I just wanted to comment on the mayor’s most recent order that involves opening up the parks but not allowing youth sporting events (“Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell allows limited use of parks, religious activities,” Star-Advertiser, May 15).
I agree that sporting events involving contact and crowds cannot be allowed at this time, as it violates social distancing protocols. However, there are a number of activities that can be done in which coaches work with their players in smaller groups.
For example, soccer training can be done in small groups where players work on foot skills, passing and trapping, sprinting and other types of cardiovascular exercises. These can all be accomplished while practicing social distancing and it will get our youth outside to enjoy what they love to do while staying safe.
Launch media campaign to help prepare for worst
Many Hawaii residents follow recommendations to avoid getting sick from the new coronavirus. Perhaps it’s time to make sure that more of us adhere to guidelines to get ready for the “darkest winter in modern times.”
Scientists, physicians and public health experts anticipate a “second- wave tsunami” in illnesses and deaths from COVID-19, combined with the seasonal influenza. We should think ahead by creating a campaign using attention-getting multilanguage, health- literate media to reach all residents. On-spot public service announcements can help us learn what a virus is, transfer of viruses, and how hand-washing kills viruses.
Social media can encourage continued practice of wearing masks, personal hygiene, social distancing,and influenza vaccination. Our darkest winter might be made worse by a busy hurricane season. Preparing for “safer at home” takes on a different meaning. Emergency preparedness can help the winter turn to spring fast.
$4.9M for mainland firm better spent on IT update
I have learned recently that Alan Oshima, who has been appointed by Gov. David Ige to lead the task force that will develop the plan to restore Hawaii’s economy and end the shelter-in-place order, plans to spend $4.9 million to engage a mainland consulting company to assist in this effort (“$36M approved for Hawaii airport public health screening system,” Star-Advertiser, May 16).
I am disappointed to see that Hawaii continues to lean heavily on expertise from outside the islands. I believe this is a problem that could be solved by expertise that is available in Hawaii today and that this money would be better spent repairing the underfunded and neglected computer systems of the unemployment office.
Visitors who love Hawaii show aloha via patience
If the “islands of aloha” were truly the “spiritual home” of a visitor, that person would understand that aloha is not a bottomless resource for the taking (“Visitors won’t come here under quarantine rules,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 13). It is a relationship that requires mutual respect and reciprocity.
Now, in the age of COVID-19, those who love Hawaii and want to come to visit are being asked to show their love by being patient. Love Hawaii from afar, and allow the spring of aloha to replenish and heal.
Hawaii needs to practice a little self-aloha right now. Those who truly love this place and her people will understand that and either stay away, or cheerfully abide by the rules we have in place to protect our health.
Managed access to Haiku Stairs is good idea
The Star-Advertiser published a fine editorial endorsing the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) vote to transfer the Haiku Stairs to the city (“Future of Haiku Stairs, Star-Advertiser, Our View, May 2).
Managed access would involve repairing and maintaining the stairs — funded by the city’s contractor from hiking fees, and not by the city or BWS ratepayers –— and reopening them under controlled management and supervision. Managed access would eliminate the need for the stairs’ removal, and save the taxpayers $1 million in demolition expenses.
And yet four days later, the Star- Advertiser published a letter full of misconceptions that have fueled this controversy for 30-plus years (“Haiku Stairs neighbors deserve some true aloha,” Star-Advertiser, May 6). Multimillion- dollar lawsuits from injuries and deaths? Since the 1980s, one person has died on the stairs, from a heart attack. BWS acknowledged that “there have been no claims or settlements regarding Haiku Stairs” over the past 20 years.
The writer also alleges that the city is incapable of maintaining infrastructure and that the stairs are beyond repair. Those of us who have missed access to the city’s 87 parks would probably disagree.
Board member, Friends of Haiku Stairs
With even rail’s easy half overdue, costs will surge
The article, “Oahu rail’s interim opening is pushed back to March” (Star-Advertiser, May 13), comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed the $9.2 billion rail line that runs 20 miles ($460 million per mile). As an engineer and original supporter of the plan, I routinely get questions about the project and am asked to guess when it will become operational. I have stopped guessing.
Most people probably have forgotten the 2006 projections of $4 billion with “full system revenue service is projected for Jan. 31, 2020.” Now that January 2020 has gone zipping by, the nearly completed 10-mile segment from the Kroc Center to Aloha Stadium will not even meet the original schedule.
The easy half of the project will miss the original completion date by over a year. How much will it cost when the project is complete, and when will it be done? Reading the article, the real sticking point appears to be how much the city is willing to pay to operate the system. Most places figure that part out well in advance of operating the system.
Bruce A. Fink
Offer kamaaina rates so staycations aid economy
One concern I have is that many people may choose to “get out of town” once we open up a little more.
Here’s an idea. Why don’t the hotels offer some massive kamaaina rates? We all could have a nice staycation, give a boost to the local economy, and really make a great comeback. All in favor, say yes.
Add a boost to the economy, and really celebrate.
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