comscore Letters: Waikiki streets filled with unmasked people; We can minimize risks from tourism’s return; Recent articles show bias, lack of balance | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Waikiki streets filled with unmasked people; We can minimize risks from tourism’s return; Recent articles show bias, lack of balance

The other day, my wife and I found ourselves on the outskirts of Waikiki. I decided then to see what life was like there, since it was two days after the travel quarantine was lifted.

I have to say how upsetting it was for me to see a majority of the visitors and residents in Waikiki disregarding the use of face masks. I would say it was 75% to 25%, with most not using their masks.

If the tourists want to come back, and if our tourism industry wants that too, then let’s ensure they all follow our laws. Do not come into our home (Hawaii) and disrespect our laws and potentially end up getting us sick in the process.

Malama not only our islands but those who live here as well.

John Fielding



Everyone should cover faces, no exceptions

Why can’t we be like TheBus: No mask, no ride, no exceptions?

Why can’t we have some people to hand out free masks on the streets of Waikiki, Chinatown or at our shopping malls and educate our visitors?

After a while, start handing out fines.

Ernie Itoga

Waialae Iki


We can minimize risks from tourism’s return

The letter from a Hawaii island resident was truly sad (“72-hour coronavirus tests aren’t useful,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 18). She fears getting COVID-19 from a tourist, but is more likely to catch it from a fellow resident of Hawaii. She thinks current COVID-19 testing is inadequate, but no amount of testing will catch 100% of potentially infectious people.

But actions are additive: Masks, hand washing and social distancing all decrease the risk. As a physician and senior with multiple risk factors, I recently traveled to Turkey and Croatia and felt safe and welcome. Turkish Airlines checks temperatures before boarding, limits carry-ons and distributes masks and hand sanitizer. Hotels check temperatures every time you enter. Restaurants serve buffets behind Plexiglass and assign you a table for all meals. Hand sanitizer is available at all elevators, and masks are worn inside buildings, on the street and on public transport.

Life is full of risks; we can’t eliminate them, but we can use common-sense measures to minimize them, rather than let fear destroy our mental and physical health.

Cynthia Burdge, M.D.



Too soon to reopen Hawaii to tourists

I believe that Hawaii should not be opened up to tourists. We are just coming off a lockdown and finally close to moving to Tier 2 from Tier 1 in the COVID-19 guidelines that Mayor Kirk Caldwell outlined.

For many locals, including myself, this means that we can finally come out of the house and spend time with friends and extended families.

With how the state has handled contact tracing up to this point, are we expected to believe that they will be able to make sure tourists actually tested negative, or that tourists who are supposed to quarantine actually are doing so?

Government once again is showing that it cares more about tourist money than it does about local lives.

Christopher Espinoza



Will Thiessen address GOP’s court hypocrisy?

Marc Thiessen’s latest attempt to create a tempest in the proverbial teapot is entitled, “Biden should explain where he stands on court-packing” (Star-Advertiser, Oct. 16).

Can we assume his next effort will be to explain the Trump Party’s hypocrisy in ramming through a Supreme Court nominee during the current election? Probably not.

Edward B. Hanel Jr.



Recent articles show bias, lack of balance

Since there is only one major newspaper in Hawaii, it is imperative that it presents balanced and fair reporting. I therefore object to three items in Sunday’s paper (Star-Advertiser, Oct. 18):

>> Predicting mayoral candidate Rick Blangiardi’s election victory (“Poll shows commanding lead for Blangiardi in mayor’s race”). Surely some voters have not completed their ballots as yet, and this could influence the undecided. This is irresponsible, regardless of whether it is supported by a poll. Polls are often influential but not always accurate.

>> A front-page story about U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (“Gabbard leaves Hawaii Guard for California duty”). She may still be our representative but she has moved away, distanced herself from our interests, and has not and does not perform the function for which she was elected. She is always looking for publicity and you have given it to her. This smacks of favoritism.

>> A three-column story detailing recent slanderous and false remarks by President Donald Trump (“Trump attacks Biden, Democrats in Midwest”). No such space was given to news of his opponent. Again, favoritism.

I hope you will attempt to be more objective in future.

Linda Umstead



More express buses from Middle Street

After watching the Honolulu mayoral debate, I learned that both candidates want to take rail to Ala Moana shopping center, like our current mayor.

The initial intent for rail was to lessen traffic for the morning commute from West Oahu to Downtown Honolulu. Why are we spending billions of our tax dollars to go to Ala Moana, when the shopping center doesn’t open till 10 a.m. or later? This is not going to help reduce traffic on our morning commute.

A better option would be to stop rail at Middle Street near the bus depot, and people can transfer to express buses to Downtown Honolulu, Punahou School, the University of Hawaii, Chaminade University, Iolani School and Waikiki.

This move may help the morning commute and rail ridership, which may pay for itself and not be a burden on us taxpayers forever.

Patrick Furuyama

Hawaii Kai


Hawaii Democrats have dismal track record

All of the local news sources report that Hawaii appears “overwhelmingly” for Joe Biden. I cannot understand why.

Democratic Gov. David Ige closed the state for the last eight months; the rail transit project is bankrupting the state (not just Honolulu); and the Democratic Party offers nothing but bumper-sticker messages, which is better than the silence of the GOP, but also not doing any good.

Maybe the voters really are dumb.

James Pritchett

Pahoa, Hawaii island


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