Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Saturday, May 25, 2024 74° Today's Paper


Letters: Some bus riders fail to wear required masks; Building TMT good way to diversify economy; Maintain cleaning of Palolo Stream

TheBus should hire a graphic artist to make posters for inside the bus to instruct riders that wearing a mask on your chin, or over your mouth but not your nose, is not helpful and could be harmful to others.

The bus has become increasingly crowded with locals, some of whom seem to think they can wear their masks in front of the driver to get on the bus but take it off as soon as they sit down. When tourists start riding the bus, timely warnings and instructions would benefit all.

I think bus drivers deserve extra- hazardous duty pay. I thank them for doing their jobs in these perilous times.

Judith Pettibone



Enforce health rules at farmers markets

An outing to a Kailua farmers market this past Sunday was a eye-opening event. There were food vendors without masks or some with masks perched only on their chins, exposing their nose and mouth as they took orders from customers and shouted out names of people who had food ready for pickup.

Such flagrant violation of state and city orders is a public health risk and irresponsibly increases the likelihood of precipitating a second wave of COVID-19 disease in Hawaii.

We need a “hotline” and a rapid response team from the Department of Health and law enforcement that can investigate and take action when individuals, groups and especially businesses and vendors choose to jeopardize public health by not wearing masks properly.

Galen Chock



Raise prices, reduce numbers of tourists

For now the beast of tourism is at bay, but there seems to be little resolve to do anything but watch and wait for its return.

I think Hawaii should become a more exclusive vacation destination again, instead of a bargain-basement one. The number of flights to the islands should be cut in half and the airfare raised accordingly. Vacation rentals should be banned or taxed to death.

The tourism industry will weep and wail, but the reduced tourist activity should give us the extra time we need to come up with long-term solutions to our systemic social problems, including homelessness and the lack of economic diversity. It’s a golden opportunity that should not be wasted in the rush to return to business as usual.

Edward D. Lasky

Hawaii Kai


Building TMT good way to diversify economy

Lee Cataluna’s catalog of warnings about the need to diversify the economy prompts me to write that the Thirty Meter Telescope should be part of a diversified economy (“Decades of warnings by Hawaii governors to diversify the economy never heeded,” Star-Advertiser, June 14). The TMT, which is “big science,” will bring many benefits to students as well as to the economy.

It would be sad if young people from Hawaii missed out on participating in astronomy research, which, of course, brought people to these islands in the first place. As an undergraduate I was fortunate to land a job in a “big science” lab and the interaction with researchers and graduate students helped me with my courses, too. The lab created many spinoff benefits to local companies both economically and technically.

Academics are generally respectful people and, with the aid of new rules, will do a better job of protecting the environment.

Imua both Mauna Kea and the TMT.

Daniel C. Smith

Pearl City


Lack of respect for law leads to tragic events

These shootings by police are tragic on both sides, for the dead victim and the career officer involved. I am quite sure no police officer goes to work and thinks, “Today, I will shoot a bad guy.”

What I don’t see mentioned are factors common in many of these shootings: The victims do not respect authority; they resist arrest, sometimes violently; many are physically large; some are armed.

The arresting officer is a professional, but also human: He or she can feel threatened for their own lives.

The key here is the lack of respect for authority and the law. We usually learn this from our parents, but the breakdown of the family unit contributes to this situation.

Black lives matter, but so does respect for the law.

Sam Wallis



‘Defund’ doesn’t address complexity of problem

I am frustrated with what I perceive as a misuse of language, specifically use of the term “defund” to describe needed changes in police roles and responsibilities.

While impassioned, taking funding away from the police could be misperceived as the answer to the problem, which it most surely won’t be. This reductionism does a disservice to the complexity and depth of the problem. The language is divisive and misleading, which may result in its misuse by those who would oppose needed reform.

Jeffrey Stern



Maintain cleaning of Palolo Stream

Palolo Stream, starting at the St. Louis Heights bridge, is polluting the Ala Wai Canal, the harbor and ultimately Ala Moana beach park. Rubbish is being dumped daily by the homeless; plus, they urinate and defecate in the stream.

Honolulu police have made arrests and the city has cleared the stream a couple of times, but within 24 hours the homeless are clogging the stream and threatening residents. A solution needs to found before flooding causes property damage or loss of life.

The city has a “Clean Stream Hot-line,” but nobody answers or returns messages. I’ve been given the runaround by city officials and workers for the last two months. Any suggestions?

Richard Tuteur



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