comscore Letters: Let mayors decide on opening of tourism; Spruce up landscaping near McCoy Pavilion; HPD shouldn’t discount public’s concerns | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Let mayors decide on opening of tourism; Spruce up landscaping near McCoy Pavilion; HPD shouldn’t discount public’s concerns

I suggest Gov. David Ige allow each county mayor to decide whether or not they wish to open up their islands to tourists from the mainland and overseas beginning Aug. 1. However, such authority should only be granted to the mayors of counties that have COVID-19 under control, based upon standards established by the state Department of Health.

At present, I think it is fair to say Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties have most likely achieved such a status, but Honolulu clearly has not. In the City and County of Honolulu, where we are experiencing dozens of new cases every day, we need to get the spread of COVID-19 under control before we will be ready for the introduction of some number of cases arriving daily from elsewhere.

Such cases will be inevitable and unavoidable, even with pre-arrival testing.

Mark L. Brown

Ala Moana


Testing won’t weed out tourists with COVID-19


Tourists will require a negative COVID-19 test result before traveling to Hawaii from the mainland. It has already been established that 15% of the results are going to be wrong. But, let’s have the Aloha Spirit and say only 5% of the results will be wrong.

Five percent of 100 is five. Five percent of 1,000 is 50. So if 3,000 tourists arrive in Hawaii each day, as compared to the 30,000 who arrived each day during normal times, that’s 150 infected people infecting locals in hotels, on buses, in shops, restaurants, beaches and more. Each day they are here. Dreadful!

We could test them again before they leave to help support contact tracing. But what if they test positive? Do they remain quarantined here? Who pays for it?

The European Union isn’t accepting American tourists now because it realizes this problem, not because it doesn’t want the millions of American dollars that would normally be spent. Think again about opening before the states have COVID-19 under control.

Matthew Bernstein



Everyone must wear face masks in public

COVID-19 is not slowing down in Hawaii. Alarmingly, the number of cases has been trending higher every day. With the government having no concrete plans to prevent tourists coming in and breaking quarantine (who really thinks tourists are coming here and spending two weeks in quarantine?), they should mandate that everyone should now wear face masks in public.

Face masks work. Japan and South Korea have been able to mitigate the virus because they all wear face masks during seasonal outbreaks, and this one is no exception. If we want to mitigate the spread of this virus, we should all be required to wear face masks in public, no exceptions. We cannot count on the government to protect us. It is up to all of us to help ourselves.

Jon Shimamoto



Spruce up landscaping near McCoy Pavilion

My wife and I walk by McCoy Pavilion six times a week on our way to the beach. In our opinion, the landscaping adjacent and in front of the entrance totally lacks curb appeal. Since the cost to enhance and beautify the entry appearance would be minimal, why not do it? And yes, sooner rather than later would be good and appreciated.

Russell Stephen Pang

Ala Moana


HPD shouldn’t discount public’s concerns

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard’s comments on community concerns about police shootings exposes a police tendency to discount public concerns (“Honolulu police chief says department doesn’t need reforms despite recent spike in fatal shootings by officers,” Star-Advertiser, June 28). They discounted first-hand reports and a judicial finding that a Diamond Head tenant was a danger to others, resulting in a great tragedy.

Even on a small matter of illegally parked cars, an officer discounted my concerns about the hazard to those on the road.

This breach of the public trust suggests a lack of concern for the public. “Protect and serve,” but for whom? Police actions in other states are no concern of mine. But circumstances surrounding some local police shootings make me feel unsafe.

Ilima Morrison



BLNR board member protected beaches

Ever enjoyed swimming at Richardson’s or Carlsmith’s in Hilo? How about Hakalau Beach in Hamakua? Have you been to Makalawena, Awake‘e, Kohanaiki or Kekaha Kai State Park in Kona for beach time or camping?

While he always worked with other leaders and community members, they would agree that Chris Yuen was the lawyer/activist central to getting all these beaches and parks for the public.

Today Yuen is a strong supporter of wind and solar energy.

This week the state Legislature will vote whether to re-confirm Yuen as a member of the Board of Land and Natural Resources — an unpaid, volunteer position — for the next two years. He is being opposed by narrowly focused groups for votes they didn’t like (“Hawaii lawmakers and public question longtime Board of Land and Natural Resources member’s intentions,” Star-Advertiser, July 2).

If the state Senate does not vote to keep one of the most respected and able public servants that our island and state has had, it really would be a terrible loss.

Andy Levin

Volcano, Hawaii island


People’s Open Market needs more customers

I am writing to remind Waimanalo residents that the People’s Open Market has resumed operating (7:15-8:15 a.m. on Thursdays), and to please utilize it. Very few people are attending these days. The vendors, while always extremely friendly, seem discouraged.

Last Thursday I was even thanked for coming. The market is a valuable resource for local produce. Let’s support it.

Stephanie Pintz



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