Mahalo, Public Works
As a resident of Kaumana City for more than 22 years, I’d like to thank the Department of Public Works, Highway Division, for the recent repaving of Saddle Road from mile markers 6 through 9. Working around the ever-present rains, I was very impressed by the crews and how quickly and neatly they performed the work, which also reflects on their supervisor, Hyrum Keliikoa.
This is just one example of good things that our government and crews are doing well.
Mahalo for making Saddle Road better and safer for commuters to the other side of our island, and also the daily use by Kaumana City residents.
Learn from tragedy
Henry “Jay” Kawaakoa’s death is tragic (Tribune-Herald, May 13), but also a cautionary tale.
First, Jay and his diving partner violated the cardinal rule of SCUBA diving — never dive alone. Always “buddy”-dive and stay together. If a regulator fails on exhale, your “buddy” needs to be at arms’ length for a safe and controlled emergency ascent.
Second, many local boaters continue to venture forth from safe harbor with nothing more than cell phones. Cell phones are inadequate in emergencies. An amazon.com search reveals starting prices for two-way, battery-operated, hand-held radios at $20. Please, leave the cell phones in your car.
Third, maintain a healthy lifestyle if you are going to be a diver. I doubt that Jay had his physician’s clearance for diving, given that he had suffered a recent coronary event. Notwithstanding his desire to provide for his family, he can’t do that now, can he? And, most importantly, a diver needs to be CPR-qualified.
Enjoy the ocean, and enjoy your life. My heart aches for Hananih, Jalene and Carolene, but for the want of Jay’s adherence to the appropriate protocols and common sense, they are without the love, affection and support of their father and spouse.
Rex A. Weigel
Bad move, mayor
I’m amazed at the denial of those who think the postponement of the payment of future retirees’ benefits is an OK idea. “Only” $20 million last year and “only” another $20 million this year. To paraphrase Sen. Everett Dirksen: $20 million here, $20 million there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.
We’re supposed to be persuaded that because the state, Honolulu and Maui are seriously behind on payments of the same sort, our situation is just fine, our credit rating won’t be hurt, and we won’t be propelled toward bankruptcy.
The issue of unfunded benefits accounts is one that has pushed other municipalities into insolvency, and is one of the great problems in rescuing them from same. We’re not going to be in a minus “20-20” situation next year, we’ll be in a minus $40 million situation. That’s an extra $40 million in debt, above and beyond any county bond indebtedness that already exists.
Oh, sure, I guess you can call it just bookkeeping, and maybe since there’s no formal payment schedule you can claim its unimportant, but let’s get real: We owe it, we’re not paying in a timely manner, and it’s turning into the 600-pound gorilla that before long will be sitting wherever it wants, instead of where we tell it to.
I’m with Dominic Yagong on this one: When the county administration postpones debt payments and claims it’s unimportant when it does so, the people are being misled.
I recently developed a serious infection on my leg, and arrived at Hilo Medical Center’s Emergency Room on Friday, April 13.
I felt the professionalism and aloha of the ER staff was awesome. During my subsequent emergency surgery by Dr. Bocharev and recuperation time on the Laulima floor, every doctor, nurse, lab worker, food-service worker and housekeeper treated me with respect and dignity.
My wife, Nancy, and I both felt that our unfortunate stay was made so much more bearable by this amazing group of people. Mahalo plenty to each and every one of them.