Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Friday, June 14, 2024 81° Today's Paper


Letters to the Editor

Malpractice fears drive up costs

Your excellent coverage of the potential side effects of unnecessary tests such as scans that expose patients to radiation left out the reason why these tests are often performed.

The risk of being sued for malpractice is a huge factor in the ordering of unnecessary tests. The costs associated with defensive medicine are more than $100 billion nationally. There are also unnecessary cancer deaths caused by the unnecessary tests.

In 22 years as a physician, I have had one malpractice suit. It was for not ordering an MRI of a spine earlier. The patient had chronic lower back pain that improved with therapy.

The jury dismissed the charges. However, it was a five-year process before going to trial, at a significant cost of money and mental anguish.

The high cost of medicine is being driven by the legal community.

Linda Rasmussen, M.D.


Road fix won’t address cause

The $175,000 that the city proposes to spend repaving sections of the roads around Tantalus ("Plans for nonskid road top aim to halt Tantalus drifters," Star-Advertiser, June 15) is money spent at attempting to resolving the symptom and not the cause.

During these difficult economic times, that money could be put to better use. Placing one or two police officers in that area to make arrests and, if need be, impound vehicles, would be much more cost effective.

We need to address the bad guys and not the road. These few individuals who are into "drifting" should be taken off the road, as they put everyone in harm’s way.

Gary H. Watanabe


City can’t afford a rail system

Now the City and County of Honolulu is furloughing its employees. If this is happening and the city can’t pay full wages to the employees it already has, then how in the world can it even think of moving forward with this rail transit project? This rail transit project creates a whole new division!

We can’t afford this. Those who think we can need to wake up and smell the roses. The money is just not going to be there. Furloughing of city employees is a clear sign of that.

It’s time our elected officials start thinking about what’s really best for the citizens of Hawaii. If they want to do something about transportation, why not start with repairing the roads we already have?

Daniel J. Bryant


West Oahu needs to be clean, too

The homeless situation on the west side of Oahu’s coast, especially Maili Point, is horrible. The huge encampments are filled with tents and piles of trash. There is no sanitation and you can smell the stench from the highway. You will not see this on beaches in Hawaii Kai, Kailua or Waikiki. Why? Are the residents of the Waianae Coast less deserving of a clean, safe environment? We are all taxpayers and expect to raise our children in a safe place with clean beaches we can all enjoy.

Debbie Garcia
Maili Point

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Political hostility is sad situation

What a sad state of affairs our political climate is in. So much anger and divisiveness!

As I was waiting to turn left out of the Aikahi Safeway yesterday evening, I looked around to discover an elderly man yelling and gesturing at me from a car on my right. Thinking perhaps I had left something on the top of my car when I had loaded my groceries, I put down the window on the passenger side and looked at him with a smile.

He screamed, "You voted for Obama? You voted for Obama?" (I have a sticker indicating that on the rear bumper of my car.) I replied, still smiling, "I sure did," upon which he spewed forth a stream of insults and obscenities, cut off only by my pushing the button to close my window and making my turn toward home.

Yes, it’s a free country, and we can say what we think. I’m grateful for that. But what kind of person yells obscenities at a total stranger, unprovoked, in a public parking lot?

It was a very unsettling experience to have that level of violent hatred directed at me by someone I didn’t know, and who didn’t know me.

Leigh Ann Braley


Obama speech a sleight of hand

President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office for the first time yesterday. What an excellent demonstration of smoke and mirrors.

Do you remember when candidate Obama warned voters to be vigilant because conservatives would try to hoodwink and bamboozle you? He was telling you the truth, sort of. Only it is Obama who has hoodwinked and bamboozled you.

Remember TARP, the stimulus, Obamacare and his local cheerleaders Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka and U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, who refused to conduct town hall meetings with you because they were afraid?

There is no such thing as free money or no-cost goods or services. Someone has to pay and it will be you!

Al Armand


Surfing reserves are a good idea

Kudos to Gov. Linda Lingle for her executive order establishing surfing reserves off Waikiki and along the North Shore.

House Speaker Calvin Say’s recommitment of the legislation and refusal to hear discussion on the floor were unreasonable, to put it mildly.

Establishing these reserves is a symbolic act, recognizing the importance of surfing to Hawaii.

I have difficulty understanding George Downing’s objections, as several places around the world have done the same thing and expressed support for Sen. Hemmings’ efforts.

Speaker Say evidently listened to a few people who did not understand the bill. Many thanks to the governor for righting a wrong.

Shirley Hasenyager


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