Letters 3-10-2013


Banner Health

Motivated by money at whose expense?

I’ve been reading the recent articles regarding Banner Health, the Arizona-based health care system, and have some concerns.

If Banner Health takes over Hawaii’s public hospitals, we will be letting a private mainland corporation come here and make money off the people of Hawaii.

Banner Health is also going to be taking money from us taxpayers because it is expecting the state to help fund them. Why should we support a mainland company to provide health care services for Hawaii?

Here on the Big Island, we do not have a lot of options in terms of health facilities and doctors, but with our current system of public hospitals, such as Hilo Medical Center, we can rest assured no one is turned away and everyone gets the health care services they need.

With Banner Health, if certain services are not profitable, the company can decide to cut those critical services. What do we do then?

Banner Health calls itself nonprofit, but its record shows it is highly motivated by money with little interest in providing high quality health care for the people.

Hawaii’s public health facilities may need help, but there has to be another way that won’t hurt our small communities and the state — and it’s not Banner Health.

Kepa Kekaualua

Hilo

Agriculture

We need commitment, not more lip service

I read with great amusement your front page article on SB 937 regarding food security.

I am an ’82 graduate of CTAHR and have been in agriculture for 30 years and am currently operating Robb Farms, a 20-acre certified organic farm in Waimea.

The article states this bill will create a new branch within the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

We don’t need any more government to increase food security, we need more farmers. We need a government that helps good farmers expand their operations with the commitment to take on trainees to ensure the next generation of farmers will be there to fill the need.

In my 30 years in the field I’ve heard a lot of lip service about agriculture, but by and large it’s nothing more than lip service.

You have rich people buying up the good farm land in Kula and Waimea, the county — under former Mayor Harry Kim’s administration — trying to put a connector road through prime farm land in Lalamilo. The Ewa plains, Oahu’s best farmland, is now one huge, ugly example of urban sprawl. Where is the commitment?

Give us something real, not more government that we certainly cannot afford.

Christopher J. Robb

Waimea

NACO conference

No travel needed, the answers are at home

Five County Council members going to Washington, D.C., to get answers?

They meet with Hawaii Senate and House representatives, each of whom needs to fly back to Hawaii regularly to see what the needs and concerns of Hawaii residents are.

Councilwoman Ford commented that most, if not all, newly elected council members claimed they had new ideas for solutions in problem areas.

The senior councilman, Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, if my memory serves me correctly, couldn’t or wouldn’t make council meetings in Kona because it was too far.

What, D.C. is closer?

I have served for five years on the Environmental Management Commission and have agreed to stay on, waiting for my councilman to find a replacement from my district (7).Council people make those recommendations and appointments here in Hawaii.

The answers may not be readily apparent, but the problems are here in each council district of the Big Island: asphalt repaving of neglected streets; more and better recycling; maintenance of our parks; more police, fire and medical availability and more treatment facilities available for drug and alcohol abuse.

There is no need to travel to know what the problems are. The answers are not in Washington, D.C.

Stan Boren

Kailua-Kona