LETTERS for the October 10 issue
Support kids’ creative activism
So. I have decided to stand by the roadside and wave a sign. I feel like the joke about the old bearded guy holding THE END IS NEAR sign. I don’t want to wimp out and not do this, so I’m writing this letter.
I plan to be at the corner of the highway and the bypass every Friday morning, when kids, parents and teachers are turning up the hill for a “TGIF” school day. I’m going to ride my bike from Napili and have a different sign each week. It won’t say “The End Is Near” – although perhaps it is – but I feel I absolutely – as a 77-year-old, almost gone person who has been part of the problem – have to support these “take it to the streets” kids.
I’d like other people to join me, and I can print out signs for them on my big format printer. I am also offering $10,000 divided among teachers who get their students involved in creative activism. They can read about this Empower Creative Activism Contest at reachriseachievehawaii.com or at nancyoung.com.
Maybe it’s because this has been the HOTTEST summer I can remember (and it just isn’t ending), and the ocean is coming up on the road more and more, and I’m terrified of a Cat 3 or 4 Hurricane… or maybe I am “still crazy after all these years.”
NANCY YOUNG, Lahaina
Track athlete appreciates support
I would like to express a heartfelt appreciation for the community support I received to travel to the World Championships this year! I am finishing the 2019 year as #1 in the world in both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters.
Mahalo for helping me become a World Champion! I hope to continue to strongly represent my island next year at the 2020 WMA World Championships in Toronto.
For more information (and donations), go to Cmmonteleone.com.
CYNTHIA MONTELEONE, West Maui
America is morally blinded
America has failed to put God first. In so doing, we forgot that “God is love,” and that He commanded us to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind.
We are to love God because He loves us, and because He formed each one of us in our mother’s womb and gave us life. Each person God formed he made a male, or a female, according to His purpose.
God puts life (a soul/spirit) in each tiny mortal body in the womb. He gives each person created “free-will,” but He expects obedience and allegiance in return.
The Holy Bible contains the moral guidance God gave to Mankind to live by. It is the Word of God, and He directed Man to spread that word to all the world.
But while some of God’s people in America are doing a great job spreading the Word to countries abroad, we neglected America. Now a large part of America is morally and spiritually blind.
Instead of loving God and our fellow man, there is hate in too many peoples’ hearts.
Moral corruption abounds in America. This is the result of America, and the world, following foolish Man instead of God.
MANUEL YBARRA JR., Coalgate, OK
Scientists can beat Alzheimer’s
More than 120,000 Americans will lose their battle to Alzheimer’s disease this year. This debilitating condition is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. We need to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Unfortunately, our leaders in Washington are considering policies that would make it nearly impossible for scientists to develop such treatments. The path to discovering the next Alzheimer’s breakthrough is paved with peril. Innovative companies of all sizes have tried, but not one of nearly 90 programs launched over the past 15 years has succeeded. The cumulative estimated cost of developing a new Alzheimer’s drug is nearly $6 billion – twice the cost of developing the average drug. Despite these astronomical costs and disheartening odds, many are striving to conquer this disease.
There are approximately 70 clinical-stage Alzheimer’s research programs underway. These trials seek to stop, prevent or slow the progression of the disease. Small biotech companies account for almost 80 percent of these programs.
Several government proposals threaten to stifle these advances. The Trump Administration wants to tie Medicare reimbursements for certain drugs to the reimbursement rates in other developed countries, where government officials use price controls to keep drug costs artificially low. Meanwhile, some in Congress want to overhaul how Medicare pays for drugs. Right now, Medicare drug prices are set through negotiations between drug makers and insurance companies. These intense negotiations work extremely well in driving down costs for patients and taxpayers. It’s why the Medicare prescription drug program is so popular with seniors and has come in under budget.
However, under a proposal popular on Capitol Hill, the secretary of Health and Human Services would be empowered to directly negotiate the price for hundreds of drugs. The federal government would likely set prices well below a drug’s fair market value, and its decisions would be final and legally binding.
These policies would prove disastrous for Alzheimer’s researchers, who already struggle to attract funding for their projects.
It’s important to ensure that medicines are affordable. But there won’t be any breakthrough medicines if we adopt policies that dissuade investors from funding risky research projects.
Brilliant scientists are working tirelessly to deliver new treatments to patients in need. Painting these innovators as villains may be good politics, but it hinders their ability to save and improve lives. We also can never lose sight of the needs of our family and friends who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease – or will in the years to come.
There are millions of people who, like me, have watched as the essence of a loved one slips away. We are on the cusp of medical breakthroughs that will benefit current and future generations, as long as our leaders don’t discourage scientists and investors from tackling the world’s most devastating and debilitating diseases.
KENNETH I. MOCH, President, Cognition Therapeutics