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Letters: Military family members are essential travelers; COVID-19 fears lead to self-inflicted pain

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Learn from example set by New Zealand

The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand spoke of having a plan prepared soon for a limited “bubble” of safe tourism, just between the two countries, which could be operational by September.

There has also been talk of some Pacific island nations joining the bubble. Maybe even Hawaii.

The decision of opening up, even just for a bubble, is a big one. Three months to get it operational and safe sounds about right.

We should join in the planning and learn from their experience and expertise and maybe join their bubble in September.

New Zealand froze its borders and instituted a 14-day quarantine for all incoming travelers the same time as Hawaii did. Like Hawaii, New Zealand immediately realized it didn’t work. Unlike Hawaii, New Zealand officials did something about it: They shifted to successful mandatory supervised 14-day quarantine in designated hotels.

If we joined them now, we could continue with them as plans evolve towards further opening of our borders and the risk-taking that comes with it.

Robert Stauffer



Public must participate in planning for tourism

As we march toward opening up our economy, I hope that those planning the steps ahead are mindful that Hawaii is our home. When we do open the doors to visitors, it will be no different than inviting strangers into our residences. In that regard, we should expect to see the plans for reopening to visitors before they are finalized. As residents of Hawaii, we deserve a chance to see what is envisioned and provide our input instead of having something rammed down our throats.

In formulating the plans, I hope the planners are looking at the remarkable achievement of the Taiwanese government in managing the COVID-19 outbreak. With a population of 23 million or so, their confirmed cases number 442 with seven deaths as of May 28. And they are on the doorstep of the epicenter of the outbreak. Compare that to Hawaii with 1.5 million population, 649 cases and 17 deaths. How did they achieve that? Let’s learn something from them.

Edward Lui



Unlike in some states, Hawaii shows it cares

I am a former Hawaii resident living in another state (that I won’t name so as not to offend the people in my state). We have protests, angry mobs, people who deliberately break rules and refuse to wear masks or follow COVID-19 protocols. I had not gone out for two months for fear of infection. Because of the general disregard for safety and concern for others, there are many deaths and infected people here. Even sales associates, waiters and food servers were seen not wearing masks. People also have violated curfew often and do not care at all.

Our unemployment rate is not as horrendous as it is in Hawaii, and yet the people here are more angry.

I would really like to commend people of Hawaii, who really value ohana and caring about their neighbors, communities and the future.

I am praying in my new state that Hawaii will recover. Many happy visitors would love to come to Hawaii — a paradise that can be free of COVID-19. I miss you, Hawaii, and all of you.


LynMari Fukuda

Pahala, Hawaii island


Military family members are essential travelers

Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine objected to Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara’s addition of military family members moving to Hawaii to the list of those exempted from the 14-day self-quarantine because they are performing “essential travel” (“Quarantine exemption for military questioned,” Star-Advertiser, May 31).

She said she is a military spouse, but I doubt that she has ever moved with dependent children from a foreign country or another state to Hawaii.

If she did, she would understand that it is impossible to be in quarantine and to legally perform all transfers involving schools, daycare, vehicles, postal services, finances, licenses, housing/rental agreements, gun registrations, voter registration, insurance, job applications, pet registrations and more.

Pine said she represents many military families in her district. I suggest military personnel and spouses, even if they cannot vote, support candidates with military experience who can do a better job.

Russel Noguchi

Pearl City


Coronavirus fears lead to self-inflicted pain

It’s funny that when we experience a terrorist attack, our leaders tell us we should go about our daily lives and don’t cower in fear because if we change our lives, the terrorists win.

Well, when we are faced with a virus that 99% of the people won’t get and of those who do get infected, 95% will recover, we shut down the entire country and bring immeasurable pain and suffering to millions. We are doing to ourselves what every terrorist wish they could do.

Bert Oshiro

Hawaii Kai


Trump destructive in handling virus, unrest

If the U.S. Navy decides to name a ship in honor of our current president, it should be a destroyer.

He has destroyed his previous marriages, he has destroyed his businesses, and now he’s on a path to destroy America with his handling of the pandemic and civil unrest facing us.

Don Pomes



Future of astronomy in Hawaii rests on TMT

With tourism dead in the water and its future in the near term very uncertain, it is time again to address diversification of the economy.

One important avenue is the Thirty Meter Telescope, which would be one of the best telescopes in the world. It would bring construction jobs, science jobs, money for STEM education, a bright and promising future for Hawaii’s students, prestige to the state, and many important discoveries about the universe to come. Not only does it allow us to look further into the universe and backward nearer the Big Bang, it allows us to look for exoplanets and the possibility of life in the universe.

Astronomy in Hawaii is important at present, but the TMT will ensure its future and increase its presence. It will define the future of astronomy in Hawaii. Without TMT, astronomy in Hawaii will eventually diminish. It is time to take this important step for the future.

Fred Harris



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