My family has been very adversely affected by the governor’s 14-day quarantine of visitors to Hawaii. I am retired and my 93-year-old mother, who I care for at home, have counted on income from our condo, which we’ve owned since the 1970s.
We have no income in April and May, and with restrictions on travel through the end of June, we will have had no income for three months. There is no program for us to apply, or to appeal. It’s time to reopen our communities and allow people to take responsibility for their safety and meet their needs.
Let’s take a more sensible approach to protecting our local communities from the virus. Instead of requiring completely healthy visitors to quarantine, have those who visit Hawaii provide evidence of testing negative for COVID-19. The cost to provide incentives for visitors to get tested before flying to the islands surely is small compared with the huge economic crisis this is creating for so many local families.
Open visitor attractions to local residents first
I totally agree with John Wade (“Open economy to locals before tourists arrive,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 18). I have been saying the same thing.
Hotels, restaurants and even some attractions like the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium will need to reopen and prepare for the arrival of tourists. Why not let the locals help them?
Offer the locals some great kama- aina rates. This lets locals enjoy all the activities that are usually too crowded and expensive, while giving the businesses a chance to reopen, train new employees, try out new safety procedures and make some money. Locals who have been working from home this entire time would love to have a little local vacation and spend some of that stimulus check. Wasn’t that the idea of the stimulus check, for us to spend it and help our local economy?
I need a staycation and am ready to spend my stimulus check. Who’s going to offer me a deal?
Frankie L. Ruggles-Quinabo
Mainland consulting group not a good choice
Senate Bill 75 is providing us with some much-needed transparency in terms of how federal money will be allocated in the months to come. Budget requests show that Alan Oshima would like to utilize the help of Boston Consulting Group — the same consulting group implicated in the recent Angola corruption scandal (“$36M approved for Hawaii airport public health screening system,” Star-Advertiser, May 16).
The Senate has set up an investigative committee to keep the public informed, yet one has to wonder how a “navigator” will lead us to recovery without a moral compass.
Kauai suicides may be linked to lockdown
I’ve expressed concern that the cure (lockdown) may be worse than the problem (coronavirus). Kauai has had no deaths from COVID-19, but it appears that at least four young men may have committed suicide on Kauai from the mental stress of the lockdown.
Hawaii has among the lowest infection and death rates in the nation from COVID-19. Sadly, it may turn out that Gov. David Ige’s lockdown will cause more suicides from mental and financial stress than the virus. It is past time to end the lockdown.
Michael A. Lilly
Navy should give state unused land for farming
Here is another option for the Navy (“Navy envisions major development near Pearl Harbor rail station,” Star- Advertiser, April 2).
Donate the “underutilized” 70 acres of land it controls by Puuloa (Pearl Harbor) and give it back to the state of Hawaii, which should then strategize how to reinvigorate farming in that area.
One thing everyone is finally admitting during this pandemic period is that Hawaii needs to become more sustainable, especially with basics such as food and clean water to drink. We do not need more “high-density, mixed-use complexes” on Oahu, or more “low-medium and high-rise residential and commercial space, a high-rise hotel” (heaven forbid), etc.
Once the Navy transfers this land, then it can spend its time, energy and budget on removing the leaking fuel tanks in Red Hill to protect our water aquifer.
How will Hawaii recover from business closures?
Greetings from your friends in Louisiana.
Like many other people, I have been coming to the islands of Hawaii for 50 years. I have been reading all the articles about COVID-19 and the steps that Hawaii is taking to mitigate the virus.
I see that the curve has flattened, yet the governor still is restricting visitors and tourism. It seems to me that the people of Hawaii should be asking: Whom does this benefit? Who is going to pay the bills when the businesses fail? What happens to all of these businesses when they go belly up? Who is going to buy them? It will be some outside investor.
I am just asking the question. It is up to the people of the great state of Hawaii to decide their own answer.
Baton Rouge, La.
Stop poorly planned rail project at Middle Street
After reading Gordon Pang’s article, I am just so sick of reading about Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials’ excuses about unforeseen expenses, year after year after year (“HART plans to use unspent contingency funds to cover expenses tied to relocation of utility lines,” Star-Advertiser, May 16).
What are they thinking? Unforeseen increases in costs to relocate utility lines along the final stretch of the 20-mile route? Was magic supposed to take care of that?
This is the poorest planning and management I have ever seen for any project, and with the amount of taxpayer money involved, inexcusable.
We need to hold Mayor Kirk Caldwell, HART and Nan Inc., responsible for this runaway expense train.
Stop at Middle Street. It’s too bad they just couldn’t stop yesterday.
Mary J. Culvyhouse
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