comscore Letters: Mapunapuna still needs help with tidal flooding; With or without test, visitors fly together; Hirono represents Hawaii; Barrett doesn’t | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Mapunapuna still needs help with tidal flooding; With or without test, visitors fly together; Hirono represents Hawaii; Barrett doesn’t

Businesses in Mapunapuna have suffered from flood damage for more than 20 years (“Hawaiian Islands may see ‘nuisance coastal flooding’ due to higher water levels and tides,” Star- Advertiser, Top News, Oct. 18).

Efforts to correct drainage problems have been made, but without maintenance, water keeps coming as the tide changes. Will a candidate for mayor please respond?

Loke Leong

Mapunapuna

 

With or without test, visitors fly together

The biggest problem with the state’s reopening to tourism may not be the very real limitations posed by the requirement that visitors be tested for COVID-19, 72 hours before they travel. The true weakness in the plan is the option for travelers to choose to quarantine for 14 days instead.

Say what you will about the state’s ability to enforce the quarantine, and the number of scofflaws visible on our streets and beaches. What about the process that every visitor must endure to arrive here: boarding an airplane and sitting in close proximity to other passengers for hours?

One passenger has proven (sort of), that he or she is not contagious; not so the passenger who has chosen to quarantine — no test required. Yet both passengers are on the same flight, and pass through the same airport. It seems that the word has spread around the world: Hawaii can’t or won’t effectively enforce the quarantine.

Look for more and more travelers to choose that hassle-free option when they book their flight. And for the virus to rebound in the islands.

Kevin O’Leary

Kalihi Valley

 

Have we given up on diversifying economy?

With the recent arrival of 8,000 travelers on our shores, it seems that the focus is on building right back up to 30,000 visitors per day. What happened to the opportunity to diversify and restructure our economy and manage tourism at sustainable levels?

During the pandemic, we all have seen the benefits of a beginning restoration of our natural environment, rebounding wildlife, quiet neighbor- hoods, cherished places that are no longer crowded and despoiled by visitors, less traffic and crowds in our towns.

Where is the focus on retraining and educating our workforce in industries for the future, such as agriculture, technology, green energy and the trades? These have the possibility of more than a living wage and a higher quality of life for all of us.

The residents of Hawaii deserve better than unrestrained tourism. The time to move forward is now.

Barbara Mathews

Kailua

 

ACA is weak substitute for universal health care

Nicholas Kristof said, “Over the last hundred years, advanced countries have, one by one, adopted universal health care systems, with one notable exception: the United States” (Star- Advertiser, Oct. 18). He said that “one political party in America is trying to join the rest of the world and provide universal health care.”

He must have written this in early February when Bernie Sanders was the leading Democratic candidate for president. Unfortunately, Joe Biden, when he becomes president, will stick with Barack Obama’s wasteful and completely inadequate Affordable Care Act, and the United States will continue to trail all advanced countries with the least coverage of its residents at the highest per-person cost.

Bob Karman

Koloa, Kauai

 

Without unions, workers struggle, rich get richer

Unions have helped workers in Hawaii earn a living wage. Without unions, the rich get richer at the expense of the worker, even today in predominantly Democratic Hawaii.

Why don’t we vote for a minimum wage of $15 per hour so our youth don’t feel they must leave?

Frances Chaine

Palolo

 

Hirono represents Hawaii; Barrett doesn’t

I’m not sure why Joel Brilliant would want his grandkids to emulate Amy Coney Barrett (“Hirono embarrasses Hawaii at hearing,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 19).

After all, in her scripted testimony, Barrett refused even to agree that the president should transfer power if he loses the election; that the president could not unilaterally delay the election; and that the president could not refuse to comply with a Supreme Court decision. These should be uncontroversial no-brainers, especially for a Supreme Court justice.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s opening statement and questioning clearly showed her concern for matters dear to Hawaii, particularly the clear and imminent threat Barrett poses to health care for tens of thousands of our neighbors not covered by Hawaii’s employer-mandated health coverage, or to those who will lose their coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Brilliant appears to be more impressed with Barrett’s conservative ideology, not the real-life threat to our health care, women’s rights and personal freedoms.

At least Hirono showed she does represent us and fights for matters that affect our lives.

Francis M. Nakamoto

Moanalua Valley

 

Technology will reduce need to ride the train

I am deeply concerned with the cost of our rail transit system going over $10 billion, and no definite timetable for when it will be finished. It’s going berserk.

With the development of high technology, driverless cars, buses and trucks will run by electricity; no more gas. Working from home will become the norm. We will buy things through online shopping or e-commerce even after this pandemic. We will have online schooling, home deliveries by drones and telehealth to see our doctors.

Who is going to ride the rail then? A few. This is something to think about when considering whether to spend billions more to complete the train.

Mario Orbito

Pauoa Valley


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