Report on designer drugs was shameful journalism
Shame on you for blatant irresponsible journalism ("Scary ‘Spice’ traps troops," Star-Advertiser, April 25).
The article about "designer drugs" and violent behavior that is of concern to military officials is illustrated by some sort of fragments shaped into a marijuana leaf.
The caption indicates that the compounds are "similar to the active ingredient in marijuana." In fact, nowhere in the article is cannabis mentioned. Instead, the ingredients are compared to cocaine and methamphetamine, both of which, when smoked, are related to violent behavior.
There is no research anywhere that relates the use of marijuana alone to violence or to suicidal behaviors. Rather, it is related to pain relief and relaxation.
You should have made the ingredients into the shape of a dollar sign, since these manufactured drugs are widespread because they are cheap and available to the poor. Your article reminds me of the "Reefer Madness" hysteria of the 1950s.
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Why won’t Obama show long-form certificate?
I was born in Hawaii many years ago and I have what is referred to as the long-form birth certificate. My long form is really a negative of the original birth certificate with the hospital shown and the doctor’s name and signature on it.
Why is it not possible for President Barack Obama to release a copy of this form? What is there to hide?
Insurance companies unhappy with Hawaii
As attorney Allen R. Wolff points out in his article about the effects of House Bill 924 ("Insurance isn’t meant to cover shoddy work," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, April 24), we can expect insurance companies to pull out of Hawaii or significantly increase rates if that bill becomes law.
During my 32 years of employment with insurance companies in Hawaii, it became increasingly clear that mainland insurance companies were continually frustrated by Hawaii’s socialistic laws and liberal court decisions, as well as the very liberal interpretations by our judges in matters affecting the duty to defend under commercial insurance policies.
The company I worked for during the last 25 years of my 42-year career, one of the largest carriers in the U.S., pulled out of Hawaii during the late 1990s, apparently because it simply wasn’t worth it.
If our legislators think they have the leverage when it comes to making laws affecting insurance companies, they should think again.
Michael E. Tymn
Insurance bill rectifies overbroad court decision
Defective or faulty construction work never was intended to be covered by insurance ("Insurance isn’t meant to cover shoddy work," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, April 24). What was intended was coverage for "resulting damage" from defective work, which is referred to as "Products Completed Operations Coverage."
The Group Builders, Inc. v. Admiral Insurance Company appellate court decision took away coverage for resulting damage that contractors and developers had paid for and what insurance companies had covered prior to the decision.
A simple example is a defective waterline valve that leaks and causes damage to the drywall and flooring. Replacement of the defective valve is not covered but the repair of the drywall and flooring is covered. The bottom line is the appellate court decision was too broad and left a big hole for contractors by wiping out coverage for damages resulting from defective work.
Since Hawaii has a 10-year statute in which construction defect claims can be made, the exposure or risk is too large for contractors without having insurance. House Bill 924 is an effort to correct this.
Paul R. Botts
Principal, Insurance & Surety
Protecting students from bullies must be priority
While I share everyone’s enthusiasm for the newly installed, appointed Board of Education, I sincerely hope that the board and Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi will keep the protection of students from bullying and harassment among their top priorities.
When I served on the now-inactive Safe Schools Advisory Committee with Kim Coco Iwamoto, Judy Kern and others, the bullying of African-American, LGBT, special needs and other children in schools where they were in the minority was an ongoing problem.
The teachers who advocate for these students must also be protected.
Slaughterhouse not worth taxpayers’ investment
Russell Kokubun misses the mark in supporting the state’s purchase of the Hawaii Livestock Cooperative’s slaughterhouse in Campbell Industrial Park, which is in my district ("State purchase of slaughterhouse key to food security," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, April 26).
The question isn’t whether we support the mission of the Department of Agriculture and our farmers around the state who want to make us more self-sufficient.
The real issue in this case is making the wisest and fairest decisions on how we spend the people’s money. Given that the state and federal government have already invested millions in this slaughterhouse since its opening in 2004, it’s obvious that this isn’t a viable business that will ever be able to stand on its own two feet. Better to let the slaughterhouse fend for itself and take this $1.6 million and invest it in irrigation infrastructure or hiring much-needed vector control inspectors.
Sen. Mike Gabbard
District 19 (Waikele to Ko Olina)