comscore Letters: Hidden promise of coronavirus pandemic; Safety check extension; Freedom of press not free | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Hidden promise of coronavirus pandemic; Safety check extension; Freedom of press not free

The coronovirus pandemic is the most profound global event since World War II. This calls for a new understanding that can move us beyond the crisis and inspire hope for the future.

We are seeing our common humanity in images of suffering and death all around the world. Along with unprecedented international communication, we feel an increasing sense of interconnectedness and a lessening of national, ethnic and cultural differences.

The pandemic is exposing poverty and income inequality in America. The role of government as a medium for income redistribution and social justice is becoming increasingly clear.

These changes call for global cooperation rather than isolationism.

The U.S. can lead the world in global partnerships addressing public health, climate change and international conflict. We need a new economic agenda where income inequality is systematically addressed through government policies.

This is a difficult time, but we can find a larger sense of vision and purpose that can begin to define a better world ahead.

Gregory Pai

Wilhelmina Rise


Safety check extension welcome in these times

The safety check for a friend’s car is due in April. In his 80s, he’s concerned about going to the safety check station and having a technician who may carry the virus get in his vehicle and contaminate the car or him.

Contamination could also happen during the exchange of the proof-of- insurance and registration papers, or payment for the safety check.

He suggested that the safety check requirement be postponed until the coronavirus is under control, so we and other Honolulu residents don’t have to further expose themselves to the virus.

I agree with him. Delaying the safety check requirement until then would be the reasonable and prudent action for everyone to minimize spreading the virus infection.

An update: The city has since extended safety checks that are due, to remain valid through the end of May.

Ed Stevens



Cognitive dissonance over deepening debt

Cal Thomas believes, rightly so, that adding a $2 trillion stimulus bill to the national debt is cause for concern (“U.S.’s dark hold of debt grows darker with $2T package,” Star-Advertiser, March 31). However, he doesn’t think this concern represents a “cognitive dissonance” when supporting the bill.

A few days ago, he apparently thought there was a cognitive dissonance when it was suggested that President Donald Trump took over a healthy economy and in the past few weeks drove it into the ground while fumbling the national response to the virus. The flawed federal response certainly contributed to the need for the stimulus bill.

Did Thomas find a cognitive dissonance when Trump added $1 trillion to the national debt with a tax break for himself and his wealthy campaign donors? I suspect not.

It might be more logical if Thomas started consistently calling for the return of a Republican Party that understands the need for fiscal restraint. But these days, that likely would be castigated as a Democrat hoax, or perhaps — who knows? — a cognitive dissonance.

Edward B. Hanel Jr.



Fining movement steps on constitutional rights

We are giving up our personal rights to the government. When did we as citizens give the police or government the ability to tell us where we can go, and when?

The police are writing tickets for people walking or driving. They are asking people where they are going and then they are determining if the travel is necessary or not, and writing citations for what they believe is unnecessary travel.

This is a violation of our First and Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

I understand closing parks and areas under the control of the city and state.

However, telling me I cannot leave my house to go for a drive, or to visit friends, under penalty of a fine or even the loss of my freedom by placing me in jail? Are we sheep who will simply go where we are herded, or are we free citizens with rights and protections against a totalitarian system?

Vernon Oneil



Shutdown now will help ease fate seen in Italy

We know exactly what will happen with the spread of the coronavirus. Look at Italy and other parts of the world dealing with the pandemic. We often lament that hindsight is 20/20, but we are in the unfortunately enviable position of having pieces of this hindsight now.

I have lived here all my life and understand that shutting down and sheltering in place for 15 days most definitely will negatively affect our economy and residents. But the eventual overload of our health care system and hospitals will cripple Hawaii and cause chaos and heartbreak among everyone who lives here.

Beatrice Jones



Harsh times remind that freedom of press not free

The article by Dennis Francis, president and publisher of this newspaper, was a stark reminder of the valuable contribution the Star-Advertiser makes to this community (“Our mission unchanged despite difficult time,” Star-Advertiser, April 5).

Local newspapers are an important medium of knowledge. Timely information is necessary to inform our actions individually and as a community. Unfortunately, journalism is dependent on advertisers, which currently is not a partnership that is working well.

Freedom of the press cannot be taken for granted and is not free. Thank you and your staff for sustaining your mission during this painful and rapidly changing time. Your readers really do appreciate it!

Deb Gardner

Kalani Valley


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.

>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.

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