Dave Akers is right on the kini popo (“Hawaii can offer refuge from West Coast fires,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 18). He also is right to define it as a win-win for Hawaii.
We saw this same kind of situation occur in the rebound of tourism in summer 2009, when the “Great Recession” was just pau. My company, Waikiki Beach Activities, served hundreds of mainland visitors every day. And I remember that many of these visitors were different from some of our regular visitors who tell us their trip is another thing off their bucket list.
They often said things like, “Boy, am I glad to be out of California.”
They would say that some in their family had lost their homes to foreclosure and their jobs with companies that had closed. It was obvious that some of these visitors were running away from the mainland rather than running to Hawaii.
It also was obvious they needed R&R, and Hawaii would satisfy their needs. Hawaii benefits, too, when we open our doors to these weary visitors.
Duke Kahanamoku would be proud of us when we show our aloha to these wonderful folks.
Chairman, Waikiki Beach Activities
Ease restrictions in ways that make better sense
The Sept. 16 edition of the Star- Advertiser seemed to present well the breadth of the concerns of recent rules and restrictions:
City Councilmember Heidi Tsune- yoshi (“Council slams latest rules”), business owner Thomas Sorensen (“Cry for help from a local business owner,” Island Voices), and Stephen Tom (“Where’s the assistance for small businesses?,” Letters), rightly questioned the rationale for the rules. Metrics already are in place that can enable more sensible allowances for public activities, more business operations (already extended to big box and online stores), and real CARES Act relief.
COVID-19 is already here and will continue to be. It should not be addressed with a mindset that focuses on “behavioral modification” and use of numbers, as expressed by the city’s Department of Emergency Management Director Hiro Toiya and and managing director Roy Amemiya.
Action should be directed to those certain areas with higher-risk populations and other instances. We certainly will have more than one shot to get this right.
Different leadership couldn’t be worse
Crisis management requires sound, decisive leaders. As luck would have it, the COVID-19 crisis struck Oahu with the current governor and mayor in charge. When I see the near-empty beaches, parks, restaurants, schools and businesses for more than seven months, I can’t help wondering what life would have been like if the crisis had hit during an earlier administration.
Of course I’ll never know. However, I feel safe to say it probably couldn’t have been any worse than now.
Administration of Hilo veterans home failed
The staff of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo shouldn’t have received five stars by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for each of the staffing and quality ratings due to seven health citations over the past three years, some of which resulted in about $29,000 in fines (“Hilo’s Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has history of problems,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 18).
The facility itself wasn’t responsible for the problems. The fault lay within the administration during those problematic periods.
In one unfortunate incident, a resident’s life was in danger when a staff member failed to care for two pieces of equipment that were used to treat that resident.
The state and federal regulators should have penalized the administration when the problems occurred.
When it comes to the health and safety of the residents in any health care facility, there should be zero tolerance for negligence.
Alexis M. Liftee
Homeless must leave streets to get help
In response to Melissa Loretero (“Useless to give tickets to unfortunate homeless,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 21): I agree. We and they need a better resolution. They must be taken off the street — not only because of COVID-19. We must not leave them to slowly rot and die on the streets.
They must be protected and funneled into appropriate programs to address their individual needs. And the rest of us need to be protected as well. I am disabled and use an electric scooter. I’m tired of having to try to negotiate my way around filthy, belligerent people blocking the sidewalks.
I have been threatened by people demanding that I get off the sidewalk and go into the street to go around them. If I roll off the curb, it’s guaranteed my scooter would tip over.
Also, I am tired of sanctimonious people who attempt to make me the villain for wanting these people who apparently suffer from either mental illness or addictions — or both — off the streets. Is it too much to ask our government for safe streets? It seems like it.
GOP exercises power over principle for court
The process of filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a political flashpoint.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc- Connell conveniently invented in 2016 a new principle that in an election year, the incumbent president’s nominee should await the outcome of the election later that year. He used this reasoning to deny a vote on a nomination from President Barack Obama.
Now he ignores his previous position and has announced plans to expedite the forthcoming Donald Trump nominee. So his real message is that “might makes right,” since the president and Senate majority are on the same side this time.
The idea that power should prevail over principle is one of the characteristics of authoritarian, rather than democratic, ideals.
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