Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sunday, July 14, 2024 75° Today's Paper


Letters: Protests against killings have had little effect; Senior teachers need protection from virus; Increase youth civic engagement now

I wonder at the words of our leaders. They keep saying, “We support your right to protest, but please don’t be violent.”

There have been protests following all of the recent killings of unarmed and innocent black men. Yet, in Minneapolis of all places, another unarmed black man was killed. The chief of police said the other three officers present were complicit in the death. But aren’t all of us really complicit? We have stood by while the killing continues, and even though we are momentarily horrified, we change nothing.

This is a societal problem. Yes, black lives matter, but all our lives matter, and any needless death should diminish all of us.

Geoff Stafford



CARES Act funds should go for today’s rainy day

I must admit that I was quite shocked when I read the headlines that the Legislature was going to “save” the CARES Act money for a rainy day (“Despite urgent social needs, Hawaii legislators decide to bank state and federal funds,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, May 20).

If this pandemic, with thousands of people out of work, standing for hours in lines for free food, is not a rainy day, then I do not know what a rainy day looks like. Shame on the decision-makers.

Liz Nelson



Don’t let Japan tourists get ahead of others

I read with interest your article that noted that Hawaii was exploring a travel concept that would likely allow incoming visitors from Japan, who have met certain safety thresholds, to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine (“Hawaii explores travel concept with Japan,” Star- Advertiser, May 29).

I am concerned about this proposal, since it allows a select few to jump to the front of the line over others wishing to visit our state.

I am a parent and grandparent anxiously awaiting the day my children and grandchildren will be allowed to visit us here in Hawaii without the 14-day quarantine. I am sure other families here are just as anxious to see family and friends. My children were raised in Hawaii and deserve the same consideration of relaxed restrictions being proposed for our foreign visitors.

In fairness to Hawaii residents longing to see friends and family, open to everyone and not just a select few.

Neil Smith



Senior teachers need protection from virus

I’m following local news on the possible reopening of public schools and so-called “strict guidelines” that may be in force, but I’m not aware of any regulations proposed to protect our elder teachers or at-risk Department of Education personnel — particularly those who have no union protection, like substitute teachers and part-time workers.

I’m also concerned about the possible requirements of mask-wearing and social distancing when schools reopen, and what the strict consequences will be for failure to comply.

Any new guidelines will no longer be disciplinary issues, but rather matters of serious health concerns for elders and those at-risk for COVID-19.

We all care about the students, but as a senior-age teacher, I expect the state and DOE to care about those of us who teach and protect the kids, and in turn, have the same respect for us.

Cinde Fisher



Increase youth civic engagement now

Although our lives have been consumed by the pandemic, with so many political seats that could influence our future up for grabs, it’s hard to forget about the upcoming 2020 elections — or one hopes.

In 2012, the number of youth participating in the general election was at 30%. City Council Resolution 19-329 would create a youth commission to advise the Council and mayor on things such as policies, programs and priorities relating to the children and youth of Oahu.

This is our chance to increase youth participation in our government. We youth will be the ones who live through decisions that shape our world, yet oftentimes we have no say in those decisions, or lack the tools to be civically involved. Resolution 19-329 can help fix that.

Mahalo to the City and County of Honolulu for working to increase youth participation in our government.

Dyson Chee

Ala Moana


Give kamaaina one day weekly at Hanauma Bay

Going to Hanauma Bay has been just about impossible to do because of the number of tourists and limited parking spaces. When Hawaii does open up to a hopefully improved “new normal,” the bay should have one day a week reserved for kamaaina only. Let’s give the younger people a chance to experience this unique part of Hawaii.

Proponents of the tourist industry always praise the aloha spirit that the local people share. How about giving some of it back?

Randy Lau



Defense of Jones Act doesn’t hold water

Jack Lutey, a Matson master mariner, said the Jones Act ensures regular shipping to the islands “with no disruptions of service … regardless of decreased cargo volumes” — unlike what he charges would happen without the Jones Act (“Hawaii lucky to have Jones Act to bring goods,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 2). The facts don’t support that. Foreign-flag cargo ships are in Hawaii’s harbors daily.

The Congressional Research Service reported in 2017, “Hawaii and Puerto Rico now receive more cargo from foreign countries than they do from the U.S. mainland.” This reflects the greater volume of bulk cargo as compared to container cargo carried by Matson.

The main carrier of container cargo from Asia, the Ocean Network Express (ONE) Line operating foreign-flag container ships, has maintained its schedule to Hawaii throughout the pandemic.

Compare with the interisland Jones Act common carrier, Saltchuk’s Young Brothers, which recently reduced service, and is proposing additional reductions and may shut down.

Michael Hansen

Hawaii Shippers’ Council


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