Our governor decided that to meet the $2.3 billion shortfall, he’ll borrow from the federal government and do some tweaking in departments that can afford tweaking (“Gov. Ige warns that without more federal aid, Hawaii public worker pay cuts or furloughs are inevitable,” Star-Advertiser, July 5).
I’m not sure how our government can pay this back since its income prospects are so dire. In addition, the postponement of evictions and reopening trans-Pacific travel has been extended to Aug. 31.
Government has the right to impose these restrictions in the interest of safety, but it doesn’t have the constitutional right to take private property for a public purpose without fair compensation. In other words, all losses that business, employees and landlords are experiencing are a violation of their constitutional rights. It’s only a matter of time that some legal firm, local or national, versed in constitutional law, will realize this and file class-action lawsuit(s) for compensation for all losses suffered directly or indirectly.
Carlton K. Chang
Most people wear masks and keep their distance
A letter recently asserted, “The majority in Honolulu now, it seems, wears no masks” (“Irresponsibility enables spread of coronavirus,” Star-Advertiser, July 17).
I am downtown most days, and travel about to Pearl City, Kailua and elsewhere. In a day, among hundreds of people, I can count the number of people without masks on one hand, and those are social distancing. Let’s keep facts in the conversation, and avoid hysteria.
Legislature should have created jobs program
One expects leaders to step up in a crisis, yet the Legislature closed without taking this opportunity to create meaningful, long-term change for our people, economy or environment.
Where is the jobs program? A jobs program would get people working, reduce tourism dependency and diversify the economy. A jobs program can focus on replacing products we export with products we produce ourselves. We spend billions on fossil fuels; keep that money in the state by creating programs that put solar panels on every rooftop. We spend billions on food; let’s keep that money here and create a substantial local agricultural industry.
It’s not too late to put people back to work, reduce tourism’s environmental impact, increase food self-sufficiency, and accelerate the switch to non-fossil fuel energy. Legislators: Return to the Capitol and take action today.
Mask mandate allowed to protect public health
An absurdity of the coronavirus debate is the claim of some that they have a constitutional right to refuse to wear a mask. This is no more true than a right to refuse to obey traffic signals.
The mask mandate is a reasonable exercise of the power of the state to protect the public health and safety. Any court would so rule.
Carl H. Zimmerman
Trump’s private army needs to be stopped
Marc Thiessen, who functions as a propagandist for President Donald Trump, is correct (“Maybe Trump shouldn’t save Dem-run cities under siege,” Star-Advertiser, July 17).
Trump should not be interfering with localities based on his delusional ideas of domestic terrorism. Unmarked Homeland Security forces roaming around Portland, Ore., terrorizing protesters, look like the Gestapo. This is reminiscent of President Richard Nixon creating the Drug Enforcement Administration, or the new security forces in Hong Kong.
Since our Army pushed back our president’s illegal actions, Trump uses the people more directly under his control. Authoritarian leaders undermine democracy by aiming for complete control.
Trump’s private army must be stopped. Observe all the priorities of Trump and his enablers during our current pandemic, including cronyism in federal aid, rolling back renter protections, blocking health care, taking away safe air and water, and resuming executions of federal prisoners.
Vehicles damage native coastal plants statewide
In response to Mona Neill’s letter, I would add that illegal beach parking is an islandwide (and statewide) problem (“Drivers shouldn’t park on beach at Keaau,” Star-Advertiser, July 13).
Native coastal plants such as naupaka kahakai, pohuehue, akiaki, pa‘u-o-hi‘iaka, kaunaoa, ilima and kolokolo-kahakai are being destroyed by off-road vehicles, pickup trucks, motorcycles and ordinary cars being driven in these sandy habitats, which are highly sensitive to human activities. The destruction of native plants leads to erosion of sand dunes and beach environments that are valuable for protecting against sea level rise and storm waves.
Areas such as Wawamalu (Queen’s Beach), Makapuu, Sandy Beach and the Mokuleia side of Kaena Point have coastal environments that were once home to many native species found only in Hawaii.
The good news is that if such habitats are left alone and managed to remove exotic species, native plants can come back, because they are well-adapted for harsh coastal conditions such as intense sunlight, drought, salt spray and wind.
Dancer Galyn Görg inspired as child in Hilo
I was very sorry to hear that actress and dancer Galyn Görg passed away on July 14 after a battle with cancer. Your readers may know that Görg lived both in Hawaii and Los Angeles in recent years, having grown up in Hawaii on Hawaii island.
I interviewed Görg at length in 2017 about her massive success in Italy as a dancer on the ratings hit “Fantastico” during the 1980s, her stateside co-starring roles in “RoboCop 2,” “Point Break” and “Twin Peaks,” and lead guest roles on “Stargate SG-1,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
Reflecting on when she first learned to dance, Görg told me, “In the town of Hilo, my mother went to take in a West African dance class, and that was my first dance class and I went in and oh, I was in love — that was it.”
I will miss her.
Adelaide, South Australia
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