comscore Letters: Closing parks, beaches go against well-being; Ideal time to do roadwork; Online option pales to in-person class | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Closing parks, beaches go against well-being; Ideal time to do roadwork; Online option pales to in-person class

In these difficult times, we are advised to keep our immune systems healthy by getting fresh air and exercise. And then the mayor closes down the parks. Luckily we still had the beaches to walk on. Now Gov. David Ige is taking even that away from us.

So, the only remaining place to get exercise is on city streets where you cannot logistically distance from oncoming walkers/joggers without stepping out into traffic.

I am stunned at the stupidity of this latest edict. We should expect, at the very minimum, that our state leaders exercise common sense.

Patricia Deryke



Now is ideal time to do roadwork and cleanups

Instead of carping on who should have done more to lessen the coronavirus threat, why not use it to our advantage? Our freeways, roads and streets are in horrible condition, so why not use the lack of traffic to put qualified contractors to work patching and paving them?

I’m sure that we’re paying countless bureaucrats and drones for doing nothing while they could be doing many of our needed repairs and cleanups. It wouldn’t be hard to keep the 6-foot rule intact while picking up trash, etc., from the H-1 and H-2 freeways and many public places. It’s time for our elected officials and bureaucrats to think outside the box.

Ronald Torngren



Odd times made odder by unsteady president

I’m a registered Democrat — a left-leaning progressive, in fact — who, back in 2015, was already telling friends that I never would want a child of mine to grow up to be like Donald Trump. Here’s a man who delights in demeaning his political opponents, reporters, migrants and even — most recently — government officials like the governors of Washington and Michigan.

The media reported on all of this because that’s their job.

It’s troubling that Trump would call the media “the enemy of the people” for doing what the Fourth Estate does: speak truth to power. But he also says the media — except for Fox News — are the enemy of the people.

These are very strange times, made stranger by the unsteady performance of a president so lacking in compassion, respect and political skills that are so desperately needed to bring the country together to address the coronavirus pandemic.

Jerome M. Comcowich



Online option helps, but pales to in-person class

Letter-writer Glenn Young offered some thoughtful post-COVID-19 ideas on what might be kept from this very trying period (“Restrictions show we can reduce traffic,” March 29, Letters, Star-Advertiser). But his advice on “permanently transitioning University of Hawaii to online instruction” simply does not make sense.

Online education can be useful and certainly provides an opportunity for students who could never ordinarily access a college education. But as a veteran University of Hawaii-Manoa faculty who has been “transitioned” from face-to-face to online education, I find it a very poor substitute. A face-to-face classroom lends itself much more easily to building a community of learners, to sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas between the people in that classroom. Class discussions and team presentations of projects students have done together build skills they can take with them into the workplace, and as citizens.

There is the vitally important “social” aspect of education. Online classes simply cannot provide the same quality of education.

Noel Kent



Comprehensive data needed for true picture

I appreciate the work the Star- Advertiser is doing to provide the most current data and information about COVID-19.

I couldn’t help but question the statistics being reported in your paper and other media, especially as it seems that everyone is focused on per capita cases of infection. By my estimation, less than 1.4% of Hawaii’s population has received a coronavirus test. That percentage could be much lower if individuals have received multiple tests, since there is no information about how patients are tested before they are considered “clear.”

Many patients have shown no symptoms and were tested only because of possible contact with an infected person. I suspect many have not been tested because they had no clue if they were exposed.

Our leaders need to provide a more comprehensive set of facts. My worry is that we get complacent because the numbers look good, then our state gets blindsided by decisions based on inadequate data.

Debra Miyake



Like security checks, do COVID airport screening

I enjoy the Hawaiian vibe and ocean, coming to Hawaii twice a year.

Tourism cannot return as long as the “two-week stay in your room” order remains necessary.

However I think Hawaii’s political, health and business leadership could use their considerable clout with the airlines whose passengers find Hawaii a highly desirable destination, to work out an effective screening process at the origination point of flights. That could be done by a combination of temperature taking or testing for COVID-19 (I hear three-minute tests are available) prior to boarding an aircraft.

If it costs the passenger extra, that is a small price to pay for the safety of both passenger and kamaaina safety.

We currently have security screening at airports — why not COVID-19 checks until a vaccine can be widely distributed?

Let’s get creative and fast before the economy falls into a hole it will have an even harder time getting out of.

Stephen Holbrook

Salt Lake City, Utah


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