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LETTERS for January 15 issue

January 15, 2015
Lahaina News

Queen Emma was a very special woman

Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Nae'a Rooke, later to become queen of Hawaii and the wife of King Kamehameha IV, was the daughter of George Nae'a and Pani Kekelaokalani Young. She was adopted by her mother's sister, Grace Kama'iku'i Young, and her husband, Dr. Thomas Charles Byde Rooke.

Emma was born on Jan. 2, 1836. Her birthplace is unknown, but there is a possibility that she was born on the sands of Oahu, because her mother lived there.

Article Photos

During her young life, she attended Chief's Children's School from Jan. 3, 1842 to Aug. 7, 1849.

In February 1854, Queen Emma got engaged to Alexander Liholiho and was married two years later on June 19, 1856. Liholiho later became King Kamehameha IV. Together they had one son named Prince Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Leiopapa a Kamehameha, who was the last child ever born to a monarch of Hawaii.

Sadly, he only lived to the age of four. Queen Emma, overwhelmed with her son's death, spent four days sitting beside his grave. King Kamehameha IV's life came to an end only a year later.

The queen then took on the name of "Kaleleonalani," or the "one who walks in the Heavens," because her thoughts were always with her dearly departed son and husband.

As queen, she is best known for co-founding the Queen's Medical Center that opened on Aug. 1, 1859. Queen Emma and Kamehameha IV went door to door to solicit money to build the hospital. It was named in her honor and built in Honolulu.

The Queen's Medical Center still provides free health care for people of Native Hawaiian ancestry who are not able to afford medical care. Patients' families who are not from Oahu are able to stay in on-campus housing. The hospital's policy is to treat all patients with emergency and urgent care needs.

Queen Emma was indeed a very special woman who cared for others deeply.

PATTY NISHIYAMA, Na Kupuna O Maui

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Connector ready to answer questions

Happy, Healthy New Year!

As we celebrate the beginning of 2015, I hope you will join me by making a resolution to become healthier, happier and more financially secure this year.

You still have the opportunity to enroll in one of our affordable insurance options until Feb. 15, and no matter what, we will continue to be here to support you.

Our Kokua are available by phone or in person to guide you through every step of the application process and to help you find a plan that best fits your budget and your needs; visit HawaiiHealthConnector.com or call 1-877-628-5076.

JEFF KISSEL, Executive Director, Hawaii Health Connector

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Feed My Sheep appreciates support

It is our wish that you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2015 will bring all that you hope for.

The reason I am writing is to say MAHALO for all your support and to tell you that we (the staff and board of directors) so appreciate you.

Thank you for being such a good friend to Feed My Sheep and to the thousands of people on Maui that we serve.

May God richly bless you and those whom you love.

Your prayers and support make all the difference for so many!

JOYCE KAWAKAMI, Feed My Sheep

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Food supply at risk due to GMO opposition

Thomas Edison and Nicolai Tesla didn't work with the whale oil industry to find a consensus.

Unless we boldly defend the scientific fact that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) pose no risk whatsoever to organic crops, the security of America's food supply will, for the first time ever, be at risk.

MISCHA POPOFF

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America's women veterans deserve better

More than a quarter-million American women served honorably in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These brave women sacrificed much to keep us safe. Now that they are home, our country has a solemn obligation to help them transition back to civilian life.

Yet there is mounting evidence that America is not fulfilling this obligation. Based on currently available data, it is clear that our country isn't fully meeting the unique physical, emotional and employment needs of women veterans. When they return home, they receive less support than their male counterparts from government programs primarily designed for men.

Today, nearly one in five women veterans has delayed or gone without necessary health care in the past year. One in 11 is unemployed. Former servicewomen experience homelessness at between two to four times the rate of their civilian counterparts.

It's unacceptable that the women who honorably served our country - our mothers, spouses, sisters and daughters - are at risk. A new report released by Disabled American Veterans finds that the federal, state and community programs to support women transitioning out of military service have serious gaps that put some women veterans in jeopardy.

Consider medical care. Today, one-third of Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers lack a staff gynecologist, and 18 percent of VA clinics have yet to hire at least one doctor specializing in women's health.

Mental health services for women are severely lacking. Twenty percent of female patients in the VA health system have been diagnosed with a condition resulting from military sexual trauma, which can have devastating, long-term consequences. Nonetheless, one in three VA health centers does not have enough sexual trauma specialists on staff.

We are not doing much better when it comes to helping women veterans gain post-military employment. Former servicewomen are highly skilled, with unique life experiences that give them valuable leadership qualities and the know-how to operate effectively in high-stress situations.

Yet the unemployment rate for female veterans has steadily climbed for most of the past decade. What's more, two-thirds of women veterans report that the career service help offered by federal agencies has been sub-par.

These problems could soon get worse. The military has started on a major draw-down of personnel. As a result, more than 200,000 current servicewomen are expected to rejoin the civilian workforce in the next five years.

Now is the time for action.

In the report "Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home," Disabled American Veterans outlines 27 recommendations that Congress, the administration, VA and the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development can take to strengthen the safety net for women veterans.

For starters, veterans' health centers must meet their obligation to provide specialists in women's health.

To help combat unemployment among women veterans, the Department of Defense must take a hard look at the primary program designed to help veterans transition to the civilian labor force: the Transition Assistance Program.

Thousands of women answered the call of duty and put themselves at risk to preserve our nation's security. They served this country faithfully.

Serving them with greater respect, consideration and care must become a national priority.

GARRY J. AUGUSTINE, Disabled American Veterans

 
 

 

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