In July 2000, the year the candidate mentioned by Gerhard C. Hamm applied to the John A. Burns School of Medicine (“Local medical student turned away,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 30), the total first-year class size was only 62 students and of those students, 90% were from Hawaii.
Further, the acceptance rate for those applicants from Hawaii was 25.6% of applicants versus less than 1% for non-resident applicants. On the flip side, more worthy applicants from Hawaii were turned away than were accepted that year due to the small class size.
Since I arrived in 2008, we have increased the entering class size to 77 students while continuing to give strong preference to those from Hawaii. I understand the frustration when one aspires to be selected for medical school, but is not accepted. Some of our students this current year were applicants for several years before being accepted.
The medical school needs additional support from the Legislature and private donors to increase the class size and create opportunity for additional deserving students from Hawaii.
Finally, the few non-residents accepted each year bring diverse perspectives and enrich the educational experience for our students.
Jerris R. Hedges, M.D.
Dean, John A. Burns School of Medicine
All elected officials should be term-limited
What happens if President Donald Trump is impeached but doesn’t want to leave the office even if he’s voted out? Will the Republicans support those actions, as they have already supported Trump’s breaking of our Constitution?
There doesn’t seem to be a Republican Party anymore. All elected officials should be held to a term limit, as the president is held to two terms in office. This would put fresh members with new ideas on the ballots, running against new opponents, and not the good-old-boy style that continues to break up our nation. In addition, they must have served in the military or been part of the U.S. government.
Our current president is an outright crook and liar, owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
William T. Pirtle
Re-examine regulations for tourist helicopters
The letter bashing U.S. Rep. Ed Case regarding his efforts to reform tourist helicopter operations is off the mark (“Safer to take helicopter than to drive on roads,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 1).
There are many serious concerns being raised by citizens and neighborhood boards on the matter. It is encouraging that out of all Hawaii congressional members, one is trying to do something beneficial for citizens.
The helicopter companies may well be operating in compliance with FAA regulations, but that is what needs to be carefully re-examined. Besides safety, there is a huge issue concerning nuisance in terms of noise over populated areas.
Pearl Harbor visitor attractions (Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri) and base housing are subjected to the most obnoxious noise and disruption throughout each day from low-flying helicopters. Flying and hovering close to national memorials is disgraceful and just wrong. Helicopter company operators do not respect residents or visitors to Pearl Harbor and regulations need changing.
Wasteful society can’t give up fossil fuels
Nature has very likely passed the tipping point regarding the onset of a warming epoch, and humanity is undeniably contributing to the trend in sheer numbers and behavior.
There is much fretting about if and how various carbon emission targets are going to be met. Realistically, they will not. Most people do not understand the level of dependence humanity has developed on the use of fossil fuels and petrochemicals. Virtue signaling by banning few plastic items is mere symbolism.
The truth is every single economically retrievable lump of coal and molecule of oil and gas is going to be extracted and burnt before we give up our addiction to fossil fuel. This because without energy nothing is possible — especially our ridiculously comfortable lives of wasteful, massive over-consumption. While alternatives are making small gains, fossil fuels remain unmatched in their net-energy performance.
We can only hope fireworks stored safely
While police and politicians fiddled, Honolulu’s skies blazed yet again, booming and bursting with illegal aerial fireworks. Every New Year’s Eve, our focus on fireworks is temporary. We forget that before the bombs were fired off, they had to be stored somewhere for a while.
Hopefully they were not stored next door to you or in the unit under your baby’s bedroom. Hopefully.
Abandoned car a blight at Makapuu Beach Park
It’s so disappointing that year after year, our infrastructure visibly declines. The roads are in poor condition — never mind the landscaping, planting strips and the litter that is everywhere. The homeless certainly do not beautify our state.
But the one thing indicative of this malaise is the entrance to Makapuu Beach Park. Still one of the premier bodysurfing and bodyboarding beaches, the visitor and surfer alike are greeted with a stripped-out carcass of an abandoned car.
Is this the new symbol of our beach parks? Does anyone care anymore? How about removing this eyesore? C’mon Hawaii!