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Politics // Just Thoughts
Bob Jones

Sovereignty, NPs And A New UH Prez

The U.S. Interior Department may have just complicated the Hawaiian sovereignty/governance issue.

Washington is seeking acceptable words to define the U.S.-Hawaiian pre-annexation relationship as “tribal” but never with that word because it equates with “Indian” and that drives many batty here on the sovereignty side.

So this was issued on May 21: “The Secretary of the Interior is considering whether to propose an administrative rule that would facilitate the re-establishment of a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community, to more effectively implement the special political and trust relationship that Congress has established between that community and the United States.”

In other words, not government-to-government, but government-to-”the Native Hawaiian community.” That means a Hawaiian “tribe,” presumably through OHA or some successor to it that comes out of the Hawaiian signatories convention to promote Hawaiian governance within (important word) our state government.

Realistically, that’s the most that’s going to happen. Congress and the state of Hawaii aren’t going to recognize a Kingdom of Hawaii, and no international body has the power or tools of enforcement to make them do so.


nurse practitioners

Hawaii is one of 17 states allowing nurse practitioners to examine, diagnose and treat patients without the oversight of a medical doctor | Graphic courtesy American Association of Nurse Practitioners

When I go to Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center for a periodic checkup to make sure my heart is beating properly, I’m seen by a nurse practitioner (NP) rather than a physician.

Hawaii is one of 17 states allowing NPs to examine, diagnose and treat patients without the oversight of a medical doctor.

A nurse practitioner normally has five to seven years of medical training. A board-certified doctor in a specialty like cardiology may have 11 years. So obviously there’s some background difference.

Using nurse practitioners is increasing because they are lower salaried than doctors, but only about 50 percent of patients say being assigned an NP is OK with them.

I guess I come down on the side of some supervision by a board-certified doctor.

But I’m not going to say that face-to-face to the cardiology nurse practitioner who’s checking my ticker!


UH regents may have just selected a new president as MidWeek comes to your homes this week.

If the decision had been mine to make, I might give retired Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski a shot at running the place.

What UH seems to need more than an academic at the moment is an experienced CEO with a track record of working with lawmakers, governors and world leaders. Wiercinski has that in spades.

Nothing against interim president David Lassner. He’s smart, a good listener and has been at UH most of his academic life. But that also could be a negative. He was nominated by 13 deans, but was that because he would be unlikely to rock their boats?

Wiercinski ran U.S. Army Pacific here and the U.S. Army Japan command. Knows the running-big-things-while-massaging-egos game.

Whomever gets the job, let’s hope the string of disappointments has ended.

BanyanTreeHouse@gmail.com

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