comscore Letters: Let travel agencies arrange safe visits; Re-entry of inmates; Permit tennis players to return to courts | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Let travel agencies arrange safe visits; Re-entry of inmates; Permit tennis players to return to courts

Hawaii’s rule for a 14-day quarantine at an arriving traveler’s own expense for room and delivered food seems appropriate because of the highly contagious pandemic. However, insufficient follow-up procedures now leave tourists able to go out on their own, with risk of arrest and fine.

A flood of tourists from around the country or the world, without a quarantine in place, would be hazardous. Tests for COVID-19 aren’t processed quickly enough, and a negative test one day could be positive the next. Until a vaccine is developed, innovative ways to carry on for at least the next year are essential.

Travel agencies may be the answer. Require that reservations involving a quarantine be made through a travel agency. The agency would make hotel reservations and organize vacation activities for tourists in groups of no more than 10 individuals, including a driver. A vehicle could continue a quarantine with social distancing while on the road for sightseeing, outdoor activities and meals. Agencies would keep records of travelers in the group on each tour, and follow up on their health and activities for at least 14 days after the trip.

Mary Caywood

Waialae Iki


Visitors won’t come here under quarantine rules

I love my vacations to Hawaii. The islands of aloha are my spiritual home.

I love the beaches, golf courses and the food. My husband and I have a weeklong reservation for Maui at the end of June. Being quarantined in our hotel room is not a vacation, especially in Hawaii. We want to play golf, shop, drive and eat in the wonderful restaurants. Until Hawaii opens its arms with aloha, we are not coming.

You can make us wear masks and take your written tests. Please allow us to be tourists, not prisoners. I understand your wanting to protect your people. Be reasonable. Mahalo.

Grace Blair

Lubbock, Texas


Rules should allow for dignity of kupuna

Do disinfecting procedures outweigh preserving the dignity of kupuna in need?

While waiting outside a store in Kahala, my elderly mother needed to find a restroom. I was told to go to a nearby fast-food restaurant.

Unfortunately, caution tape blocked the restrooms. I explained the situation to the manager and my mother expressed her desperation.

I was told, “We cannot allow your mother to use our restrooms because we are required to disinfect the bathroom after she’s done. If we allow one person, we would be required to open for everyone.”

I was shocked, but hoped the aloha spirit would prevail. However, despite our pleading, my mother was turned away and she was unable to make it to another restroom in time.

During these times of COVID-19, let us not forget to preserve basic human decency above rules and procedures, especially for our kupuna.

Susan Arashiro



Most Americans live in fragile circumstances

A recent letter encouraged a “singular goal” of returning to the “President Donald Trump-provided best economy and unemployment statistics in the history of the nation” (“Don’t allow Democrats to expand government,” Star-Advertiser, May 9).

The writer seems to make the same mistake as our president in equating stock-market performance with the economy.

The lines we see for food distribution, measured in miles, reveal the fragile economic conditions affecting millions of workers. And the surge in homelessness reflect an economy that really hasn’t benefited so many.

Millions of Americans do not participate in the stock market but struggle to work two jobs to feed their families, provide housing and obtain health care. Making these critical things affordable shouldn’t be considered a “liberal fantasy” for those interested in the needs of all Americans.

We should aspire to create an economy to encourage innovation and productivity, but also to diminish the marginalization of a tremendous portion of our population.

Dan Smith

Hawaii Kai


Re-entry of inmates worth the challenges

Lee Cataluna’s column struck a curious tone (“It’s time to reevaluate Hawaii inmate releases,” Star-Advertiser, May 8).

She correctly pointed out that re- entry services are key for people coming back to our communities from incarceration is. But she concluded by saying that it is just too much to think about right now.

Attempting to tackle the vast array of re-entry issues should not impede our efforts to secure freedom and safety. We should advocate for and contribute to an environment that is conducive to successful reintegration.

There is a way to have successful outcomes for people returning to the community during this time.

There are groups already doing the work that could increase their capacity and take on this task, given the proper resources. The Department of Public Safety should work with these groups. State and county officials should ensure that they are properly funded to fill in this crucial gap.

Monica Espitia

Downtown Honolulu


Permit tennis players to return to courts

In the lockdown, Mayor Kirk Caldwell closed down private tennis courts and golf courses. Golf courses have been allowed to reopen, so why not tennis courts?

Tennis singles is, by nature, already distancing. Doubles players also can exercise due diligence in distancing.

Tennis players deserve to resume their sport. Why the inequity here?

Frances Awa



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