I’m a newly relocated resident who navigated a trans-Pacific move during the pandemic. Upon arrival, I gladly quarantined with gratitude for the safe harbor I found in Hawaii. Now I live above Kaimuki overlooking the downtown skyline and ocean and think, wow — not because of the view, but because that is all the land there is. This is a very small outcropping of rock with supply chains that would make the Roman Empire shudder.
As small businesses close and federal unemployment benefits end, it seems essential that all my choices build community resilience. I just joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program supporting local farms. I try to shop at small businesses over big-box stores, and I am reading everything I can about the upcoming elections to cast a future-focused vote.
The people of Hawaii have stuck together and sacrificed so much to keep each other healthy. These are values that the mainland did not have in large supply when I left. I believe these islands can be a shining example of recovery for the nation; I will do whatever I can to help.
St. Louis Heights
We must learn to live with, understand virus
The viral pandemic is nature’s way of telling us that we may win a few battles against viruses, but not the war. Viruses are the ultimate predators and survivalists on Earth. They quickly mutate and disperse or become benign until opportunity presents itself to attack. They have existed long before man’s arrival and will exist after man’s extinction.
The well-intended actions by our government leaders today to beat COVID-19, even with vaccines, are resulting in our demise socially, culturally, economically and politically.
Our best strategy is to understand viruses and coexist with them by caring for our natural environment, controlling our population numbers, practicing effective hygiene and living healthy — physically and mentally.
The harsh reality is our fit will survive; unfortunately, the weak and ill will not. This is Nature’s way for all living things on this planet that man cannot ignore or forget.
Alvin Z. Katekaru
Open Street events put Oahu residents at risk
The sudden surge of new COVID-19 cases is alarming, but not surprising. The scary front-page picture you ran several weeks ago of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s “opening” of Kalakaua Avenue tells the story. There were masses of people walking, running, biking, skateboarding and hanging out — and there didn’t appear to be a mask on anyone, or any careful distancing.
The mayor beams when he mentions this and the Chinatown “opening,” as though they were his contributions to the safety and well- being of Oahu residents. I imagine his beaming much the same way when he envisioned the razing of Sherwoods to make room for baseball fields and tour buses in Waimanalo. We know what happened to that, thanks to an intelligent, indignant kamaaina population.
Unfortunately, the consequence of these new “brilliant” ideas of “opening” popular thoroughfares are already taking astounding tolls. Shame on you, mayor and City Council, for not consulting our intelligent health officials and informed kamaaina about the wisdom of these ideas.
Keeping tourists out no longer makes sense
The two-week visitor quarantine is illogical and destructive. The goal of this quarantine is to keep out COVID-19. With cases statewide, trying to keep out what we already have makes no sense. Visitors are the lifeblood of the Hawaii economy. Those who advocate for transitioning away from a visitor industry are unrealistic.
Make sure visitors have no symptoms or fever and require a negative COVID-19 test if you like, but end the quarantine and welcome visitors as soon as possible. Every day of delay is another business lost and more suffering for our local workers.
Rhoads E. Stevens, M.D.
Beneficial to protect Papahanaumokuakea
The Star-Advertiser editorial board released an amazing take on the effort to roll back protections for Papahanau- mokuakea Marine National Monument (“Don’t roll back on marine monument,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, July 20). As a scientist and activist, I understand not only the benefits for the environment and economy, but the value that the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands hold culturally to this place.
This editorial speaks for the masses who want future generations to revel in soaring albatrosses and curious monk seals, instead of governments who side with big money and industry lobbyists.
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Wespac) continuously misleads and stonewalls those seeking more information, and its effort to leverage COVID-19 to ask the Trump administration to decrease protections reveals its true intent.
This editorial hit the nail on the head. I support living in a nation where our priorities lie within the sustainability of our island resources rather than one that depletes our ecosystems for temporary and monetary gain.
Surfrider Foundation, Oahu Chapter
Use Hilo Hattie building for homeless services
The old Hilo Hattie building across from City Mill on Nimitz Highway is the perfect location to combine all the necessary services, temporary housing and administrative offices for the Institute for Human Services.
Donated services by contractors, local businesses and grant money, as well as volunteers helping out, could include tax credits for those assisting. What say you, Honolulu?
Topgolf and Hawaii dodged hurricane
Topgolf is right to pause (“Topgolf hits pause on $50M Ala Wai plan,” Star-Advertiser, July 29).
Historically, Waikiki has been spared a direct hit from hurricanes because of the dominate Pacific high pressure zone, which has forced hurricanes below Oahu. If Hurricane Douglas, which passed 35 miles to the north, had been closer, Topgolf would be sitting on swamps, duck ponds and eventually rice fields. Hopefully, Douglas has impressed upon us that we’re no longer quite as immune from hurricanes as we thought.
Cynthia Van Tassel
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