comscore Letters: Praise for protesters from a veteran marcher; Don’t use military against protesters; Virus hot spot reports crucial, not daily counts | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Praise for protesters from a veteran marcher; Don’t use military against protesters; Virus hot spot reports crucial, not daily counts

As a veteran of protest marches back-in-the-day, I wish to commend the young people involved in our local marches this past weekend. They conveyed a sense of sincerity, dignity and determination; they avoided any ugly scenes such as on the mainland, and remained respectful throughout.

I want them to know that those of us who no longer march in the streets wish them Godspeed in their cause, and will do what we can to support them. Theirs is a message of hope for us all.

And, it was also rather nostalgic.

Teena Urban



Agitators against police promote chaos, violence

The killing of George Floyd during his arrest was horrific and criminal. The officers will be prosecuted in a court of law. Speaking out in peaceful protest is completely justified.

Unfortunately, protests metastasized into violence in several large cities. Billions in damages will make it difficult for poorer communities and business to return from the pandemic. As a result, many others died and lost their life’s work — black, white and every other skin color.

Now political agitators are pushing lawmakers into defunding local police. Some politicians are on board, fearing being called apologists or worse, racist. The obvious result will be the chaos intended.

In Hawaii, we just blame President Donald Trump as usual. Protests have been peaceful, but the political intentions clear: See the mess of signs left by protesters Saturday fronting Republican headquarters.

There is a clear distinction between freedom of speech, violence and even vandalism.

Anson Rego



Don’t use military against protesters

The recent protests over the George Floyd killing, and the government response, show how deeply divided we are as a nation. While most of the protests have been peaceful, some individuals have used them as an excuse for violence and looting. Politicians also have sought to exploit the situation, with President Donald Trump threatening to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy active-duty military troops to restore order. This is a really bad idea.

I served as an officer in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq and know those soldiers are not normally trained in police restraint tactics. Furthermore they are prevented from being used for domestic law enforcement by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

The states have police powers and National Guard units at their disposal. Governors can request federal troops in case they cannot control the situation (i.e., insurrection) but this should only be as a last resort.

Mark Saxon



McCartney, DBEDT need to do their jobs

I am disgusted with Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. In the midst of Hawaii’s greatest economic crisis, he has the gall to refuse to allow his personnel to face the state Senate’s COVID-19 Committee because they might be “bullied” (“DBEDT and Senate committee communication shuts down amid allegations of bullying, harassment,” Star-Advertiser, June 4).

Give me a break. Stop bellyaching, mister, and do your darn job. And if Gov. David Ige doesn’t read him the riot act, he’s complicit in this outrage.

Lunsford Phillips



COVID-19 economy can’t afford expensive unions

Unions came about to balance the playing field against large businesses. It now looks like the balance has gone off tilt again in the opposite direction.

The unions back up their chosen politicians in return for the promulgation of laws that tilt greatly in the unions’ favor. Of course these politicians have no choice but to accommodate their union backers in order to get elected.

What very few realize is that the unions have priced themselves out of existence in our COVID-19 mandated economy. The market dictates pricing and profit dictates whether it makes sense to produce a product or service at that price. The point of diminishing returns has been reached.

No matter how great the demand and how small the supply, if not priced reasonably in the eyes of the buyer, sales will decrease. Union benefits and wages as they now stand are not viable for business or government survival.

Carlton Chang



Virus hot spot reports crucial, not daily counts

I want to thank Dr. Bruce Anderson for reminding the public that COVID-19 will never go away and that we must continue to social distance, handwash, and not go to work when ill.

The media love to emphasize “spikes” and “huge jumps” in total daily cases, which fuels anxiety.

Given this, can you please stop publicizing daily COVID-19 rates and inform us of hot spots that occur? I believe this is more prudent and helpful as we return to a more normal way of life.

Diane VanSlyke



Kailua project answers affordable housing need

The proposed Kawainui Street Apartments in Kailua, with rents that are affordable to working families, has experienced some pushback (“Plan for affordable housing in Kailua draws controversy,” Star-Advertiser, June 4). These concerns deserve attention. But on the other side, this project will create affordable housing for hundreds of Hawaii residents.

Hawaii faces an estimated shortage of tens of thousands of affordable housing units. Since housing is typically the biggest part of a personal or family budget, many people are leaving the state. Among them are many young people who attend college on the mainland and simply stay there to live after graduation because of the lower cost of living.

Compared with the extensive statewide need for affordable housing, the concerns about the Kawainui Street Apartments seem to be relatively minor. This project and others like it must be duplicated throughout our communities many times over. If minor concerns can stop them, we have no chance to keep our people home.

John Kawamoto



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