Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.            

Letters to the Editor – 10/15/14

Pritchett nails it

As usual, John Pritchett crystallizes a major public concern into a single cartoon! He is such an asset not only to MidWeek but to our entire community. Last week’s “Pritchett” says it all for Kakaako in his drawing, plus only four words: “Developers,” “Kakaako,” “Brickwood Galuteria.”

Mahalo nui loa to you for sharing Mr. Pritchett’s talent and incisive message with all of us MidWeek readers.

Sharon Moriwaki

Get it straight

Bob Jones’ column “The Problem With Being Pro-Homeless” contains a number of factual errors.

First, ACLU of Hawaii Foundation does not represent — and has never represented — the De-Occupy Honolulu group in any capacity or any court proceeding.

Second, ACLU does not suggest — and has never suggested, as Mr. Jones states — that the government must allow things like sofas and televisions on public sidewalks.

Third, the column mis-represents the state of the law. In fact, federal courts have ruled against cities that banned sleeping in parks and sidewalks. Just a few years ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (whose jurisdiction includes Hawaii) ruled that if homeless individuals had nowhere else to sleep, the city of Los Angeles couldn’t make it a crime for the homeless to sleep on the public side-walk. In other words, the government cannot make homelessness itself a crime, because doing so violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment).

ACLU works daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

Vanessa Y. Chong
Executive Director,

ACLU Hawaii

Election issues

Letter-writer Kate McIntyre is correct in saying that issues matter. Abortion, however, is not an issue in the upcoming election. Duke Aiona has said that he respects the rule of law and doesn’t plan on making any changes. But even if he wanted to, he would have to get it past the Legislature, which is comprised of an overwhelming majority of Democrats, so it is highly unlikely that he would be successful.

No, the real issues for this election are the high cost of living in Hawaii, homelessness and our education system. I want to hear from Ige how he plans on getting us out of the mess that he and his Democratic colleagues have gotten us into. The ad that the Democrats are running against Aiona regarding abortion is just a diversionary tactic because Ige doesn’t have any answers for the real issues of this election. That’s understandable because what is he going to do, repeal all the tax increases that he voted for over the years?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It’s time to end the insanity and make a change.

Peter Junker

Saved by TPA

I am writing you today to praise Jerry Coffee for his recent column about his stroke and his recovery. His courage in sharing his personal experience will hopefully encourage others to seek medical attention in a timely fashion.

As medical director of City and County of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Division, it is my job to teach our medics the urgency of recognizing a stroke and then give advanced notification to the hospital emergency room to speed up the process of the blood tests, brain scan and hopefully administration of the drug Mr. Coffee mentioned in his article: “TPA,” or tissue plasminogenase activator.

I teach the medics that strokes are the third leading cause of death, but the No. 1 cause of disability in our country.

I am always saddened when I review charts of patients whose family observed them at home for several hours after onset of stroke-like symptoms. These patients get to the hospital too late to benefit from TPA as Mr. Coffee did, and they often pay the price of permanent disability for these delays.

But news articles like Mr. Coffee’s can educate the public and potentially prevent permanent disability, suffering and possibly death. I thank you for sharing his personal experience in MidWeek, and I am happy that he had such a good outcome.

Joseph D. Lewis, M.D.
Medical Director, City and County of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services