University of Hawaii President David Lassner has sent an appeal for donations to the “Urgent Student Relief Fund” to provide assistance to those who are “in urgent financial distress” due to the coronavirus epidemic.
I support the concept, but have two reservations. Is the university offering any rebate to students for fees they have paid for services no longer available? And will the UH Foundation give all the student fund donations to the students in need without skimming its usual percentage off the top?
I’d be more likely to assist this effort if I knew these institutions were sharing the pain.
Hawaii must keep vacationers at bay
Hawaii is a perfect petri dish to show how coronavirus can be eliminated.
In a New York Times article, scientists said that the virus can be stopped, but it would require harsh steps to do so. Hawaii’s isolation from the rest of the world can stop the influx of the virus through a total ban of vacationers. That, with strict regulations to keep nonessential workers in their homes, closing of the beaches and stringent promulgation of rules on social distancing, could reduce if not halt the spread of the virus here and eventually eliminate it.
Such actions would not be popular but must be taken in the face of the alternative: the continued spread of the disease. Tourism is the main industry of Hawaii but without the workers it needs, it cannot regain its importance.
Trump misinforms at press conferences
It seems everything coming out of President Donald Trump’s mouth is either an overexaggeration or an outright lie. The television media need to stop showing live Trump press conferences because Trump is confusing the public with misinformation. Instead, the media should show only factual information from experts like Anthony Fauci.
Trump cannot hold political rallies, so he uses these press conferences to replace his rallies. This allows Trump to continue to spew his lies and blame everyone else for his shortcomings.
I don’t even bother listening to Trump anymore. I consider whatever he says to be a lie or a stretch of the truth and his press conferences nothing but a political ploy.
The American people and each state deserve better. They look to the administration to provide direction and assistance in this time of need, and to not have smoke blown up their keisters.
City parks can help people stay healthy
Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s closing of nearly all city facilities seems well-advised, but the closure of city parks makes no sense. To help combat the virus, people are advised to stay healthy by getting out and exercising in the fresh air and sunshine. Where better to do this than at a city park? Just use ordinary common sense about not gathering in large groups.
Beach park closure favors nearby residents
The mayor needs to rethink beach park closure, and quickly! After working all week I drove down to Kailua Beach Park to walk my dog — an activity that keeps me many yards away from anyone. The parking lot is closed. But there were lots of people on the beach, and kayakers carrying their equipment to the beach.
Only people who live nearby apparently can enjoy the beach. Is that right? Is that fair? I windsurf and stand-up paddle/surf. Both are activities that keep me hundreds of yards from anyone. But I don’t live close enough to carry the equipment.
If I was wealthy and lived on the beach I could still enjoy what makes Hawaii so special. These activities keep us healthy mentally and physically and are perfectly safe. All of us should be able to enjoy safe solo activities that do not expose us to any risk — not just those few who are lucky enough to live near a beach.
Banks should forgive loan payments for now
Bank of Hawaii promises three months of “loan forbearance” for certain loans. How nice. Unfortunately, the small businesses, homeowners and others whom the government has ordered to stop doing business that produces income will still have to pay their bills eventually.
Forbearance is not forgiveness. No. The government needs to require the banks to stop doing business, too. Instead of “loan forbearance,” Bank of Hawaii needs to forgive all loan payments until the government allows small businesses and homeowners to begin working again. Instead of the top 1% getting their money no matter what, they need to sacrifice along with the rest of us.
Sanders should have chosen running mate
Poor Bernie Sanders. If only he would listen.
Four months ago and again shortly before the South Carolina primary, I pleaded with Sanders through telephone calls to his campaign advisers and his personal email to be the first candidate to publicly announce his choice for running mate this November.
I asked him to name Stacey Abrams, not only an outstanding candidate, but a person who would bring him a large number of voters who were from the African American community, a group where he had minimal support, as well as female voters. Had he done so he very likely would have won South Carolina and increased his overall lead instead of being trounced, which led to the death knell loss of Super Tuesday.
Again, like in 2016, we lost the opportunity to elect a president who could bring about the kind of changes that would have truly made the United States the greatly admired country around the world that we claim to be.
Rusl T. Bjork
KINDNESS GOING VIRAL
Even in these days overshadowed by the coronavirus, bright spots exist. If you see kindness or positivity going on, share it with our readers via a 150-word letter to the editor; email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be running some of these uplifting letters occasionally to help keep spirits up, as we hunker down. We are all in this together.