comscore Letters: Allow Hawaii residents to take post-flight test; City, state allowed Makiki house to rot; Trump wrong to target federal civil servants | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Allow Hawaii residents to take post-flight test; City, state allowed Makiki house to rot; Trump wrong to target federal civil servants

Many of us who travel to the mainland or off-island are forced to do COVID-19 tests like all tourists, understandably. However, I feel it’s unjust that we aren’t allowed special consideration with testing and given the option to do the test upon returning and quarantine until test results are received, about three days.

The governor’s office told me they didn’t have enough tests to enable us to do this. With the millions of COVID-19 government monies unspent, surely we can be afforded the right to be tested since we are taxpaying Hawaii residents. It makes me want to pack up and move out after nearly 20 years living here.

I do understand the need to test, but as Hawaii residents, we should be afforded the privilege to test when we return and be released from quarantine to return to our lives, just like people on the mainland who have those freedoms — unlike us.

Debi Austin



Food insecurity will continue to be an issue

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that Hawaii families struggle with food insecurity. For most communities, such as my community in Nanakuli and others in Kalihi, this is not a new issue.

Families can no longer rely on the income they received from jobs after being laid off. They receive food from food drop events, church pantries and other COVID-relief funded programs. However, some of these remain temporary.

Now that the government is in the phase of slowly reopening the economy, the issue of food insecurity requires immediate action and cannot be ignored any more. Will food insecurity remain an issue or will there be more changes happening?

Sarah-Lyn Kaeo



UH, state should use IT for vaccine distribution

I read with much interest the article by Barry Weinman on restoring Hawaii’s economic recovery through more aggressive technology steps (“Bring home Hawaii’s high-tech expats,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Oct. 25).

I would encourage the state and the University of Hawaii to find a way to partner with those companies at the forefront of having to distribute billions of vaccines over the next year and link up with their technology heads and develop IT networks on tracking and distribution right here in Honolulu.

But it takes communication with these vaccine companies and some contacts with Silicon Valley to start out. Working from home would cut down on start-up costs for vaccine-oriented developers in Hawaii and touch every corner of the world. Hawaii has already shown leadership in this area.

Jay Pineda



Celebrate Nobel winner from Hilo High School

On Oct. 7, Professor Jennifer Doudna, a Hilo High graduate, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her role in the discovery of the groundbreaking gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.

Since then, I have scoured the Star-Advertiser daily hoping to learn more about Doudna’s local roots, how she was raised, who her teachers were and more, but to no avail. As an oncologist, I am confident that her discovery will one day save the lives of my patients.

We need to celebrate and be inspired by the tremendous accomplishment of one of our own public school graduates. The Star-Advertiser is too quick to point out the flaws of our public school system and does very little to highlight its successes.

As the African proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Yoshihito David Saito, M.D.



City, state allowed Makiki house to rot

I lived a few streets above the Pensacola property and tried for five years with both the state and the city to have something done (“Makiki house catches fire for second time this year,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 28). In 2002, I got the city to check and the inspector reported to me that the owner claimed that the junked cars were “classic cars” he was storing for his son. He put canvas covers on them and the matter was dropped.

I tried contacting the state Department of Health. A state inspector visited in 2007 and all the person did was remove recyclable cans and bottles. I tried again when dengue fever threatened us, citing sitting water (mosquitoes) and rat infestation. Our ineffective public health agencies and city Department of Planning and Permitting do nothing.

I can’t understand why the neighbors nearby failed to make an issue of this with the City Council and mayor. The city should have condemned the property years ago, leveled the lot and sued the owner.

How long will the remains stay as is?

Carol R. White



Trump wrong to target federal civil servants

The Trump administration has little understanding or appreciation of the career civilian federal workforce. The administration’s recent executive order would create a separate schedule of civil employees, Schedule F, that would serve the president, not the American people.

This order would give the president power to fire more or less at will as many as tens of thousands of workers currently in the competitive civil service.

The civil service is a competent and competitive merit-based workforce and one of the greatest strengths of the U.S. government.

This new executive order would affect the job protections that are in place to ensure that employees can speak truth without fear of losing their jobs. Employees must be free to offer technical advice and assistance honestly without fear, whether the administration wants to hear it or not.

With this Schedule F, politically motivated firings would be easier and hirings could be dependent on the employees’ political leanings.

By President Donald Trump’s standards, this means imposing his agenda over ethics, evidence and good sense.

Frank and Constance Oliva



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