The restrictions of the recent stay at home/work from home order have closed nonessential small businesses for a full month. This is a second mass closure of small businesses, and many are on the brink of going out of business permanently. This will result in a loss of jobs.
What will the Legislature or the governor do to help these desperate small business owners stay in business? Gov. David Ige said there would be help for residential renters with rent assistance and a future rent assistance program for homeowners to help them pay their mortgages.
So why is there no program to grant financial assistance to small businesses? It would save jobs with the CARES Act funds. What is going on here?
Belief in alternative ‘facts’ could be deadly
We may believe the world’s response to this pandemic is overblown, but that doesn’t change the fact that many millions would die if no one ever socially distanced or wore a mask.
We may believe human activity has nothing to do with climate change, but that doesn’t change the fact that coasts are being inundated with rising sea levels, forests are being incinerated, and the land is being exposed to a proliferation of larger storms.
We may believe the Earth can easily absorb a couple of billion more people by the turn of the century, but that doesn’t change the fact that sea life is being decimated, or that 70% of wildlife has vanished over the last 50 years, with the people who already are here.
If half our population continues to ridicule science and believe conspiratorial alternative “facts” instead of actual facts, many of mankind’s potentially solvable problems may one day become apocalyptic.
Follow science, allow outside spaces to open
As an emergency room nurse, I have exhaustively studied the science around COVID-19. The science supports the safety of outside spaces during this pandemic.
Living in a single-person household, with unnecessarily overly strict isolation while practicing as an ER nurse during a pandemic isn’t working for me, and I know I’m not alone. Follow the science. Open outside areas (including dining) and enforce social distancing in these areas. The physical and mental health of our community requires this.
Continued disregard for these things will likely result in increased resistance to following the safe social-distancing guidelines that are scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please consider a holistic view to this problem based on the current scientific evidence, and let us out.
Prepare airports now for arrival of tourists
Hawaii’s state and county leaders have been mostly reactive rather than proactive in their efforts to fight the coronavirus. More contact tracing and testing should have started months ago to prevent the reemergence of the surge we now find ourselves in. CARES Act funds are still available for proactive efforts.
When the Hawaii tourism industry reopens, there will be a need to have strong pre-arrival and post-arrival visitor testing. Let’s work now to improve airport infrastructure and standardize testing procedures so we can process incoming visitors expeditiously while minimizing the chances of the coronavirus entering the state.
Our airports are the gateways into Hawaii. More robust testing efforts need to be focused there.
We should not just pin our hopes on a vaccine that ends the pandemic.
Exemptions are basis of Kailua development
On Friday, the City Council Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed affordable housing project at 460 Kawainui St. in Kailua.
The issue here is not affordable housing. The Legislature passed the unfortunate bill that is now state law: HRS Section 201H-38. It exempts affordable housing projects from all important development rules. It is as if planning, zoning, environment, building safety and other rules the community has adopted are meaningless, and it allows projects in inappropriate locations.
This is why there is an uproar. The Legislature needs to repeal this statute, and the City Council should refuse to approve any of the projects while awaiting repeal.
Trump has no respect for ‘law and order’
President Donald Trump is now trying to win votes by preaching “law and order.” It is a good strategy on the surface. He is talking about stopping protests and being tough on crime. Some protests are righteous and peaceful. Some are out of control and destructive and can demand strong policing. Some crimes demand strong but lawful policing.
With 20,000-plus wrong statements and blatant self-serving lies, it is hard to believe that anyone can support Trump. We have a draft-dodging commander in chief who has the gall to attack the late U.S. Sen. John McCain’s heroic record in service. Having spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, I am particularly insulted by his proven lack of respect for people in uniform, among others.
Trump’s call for “law and order” is a call for a police state with him in charge, and he has never experienced a law that he thought applied to him. He is anything but law-abiding.
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