comscore Letters: Don’t harm essential workers with pay cuts; Wearing a mask isn’t hard; Military can’t reveal all about COVID-19 impacts | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Don’t harm essential workers with pay cuts; Wearing a mask isn’t hard; Military can’t reveal all about COVID-19 impacts

                                Gov. David Ige wore a mask prior to a press conference at the state Capitol on Tuesday.


    Gov. David Ige wore a mask prior to a press conference at the state Capitol on Tuesday.

Don’t harm essential workers with pay cuts

Austerity measures will only make recovery take longer and definitely will lead to an exodus of professionals who can take their valuable skills elsewhere and maintain a middle-class lifestyle. Teachers can no longer sustain the high cost of living with the persistent low pay since the last time they “bailed out” the state during the 2008 recession and beyond.

The governor is only seeing the short-term impact and ignoring the long-term impact of further damaging the public education system by “chasing” teachers and exacerbating the teacher shortage (“Gov. David Ige proposes 20% pay cuts for teachers, other Hawaii public employees,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, April 15).

Use the federal stimulus money in the right way and stop punishing essential workers as well as destroying the already tenuous situation of underfunded public schools.

Mireille Ellsworth



Teachers working hard to serve their students

Does the governor think the teachers are not working from home, so a possible pay cut is necessary?

My grandsons attend Maunawili Elementary School and have online weekly lessons from their teachers. Every subject is covered, including resources like music, taiko and P.E., with a link to access each lesson. It’s like a regular school day when we do every lesson.

My youngest grandson’s kindergarten teacher meets with the class, virtually, four times each week for about an hour. The children are so happy to see and talk to each other online.

Yes, I do have relatives in the tourist industry and private businesses who have to resort to unemployment checks from the state. However, I want the public to know that the teachers are working every day, if not harder, to continue their students’ education.

Bianca Tamura



Getting and wearing a mask isn’t difficult

I was shopping at the Costco in Kona last week and was horrified to see so many other shoppers who were not wearing masks — not only for their safety, but also for mine.

Wearing a cloth mask when out in public is one of the best ways we have of tamping down this virus. There is growing evidence that many people can be asymptomatic and still spread the virus to those who are more susceptible — and that might be me.

The fact that we have only seen a few cases on Hawaii island doesn’t mean the virus isn’t percolating and that we won’t soon join the rest of the country in more illnesses and some deaths.

There are dozens of YouTube videos on how to sew a mask, or ways to make a mask without sewing.

It is still important to maintain a six-foot distance with other people and hand-washing is no less critical than before. But let’s use all the tools we have to keep our islands (and me!) safe from this disease.

Phyllis Hanson



Military can’t reveal all about impact of virus

Regarding “Military should open up about virus in its ranks” (Star-Advertiser, Our View, April 11): Did it ever occur to the editor that the release of the virus in China, and eventually the entire world, gives China important intelligence about the virus’ impact on essential activities, both in civilian areas but also in our military?

Telling everyone how the virus has affected our military is telling China (and other enemies) how a biological weapon could be used to weaken our military.

The editorial sums up my point in the last paragraph: “Pre-emptive strikes are most effective with optimal intel. The U.S. military should know this better than everyone, in armed warfare or against a dangerous coronavirus.”

Apparently it does and that is why it is not advertising what the impact is.

Tommy Penrose



Legislators should stop political grandstanding

I am disheartened by the recent barrage of criticism of our elected officials as they forge new ground in our response to COVID-19 (“State senators slam Hawaii officials over COVID-19 response,” Star-Advertiser, April 14).

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is, of course, easily dismissed as having no credibility. However, our legislators can do better. They have every right to respectfully disagree and to offer their suggestions for improvement in response. They lose credibility when all they can do is attack and grandstand.

How about giving concrete recommendations in writing that we all can see? How about asking our governor and key leaders about what they most need from the Legislature?

How about support for the encouraging statistics that are emerging for Hawaii?

It is easy to attack and tear down, not so easy for any of our health care providers, other essential workers and our leaders who are on the front lines every day.

Barbara Mathews



It’s not foolish to guard against coronavirus

I don’t agree with Paul Pitarys’ letter (“Foolish to shut down world because of coronavirus,” Star-Advertiser, April 13), which suggested that people are overreacting to COVID-19.

To my understanding, the difference between the seasonal flu and this novel coronavirus is that humans contracted the coronavirus directly from animals. Humans have not had a chance to collectively build up any substantial immunity to this strain.

The seasonal flu does kill a lot of people and it does mutate, but we humans have had more worldwide exposure to it, and so our bodies have established more defenses to the seasonal flu.

Using phrases like “totally insane, foolish, and downright stupid” in reference to “them,” whoever “them” is, sounds like something President Donald Trump would blurt out.

If you are ready to die at age 77, go for it. But there are a lot of people who don’t want to die a horrible death and who don’t want their family, friends and colleagues to die either.

Those people would probably go to great measures to save others.

Louise Furniss

Kalihi Valley


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),,

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

Comments (51)

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.

Scroll Up