I could not agree more with both articles in Sunday’s newspaper (“From farm to food,” Insight, April 12). We only produce 10% of our food supply here in the islands, and we cannot afford to lose any of it.
Community-supported agriculture and home-delivery services are surging during this COVID-19 crisis.
Could the state Department of Agriculture use some of its budget to give grants to food hubs to develop their websites to help the farmers market their produce to a wider audience?
Farmers already operate on very thin profit margins, and cannot afford to pay for the technological expertise required to market their products.
If they can hire an IT person to develop user-friendly websites, it would help both the farmers and the customer. This would be a great way to support our local farmers and create a few IT jobs.
Tissue paper isn’t the same as toilet paper
Someone mentioned Kleenex can be used as toilet paper (“There are positive sides to COVID-19 lockdown,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, April 11).
However, tissue paper is not the same as toilet paper. It will not break down quickly in the flush as toilet paper will. Therefore it might clog the plumbing pipes.
Former chief, city wastewater treatment and disposal division
Macroscopic perspective, with an optimistic effort
The Black Death (the bubonic plague also originating in Asia) occurred in the mid-14th century, followed by the Renaissance — an era marked by profound socio-economic and cultural changes throughout Europe.
We’re experiencing our own watershed moment, the consequences flowing up everywhere like a wellspring.
The Earth is healing: I see pictures of smog-free cities where residents have never witnessed blue skies. Not only are social media firing on all cylinders, but the late-night shows my wife and I enjoy (Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Last Week Tonight, and even Saturday Night Live) are coming back despite casts shooting from home.
On Saturday, my wife and I attended a beautiful, tear-inducing virtual wedding alongside tens of people scattered across the world. The amount of aloha bursting from communities is at an all-time high. It’s clear to me we’re only physically distancing. Socially, we’re closer than ever.
Find new ways to settle disputes peacefully
I heartily agree with Gerald Clay’s prescient views (“Pandemic puts mediation up front,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, April 12).
Clay, one of Hawaii’s preeminent peacemakers, is calling for a revolution in the way we think and act.
Clay is encouraging us to move away from the zero-sum game of conflict winners and losers and toward the hallmark of our human evolution — human connection and cooperation based on common best interests. And mediation is at the forefront of mindfulness approaches to peacefully settle disputes that find us fighting unnecessarily in courtrooms and battlefields.
The questions we face are: Does the pandemic health crisis lead us to a further descent into chaos and conflict, or is it an opportunity for muchneeded social, environmental, economic and political change?
Will we follow Clay’s wisdom and seize the forced opportunity presented by COVID-19, or remain mired in destructive conflict and war?
Will society’s unwashed become the new lepers?
“Life is short, and the days are filled with pain.” — Ko‘olau
It was in my COVID-19-laced dream that I saw Ko‘olau, the infamous leper. It was he who fled into the hinterland of the sheer Napali cliffs on Kauai along with his family. He fled capture from the devil’s island colony of Kalaupapa on Molokai, where all the stricken were banished in the Hawaii of the 19th century.
Even as I hunker down in 21st- century Hawaii, I can finally feel his anxiety beyond the story of Jack London’s telling. How soon will some of us become as outcast as he? Infected. Shunned. Exiled. Hunted.
It is the stuff of my nightmares. And while I still see the hope, kindness and selflessness displayed by many, the lurking darkness is also there. Against the “others” in our midst. The unwashed homeless, the poor, the undocumented, the needy ones who don’t look like you. And my greatest concern is that the more desperate it becomes, fear and ignorance will triumph once again.
Fauci, Cuomo lead efforts against COVID-19
If we win this battle with COVID-19, it will be because of two men: Anthony Fauci, the scientist who speaks the truth, and Andrew Cuomo, the leader who speaks the truth. Victory will not come because of President Donald Trump; it will come in spite of him.
Protect access, funding for reproductive care
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every one of us, it is important to make sure that everyone has the ability to promote their health and economic security.
Reproductive and sexual health care are essential; people need it without delay, unconditionally. We must ensure that everyone in Hawaii has equal and adequate access to reproductive and sexual health care — a key part of the health care system.
Title X providers like Planned Parenthood have recently lost federal funding for services to help patients with low incomes. Without adequate funding, many people across Hawaii will not have access to lifesaving services. This is a public health crisis that must be addressed.
Hawaii has been a nationwide leader in protecting access to reproductive and sexual health care.
We need this to continue by passing a $2.4 million family planning program within the state budget to establish a safer and healthier Hawaii.