unfortunate low, the amended version of the bill will fan the flames of distrust.
I urge lawmakers to return to the high standards of the original draft bill, and reject this and any other drafts of similar low standards for ethical conduct.
Road repair work was a job well done
Bravo to the city's road repair division.
The stretch between Moanalua Road and Aiea, next to Wally's Grill and Dixie Grill, was a nightmare. Riding on it was like going over speed bumps. Now all the potholes are filled and driving is as smooth as can be expected.
Also, the chain-link fence along Kamehameha Highway is being partially covered by decorative canvas. It's beautiful. It gives the landscape and scenery a bright look.
The city deserves recognition for a job well done.
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Hero's action shows all deserve respect
The actions of Brian Ward, the homeless veteran who stopped a runaway bus and undoubtedly saved lives, should show those of us fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads that we are not any different in our humanity than those of us who are "houseless." We should work together to end homelessness.
Many cities on the mainland are further along the path to ending homelessness than are we. Seattle, for example, has 237 different programs addressing the various aspects of homelessness and has a 10-year plan calling for the prevention of homelessness, creation of new, permanent housing and providing supportive services to those who need them.
The same old sweeps of homeless people over the years from here to there have not done anything to solve a growing problem. There are more effective ways to solve this problem, and all of us should be working together to implement those proven solutions.