comscore Letters: Protection plan needed for Hawaii care homes; Homeless are ruining Waikiki experience; Cut food waste to save money | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Protection plan needed for Hawaii care homes; Homeless are ruining Waikiki experience; Cut food waste to save money

As coronavirus cases rise, Hawaii must do more to protect the 8,000-plus kupuna who live in assisted living facilities, adult residential care homes and foster care homes.

These facilities should be commended for keeping their residents safe, despite personal shortages of protective equipment, testing and little guidance from the Health Department.

A recent editorial noted that as the state reopens, the danger of COVID-19 infections is rising in nursing homes despite the best precautions of operators (“Better safety measures needed after Hawaii care home is hit by COVID-19,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, June 20).

There are 48 nursing homes in the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, which also deserves credit for protecting its roughly 4,500 residents. But there are 1,680 other long-term care facilities that haven’t gotten the attention they need from state officials.

The first COVID-19 cases in care homes are a wakeup call. The state must have a plan for PPEs, testing and guidance to protect kupuna and workers in all of Hawaii’s 1,800 long-term care facilities.

Kathy Jaycox



Alaska wrong model for reopening Hawaii

The governor has asserted that our state will reopen on Aug. 1 and follow the Alaska model for reopening. A quick look at Alaska’s new COVID-19 cases suggests that the Alaska model isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Alaska is experiencing higher new caseloads than it experienced at the outset of this pandemic.

Besides the obvious loopholes already pointed out in the governor’s plan, we also have to recognize that just because a person has a certificate saying they were tested, it’s no guarantee that the person didn’t contract the disease after his or her test or, more worrisome, that unscrupulous doctors will provide certificates for a fee (they already do this for marijuana).

The governor needs a different plan, one that protects the residents of Hawaii.

Bill Nelson



Reopen vacation rentals for responsible tourism

While the rest of Hawaii thoughtfully reopens, Oahu’s leadership plays favorites by keeping permitted vacation rentals closed.

Vacation rentals are more essential than ever in restarting economic activity and keeping residents safe as we reopen. They are the only accommoda- tion that enables true social distancing, and travelers seek this option for exactly that.

But as the CEO of Honolulu’s TurnoverBnB, a cleaning tech and jobs platform, I am disappointed to see a vital community left out of this conversation: cleaners and property caretakers.

Vacation rentals are safer places to work, as employees can stay isolated. They can keep and maintain their own supplies, versus sharing them with a large staff. They can wait much longer to clean after checkout, compared to hotel rooms’ fast turnover.

It’s time to do the right thing like our neighbor islands and allow permitted vacation rentals to reopen.

Assaf Karmon

Downtown Honolulu


Homeless are ruining Waikiki experience

On a recent evening about 7:30, as we were walking our normal Waikiki route, we noted that the streets were full of unfamiliar homeless vagrants, openly drinking, drugging, half-naked, sleeping, begging for money or passed out under trellised areas and all over the grassy beach area. The smell of urine is overwhelming.

Less than two blocks from the police station, some had an open fire going on the beach.

We called 911 to report it and were referred to the fire department, which did arrive. But I think that the police need to step up proactively and post officers between the station and the Waikiki end of the park.

I know that it’s difficult with the ACLU always defending the actions of these characters. How can we reopen as a family-friendly, safe destination with this going on? It is getting worse and the inmates are definitely running this asylum.

Margaret Murchie



Keep Christopher Yuen on state land board

The Board of Land and Natural Resources, which governs DLNR, addresses many sides to issues, with impassioned voices caring about our beloved lands and waters.

Christopher Yuen’s contentious nomination to the board reflects that unavoidable controversy and the need to make difficult and complex decisions (“Hawaii lawmakers and public question longtime Board of Land and Natural Resources member’s intentions,” Star-Advertiser, July 2).

While testifiers may not always agree with his final decision, they can trust they will be heard and treated with respect and careful consideration. He is a voice of reason on the board, and an impressive list of environmental groups and individuals have spoken up in support of his nomination.

He has a long history of fighting for public access, particularly to some of the most treasured beaches on his home on Hawaii island, such as Makalawena, Kohanaiki and Papaikou.

The Legislature should reward this lifetime of public service by voting to keep him on the board.

Jesse Owens

Ala Moana


Cut food waste to save money, environment

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 94% of all food waste goes directly to landfills and incinerators. Also, 1.43 million pounds of food is wasted every day in Hawaii.

If Hawaii eliminated food waste, we would cut our amount of waste put in landfills by 25%.

Surprisingly, consumers are the biggest contributors and waste 16% of all edible food in Hawaii.

There are many simple things consumers can do to cut down on their food waste. For example, making a list before shopping, storing food correctly and understanding expiration dates are all proven and simple ways to reduce food waste.

On average, households spend $698 on wasted food, so who wouldn’t want to use five minutes of their time to save the environment and their wallet?

Ben Ancheta III



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