comscore Letters: Houses of worship should be reopened; Don’t let tourism continue to rule; Hawaii shouldn’t boast about safety | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Houses of worship should be reopened; Don’t let tourism continue to rule; Hawaii shouldn’t boast about safety

                                Hikers made their way up and down the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline path on May 6.


    Hikers made their way up and down the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline path on May 6.

We must continue to protect ourselves

I sympathize with those who are so distraught with their economic situation that they want us to return to full commerce immediately.

We currently have among the lowest rates of COVID-19 infection and deaths in the U.S. But Hawaii does not have such a strong protective wall or bubble around us that we can rest assured it will keep us safe. Instead, we have only the actions of our local leaders, first responders, front-line medical teams and the sacrificial compliance of our families, neighbors and ourselves.

People often become infected when they contact someone who is not showing symptoms. When these contacts are with their parents and grandparents, it is often a death sentence.

Many robust, young, active people — including doctors, nurses, first responders and front-line workers — have died from COVID-19. We are fortunate that actions of scofflaws of our protective restrictions have not become catastrophic. So far.

Stanton Lum



We must be united to control virus

As I read the article on protesters at the Capitol, I was struck by one thing: They were participating because of personal hardships or opposition to government telling them what to do (“3 demonstrators arrested during ‘Re-open Hawaii Now’ rally at the state Capitol,” Star-Advertiser, May 2).

Signs that read “Low Numbers Time to Open,” “Tyranny is nonessential,” and quotes from those who said,“my rights,” are so out of line with the overwhelming majority of Hawaii residents who, though inconvenienced, have followed the stay-at-home policies that have allowed Hawaii to have the lowest numbers of cases and casualties in the nation.

These people should be ashamed of themselves for putting themselves first and foremost above everyone else. The restrictions placed on us are based on science, facts, national doctors and experts who have recommended them.

This is not a time for dissension; this is a time to pull together as a state and support the medical staff and others who put themselves on the line to protect us and keep us safe.

Let us stick together so we can get through this together.

Melissa Otaguro



Houses of worship should be reopened

We have been very patient with our local government. We have sacrificed our freedom to stay safe and healthy in COVID-19 conditions.

However, the situation has improved and it is time to allow houses of worship to open within safe social-distancing practices that minimize the risk of attending. It is unreasonable to argue that attending a worship service is any riskier than visiting the grocery store.

Community worship is just as essential for many faiths as access to food. In fact, religious freedom is one of the “first freedoms” recognized by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Jose Uson Jr.



Don’t let tourism continue to rule

We have had a short reprieve from the flood of tourists that usually inundates our shores. How wonderful to have Hawaii back!

What will be the cost, if the flood returns unchecked? I know tourists are important for our economy, but for too long this industry has dominated our lives.

We must be assured that those who come to Hawaii to play are not carriers of this deadly disease. Some tourists mocked the quarantine. Flouted the rules. They should respect the aina and its people.

Queen’s Medical Center had better put up its tent again (“Queen’s Medical Center takes down coronavirus triage tent as Hawaii’s infection rate remains low,” Star-Advertiser, May 5).

Jean Toyama

Downtown Honolulu


To be fair to all, raise income tax

I agree that balancing the budget on the backs of state workers is unfair (“Everyone could share in pain of pay cuts,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 1). To include all private employees is also unfair.

What about those of us who are retired with a pension, Social Security and investments? Many of us no longer even have a mortgage. We all benefit and we all should participate in funding the recovery.

I propose an increase in the state income tax of 1%, including retirement pay. That will ensure that federal workers and retirees pay their share.

I am aware that some elderly are not wealthy but those who make very little will pay very little. I keep hearing, “We are all in this together.” Let’s make it so.

My only fear is that, like the rail, government may not recognize when enough is enough.

Laudra Eber



Hawaii shouldn’t boast about safety

I strongly disagree with officials thinking of promoting Hawaii tourism with a campaign claiming, “Hawaii: The Safest Place on Earth.” I point to Lee Cataluna’s fine column (“Hawaii aiming to be the world’s safest place,” Star-Advertiser, May 3).

But my contention is based upon a further known fact in relation to the coronavirus outbreak: This slogan simply is not true.

Any person can reference U.S. states and territories with fewer outbreak cases and/or deaths than Hawaii is experiencing: Alaska, Montana, Guam, the Virgin Islands, to name some. Furthermore, there are many many tourist island destinations around the world with fewer than 20 cases of virus in total: Falklands, Grenadines, Seychelles, St. Barths and other Caribbean locales.

Hawaii has many other ways to promote visitation. We need not utilize an untruthful slogan that appears to the world as naive boastfulness.

Jim Jenson

Naalehu, Hawaii island


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