comscore Letters: Pre-travel requirements will discourage tourism; More scrutiny needed on government failures; Don’t cut pay for those on pandemic front lines | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Pre-travel requirements will discourage tourism; More scrutiny needed on government failures; Don’t cut pay for those on pandemic front lines

The state’s pre-travel test requirement will deter tourists from visiting our state for the following reasons: the added testing cost to travel to Hawaii; the concern that the test will not be accepted or does not arrive in time, forcing the visitor to quarantine or return home; additional testing required on the outer islands; and the long wait in line after arriving to go through the checkpoint.

Hawaii is a state, not a country. Free travel to/through Hawaii for citizens of the United States is protected by Article IV of the Constitution. Random testing has confirmed that tourists fare better than our general population in COVID cases.

COVID-19 is here and it is going to stay. Where is the emergency? Why do we continue to keep people from earning a living? We need to demand answers from our government.

Michael Turina

Waialae-Kahala

 

State’s testing facility limits unconscionable

From the thousands and thousands of legitimate COVID-19 testing facilities, Hawaii has chosen to limit them to a mere 11.

This information was not readily available when we booked our COVID test and flights. When we arrived we were forced into quarantine, not because we were potential carriers of the coronavirus, but because we did not use the right clinic.

This is an unconscionable rule. There is no apparent reason for such a strict limit on which testing facility to use. We lost more than $5,000 on our Hawaii dream vacation, but more important to you, the Hawaii economy lost several thousand of my dollars due to our quarantine.

The screener told us that she had already seen nearly 50 people that day with the same issue. How much money is the Hawaii economy losing because of such incompetent rulemaking?

Claude Suggs

Stafford, Va.

 

Creative thinking could help DHHL beneficiaries

Following your excellent series last week on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and recalling that for decades your newspapers called our attention to this troubled program, it’s time for some creative thinking (“Promised land,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 25).

DHHL has lots of land of poor agricultural quality in places difficult to access. Could we not trade this land to the state for land easier to develop and closer to sources of jobs (for example, Kalaeloa)?

Finance the infrastructure development with 50% of the ceded land revenue going to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs matched by equal support from the state budget. Provide home construction mortgages guaranteed by the state with mortgage-default properties going to the next person on the waiting list.

Give priority for those on the list to affordable housing units in new private housing developments throughout the state.

After a hundred years, everyone on the waiting list should have a home, if not a homestead.

Jack Gillmar

Palolo Valley

 

More scrutiny needed on government failures

World-class investigative/accountability journalism. Bravo, Rob Perez (“Promised land,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 25).

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is a tragic example of government gone wrong — government that went wrong a long time ago, stayed wrong and continues to be wrong.

DHHL is an example of the failure of the bureaucratic imagination, part of a larger swamp in this state that is in urgent need of being drained.

There are other examples of bureaucratic power gone wrong in Hawaii at both the state and county levels. Accountability, impact on people’s lives, abuse of power — these are all themes for carefully modulated media investigation and reportage.

May there be more from Perez’s pen.

Jim Anthony

Kaneohe

 

Don’t cut pay for those on pandemic front lines

Growing up with my mother working long hours as a nurse, I know that the job is not easy. Especially now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to support the people who are fighting the virus on the front lines.

Gov. David Ige proposed a 10% pay cut for first responders, including emergency medical technicians and nurses. During this pandemic, nurses have been working in extremely understaffed conditions to serve and help their communities. Ige said this pay cut is to prevent an economic crash, yet lawmakers are getting raises instead.

Ige now makes $158,700 annually. Ige is scheduled to get a 4% raise in 2020 and 2021, then a 2.5% raise from 2022 till 2024, putting his salary at $189,480 in 2024. The job of these lawmakers is to create laws to serve and protect the people, but instead they leave the citizens of Hawaii to struggle.

It is time for the citizens of Hawaii to stand up to this political injustice. The least Ige could do is instead of giving himself a raise, give it to the essential workers who actually deserve it.

Aleah Liilii

Aiea

 

Ko Olina should open boat ramp it controls

Why can’t Ko Olina marina open the boat ramp? What is the issue?

Ko Olina was issued a permit under an agreement to open the ramp. They have the ramp. What is the reason they can’t open it?

Clinton Miller

Kapolei

 

Kudos for members of the 100th, 442nd

With each passing week or month, another surviving member of the famed 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, leaves us to join his very special “band of brothers” in the sky. Their military contributions for a safer and saner world will forever live in their honor.

Their civilian contributions changed Hawaii’s political and economic landscape, shifting from a plantation mentality to economic and political growth here and on the mainland.

Much kudos to all who returned, with a GI Bill in hand, attended colleges and universities, and began to change Hawaii after their graduation. Much kudos also to those who did not return, but are forever entrenched in our memories as “warriors of the wind.”

When the last member joins his band of brothers, let there be a massive, final unit formation where the regimental adjutant will report, “All present, sir!”

Gilbert Horita

Kailua


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