Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 |
Share this story
On the notion of a county manager
I’m happy to see this come up as a topic for discussion. I believe most county governments our size are in fact already organized in a council-manager form where the mayor is within the council as its chairman and the council hires a trained professional public administrator to execute the delivery of county services. They can fire the manager too as needed.
The International Council Manager Association (ICMA) claims that two-thirds of city and county governments with Moody’s AAA bond ratings operate with this council-manager form of governance.
The skills and popularity needed to be elected aren’t evidence of what’s needed to be the chief executive of a service industry with a $600 million budget and about 2,500 employees. Politicians and elections are important to ascertain what matters to the public at a given time, but managing the delivery of public services is better left to someone who specializes in the field as a career. A professional public administrator would provide continuity and expertise while serving the will of the political body we elect.
There’s a mountain of information out there to be had if you like, have a look. It’s nothing new, and I’m sure we would be better served by it. Why don’t we go for it already?
End the blockade
The Oct. 13 above-the-fold story about the infusion clinic at Kona Community Hospital is a teachable moment in internationalism and why U.S. foreign policy should matter.
As the disaster unfolded after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, and the U.S. and the world saw the devastation unfold, Cuba’s medical brigade was mobilized at Havana’s airport to fly the few hours flight to lend assistance. Cuba has such a surplus of doctors its exports them, usually to disaster areas and to poor countries. Cuba offered 1,500 medical staff to the Bush administration, and the offer was refused.
Why do I bring this up regarding a story about an infusion clinic in faraway Hawaii? There is a cruel, 60-plus year blockade imposed by the U.S. on Cuba that many Americans are unaware of or do not care about. This blockade has prevented intellectual, cultural, medical exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, and it is the U.S. government that enforces this. But here we have a hospital that cannot find staff and is forced to turn away patients in a most vulnerable situation in their lives. Know many hospitals on the U.S. mainland face this problem. And here we have a country that has nurses, doctors, and specialists ready to work.
Is holding on to this antiquated Cold War thinking worth the lives of these cancer patients — or any patient in need of care? What is the U.S. gaining by imposing a cruel blockade on Cubans and, indirectly, depriving US patients and disaster areas of trained people? These brigades have served in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It was awarded by the World Health Organization and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The richest country on the planet should not be depriving its people access to health care when that care is just 90 miles from the U.S. mainland. End the blockade.
Lowell Denny III
It’s hard to know where to begin
Recently, Dennis Gregory wrote an opinion column article filled with so many blatant lies and appeal to fear logical fallacies about concealed carry (CC) that it’s hard to know where to begin. Due to the limited number of words I have to respond with, I’ll focus on some of his more egregious lies.
One lie is that he claims that protecting oneself with a gun is “mostly a myth.” Gregory must be unaware of the fact that according to the $10 million study funded by then-President Barack Obama, the CDC determined that between 500,000 and 3 million people use their firearms defensively every single year. The CDC also concluded that the number was probably much higher due to the fact that not every defensive use is reported to the police.
One appeal to fear fallacy and lie Gregory states is that we will have “loaded guns in a bar full of drunks,” because he’s apparently completely unaware of the fact that carrying guns with a CC is illegal if you’re consuming alcohol.
He also states that “guns don’t end trouble, they start trouble, every time, no matter who carries them,” and yet people that have CCs commit less than 0.006% of gun-related crimes. People that have CCs have to pass more stringent background checks and shooting qualifications than most cops, but Gregory claims that “the only ones who should have guns are the military, police and hunters.”
Gregory trusts the police, that shoot and kill 25-30 family dogs a day, every day, for so many years that the DOJ has declared it an epidemic, but doesn’t trust someone that passes the background checks and shooting qualifications for a CC?
Tell us about it
Do you have a story idea or news tip? Is there a community problem that has not been addressed? Do you know someone unique, whose story should be shared and enjoyed with the rest of the community? We want to know. Email the West Hawaii Today newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org and share the information with our readers.
Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less and will be edited for style and grammar. Longer viewpoint guest columns may not exceed 800 words. Submit online at https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/letter-to-the-editor/ or address letters to:
West Hawaii Today
PO Box 789
Kailua-Kona, HI 96745