comscore Letters: Work with New Zealand, not Japan, on travel; Hawaii must reopen to visitors without delay; Rioting won’t lead to social justice | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Work with New Zealand, not Japan, on travel; Hawaii must reopen to visitors without delay; Rioting won’t lead to social justice

A proposed travel bubble with Japan as a means of spurring economic recovery for Hawaii would be dangerous.

In contrast to New Zealand, where a “go hard, go early” eradication strategy has eliminated community transmission of the coronavirus, Japan has only aimed to reduce its ravages.

Whereas New Zealand cast a wide surveillance net, testing more than 6% of its population, Japan has only tested one-tenth of 1% of its populace, has one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in Asia, and is currently documenting ongoing new outbreaks as it restarts its packed bullet trains without social distancing.

Instead of selling out our kupuna and medically vulnerable, endangering our hotel workers, surrendering to a permanent blight on our community and ohana, imprisoning the aloha spirit behind an eternal faceless mask, we should cooperate with New Zealand, to eradicate the virus while aggressively building diversified organic agriculture and food security.

Ellen Sofio, M.D.



Hawaii must reopen to visitors without delay

When people stop flying, Hawaii dies.

Last month, Hawaii’s unemployment rate shot up from 2.4% to 22.3%. Half of Hawaii’s lost jobs are in leisure and hospitality. Only one state — tourist- dependent Nevada — saw a sharper job collapse.

Hawaii has the nation’s lowest coronavirus death rate. But if you thought our leaders are itching to bring planes back, you’d be wrong. The governor says he is “considering” when he’ll “feel comfortable” seeing visitors again.

Why can’t we either admit every arriving passenger who boards with a physician-certified negative COVID-19 test, or continue quarantining them if they refuse? That’s the choice Austria today gives its arriving passengers: test or face quarantine.

Let’s open up now!

Galen Fox



Trump fans flames of hatred, injustice

This is why Colin Kaepernick took a knee. He was protesting social injustice. Black men were being killed by police. George Floyd is another example. It had nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, anthem or the military. That was the false narrative of President Donald Trump. He lies and his base buys his snake-oil poison.

Trump threatens violence against the protesters. He doesn’t understand that his rhetoric and racist views carries weight with his racist following. It fans the flames of hatred. Trump’s white following blames all Asians for spreading COVID-19. Asians have seen an uptick in racist attacks.

Unfortunately, racism will never go away. White supremacists believe they own this country. It is their God-given right.

The Republican Party and politicians are strangely quiet. Do they endorse this madness?

Robert K Soberano



HPD needs stricter use-of-force policies

Following the murder of George Floyd and public protests, Campaign Zero launched its “8 Can’t Wait” database. A 2016 study by Campaign Zero demonstrated that eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.

According to the 8 Can’t Wait database, the Honolulu Police Department does not follow four of the eight recommendations. It allows choke holds, does not restrict shooting at a moving vehicle, does not require exhausting all other means before shooting; and does not have a duty to intervene.

In addition, two members of the Honolulu Police Commission resigned “after voicing frustration at the limited power the commission has to oversee the police department and its chief,” according to the Associated Press.

I urge Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard to publicly address these policies and proposed improvements, as well as to address the oversight impotence of the commission.

Eileen Gawrys

Ewa Beach


Rioting, looting won’t lead to social justice

The death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police has unleashed a firestorm of legal protests and lawless acts, including assault, the destruction of property and looting. Protesters of every color and ideology have framed the issue as systemic racism and corrupt law enforcement officers. They advocate the defunding of law enforcement. It is unclear how that act will serve to protect innocent law-abiding citizens who want and expect freedom and security in their pursuit of happiness and prosperity.

It is appalling and incomprehensible that all elected officials and community leaders have not called for the end of the unlawful behavior and the strict enforcement of our laws. The chaos caused by these criminal acts cannot be tolerated. The destructive acts that we witness on the television every day will result in the destruction of the lives of the people of color they are trying to help.

John Tamashiro

Pearl City


Neither police nor citizens can abuse rights

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez demonstrated the absolutely perfect example of how to act during an arrest, including a mistaken one. This is not emphasized enough: Your requirement as a citizen is to comply with police commands. Taking issue with the arrest at the time, including resisting, endangers all involved. If you think citizen compliance is not needed, you are part of the problem. The subsequent resolution of an improperly performed arrest is where the justice-directed institutional mechanisms of a society can be evaluated.

The power allowed to police authority is done to assist the orderly functioning of a society, Its misuse and abuse will not be tolerated and can be controlled by that society. Likewise, willful noncompliance and/or resistance by citizens to legitimate authority should not be tolerated either.

Police abuse of authority can result in death. Citizen abuse of rights and privileges can inadvertently lead to the same result. It’s a result no one wants.

Kenneth F. Nelson



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