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Letters to the Editor


First things first with homeless

I read, with great disappointment, the governor’s initiative to address homelessness. It reminded me of the pigeons at the zoo. The last thing I want to see in our parks are signs saying, "Please do not feed the homeless."

I have a pretty simple answer to the problem — it involves partnerships between the "feeding" organizations and social service organizations. Serving a meal meets the first need; then, have substance abuse counselors, housing specialists and vocational counselors on site to link these people up with other services they need.

Nothing fancy, but a start. The problem of homelessness is huge, but capitalizing on the available resources is a start. A compassionate response is needed. People cannot hear or turn their lives around if their stomach are gurgling. First things first.

Claire Woods

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

Do-gooders are really enablers

Bravo to the governor for asking people to stop the feeding of the homeless in our public parks and Waikiki. Many of these people feel entitled to free food at a location of their choice.

We should continue to provide the truly needy with all possible aid at locations most appropriate for this assistance.

For the people who remain homeless by choice, I have a truism: "The threat of starvation is a powerful incentive."

I am sure the do-gooders mean well. Nevertheless, their actions support these people who harm our tourist industry, disturb our citizens, refuse to abide by any rules and regulations, and remain useless in spite of all the support that they receive.

Our do-gooders should be ashamed of themselves because they are enabling irresponsible behavior.

Richard Saas

HPH gives itself too much credit

Melinda Ashton, M.D., Hawaii Pacific Health’s administrator, will need the extraordinary quality care delivered by her umbrella group to treat the dislocated shoulders caused by patting themselves on the back ("Health reform initiatives paying off in Hawaii," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, May 18).

Without the health reform initiated by the Professional Politicians of America (PPA), HPH would not have the drive to improve outcomes, as implied by Ashton.

She may have missed the 1,400 special waivers from health reform rules given to well-represented entities. Unions, for example, supported reform yet have received waviers.

Tort-driven acts were not addressed by the PPA although a great percentage of health care costs are hidden behind protective medicine. Yes, a large number of PPA members are lawyers.

Health insurers were not allowed across state lines to foster competition, so the insurers were left without competition.

Hospital administrators walk lockstep through policies and quality issues and through Medicare protocols.

The care you receive depends on the nurse and physician at your side and how large Big Brother’s thumb is on your lifeline.

Joel Whitley

Pigs are taking over Hawaii

As our world spins with disasters, wars and other rather disturbing realities, I have my own rather small issue to contend with here in paradise. It is quite simply that the pigs are taking over.

A group of the snorting, squealing critters has decided that my farm is their farm. Each evening just before sunset they stroll out of hiding in the valley and begin their nightly forays.

It is not that they hurt anything, really, as there is enough food for all of us. It is really just about how vocal they are in their dining bliss. Their snorts and squeals out under the moonlit palm trees have caused countless nights of sleep loss for myself and my rather upset, barky dog.

I know I could call in the hunters or cage trappers and take them out like a well-run black op, but some part of me feels too much compassion for them, to see an end to their enjoyment of life.

I guess when I decided to live in peace in this world, I didn’t consider that it would invite the pigs to take over my quiet, still nights.

Dan Shook

Recast Ho‘opili to save more land

The Ho‘opili development will rob Oahu of land badly needed for food sustainability. Everything shipped in is burdened with ever-increasing fuel costs.

I won’t even address traffic nightmares, but maybe we can have our cake and eat it, too. Rethink it: How about a mix of mid-rise condos surrounded by recreational parks; low-rise mixed-use commercial/residential/businesses at street level and two or three floors of residential above (closest to rail stations); and scattered areas of single-family housing for those who must have a lawn to mow?

Perhaps a percentage of the mixed-use residential, within walking distance of shops and doctors’ offices, could be set aside for retirees. With living space taking up a smaller footprint, but housing the same number of families, the land could be farmed and lived on.

Alice Folkart

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