As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise, we need to be concerned about the many vulnerable, including the elderly, poor and Micronesians, who ride the bus.
Bus riders tell me they see a worrisome trend. I saw it myself: young men on the bus with no sign of a mask. They pull up their T-shirt to cover mouth and nose to get on the bus. Once on, they ride the bus, face completely uncovered.
This is a risk for other riders, but we all need to be concerned because this is one way community spread may begin.
Leadership lacking in putting tracers to work
Rather than reassuring, the latest news concerning the number of contact tracers is distressing (“Leaders under fire,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 13).
National analysis of contact-tracer needs indicates that Hawaii requires at least 400, if not more, tracers. The numbers announced by the state Department of Health (100) are still inadequate. I read that even volunteers were rejected.
How is the new head of contact tracing, Dr. Emily Robinson, going to improve our situation? What expertise and commitment does she bring to the task? It seems to me that the Department of Health is hiding something — or not adequately communicating with the public — and has not earned the trust of the community.
Open beaches needed for long-term health
The decision to completely close beaches and public parks is a misdirected attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. This policy diverts people from outdoor to indoor spaces, including shopping, dining and gyms — and while good for the economy, is counterproductive to risk management.
Our family lived through the epidemic’s peak in New York City and witnessed successful recovery through tandem efforts of social responsibility and law enforcement. I urge you to better educate the public and use dedicated police to limit group size on beaches and require masks of adults and children in parks and playgrounds — not completely close down.
Not everyone is capable of watersports. We need universal access to beaches for exercise and leisure to endure the mental and emotional strain of the pandemic. The pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to make long-term, sustainable changes to our daily behaviors and social interactions.
Julie and Kevin Olival
Don’t politicize postal service we depend on
Recently I noticed that my first-class mail to the mainland was taking two days longer to arrive. Last week someone in Honolulu mailed me a first-class letter on Aug. 5 and it arrived at my house in Ewa Beach on Aug. 8, three days later and a mere 19 miles away.
I believe this reflects the changed delivery policies instituted by new postmaster general Louis DeJoy, a businessman and Republican donor without prior experience in the postal service. What does this augur for our November elections when voting by mail is the safest and/or only option?
Plus, many of us now rely on the mail to bring us the goods that we can no longer shop for safely, including food and medical prescriptions. Why is the postal service being used as a political football at our expense during a pandemic?
USPS must survive for country’s sake
Efforts to undermine the U.S. Postal Service will have dire consequences (“Efforts to gut Postal Service could cripple mail delivery,” Star-Advertiser, Ann McFeatters, Aug. 10).
The federal government has helped many Americans and corporations during this COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the USPS is not getting the financial help it needs and requested. President Donald Trump and his hand-picked postmaster general (PMG), Louis DeJoy, are undermining the USPS. The president is against mail-in voting and is doing his best to suppress it.
The PMG does not want overtime when many postal workers are sick from the virus. Timely delivery of the mail will be hampered without overtime. Mail delivery delays, ranging from mail-in votes to necessities like medicine, will occur. Additionally, making changes at the top levels of postal management at this time is not prudent and just foolish.
As a retired postal worker, I’m deeply concerned and troubled. The USPS has been resilient and a lifeline for America’s economy, since the beginning of our nation. The USPS must survive for the good of America and its people.
Lawrence M.O. Chun
Money for marketing, but not for jobless
There are still an estimated 10,000 unemployed Hawaii individuals who still have not received an unemployment check, with many waiting since early March. Even so, the state approved $150 million in raises for government workers and recently the state Department of Health approved a $250,000 contract to Anthology (a local public relations/marketing firm) to help with COVID-19 messaging.
I wish that could get through with a message.
Gut-and-replace law should be repealed
The Legislature in 2018 failed to demonstrate transparency when it passed the gut-and-replace bill involving Senate Bill 2858 (“Hawaii Supreme Court eyes Legislature’s ‘gut-and-replace’ gambit,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 6).
To begin with, the general title of SB 2858 was vague: “Relating to public safety,” which could be almost anything.
However, in this case the contents pertained to certain improvements within the state Department of Public Safety (DPS). Therefore, the title should have been: “Relating to the Department of Public Safety.”
By creating the gut-and-replace bill, the Legislature not only gave itself the power to gut the contents and replace it with entirely new contents that had nothing to do with DPS, but it also failed to get three readings in both houses, per the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, Article III, Section 15.
The bill is unconstitutional and must be abolished immediately.
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