Eighty-three percent of those replying to the Star-Advertiser’s “The Big Q” of June 13, supported plans to spend $1.9 billion on a Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii Installation. I have to agree with the 7% who opposed it.
First comes the question of whether such a system will really protect us in case of a nuclear war. Such a war would probably start in a confrontation in the South China Sea, where China and the U.S. are competitors, and become worldwide. The Chinese nuclear arsenal is very sophisticated and our islands would be obliterated, radar system or no. The only defense against nuclear war is building mutual trust between the two countries and gradual nuclear disarmament. Anything else is a delusion.
The last time I looked, $1.9 billion was still a lot of money. Wouldn’t this money be far better spent on protecting the financial security of our laid-off workers, the educational quality of our schools and to build some affordable housing? Let’s see if we can trade radar installations for what we really need.
We should be ready to lift quarantine by now
Another day, another quarantine extension. Why?
The quarantine was imposed to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, and to give the state the opportunity to prepare for a worst-case scenario. PPE has been ordered, triage stations have been established and subsequently removed. Preparations have supposedly been ongoing since March 26. If we are not ready, why not? And if we are ready, why the extension of the quarantine?
Public services need more federal stimulus
From the onset of COVID-19 in Hawaii, Gov. David Ige has been sending mixed messages, leaving many Hawaii residents confused and frustrated. We know the coronavirus is hurting our economy, and, with the trans-Pacific quarantine extended until July 31, recovery will take even longer. But as the experts have said over and over again, there’s a clear way to keep our economy going.
Borrowing the maximum federal funding will ensure that vital community services will continue to be available through this crisis, and funding the state and county workforce will stimulate our local economy.
Public-service employees are working tirelessly to help businesses and community services reopen and operate safely. We’re doing our part and want to continue doing so, but we need the federal stimulus to help us get through this time of great uncertainty and rebuild our economy.
President, Hawaii Government Employees Association
Open Street in Waikiki invites spread of virus
I was appalled to see the Star-Advertiser’s photos and article regarding the mayor’s Open Street event in Waikiki, where hundreds of people were allowed to walk, bike, jog, etc., with no apparent regard for social distancing and the wearing of masks (“Waikiki comes back to life,” June 15).
The headline is insulting to people and businesses who are patiently waiting for life to return as we knew it and trying hard to not spread the coronavirus. This is a government-sanctioned gathering of a large crowd of people forcefully exuding respiratory droplets as they exert themselves.
What spikes in COVID-19 cases will result?
Reconsider plans for more open-street events
Are you kidding me? Sunday’s paper had a list of do’s and don’ts that said no more than 10 people are allowed to gather in public parks. Yet on that same Sunday, Kalakaua Avenue was shut down. I witnessed hundreds of people amassed for a day of activities that did not include social distancing or mask wearing.
Lori McCarney, former head of the Biki bicycle company, managed to get the city to go along with this, plus three more events planned. The coronavirus pandemic is not over and this seems like a very poor choice of judgment.
What are they thinking? Will the powers that be reconsider holding the balance of these events?
Public needs to know where cases were found
I would like to know exactly where the new coronavirus cases are being found — i.e., Kahala, Waikiki, Kailua — so that the public can properly protect themselves. Masks and distancing are great but nothing beats staying home if it’s being found in your neighborhood, especially for seniors and people with compromised health issues.
I don’t see why the state and city are not providing a very detailed map each day of where the latest case are. I don’t need names, but it would be helpful to avoid an area that’s having an outbreak.
Social programs real target of defunding
Your editorial, “Accountability key to police reform” (Star-Advertiser, June 10), had a great headline.
However, the editorial itself is an example of the passive role of police oversight it aims to prevent. First, it fails to explain the meaning of a “defund” in its full context. The editorial implies that there is no criticism pointed at our police, implying these issues are mainland issues.
Police Chief Susan Ballard’s leadership seems like an improvement, but it is dangerous to think one leader can change a systemic culture that brought multiple federal investigations. The editorial said we can’t defund police because we have a lack of social service workers.
What is lacking is a political will to provide safety and protection, by continuing a long pattern of defunding social programs while criminalizing more social problems. Hawaii may look less racist, but we ignore the footprint of oppression at our own peril.
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