comscore Letters: More help urged to keep small businesses afloat; No city pay raises; Gabbard not credible now | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: More help urged to keep small businesses afloat; No city pay raises; Gabbard not credible now

I’m calling on the governor and mayor to provide more relief and support for local businesses during this pandemic.

I own a small tourism-focused business in Waikiki. Our March numbers were 55% lower than expected and April has been zero. Yet, I’ve received a full April rent invoice.

How I am expected to pay this and not just close permanently, I do not know. Yes, Small Business Administration support is available, but it is moving at a snail’s pace. More can be done locally to freeze rent payments and slow other bills to help ease the pain for small businesses.

Since Hawaii’s government shut down my business’ main source of income (an action I agree with), it would be nice to have them also work to slow down the business expenses as well.

Big businesses (like the one I write my rent check to) have more resources to begin with, and will be able to take more advantage of the federal relief efforts. They don’t need to also squeeze small businesses more than is currently necessary.

Travis Counsell



No city pay raises; use money to help residents

The Salary Commission of the City and County of Honolulu is currently pondering salary increases for specific elected and appointed officials, effective July 1, 2020.

Currently, there is an unprecedentedly high number of people filing for unemployment. Hotels, restaurants, small businesses and other venues of employment are forced to drastically reduce hours of operation, or to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our economy is suffering.

I strongly advocate no pay increases at this time.

The proposed salary increases should be used to help Honolulu residents in need as a result of this pandemic.

Susan Malterre-Htun

Wilhelmina Rise


Gabbard missed duties then, not credible now

Credibility score: U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, 0; state health officials Bruce Anderson and Sarah Park, 9.

When Gabbard was running for president she was sorely absent from performing her duties and responsibilities as a representative of the people of Hawaii. She missed so many votes in the U.S. House that our voice was not heard.

Now that she has ended her presidential run, she criticizes Anderson and Park, perhaps in hopes of getting the publicity for herself that she has consistently shown to be her priority (“Valley Isle records Hawaii’s 6th coronavirus death,” Star-Advertiser, April 9).

Hawaii is one of the leading states in the nation in keeping the deadly effects of COVID-19 from devastating our people. The job that Anderson and Park have done has been commendable. Have they done everything right? No, but what health leaders in any state have?

Gabbard’s credibility is sorely lacking and her words and opinions ring hollow.

David Kam



Heed health experts like Dr. Park, not Gabbard

Dr. Sarah Park is an infectious disease specialist. This means that she and her colleagues, during this COVID-19 crisis as well as in their entire careers, have placed themselves in positions of risk, being exposed to more germs and pathogens than the general public will ever imagine.

Where disease and sickness exist, physicians head toward these dangers. They are first responders in the same way that police officers head toward the gunshots, and firefighters head toward the flames.

They should be commended, not disparaged, as U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has recently done. After being invisible for so long, Gabbard’s out-of-the-blue criticism was shockingly inconsiderate, perhaps self-absorbed.

Her remarks should be regarded as irrelevant and uninformed.

Bill Fong



Exercise strengthens our immune systems

Why, when we are trying to prevent the spread and the effects of the coronavirus, are our politicians and their advisers making it difficult or impossible to continue certain physical activities during this crisis?

It is indisputable that even moderate exercise enhances the immune system to help it deal with pathogens like the coronavirus.

British researchers studied a group of cyclists ranging in age from 55-79. They found that the cyclists retained muscle size, muscle fiber composition and other markers of health. Their immune systems were extremely robust. Blood samples of T-cells, a marker of immune function, were as high in the active older individuals as in younger individuals. Many of those who have suffered the worst effects of the coronavirus have had weakened immune systems.

Why are parking lots giving access to our parks and beaches closed, making swimming more difficult? Why are our hiking trails and golf courses closed? These activities are extremely beneficial, both physically and mentally, and can be done safely while maintaining a healthy physical distance.

John Conway

Waialae Iki


Cartoon misrepresents countries’ COVID cases

The cartoon illustration by Mike Luckovich (Star-Advertiser, April 8), was very misleading and typical of the liberal left.

He depicts the USA, labeled Trump Tower, towering over five other countries in illustrating the number of COVID-19 cases.

This absolute number must be taken in context. While this may be true, it’s because we are a much bigger country with a much larger population. A more accurate depiction would be cases per million people, in which case the U.S. would rank lower than Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, Austria and Germany.

If we’re to do fair comparisons, let’s compare apples to apples and stop the Trump-bashing.

Tim Gedney

Hawaii Kai


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 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.


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.

>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813

>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax),,

Use the online form below

(*) Indicates required field

Dear Editor,

Comments (34)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up