September 2008

July 2008 issue

“Best Doctors in Hawaii”

“If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer them?” is the basis of a survey conducted by research firm Best Doctors Inc. We published the list of resulting Best Doctors.

You could not have chosen a more phenomenal doctor to put on your cover than Dr. Angela Pratt. I came to her at 13 weeks pregnant, already having had many complications and facing the possibility of miscarriage. I had left my old medical center looking for hope, for better healthcare and to find an OB office where I would be more than just a number.

I found that and more with Dr. Pratt and her staff. I went into her office depressed, worried, full of uncertainty about whether my pregnancy would continue. She quickly laid out a plan and gave me hope. I received the ultimate in care, both medically and emotionally. I made it to 35 weeks before I had to deliver, and today am the proud mother of 18-month-old, healthy twin boys, whose smiles light up the world around them. I think about Dr. Pratt, her nurses, as well as the Fetal Diagnostic Center at Kapiolani often. Without their great medical care, as well as outstanding patient care, we may not have had the happy outcome that we did.


“No Contest” 07/08
Noting that too many incumbents in major city positions are running unopposed, editor A. Kam Napier encouraged people to consider stepping up as candidates. 

The lack of City Council candidates is a culmination of the increasing demands on our private lives, the frequently unpleasant consequences of being scrutinized in the public eye and our comfortable rationalization that the problems we face are someone else’s problems. Civic involvement is the responsibility of every citizen, but did our founding fathers ever imagine how high the personal and professional cost of running for office would become? We ask that prospective councilmembers cast aside opportunities that are in many cases more secure or financially sound for a part-time job paid on a part-time basis. I am doubtful that we can alter many aspects of running for office, but we should dispense with the fiction that making multibillion-dollar decisions on behalf of the people of Honolulu can be done effectively part time. Let’s acknowledge the practical and pay City Council members a full-time salary to attract competent, nonprofessional politicians.


“Waikiki Bound” 07/08
In his Editor’s Page, A. Kam Napier discussed our feature story, an “Insider’s Guide to Waikiki.” One frequent visitor wrote in to say he preferred the old Waikiki.
I have been going to Hawaii for vacation annually since 1985 and always stay in Waikiki. I, for one, don’t like the renovations that have been done to Lewers Street and the surrounding area. I miss the Islander Café (great food at a reasonable price); I can eat at a P.F. Chang’s at home. I’m not interested in all the pricey shops and restaurants now in the area. I buy my souvenirs at the ABC store, Hilo Hattie or at Ala Moana. I like to eat at the Like Like Drive-Inn or Zippy’s. I like to drive around the island, have a plate lunch or go swimming at Kailua Beach. The last time I tried to swim at Waikiki Beach, I almost broke my ankle from all the rocks in the shallow part of the water. There was hardly any sand; most of the sand has washed up on the beach. Waikiki is not the same. I long for the good old days!

“SOS for the Falls of Clyde” 05/08
The 130-year-old Falls of Clyde, a wrought-iron sailing ship that is anchored at the Hawaii Maritime Center, is rapidly deteriorating. The Bishop Museum, which runs the maritime center, was doubtful that it could raise the estimated $24 million to $32 million needed to renovate the ship. 
Alas, a ship will have to end its days and slip below the waves. She was sailing the Hawaiian waters before any of us were born. Her hull, powered by the wind, cleaved the waters of the Pacific. The tons of oil she brought us then would last but a blink of an eye now. We saved her once and gave her 45 extra years.

As children we trod her decks in awe and wonder of a tall ship that has seen three different centuries. We learned from her of maritime history and sailors and our dependence on the ocean. We remember the pictures of heroic men and women who braved wind and waves to save her from a hurricane.

We have also watched her deterioration with indifference over the years after her resurrection. We can thank the Bishop Museum, which has owned the ship these last 13 years, for its negligence and not bothering us with details of Falls of Clyde’s imminent demise. For we know that they are the arbitrators of what is “historic Hawaii” and worth keeping safe.

We will go on. The Bishop Museum will go on. The Honolulu waterfront might seem less inviting and perhaps more ordinary without her. When people who have visited her in the past ask, “Where is Falls of Clyde?” we will have to bow our heads in shame and point to the vast ocean.


Letters to the Editor may be submitted online here, e-mailed to: letters@honolulumagazine.com, faxed to: 537-6455 or sent to: HONOLULU Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI, 96813. Letters may be edited for space.