The number of new COVID-19 cases on our islands is continuing to accelerate. Without significant policy changes, Hawaii will lose the “war” against COVID-19 and will still be crippled economically.
Islands are unique in that they have the ability to protect the resident population from this disease by keeping others out — but time is running out. Our islands have sufficient health care infrastructure to take care of a certain number of people, but do not have sufficient emergency surge capacity to respond to either our current trends or the “reopening” of our islands to large numbers of tourists.
The concept of a resort bubble is misguided and will expose more of our workers to people coming in from areas with high infection rates (“Hawaii Gov. David Ige gives counties right to pursue resort travel bubbles,” Star- Advertiser, Aug. 20). One negative PCR test is not enough — data show that any single test misses about half of positive cases.
Lock down Oahu, isolate the neighbor islands, protect our people!
Jonathan T. Lord, M.D.
Ballard right to maintain HPD policies on arrests
Mahalo to Police Chief Susan Ballard for standing up to Assistant Public Defender Lee Hayakawa in not scaling back on arrests for petty misdemeanors (“Honolulu Police Department not going to ease up on arrests,” Star- Advertiser, Aug. 22).
If those arrests were to stop, shoplifters, pickpockets and others would have a field day because there would be no fear of arrest. Someone needs to understand that the police are there to protect the law-abiding people. Ballard is doing a great job with her underfunded department. Honolulu is one of the safest places to live, thanks to her and the police department.
Note to the criminals: If you are afraid of getting the COVID-19 virus when you get sent to jail, don’t commit any crimes.
Lockdown enforcement arbitrary, not useful
Police arbitrariness: A close relative went to the beach across from her home to pick shells, sea glass, driftwood and whatever else she could find for crafts — quick break from the pandemic. She’s a kupuna with underlying conditions and doesn’t go anywhere because she doesn’t drive and is afraid to catch the bus.
There was not a single soul on the beach. She had her mask in her bag. She got ticketed and has to go to court.
Why is it that the police made hundreds of arrests and issued thousands of warnings and tickets? What is the difference? She should have gotten a warning. Can police not note the difference between serial violators and those who are unaware of the new rules or just forgot? Send people to court when people are out of work, have no rent money and are suffering through this pandemic? Throw out all the tickets if citations cannot be fairly issued.
Masks, social distancing are enough, if practiced
So people are confused about what they can and cannot do pertaining to the new coronavirus rules here on Oahu (“Many seek guidance on latest Oahu orders,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 22).
Start with a mask and 6 feet of social distancing. Now. Everyone. No exceptions. Then we won’t have to scratch our heads over the county’s latest set of “rules.” We won’t need any.
Green best qualified to run COVID-19 response
Lt. Gov. Josh Green needs to take the lead in the COVID-19 response for Hawaii without input from Gov. David Ige. Hawaii is so amazingly lucky to have a doctor as lieutenant governor.
He is decisive, has a medical background, and knows all of the most important and up-to-date information.
He can then lead the state Department of Health to a better response to the crisis.
Times of crisis require credible and decisive leadership, so let’s immediately appoint Green to take over the health issues of the COVID-19 response. Ige can deal with unemployment, the economy, business support and the other important issues during this crisis.
Coverage of Waimanalo house unfair to Obama
What’s with the hit job on the Obamas (“Obama and the beach house loopholes,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 16)? We’ve got a country in crisis, a major election months away, mail-in voting under attack, no end of local stories with Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases surging, but suddenly a century-old sea wall and iwi long since reburied are front page news?
I understand the issues around sea walls and sea level rise, and protection of our iwi kupuna. How we manage our retreat from the ocean, which structures we save and which we allow the sea to claim, will be with us for years to come. What I question is the timing of this story, a bold 5-page full-color spread, singling out the Obamas the day before the launch of the Democratic National Convention.
That variance was granted years ago. There have been multitudes of more blatant violators given passes by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. I smell a rat.
Change school names to represent Hawaiians
In light of the renaming of streets and the removal of statues on the mainland, when will Hawaii begin reclaiming her past by renaming our island schools honoring colonial industrialists (James Campbell), and U.S. presidents (William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt)?
Hawaii schools, regardless of the level, should be named for the Hawaiian people, places or values.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.
>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.
>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813
>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org, staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter