For Saturday, December 22, 2012
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2012
UH tuition needs to be affordable
Having once directed the health services of our university, I find your Dec. 14 editorial on the athletic program and the commentary by Armand Alacbay noting the "culture of deference" of the University of Hawaii regents to be interrelated ("UH athletics worth defending," Our View; and "UH regents seem neutered by ‘culture of deference'").
Employing nine lawyers directly to assist the institution manage its affairs, UH finds itself spending thousands of dollars to hire additional lawyers from the private sector.
What concerns me greatly is that the increasing costs of higher education throughout our nation has put a heavy burden upon many students and their families.
How do we create and establish good affordable programs for our state? We need to prepare students for careers and employment after graduation, better integrating science, technology, engineering and math in their education.
We cannot focus exclusively on producing more students with degrees alone. We must consider how to best educate them to be self-supporting and self-determining citizens.
Kudos to all in farm land deal
Through the purchase of the Galbraith Estate land, farmers in Hawaii will gain more than 1,700 acres of land to grow their businesses. I commend all involved for taking steps toward improving food security in Hawaii. The newly acquired land will support up-and-coming farmers, as well as farming veterans.
In addition, the land may provide space for Ho‘opili farmers to eventually relocate. As a private donor in the purchase, D.R. Horton-Schuler Division has contributed to a solution that will balance agriculture needs with housing needs.
It's encouraging to see the diversity of groups involved in the partnership with The Trust for Public Land. Thank you to all involved for making farmers a priority.
Drug war diverts from real crime
Thanks for publishing Froma Harrop's thoughtful column, "Laws easing pot prohibition reflect sense of decency" (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 15).
I'd like to add that those who think that marijuana prohibition somehow protects our children and society might with to go online to YouTube.com and search for "Judge Jim Gray" or search for "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition." You will see that marijuana prohibition substantially increases all other crime.
Back in the 1960s, police solved more than 90 percent of all homicides.Today they solve just over 60 percent of all murders.
Why? Because of our so-called war on drugs. There are great financial incentives for police to make drug busts and confiscate the drug dealers money and property, but no financial incentive to solve rapes or murders.
Terminally ill need choices
I have provided counseling to dying patients for 30 years. Many express trepidation about not having the same right to "be put down" that they could afford a suffering pet.
At least a dozen doctors I have worked with in Hawaii, Oregon and Washington state, who have expressed their desire to help mentally capable people with terminal illnesses, fear prosecution at the very idea of providing prescription medication for a patient to self-administer to end his or her own life.
Because I have witnessed far too many unnecessarily prolonged, expensive and inhumane deaths, I support Compassion and Choices (www.CompassionAndChoices.org/Hawaii).
It works to protect the rights for the terminally ill to choose how and when to die, and is incredibly well-educated on the matter.
President, Hawaii Wellness Institute
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