Letters 4-17-2013

Kealakekua Bay

End of the trail?

It has been four months since the Department of Land and Natural Resources closed Kealakekua Bay. Unknown to the public is the fact it also closed the bay and Kaawaloa Trail to horses, thus putting our 24-year-old family-run, tax paying horseback riding business, Kings Trail Rides, out of business.

Until the closure in January, we were not even going to Kealakekua Bay but did use the Kaawaloa Trail to access the coastline — we used a 1-mile stretch of the trail that goes through the state park — so when the closure was put into effect, we were closed out.

We have heard a lot about the legal and illegal kayak vendors, the huge boat flotilla and local people who want to use the bay again, but have heard nothing about horses using the trail to the bay, coastline and the bay itself. Kings Trail Rides had a ride, snorkel and lunch adventure to the bay for 19 years before the DNLR decided to make the bay a state park. We were even part of state and county groups that met at the bay to decide what to do about the area. When it became a park, we stopped going to the bay and found a small bay north of Kealakekua Bay where there were no other people and the snorkeling was actually better. When Kealakekua Bay was closed, Kaawaloa Trail was closed to horses also.

I understand the DNLR’s frustration with the huge amount of people in boats and kayaks, the illegal renting, loss of fish, destruction of archeological sites, etc. In closing the bay to most kayaks (two or three kayak businesses are now allowed) you now have more than 100 people a day walking the Kaawaloa Trail (if you have driven down Napoopoo Road lately you have witnessed the huge number of rental cars lining the roadway).

Please know that this trail is only suited for the avid hiker as it is rocky and steep.

I am not sure what the answer is and maybe there is no good answer. I saw an article in the paper about Gordon Leslie leading a peaceful protest about the kayaks and use of the bay. Maybe listen to him. In all of the rhetoric about Kealakekua Bay, I have not heard one word about our small, family-run trail ride through the park. Let me also add that for 24 years of using the Kaawaloa Trail, we have kept the trail clean, picking up unbelievable amounts of rubbish left behind by the hikers and kayakers. Who is doing that now?

Our letters to William Aila, chairman of the DNLR and Dan Quinn, administrator of State Parks, have netted little more than a reply “we’ll take your request to allow horses to use the trail under consideration at some time …”

A small, family-run business can only survive for a short period without business.

It has been an incredibly frustrating experience dealing with a huge state agency like the DNLR.

David Bones Inkster


Hormone replacement

A different perspective

An article, which appeared in West Hawaii Today March 31 called into question the use of “hormone replacement therapy” in post-menopausal women. This article relied on research conducted a decade ago using synthetic forms of the most commonly prescribed female hormones, estrogen and progestin. The hormones used in these earlier studies included Premarin® (a synthesized form of estrogen derived from horse urine) and Prempro® (horse urine estrogen combined with a synthetic progestin). These formulations are not bioidentical to what the human body naturally produces.

Recent research has shown the use of bioidentical hormones by both men and women can provide significant health benefits, and in many cases, significantly improve the quality of one’s life.

There is an age-related decline in hormone production that typically accelerates for men and women after age 40-50. Men commonly experience a decline in testosterone and women experience declines in estrogen and progrestin. This age-related decline in hormone production is associated with increased body fat, decreased bone density, reduced muscle mass, loss of sex drive, lethargy and fatigue, sleep problems and irritability.

A number of physicians and patients have found tremendous value in the use of bioidentical hormones that have a molecular structure identical to what the body naturally produces. The typical goal of such therapy is to restore hormone levels to that of a healthy 40-year old person.

Recent studies that focus on the use of bioidentical hormone replacement in post-menopausal women and middle-aged men show significant beneficial effects from such therapy, including improved mood and sleep patterns, increased sex drive, decreased body fat and increased bone density. Bioidentical hormone therapy can also help to protect against illnesses such as heart disease, dementia, insulin resistance (type II diabetes) and other degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Like all medical interventions, a discussion about the appropriateness of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy should occur between doctor and patient.

As the value of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy becomes more widely recognized, it will become easier to have such informed conversations. An important part of that discussion should be an awareness of the differences between synthetic and bioidentical approaches.

Claudia Christman, MD

Malama Pono Health Care