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Friday, February 26, 2010
February, 2010 Letters to the Editor
By Letters to the Editor @ 2:19 AM :: 7132 Views

One Penny:  Medicaid payout to Hilo Doctor

Dear Editor: 

I have recently read articles in your paper about how the state Department of Human Services has warned health insurance companies that the state may not make payments for Quest and Medicaid for the last quarter of the fiscal year, leaving insurers to absorb about $300 million in medical expenses until at least July. We docs are worried we won't get paid until July, also.

Your readers should also be aware that the Obamacare bills as presently written, and unanimously heartily endorsed by all of Hawaii's present Democrat congressional representatives and senators,  will cost our state an additional $300 million over the next 5 years as it expands Medicaid eligibility  so that 1 in five Americans will be enrolled.

Most doctors already do not accept Medicaid patients, and more and more eject Quest also. 

It costs the docs more in overhead  to see these patients than they receive in payment.

I am the last private practice orthopedic surgeon on the Big Island who will see a Medicaid patient.

This check I just received, a timely expression of how I am valued by government healthcare, will cost me more just to open the envelope than it is worth.


As the old soviet adage went, "they pretend to pay us, and we'll pretend to work".

Our problem is not a lack of government involvement with healthcare, it is too much government meddling and damaging of what true private free-market healthcare can do.

What we have now is seriously screwed up precisely because of how the government has made it.

See here for the details on both the problem and the solutions, as presented in my recent address to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii:

Reject socialism as it harms us all, and embrace liberty.


Edward Gutteling, M.D., Hilo 

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Support Akaka bill because of "long racial history in the South"?

Dear Editor:

In regards to the US House "Akaka" bill, properly called the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (NHGRA), please be aware of the the long racial history in the south that pre-dates these issues.

Now Hawaii is about as far south as you can get, certainly way south of Mason-Dixon, and shares many cultural traditions with the true south. As such, we should all be strong supporters of the NHGRA.

Indeed, the south has had NHGRA-like problems for decades, but can't we just all get along?

The NHGRA problem cannot be solved just by laws. The NHGRA issue is about culture.  We should all feel for the NHGRA, and do what we can for NHGRA justice.


Ester Maddocks, South Point, Hawaii


Hawaii has something in common with Dixie? But what? Read these articles: Our American Triumph: Civil Rights and Hawaii Statehood,  Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American 

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DoE students placed in wrong grade level for their age

Dear Hawai'i Free Press,

Many of Hawaii's students cannot keep up with the rigid academic standards set by NCLB (No Child Left Behind) simply because they've been placed in the wrong grade for their age. 

The law was changed effective as of 2006, to enable "late year birth" students (born Aug 1 - Dec 31) a fair chance at success because their minds and emotions are less mature than students born in the beginning of the year who've had more time to develop; this is standard practice in a majority of other U.S. states.  The old Hawaii cutoff date (5 years old by December 31st to enter Kindergarten of that school year) was changed to 5 years old by August 1st to enter Kindergarten beginning with School Year 2006-2007 admissions.

However, it seems like the DOE forgot to put a standard policy into effect and inform the Principals about the new law. 

Our school isn't the only one not following the new law.  (I'm a teacher and had access to  my students' birth dates).  I know of another school that isn't either (I casually had asked that Principal what their cutoff date was), but I don't have the resources to get concrete data.  No one wants to talk to a teacher, and this is being treated like a big secret. 

I wrote to the Board of Education, ex-Superintendent Hamamoto, and my School Community Council about this.  The SCC approved my proposal to adjust the grade level age guidelines at our school, but the Principal has ignored my requests to make an official announcement of the new policy to all the staff and faculty.  I don't understand why these powerful people refuse to fix this problem.  This can only help Hawaii's students, their families, the teachers, and Hawaii's State Assessment scores.

Please read the details of the relatively new law, the research behind the change at my web site, and proposal for a sound admissions policy at:

Thank you,

Vanessa Ott

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Obama’s medical corpse

Dear Editor,

Three times in less than two minutes in a speech today, Barack the brilliant referred to medical corpsmen (pronounced cor-men) as corpes-men which he repeatedly pronounced corpse-men.  Navy Medical Corpsmen serve with honor and distinction with combat Marines and, if there is one thing a corpsman does not want a Marine to be is a corpse.  Indeed, Navy corpsmen have given their own lives to keep a wounded Marine from becoming a corpse.

I wonder if Obama the obtuse will also refer to the USMC as the Marine Corpse?

Obama gives new meaning to the term “loose cannon”

Ed Seagraves

Ridgefield, CT

(Former Cpl USMC) 

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The Perfect and Deadly Progressive Storm

Dear Editor,

Many Democrats and Republicans  have lost their way when it comes to taxing, spending and corruption.  But there is another even more perilous political system that not only threatens to infiltrate the Ds and Rs but has also been undermining our Constitutional Republic for almost a century:  the Progressive Movement.

We can avoid useless, abstract discussions about the Progressive Movement by evaluating the actual evidence of a century of its influence.   Let’s say – California.  California is a microcosm of the Progressive Movement’s lack of efficacy.  California’s abject failure provides a template for the nation’s potential demise since our Progressive President is following the same ideological formula.

While Hiram Walker was governor of California from 1911-1917, he established himself as one of the major figures of the progressive movement.  The strength of Walker’s reform organization carried California in the national election of 1912 and in 1914 Walker ran for governor as a Progressive.

Historically progressives have disguised the movement by adopting names that are more favorable to the public. With the public demise of the Progressive Party, Walker continued his mission and rejoined the Republicans. The labels of “liberal” and recently “contemporary liberal” were co-opted.  During the presidential campaign debate in 2008, Hillary Clinton openly claimed the name and ideals of the ongoing Progressive Movement.  Most recently there seems to be an effort to highjack the label of populism. 

One of the Progressive Movement’s primary goals is the obliteration of the Constitution. The movement is often called Secular Progressivism because its religion is humanism.  Faith in the Creator has been consistently and brutally denigrated and the character of Believers marginalized.  With blind hubris, California Progressives promoted huge government; a welfare state; severe environmental restrictions;  citizens’ dependency on big government; crippling regulations;  control of financial institutions and business; proliferation of unions; corruption of elections; support, health care, feeding and education of illegals; massive, unsustainable spending;  and taxes on taxes.  California now reels in economic ruin and it is enduring the demoralization of a failed State.  The outcome of Progressivism is on full display in California.

It is no wonder that Progressives and the cult media tend to decompensate into what is called a derangement syndrome whenever The Tea Party Movement is mentioned.   The content of issues is not discussed; personalities are demonized and distortions abound.  In general, these grass roots Tea Party patriots, many of whom have lost faith in all political parties,  speak boldly for Constitutional Principles that specifically include limited Central (Federal) government, the rule of law, free market, and expansion of States rights.  They also express support of fiscal accountability, elimination of wasteful spending at all levels, low taxes, necessary but limited regulations, personal responsibility, equality of opportunity (not outcome), security through a well funded defense and the resurgence of American Honor.

It is an irrefutable fact as the data points out that Hawaii’s per capita portion of its shortfall is higher than California’s and all other States.  Despite this shortfall of $1.2 billion our Hawaii legislators refuse to re-think welfare “entitlements”, challenge the recalcitrant unions and cut back unsustainable government pensions.  Do they not know what happened in California?

We must open our eyes and see the perfect and deadly storm into which we are headed.

Donna Sweere, Kailua Kona





Mauna Kea Moon Rover test: A Mahalo from Outer Space Team 

Aloha to the generous people of the Island of Hawaiʻi,

On behalf of over 100 visiting scientists and engineers who have just completed three weeks of field trials on the Big Island, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks for the generous support and collaboration of the people, communities and businesses, all of whom have greatly contributed to our outstanding success.

Your warm welcome and support have assisted our international teams, who have been working together at a site on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea to evaluate some of the technologies and science that may one day support future space missions.

The success of our field tests was made possible by all that the Big Island has to offer, and we are proud to have provided our patronage. Thank you for the high-quality services from Akeakamai Enterprises; Conen Nakamura and Conen’s Freight Transport; Jeff Hartz of the Civil Air Patrol; Stephen Santiago, ITO Airport Manager; Harper Car and Truck Rentals; National Car Rental; Thrifty Car Rental; KTA; and Walmart. Thank you for the wonderful accommodations provided by the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort. Thank you for food and drinks every night from Big Island Pizza, Cafe Pesto, Coqui’s Hideaway, Hilo Bay Cafe, the Hilo Farmers Market, Ken's House of Pancakes, New Saigon Restaurant, Nihon Restaurant, Pescatore, Ponds Hilo, Sombat’s Fresh Thai Cuisine, and Uncle Billy’s General Store. To all the other restaurants, shops and services that made our stay memorable and pleasant, thank you.

We would also like to acknowledge the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) for obtaining the agreements necessary to allow us to perform our brief field test at such a special location, and specifically thank people from PISCES and Big Island residents who played a direct role in the success of our field tests, including: Christian Andersen, Sam Benigni, John Hamilton, Darren Roberts, Thomas Schneider, and the many students who worked on site with our teams.

Special thanks to Kahuna Kimo Pihana, who blessed the site, opened his heart and invited us to share both his company and his stories.

As we have completed our field trials, withdrawn our equipment and restored the test site to pristine condition, it is with reverence that we appreciate the breathtaking beauty of Mauna Kea, now firmly preserved in our memories.

Through our collaboration in these field trials with the people and communities of the Big Island, we are proud to have opened the dialogue, shared knowledge, developed fond memories, and planted the seeds of enduring friendship. It is in this spirit that we leave you, looking forward, into the future, to renewing this bond of friendship with you.

Mahalo nui loa,

Dale Boucher-- In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) 2010 Field Test Mission Manager, Space Resources Canada

Bill Larson-- In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Program Manager, NASA Kennedy Space Center

Lutz Richter-- Head, Exploration Technology Institute of Space Systems, German Aerospace Center

Jerry Sanders-- In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Lead for Lunar Surface System, NASA Johnson Space Center 

RELATED: Shooting for the moon


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