To protect our islands, welcome fewer tourists
The article, “Marketing strategy includes teaching tourists to be responsible” (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 20), discusses the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s program to teach tourists respect for our environment and local culture. The writer, Allison Schaefers, analyzes this as a response to rising hostility toward the “overtourism” plaguing the islands.
Yet, the article also pointed out that state economists are predicting a 6% increase from 2018 to 2019 in the numbers of tourists arriving here, from 10 million to 10.5 million. They also predict more of the same will occur in the next few years. In other words, the hundreds of thousands of tourists on our already overcrowded islands each day will only increase, heightening the pressure on our beaches, hiking trails, cafes, highways and living accommodations.
Yes, tourists need to be more respectful, but the real problem is that there are simply too many of them. Our future depends on the state acting firmly to substantially reduce the number of tourists arriving here. We can begin by placing limits on the numbers of flights to our islands and enacting a moratorium on new tourism accommodations.
Confiscating wealth won’t solve problems
It’s frustrating when elected officials want to take away individual wealth earned over a lifetime in order to give away free benefits to folks not paying federal taxes. According to the IRS, General Accounting Office and the Tax Policy Center, 56% of Americans pay federal income tax, but 44% pay no federal income tax.
There is no “free lunch” in America, so who do you think will bear the burden of Medicare for All ($30-$50 trillion), free college tuition ($1 trillion), student debt forgiveness ($1-$1.5 trillion), universal pre-kindergarten ($500 billion) and universal guaranteed income (without working, $300-$500 billion)?
These costs added to the national debt would increase that debt to $35-$50 trillion. Taxing the rich is not enough. Even a 100% tax on the rich (the top 20% of wage earners) would raise only $1-$1.5 trillion, and then those rich folks would disappear.
Wealth confiscation is never the answer for solving problems in America.
Mainstream media present factual news
David Peterson said the Democratic left has brainwashed us, because the mainstream media has espoused only their point of view, and we blindly follow (“Filter media reports and make up one’s own mind,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Nov. 21). Do not insult me, saying I don’t think or rationalize. I’m an independent Democrat, and don’t “follow the crowd.”
Our FBI and intelligence services professionals, not Democrats, warned of Russia harming our 2016 election, as the media reported. Not misinformation.
The recent House probes shown on our media channels have documented illegal actions by the current president — not with second- or third-hand information, but from those who directly heard the president demanding foreign assistance in his 2020 campaign, which violates our Constitution and the rule of law. Direct facts, not hearsay.
American media support our First Amendment, presenting independent, factual news for us to be informed — the foundation of our independent republic.
Don’t link coral reefs, protecting shoreline
There is no question that our coral formations surrounding Oahu are under threat. Pollution and water temperature changes are just two risks that bring immediate concern. It is another matter, however, to say that these hazards to corals will also threaten our shorelines by undermining “reefs acting as submerged breakwaters” (“Loss of reefs puts shorelines at risk,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Nov. 13). Visible reefs around Oahu are flanked by white breaker lines where open ocean waves crumble and dissipate their energy.
Being an avid swimmer, I often visit these areas on calm days when waves are very small. Swimming over these barriers in very shallow water puts me in direct contact with them. As I glide over the submerged barrier, I am touching basalt and igneous rock, not live coral. These submerged rock barriers will persist for centuries and continue to protect our shorelines. The main consideration now is their dwindling effectiveness as sea levels rise.
Protecting live coral ecosystems is a worthy goal, but preserving our shorelines is quite another issue altogether. One has nothing to do with the other.
Column didn’t mention Gabbard’s real motives
In his column on U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s feud with Hillary Clinton, Richard Borreca conveniently omits Gabbard’s real reason for resigning her post with the Democratic National Committee, which was to protest the convention being rigged in favor of Clinton (“Tulsi Gabbard’s bid for U.S. presidency devolves into a bid for attention from Hillary Clinton,” Star-Advertiser, On Politics, Nov. 17).
He then demeans Gabbard’s commitment to the progressive movement by suggesting that getting back at Clinton is her highest priority, and not the policies and values she believes in. On what basis does he say that?
Finally, he neglects mentioning the threat of a third party that Hillary specifically brought up at the end of her rant and which is the Democrats’ biggest fear for 2020.
So it’s not just a “meaningless feud,” as he calls it, but one that may well decide the future of the Democratic Party.
Why else would Clinton bring it up?
Edward D. Lasky
Green should oppose NYC sending homeless
I read, “Homeless family sent from NYC had jobs, housing” (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 18), and felt betrayed that our lieutenant governor, Josh Green, would even have a conversation with a city that, without any by-your-leave, sent us homeless people when we have more than enough homeless people of our own.
Never mind that New York City provided a year’s worth of housing and employment for this particular family.
Unless it is a family of neurosurgeons, rocket scientists or nuclear physicists, there is nothing this family can do that our own homeless families can’t.
By even having a dialogue with New York City staff, Green is giving tacit approval for not only New York but every city and state in the union to be sending their homeless to us under the same conditions.
Green should have lambasted New York and made it clear that what it did was not right and should be made a crime.
David Yasuo Henna