comscore Letters: Wearing a mask in a store; Gambling in Waikiki; Bringing tourists back | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Wearing a mask in a store; Gambling in Waikiki; Bringing tourists back

                                Fort DeRussy Beach Park in Waikiki was almost barren of visitors on Wednesday.


    Fort DeRussy Beach Park in Waikiki was almost barren of visitors on Wednesday.

It’s not unconstitutional to wear mask in a store

Why is it for years we have seen the signs at businesses stating, “No shoes, no shirt, no service,” and no one complained about their constitutional rights being violated? Now we are asked simply to don a mask when we enter a business and suddenly we have protests, a security guard being killed, employees being assaulted.

Seriously, people, why can’t you just wear a mask, do your shopping, then remove it when you exit the store?

Carol Schmus



‘Quarantine loophole’ not really a loophole

Now we learn that “friends and family” are acceptable accommodations for visitors in quarantine (“Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine for travelers has loopholes,” Star-Advertiser, May 11). Most of the 255 visitors who arrived on Oahu on Friday and Saturday listed “friends and family” for their accommodations on the declaration form.

Even if the visitors actually stay inside with local friends and family for 14 days, this is not a “quarantine loophole.” It’s the opposite of a quarantine. It’s a recipe to spread disease from the outside to the local population.

Lane Yoder



Legalize gambling for limited time in Waikiki

My suggestion is that we legalize gambling in Waikiki to jump-start the economy — just for two years.

We could use the same workers, hotels, restaurants and infrastructure we have now. Just set up the gambling equipment. This would generate large amounts of tax revenue, decrease unemployment, diversify the economy, create new jobs and stimulate small business.

If the negatives outweigh the positives, stop it sooner.

Bill Sheehan

Waialae Nui


Bringing tourists back crucial for isles’ future

Leaders and legislators should focus on the future, not the past.

Everyone in Hawaii knows that without tourism, there can be no balancing of the enormous budget our politicians have created. Instead of focusing their attention on how to punish and improve the 14-day quarantine, our leaders should be working on ways for us to welcome our tourists back. No one in their right mind would spend all that money to stay in a room for two weeks.

Most our businesses have ties to the tourism industry. Testing and tracking arrivals at the airport, while costly, may be only a small expense compared to the potential income. Arriving passengers with positive antibody tests would not need to be swab-tested. Results of both tests would not require 14 days for the results.

The state received a huge amount of funds from the federal government (our future tax dollars). Do what needs to be done to get our economy back.

Melvin Tsutsumi



Focus on diversifying Hawaii’s economy

Gary Hooser called for an immediate spending effort for sustainability (“Better wages, diversification are needed for families’ well-being,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, May 10).

He was spot-on. It is obvious that the post-COVID-19 world will require a new order for self-sufficiency and deglobalization. Interdependence is weakening, GDP will drop, poverty will rise and the probability of war among nations or even within states is high.

This shift makes Hawaii tourism vulnerable. It is true Hawaii still needs imports and tourism for survival, but we can lessen our reliance by focusing on light manufacturing, farming, health care and its related products.

It is time to market Hawaii not only as a tourism spot but as a healthy and calm utopia where we can deliver to the global market.

Kenneth Lam



Retirees willing to pay state tax to help budget

We salute Laudra Eber for suggesting a 1% increase in the state income tax, including retirement pay, to address the current budget shortfall (“To be fair to all, raise income tax,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 10).

This increase should include safeguards, such as an expiration date and perhaps a clause forbidding the application of its proceeds to the rail project.

We are three retirees who have never paid a state tax on our retirement incomes, so Eber’s suggestion would have a significant effect on our respective incomes, but fair’s fair.

Alfred Hu, David Kuwahara and Darcy Hu



More tourists and less spending? Get a plan

Was anyone else shocked to read the statistic in the paper that said 10.4 million visitors in 2019 accounted for $17.75 billion in spending, which was lower than the $18.3 billion in 2019 dollars that 6.5 million visitors brought to Hawaii in 1989 (“COVID-19 pause gives Hawaii a chance to restore tourism balance,” Star-Advertiser, April 26).

“Come to Hawaii, it’s almost free.” What is going on?

Aloha is very important to our state, but it looks like the importance of aloha far exceeds the importance of our economy and what we can afford to offer.

Shall we bring in more tourists on cheap flights to infect us when we’re working so hard to social distance?

Where’s the plan? I don’t get it.

Cheryl McIlroy



Family, friends, church make lockdown easier

I am in “virus jail.” I’m 84 years old, a veteran, 100% disabled with diabetes and heart problems. There’s no vaccine, and travel increases my chance of becoming infected.

If infected, I have a high risk of death. The only current solution for me is to not travel; to continue quarantine and try to stay healthy. I couldn’t think of a better place to hunker down, to trust in God and to cherish my family, friends and especially the wonderful friends from my church.

God bless our wonderful medical personnel, our sincere leaders at all levels, and God bless the United States of America!

Tom Howes



Living with lockdown just common sense

I was more than a little taken aback by the letter lamenting the lockdown and the loss of God-given freedoms (“Lockdown is contrary to God-given freedoms,” Star-Advertiser, May 7).

Good grief! Thank goodness the writer was not around during blackouts to avoid being bombed during World War II. All it would have taken is a single knucklehead who needed to exercise his God-given rights to turn on the lights at night and he could have destroyed his community while destroying himself.

It’s not communism. It’s common sense!

Ernest Saxton



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