State House Bill 1945 seeks another $1.5 million to continue flying homeless people back to their home states (“Legislation seeks to continue flying isle homeless back home,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 3).
We need to proactively nip this problem at its source: by stopping other states from flying their homeless to Hawaii in the first place.
We need for our congressional delegation to pursue federal legislation making it illegal for states to blatantly send their homeless to other states.
This highly unethical practice needs to be legislated with severe consequences, including penalties of a million dollars per homeless person sent.
While some say that it is difficult to find evidence of this practice, federal enforcement agents can easily find proof from audits of other states’ and counties’ budgets and expenditure ledgers, from airline records, or, if need be, from direct testimonies from the out-of-state homeless themselves.
We need to effectively stop other states’ homeless problem from becoming Hawaii’s problem.
Be wary of media bias from right-wing sources
I agree with David Peterson in that we should all carefully think about whether information presented by the news media is truthful and thus valid (“Filter media reports and make up one’s own mind,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Nov. 21). But he targets only Democrats, implying they are trying to “brainwash [us] into a left or Democratic point of view.”
Really? Think about Fox News, right-wing radio and President Donald Trump, three entities that are aggressive, blatant purveyors of biased, skewed information.
The current Republican president of the United States tweets and verbalizes out-and-out lies every day.
Do you actually believe him?
Tourism isn’t improving life for most residents
I totally concur with Lee Cataluna’s column regarding the detrimental effects of too many tourists here in Hawaii (“State tourism has spun out of control,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 2).
Because tourism has become such a cash cow, we seem to have sacrificed a lot of the quality of life that made Hawaii such a wonderful place to live for local people. The modest homes with decent-sized yards and friendly neighbors to chat with, and simple parks and beaches where people bring their own entertainment equipment, have given way to high-rise hotels and condos with exercise equipment and spas, monster homes in previously quiet neighborhoods, increased traffic and parking problems.
Supposedly, it’s all helping our economy, but given so many stories about people working two and three jobs to make ends meet, how the homeless population keeps growing, and how government services keep declining, it makes you wonder: Is all this expansion in tourism really helping the people who call this place home?
Expand use of left-turn signals at intersections
I understand that Honolulu needs to raise revenue and protect our pedestrians. To keep traffic flowing, a left-turn signal should be installed at every intersection with a turn lane. In front of Kapiolani Medical Center there is a left-turn lane from Manoa, but there has never been a signal. Revenue for the city definitely will go up, as every morning at least three cars per signal change will be getting a ticket because we have to run the red light to turn, due to parents rushing to get to Punahou School and the University of Hawaii.
This has been going on for 20 years. But revenue isn’t the issue, so we are told. It’s safety. Adopting the “all walk now” intersection, in which all lights turn red, motor traffic stops and only pedestrians cross in every direction, might be safer.
Stop imposing more taxes on Hawaii’s poor
Our government’s efforts to use taxation as a means to reduce traffic congestion will only result in Hawaii’s poor and struggling middle-class families suffering even more economic strife (“Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposes study of traffic congestion pricing,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 16).
Politicians, their families and Oahu’s wealthy residents won’t be adversely affected by the higher taxes. This is a subtle yet worrisome step toward class warfare and oppressive government control.
Hawaii’s voters have already rejected this idea.
Pharmacists can expand reach of health care
The article, “Doctors continue to leave Hawaii, contributing to ongoing shortages” (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 25, 2019), mentioned that physician shortages delay access to health care for Hawaii residents, resulting in poor health outcomes. Pharmacists in primary care settings can reduce these delays and increase access to care.
Following a physician’s diagnosis, pharmacists can work with health care professionals to provide patients with quality care.
For example, some pharmacists can manage chronic diseases by evaluating medication effectiveness and adjusting therapy as needed. Pharmacists are able to educate patients on the risks and benefits of medications and lifestyle changes to improve patients’ health.
Primary care pharmacists can follow up with patients on their chronic diseases, which allows physicians to see new patients and evaluate acute issues. This collaboration between physicians and primary care pharmacists can enable Hawaii residents to receive timely and quality access to health care.
Katherine Chun, Angela Chang and Seo Hyoun Bang
Student pharmacists, UCSF School of Pharmacy