Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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August 19, 2009 - MidWeek
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Rail alternatives

For someone who loves Hawaii, it is disappointing that Bob Jones strongly supports the elevated train along the entire length of the proposed rail project. We continue to hear from overhead rail proponents that the rest of the island benefited from the H-3 project, which was built with mostly federal money. The two-lane highways (totaling 32 miles) include a mile-long tunnel and vast viaducts that were built for $1.3 billion, one quarter of the proposed cost of the commuter rail project, which will run at a huge loss for most of the day. The H-3 project reduced traffic on the Pali and Likelike highways and did not incur the huge annual maintenance costs that the overhead rail project will inflict on the Oahu taxpayers.


The sad truth is that the city has been promoting the Vancouver overhead rail, which was built many years ago for a city twice the size of Honolulu. Since then, many cities much larger than Honolulu have determined that overhead rail is just too expensive, and that light rail at grade or managed traffic lanes are a better alternative.The city, however, continues on its Web site to erroneously misinform the taxpayer by promoting the Charlotte and Phoenix rail projects, which are light rail at grade and are nothing comparable to the Honolulu project.

It is time to pull the plug on this overpriced, ill-conceived project and start looking seriously at sensible alternatives that can be achieved in half the time and cost, and that will save our island home from the environmental and financial disaster that will result if the presently planned rail project is allowed to proceed.

Geoffrey Paterson,

AIA Emeritus


Bad medicine

After reading so much rubbish about national healthcare programs, it was refreshing to read Dan Boylan’s recent column.

As a former patient of the Australian, British, French and German national healthcare systems, as well as Kaiser Permanente, Queen’s and Straub, I have no qualms at all in saying that healthcare in the USA is one gigantic scam!

Socialized healthcare systems focus on the early identification of ailments and prompt cure to reduce costs.

The current USA system is for profit, i.e., there is little money to be made in curing patients; profit lies in extending an ailment to the maximum number of follow-up visits and prescriptions possible.

An ailment resulting in surgery is like winning the lottery for an American doctor, so why would one even attempt to prevent such an event?

American taxpayers will fork over an estimated $218 billion in 2009 just for diabetes, and billions more for dialysis treatments. Socialized healthcare systems don’t have those costs because doctors identify and treat the problem long before it becomes necessary to amputate limbs or perform other lifelong detrimental surgeries.

Anyone who has switched on an American TV most likely has seen many advertisements for wheelchairs, nursing, rehabilitation services, etc. offered with tremendous government rebates, so everyone should know that huge profits exist in the after-surgery market for advertisers who can afford those very expensive TV commercials!

Why would any doctor or medical supply business support socialized medicine when such enormous profits can be made in a for profit system?

Socialized medicine requires doctors regularly receive additional training from accredited institutions, but American doctors receive their continuing education from pharmaceutical sales personnel trained in sales.

Write to your congressional representatives today and insist they support a fully comprehensive national healthcare system in the USA!

Rico Leffanta


Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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