I come to Honolulu by way of Greenport, Long Island, on the eastern tip of New York state. Greenport sports a main street running along the water lined with restaurants, shops, hotels, a public park and a municipal marina. It’s like a very scaled-down Waikiki strip. Like Honolulu, the economy of Greenport is very dependent on tourism and people with second homes.
The conronavirus shutdown has devastated Greenport’s economy, but there is no way for restaurants and shops to reopen and still have social distancing in place.
But there is a plan. The town is considering closing the main street to traffic, and letting restaurants and stores expand onto the sidewalks and parking lots. Why can’t Honolulu do that for Kalakaua Avenue? Why not give the merchants and restaurants the best chance we can to do some business and keep afloat?
The experts all say outside is better, and Hawaii has the year-round great weather. We’ve been pretty smart about the epidemic so far. Let’s try to keep that up.
HEROES Act would be overwhelming burden
Regarding the $3 trillion HEROES Act coronavirus bill (“Democrats push new $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill through House,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, May 15): If we had started paying it off on July 4, 1776, to pay the balance without interest every day until today, we would need to pay back $33,681,752.34 daily.
Realistically, the vast majority of any free money allotted will likely end up in the hands of people who don’t need assistance.
In the words of the renowned champion of poor and working-class people, Huey Long: “They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.”
“Free money” is economic poison. Everyone has their hand out — from primary beneficiaries like big banks and large corporations to small businesses and John Q. Public — adding on a grand scale to an already overwhelming national debt. As a result the U.S. economy will sink in a socialist, inflationary morass.
Faithful don’t always attend church services
Your headline, “Faithful return to in-church services” (Star-Advertiser, May 25), was careless and inappropriate. Are those who don’t attend in-church services less faithful?
Will this headline induce other churches and their members to assert their faith through in-church services, despite increased COVID-19 risk?
The article itself avoided bias in this controversy, and reported how important in-church attendence was to some. But many can be influenced by the headline’s bold-printed summary of faith. The article did briefly and objectively report on this controversy — people rallying for reopening of businesses and churches, with an upside down flag to stop this communist lockdown. The headline belongs on your editorial page. Our minds are influenced by subtleties of which we are unaware.
Require apartments to secure garbage
Ever since the start of the stay-at-home policy, my wife and I try walk every day.
Why is the mauka side of Waialae Avenue between 3rd and 6th avenues so disgusting? Trash, including food waste, is put out for trash pickup in flimsy plastic bags in open garbage cans without lids. The smell is horrendous. To add to the problem, the homeless, who have increased in numbers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, go through garbage bags and spill the contents all over the sidewalk.
Why aren’t walk-up apartments required to have trash collection bins like the condominiums? At the minimum, these walk-up apartments should be required to use heavy-duty plastic bags, like the one used in Chinatown.
The city should make that a requirement to qualify for garbage pickup. If people don’t comply, don’t pick up their trash; let them hire companies that will.
Something has to be done. It is a health and environmental hazard in the making.
Loosen grip of Hawaii Democratic Party
Isn’t it just sad that with a population of more than 1 million residents, fewer than 35,000 voters, or 3%, dictate politics here in Hawaii?
Look at the recent Democratic presidential primary where more than 79,000 ballots were sent out but less than half were returned (“Former Vice President Joe Biden tops Bernie Sanders among Democrats in the Hawaii primary,” Star-Advertiser, May 24). And since the Democrats have a stranglehold on all politics in Hawaii, we are effectively guided by 3 percenters. And we wonder why voter apathy is at the levels they are now.
And, to have an interim Democratic Party chairperson running things in a one-party state has to say more than any letter to the editor can muster.
We need now, more than ever, to get rid of this stranglehold the Democrats have on this state and stop disenfranchising voters who feel, election after election, they have no voice.
Allow candidates to run without signatures
Gov. David Ige should waive the signature requirement for people wishing to run for office to get on the ballot. According to the state Office of Elections, he has the authority to do so.
A potential candidate making contact with dozens of registered voters during a pandemic is foolhardy at best. The only downside to waiving the requirement might be more people getting interested in politics. In a state with an abysmal voter turnout rate, this is not necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re an incumbent.
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