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Preserve land for farming

Candace Fujikane echos what I feel about building more industrial parks in country areas ("Farms better on Nanakuli land," Letters, Star-Advertiser, May 13).

My family and I lived on the Waianae coast during the 1960s and ’70s and one of the things we enjoyed the most was buying our fresh produce in Nanakuli. There was a pullout area off Farrington Highway makai near the junction of Akowai Road. Japanese farmers came with their trucks and sold many wonderful vegetables for a miniscule amount of 15 cents a pound, no matter what the variety.

Of course, it is unrealistic to buy produce anywhere at that price today, but the farmers markets offer some alternative.

We need to preserve our country land for raising our food rather than importing it, especially now with the high fuel and shipping costs.

There is nothing better than farm-fresh local produce. More support must be given to encourage our young people to consider what a great contribution they could make in this field.

Mahalo nui loa to all our hard-working, persevering farms in Hawaii.

Aloha from an old gardener in Wahiawa.

Hazel Yamada

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 words). The Star-Advertiser 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Traffic gridlock can’t be healthy

Get out of your car.

It’s rather doubtful that the likes of rail transit critics Cliff Slater and Panos Prevedouros are commuting back and forth to work in the traditional gridlocked traffic on Oahu.

Spending four to six hours in a car every day to get to work and back home is ridiculous, if not unhealthy. We have an epidemic of obesity among our population that also contributes to other health problems, increasing the cost of health care for everybody.

Leave your vehicle in the garage and start walking or running to catch a bus or train.

John L. Werrill

Big landowner gets on board

I was glad to read that Kamehameha Schools, which had opposed the city’s elevated rail project in the past, is now teaming with the city to develop affordable housing opportunities around the rail line ("Rail has role in housing," Star-Advertiser, May 14).

As one of the state’s most influential landowners, Kamehameha Schools’ support for rail can ensure the success of this essential transportation project.

Harry Gomes

Don’t let Kyo-ya build seaward

I am looking a gift horse in the mouth and I don’t like what I see — Kyo-ya’s money to extend the Waikiki beachfront, including its property.

Then it asks for (and probably expects) approval to build its hotel seaward of the present setback.

We should list the reasons why Kyo-ya should not build seaward of the present setback:

» The sand will continue eroding.

» Global warming will raise sea levels, which is already a problem for Pacific and Asian islands.

» A tsunami could occur. Is Kyo-ya cognizant of what happened to Kona Village and the Kona waterfront on the Big Island?

Mandy Bowers

US should be more humble


Many Americans, including many college students, were chanting "USA" when we found out that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Here was justice, finally, for a man responsible for the deaths of up to 8,000 people. A great reason to celebrate.

Yet, how do we face the fact that our leaders started a war in Iraq where 350,000 and perhaps hundreds of thousands more individuals have lost their lives? Are we holding our leaders responsible? Are those leaders showing any sense of guilt, shame or responsibility for such collateral damage?

We consider ourselves an exceptional nation; perhaps a nation chosen by God. Yet we are a nation that carries on what seem to be never-ending wars. Is this how we make the world safe for democracy? Is this God’s plan for this nation?

I consider myself patriotic enough to feel shame for my nation when we go against our fundamental beliefs and ideals and are responsible for such mass destruction of innocent human life. Yes, we can continue to say "God Bless America," and sing it as well, but let us never forget to ask for God’s forgiveness. We should be more humble. And ask for forgiveness.

Roman Leverenz

Food stamps being abused

Cut down on food cost allowances for food stamps. 

Shopping carts are filled with unnecessary items that we who pay out of our pockets would not purchase because they are costly, unhealthy and not nourishing. Hardly ever do I see fruits and vegetables in the carts of people using food stamps. The program should be more specific on what is permissible to purchase.

The merchants are the ones who profit from this benefit, and we the taxpayers end up paying more taxes. Folks who qualify for the program should not abuse it.

Edna Esona
Ewa Beach

Overdiagnosing problem likely  related to insurance incentives

Having spent 51 years as a clinician in providing medical care for thousands of patients, I strongly support Dr. H. Gilbert Welch in pointing out the problem of overdiagnosing, often leading to overtreatment of some conditions in our patients (“Too much health care,” Insight, Star-Advertiser, May 11).

I believe that Paul Mizue misinterprets Welch, thinking that all routine checkups are involved in this matter of diagnosis (“Diagnoses not a waste of money,” Letters, Star-Advertiser, May 14). Welch points out that only selected conditions are involved in this problem.

This problem of overdiagnosing conditions may be a result of the health insurance fee-for-service reimbursement system.

All services provided by the physician are provided with a numerical code and the payment is thus automatically assessed and sent to the provider. This involves all testing, surgical procedures, time spent in consulting and counseling.

The more tests and procedures performed on the patient and the more times the patient is seen, the higher the reimbursement.

Every year, we spend more than $2 trillion on health care in the U.S., and we desperately need to restrain these costs.

Donald F.B. Char


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