Your story, “2nd test tentatively approved for travelers to the Big Island” (Star-Advertiser, Oct. 10), explains what Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim wants to do for out-of-state passengers flying into Kona after getting a negative, pre-departure COVID test.
Upon arrival, Kim would gift them with a free, second COVID test. If the second test is negative in Kona, these visitors would be exempt from the mandatory, 14-day quarantine.
Why can’t Kim offer the same testing protocols for passengers from Oahu at Kona and Hilo airports? Whether the trips are for work, family or pleasure, visitors and commuters from Oahu also spend money that helps the economy.
The state’s motto says, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” Where is the righteousness in a policy that excludes travelers from Oahu?
Trash messing up roads, even without tourists
For years the brouhaha has been about tourists messing up our roads with trash. It’s only gotten worse. Hurry, get tourists back so we can blame them.
Blangiardi offers little for Honolulu residents
The Star-Advertiser’s endorsement of Rick Blangiardi for mayor shows how little attention the editors have paid to the actual campaigns (“Blangiardi best choice for mayor,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 11). If you would have watched the debates and even the ads, you would have known how little Blangiardi brings to the table of public service.
He is inarticulate, unless he has reading material. He has offered virtually no specific plans for what he would do other than saying, “I am a leader.” His total emphasis has been that he is a businessman, even though running the city is not a business, but a service to the people. And he has absolutely zero empathy for the people in Honolulu who are struggling to survive.
Contrast that with the specific policies laid out by Keith Amemiya: his empathy and warmth for the people who are hurting the most, and his visions for a flourishing Honolulu.
You can easily see why Amemiya is the better man for the job.
Amemiya would be led by special interests
This year’s Honolulu mayoral race is unique. Both candidates have not served in an elected office. Both have campaigned on offering a fresh leadership in government.
Who best will do that? The fact that one is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Hawaii and is backed by the same bloc and special interests that support our current mayor may be a warning sign. Rather than advocate change, he may, in fact, be beholden to the status quo.
His high-sounding promises on the hot-button issues may well be brushed aside by the priorities and practices of our entrenched political leaders. That has cost us plenty in quality of life, money and morale during recent years.
This may be the moment when Hawaii needs to turn to an independent candidate with a proven record of community building, administrative and communication skills. He may be the one who will best provide the fresh leadership we need.
Wally Takeshi Fukunaga
Thielen best choice for Honolulu City Council
I am appalled at your endorsement of Esther Kia‘aina for City Council, District 3 (“Major changes on City Council,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 12).
On a recent mailer, she proudly shows she is supported by 16 unions. Imagine: 16. What does that say about her? It says she will support these unions when making important construction, zoning and planning decisions. You tout her previous job experience, which has all been government-related.
Her opponent, Greg Thielen, has been a small businessman for years. He has personal experience with everything you mention and also has devoted many volunteer hours to programs in his district where he was born and lives. He suggests pausing rail at Middle Street until a way to pay for it can be worked out. Imagine: figuring out to pay for something before you do it. That would be unique for our city.
Greg Thielen would be an outstanding councilman and deserves our support.
Youth Commission can help build better Oahu
It’d be an understatement to say that we’re enduring an interregnum of transformation. As much as we may posture in disdain at our failures — whether it be the economy, public health, or social justice — through the eyes of youth, it’s simply a chance to make things better.
The Honolulu Youth Commission, a policy determined by your checkmark, would provide an outlet for students like me to advise our state leaders, to make a difference by using our voices for change. It’s an opportunity for you to empower our next generation of leaders, as they carefully paint their vision of the future on the blank canvas of tomorrow.
Now more than ever, we need that glimmer of hope in the eyes of our keiki, the belief that societal amelioration is possible. I encourage you to vote yes on City Charter amendment No. 2; my generation is ready to build a better Honolulu.
Force Ko Olina to open public access to beaches
Something needs to be done immediately to open the beach parking in Ko Olina. The idea of a phased opening of public parking limits our ability to park and is unfair to the people of Hawaii.
It’s bad enough that parking there is so limited even without a phased opening. I recently moved to the West Side and looked forward to using the lagoons after the COVID-19 closings, but now I can see there will be extreme difficulty in getting access to parking.
I don’t understand why removal of Ko Olina’s barriers was not enforced sooner. Ko Olina needs to open beach access and parking without reservation, and be fined for previous, current and future infractions of the law.
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