Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Friday, May 17, 2024 80° Today's Paper


Letters: New pretest rule harsh for compliant travelers; Obama bemoans racism but doing little against it; Intimidation of Hawaii voters can’t be allowed

As a Honolulu property owner and frequent visitor for more than 30 years, I was dismayed to see Gov. David Ige’s Thursday pronouncement that travelers still awaiting their COVID-19 test results when they land in Hawaii nevertheless will be quarantined for 14 days, even though most delayed test results will arrive within a day or two (“Hawaii-bound travelers with pending coronavirus test results will no longer have the chance to bypass quarantine,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 20).

Hawaii signed up a limited number of trusted testing partners, but did not require them to provide on-time results to travelers. The window for obtaining results taken no earlier than 72 hours before flight time is exceedingly narrow, and often test results are delayed.

Ige’s change of heart seems punitive toward well-meaning, compliant and ultimately negative-testing travelers.

Hawaii should instead continue to quarantine such travelers only until their negative test results arrive; otherwise, they should have secured guarantees from trusted testing partners for timely test reports.

Jon Gilbert

Los Angeles


Ige is in over his head, can’t cope with crisis

Gov. David Ige is a genuinely nice person who is focused on doing his job as well as he can do it. Unfortunately, he just can’t do it well in a crisis.

It turns out the missile alert was a pale preview of his inability to cope with abnormal conditions.

He has utterly failed Hawaii throughout this pandemic, from being unable to mobilize sufficient workers to support state agencies tasked with getting money to those who desperately need it; to being responsive to changing health situation demands; to working with the Legislature; and now to using a lack of workforce to explain why the state is unable to generate daily COVID-19 test results in less than three days.

The many other COVID failures are just too numerous to recite.

I like him and I voted for him, but for the good of the state, he should resign and allow the lieutenant governor, who does understand the need to act in crisis, to take charge.

Jim Newman



Apply our can-do ethic to tackle global warming

Experts warn of global warming and the imminent tipping point for the survival of life on Earth.

We need planning now to become truly sustainable, to ensure we can be sustained. We also need to plan for sea level rise, storm surges and hurricanes, and for local energy and food in case of supply disruptions.

COVID-19 taught us the need to plan before disaster hits; the U.S. ignored years of early warnings of future pandemics, and this made COVID-19 even worse.

Not taking urgent action on global warming is reckless to our economy and lives, worse than if we had done nothing to curb COVID.

The community has shown we can work together to do what is needed to help one another, so let’s apply this “can-do” ethic to the looming dangers of global warming, before it is too late. We and our families are worth it.

Barbara Porteus

St. Louis Heights


Obama bemoans racism but doing little against it

The Obama hypocrisy astounds me. As a child of a minority family loyal to the “blue” party and a staunch advocate of the civil rights and diversity movement, I voted for Barack Obama, lulled by his lullaby of the “audacity of hope” and how he would certainly heal our nation.

I find it more than ironic that those who claim Donald Trump is a racist still cannot cope with the fact that more Blacks and other minorities voted for him in this election, not because he is a racist, but for his pragmatic wealth generation — not wealth distribution policies.

I also find it ironic that Obama, whom we elected twice and who is the product and beneficiary of the votes from all races, is still echoing “the audacity of hope” with the pragmatism of none, while complaining about systemic racism long into his retirement.

He and Michelle Obama bemoan white privilege and racism, while enjoying the fruits of the leftist elite guilt-ridden ideological hypocrites who have showered them with wealth and privilege after his nonproductive eight-year tenure.

Joe Tanaka



Intimidation of Hawaii voters can’t be allowed

Disturbing incidents of voter intimidation occurred throughout Hawaii on Election Day.

Arguably, the most egregious occurred at Honolulu Hale, where a group of people carrying a Proud Boys flag and a large stick approached the long line of voters, shouting, intimidating and threatening physical violence, according to Common Cause Hawaii election protection volunteers. The group left before police or staff arrived.

These reported actions are not just reprehensible, they are unacceptable in a democracy. This can also be considered as terroristic threatening, a felony, as defined in Hawaii Revised Statutes § 707-716(b).

Hawaii’s laws already prohibit electioneering within 200 feet of a polling place (HRS § 11-132). This protection needs to be extended to any voter waiting in line to vote, to register to vote, or to deposit a ballot in a place of deposit — beyond the 200 feet. We must protect democracy’s most fundamental pillar, the right to vote.

Danielle Bass

Brodie Lockard

Board members, Common Cause Hawaii


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2020 has been a whopper of a year: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hurt, politics and elections. But surely there is much to be thankful for and to appreciate. We want to hear from you.

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