comscore Letters: Biki audit should cover health benefits of biking; Hanauma Bay returns to its former delightful self; Visitors must remember to wear masks properly | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters: Biki audit should cover health benefits of biking; Hanauma Bay returns to its former delightful self; Visitors must remember to wear masks properly

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                                Biki bikes await repairs at the Biki headquarters repair facility in Kakaako.


    Biki bikes await repairs at the Biki headquarters repair facility in Kakaako.

The reported findings and recommendations from the city audit of the Biki bikeshare program are reasonable and worth pursuing (“Biki bikes costing Honolulu an estimated $460,728 in lost revenue, audit finds,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 5). It was good to read that Bikeshare Hawaii is willing to have those discussions.

What was sorely missing from the audit, and what should be instituted as a core component of audits of city or state programs going forward, are the real if not easily calculated costs and benefits to the health of the people and places of Hawaii. Riding a bike has many benefits to our physical and psychological health that are conversely a cost when driving a car.

Likewise, riding a bike saves on greenhouse-gas emissions and wear and tear on our roads from driving or even riding TheBus.

When we are more aware of the true costs and benefits, we can make more truly sustainable decisions for the people and places of our islands.

Travis Idol

Downtown Honolulu


Magic Island parking lot welcome, at long last

Mahalo to the city Department of Parks and Recreation for the beautiful redo of the Magic Island parking lot and all the amenities. But why did it take eight months to complete?

I live close by and swim regularly at the beach. Each day I watched the very slow progress of the redo. I estimate five to six weeks of actual total work time at the lot. Many days, even weeks, went by with locked gates and no workers. Sometimes, heavy machinery would start up early morning, run for a while, shut down, gates locked and done for the day.

Are we, the residents of Honolulu, frequent users of the beach park and taxpayers, of such low priority that the parking lot could not have been completed in a timely manner? For many, the park is the only salvation, especially during this pandemic and lockdown.

If the city had done some critical thinking about the importance of the beach park for residents and applied basic project management skills, the lot could have been done in less than two months.

Carol Ching

Ala Moana


Hanauma Bay returns to its former delightful self

My husband and I visited the newly reopened Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve on Friday morning. Despite circling the entrance for two hours before finally gaining admission, we had an absolutely delightful time snorkeling.

The water was clear, the fish were remarkably abundant and every visitor we saw in the water was being extremely conscientious and respectful of the reef and its inhabitants. It reminded me of when I used to go there as a little girl in the 1960s.

I think Hanauma Bay should continue strictly limited visitor access. But there truly needs to be an online reservation system to manage this efficiently. Pearl Harbor has been doing this for years. Perhaps Hanauma Bay management can reach out to Pearl Harbor for some guidance? No need to re-invent the wheel.

Keep up the good work at Hanauma Bay. It looks great!

Dale Moana Gilmartin



Safe Travels program lacks timely reviews

After reading the letter from Thomas Quarnstrom, M.D. (“Two hours too late to avoid quarantine,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 7), and how his results came two hours too late for him to avoid the 14-day quarantine, I felt I’d write in with my own experience.

I landed in Honolulu last Tuesday afternoon, travelling from Southern California. I was anxious about getting late results so I took a test from two different contractors, figuring one would come through on a timely basis. To my delight both results came in the Monday afternoon before my flight and I promptly uploaded them, giving the state 26 hours to review my negative results.

To my astonishment, upon arrival at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the screener said my results were still pending review, so I had to go into quarantine. The state had 26 hours during the regular workweek to review, and failed to do so.

Thank heavens I had the foresight to print hard copies of my results to show, or I would have been quarantined due to the ineptitude and capriciousness of the state system.

Jack Laufer



‘Trusted partners’ don’t have prompt test results

It was interesting to read the letter from the local doctor who got his COVID-19 test results back too late and had to quarantine (“Two hours too late to avoid quarantine,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 7). Our story is much the same: We couldn’t get test results back fast enough to satisfy the state.

Why didn’t we have results in hand upon arrival, you ask? Because we had to use “a trusted partner” to do the testing. In our case, the only “trusted partner” within a 300-mile radius was Walgreens. They were taking three to seven days to get results back.

We couldn’t use the medical school at Northern Michigan University, or the Regional Medical Center only 20 miles away — both of whom were returning results in 24 to 48 hours — because they weren’t “trusted partners.”

Now here we sit, unable to go out for two weeks, only because the state has found it difficult to keep up with entering results into their records for those of us who were not able to get test results back within 72 hours of our departure for Hawaii.

Russell Gust



Visitors must remember to wear masks properly

Almost every day you print pictures of visitors in Waikiki or elsewhere not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly.

Why is this OK? Where are the rules and regulations for the visitors to keep us safe? If they can’t respect our hospitality and not put us at risk, they should postpone their visit until a better time.

Spread aloha, not corona.

Marge Callahan



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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 appreciate, much that brings joy.

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