comscore Letters: Military, other leaders must act to protect all; Bars that break rules need stricter penalties; Economic lockdown hurts 99% of population | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters: Military, other leaders must act to protect all; Bars that break rules need stricter penalties; Economic lockdown hurts 99% of population

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I was appalled to see Michael Nii’s picture of what appeared to be a large group of soldiers standing together at White Plains beach with no social distancing and no masks (“Hawaii’s military COVID-19 case count still a mystery,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 5). I was further appalled to read it was taken on July 23.

This is an absolute failure by their command to protect the soldiers, their spouses and children, and everyone they come in contact with. We are in the midst of a pandemic and leaders at all levels, whether military, civilian, private industry or just head of households, need to understand the actions they take can greatly affect others.

Infections and deaths are rising and we all need to be more responsible. The virus affects young and healthy as well as children, and no one gets a pass. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, and make sure your troops, employees, friends, family members and others understand why it is so critically important.

Helen Gibson Ahn

Hawaii Kai


Elders created a mess for youth to clean up

I see and hear lots of petulant comments about the mostly younger people who neglect masks and social distancing, particularly putting older people like me at risk.

In a younger person’s words, “I can tell you why, Boomer: Back when you were my young age, you ignored clear warnings about the dangers of racial inequity and of climate change, and your past failure to act promises me a future of social unrest and ecological catastrophe. Governments you elected overspent what they took in, leaving less for my generation’s needs and trillions in debt to repay. You ask us to act with social responsibility, but have passively accepted an often dishonest and certainly inept bureaucracy that fails to address the medical and economic fallout from this pandemic.”

Sermonizing about youthful moral failings has always been around, but how many of us realize that it is our past self-serving policies that guide their actions?

Dan Binkley



Is beach closure about health or tax dollars?

What the heck is going on? We can’t walk or run on the beach any more. We can’t do lap swimming under strictly controlled conditions (every other lane, masks to and from). But we can go to an indoor gym or restaurant? Where are the statistics on this?

I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s all about the tax dollars. Those of us trying to keep our sanity by exercising outdoors are not contributing money to the city. My husband is handicapped and the only exercise he can do is swimming. I am fed up with these orders, Mayor Caldwell.

Mimi Frank



Bars that break rules need stricter penalties

It seems to me that a stronger slap for bars that do not comply with required guidance might be in order. Shutting down a bar for 24 hours for violating the rules is a tiny slap on the hand.

Now, if they were shut down for 96 hours (four days), hitting their profits, perhaps bars would take this more seriously. The majority of bars I went to were in compliance; one was not.

Yet because four were caught not complying, the mayor punishes them all. Has the mayor ever been in a bar himself, one must wonder?

Clif Johnson

Ala Moana


We can put boundaries on free-market activities

I appreciate Micah Hicks’ review of the importance of global markets and trade for meeting economic and social needs in modern society (“Diversifying Hawaii economy is tough in free- market world,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Aug. 6).

We should be fully aware of the power that money, price and the ease of transporting goods and offering services have on individual and social choices, but our vision and strategies for addressing crises and meeting individual and social needs should not be bound by them.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate catastrophe are exposing the vulnerability of this economic model and highlighting the well-known “failures” of relying primarily on markets and trade. These failures exist even in the best of times, and they are exacerbated in the midst of these crises, including racial inequity and injustice.

This is not to condemn trade and markets. But we need different models and means to overcome our current challenges and achieve a more just, equitable, resilient and therefore sustainable future.

Travis Idol

President, Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light


Economic lockdown hurts 99% of population

Can someone explain the logic to me concerning the economic shutdown of Hawaii?

My simple math (probably slightly wrong) indicates the United States, with a population of 329 million people, has had about 160,000 COVID-19 deaths. In Hawaii, with a population of 1.4 million people, there have been about 30 deaths. Yet we continue to keep our economy shut down for less than 1% of the population.

No matter how we handle the epidemic, we would be better off if the economy was reopened. This would include the society at large, including schools, the tourist industry, hotels and more.

Not to trivialize the deaths of our loved ones — they are somebody’s mom, dad, auntie, uncle, sister, brother or friend — I believe we are doing more harm to 99.9% of the population and society in general.

If you are a health risk, it’s up to you, not the government, to protect yourself.

Robert McLean



People collect plus-up knowing it’s temporary

People who collect unemployment compensation, including the federal $600 plus-up, know that it is a temporary Band-Aid that can be yanked away at the whim of certain legislators (“$600 plus-up allows people to avoid work,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Aug. 6).

Perhaps providing for their families is priority No. 1.

Melvin Sakamoto



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