I understand the state has an obligation to balance its budget. Let’s not be so quick to do this at the expense of furloughing state employees (“More than 10,000 Hawaii state employees face furloughs starting in January,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 10).
Our keiki already have had their education undermined this year. Handing out pink slips to teachers and other essential employees simply is not an option. Can we try something else, for say 24 months, and then re-evaluate this endeavor?
Let’s reconsider offshore gambling. The Star of Honolulu can be converted to a floating casino. Carnival Cruise Lines has an idle fleet of ships until at least March. This could put many Hawaii hotel workers back to work and build a pile of revenue for the state.
There also are local entertainers looking for gigs. When our balanced budget requirements are met, the state can terminate this short-term initiative. Why limit ourselves to waiting for additional CARES Act funds when we can do this ourselves?
Boycott surf sponsors who are closing beach
I didn’t know what to think when I saw a roadside sign saying that fans were not welcome to watch the Billabong Pipe Masters competition on the North Shore this year.
I do know what I thought when a TV commercial said the beach was their stadium and, like other stadiums, was closed to spectators. That beach isn’t their anything!
My plan: Watch the televised event, paying special attention to all the sponsors. Then close my stadium (my wallet) for the next 12 months to those sponsors.
We have a lot of experience social distancing and wearing masks. I believe boycotting these sponsors for a year is down payment for taking over the beach (but this year’s behavior should be taken into account before inviting them back).
Allowing destruction of beaches a scandal
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the excellent, unsparing reporting done by Sophie Cocke in the series of articles (“Wealthy homeowners are endangering Hawaii’s beaches,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 6). I hope there are more to come.
The article sheds light on so many questions I’ve had over the years regarding our beaches that are washing away before our eyes. Reading about many of these homeowners who put their selfish pleasures above the good of the community, as well as our state Constitution, boggles the mind, but also explains how we got to this point.
The state officials who encourage, or at best ignore, this destructive and often illegal behavior is a scandal that our lawmakers need to address immediately, before it’s more too late than it is already.
Don’t give Ala Moana tower special exemptions
A rental tower proposed for Ala Moana Center also deserved to be on the front page (“City wants transit easements for rental tower,” Star- Advertiser, Dec. 3). The project is all about money, as is usual for this town, where the developer gets what he wants. Concessions by the City Council would support the violation of height, density and setback limits.
Much has been said already about the ills of this project. It would put the aina on the short end (human congestion and more development). What about sea level rise and straining fresh water resources? When does the aina ever come first?
Be careful of tentative approvals. They have come back to bite us before when we changed our minds. Think about the future!
Kawakami stands up for residents of Kauai
In my not-so-humble opinion, the Star-Advertiser owes Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami and the people of Kauai an apology and a correction to the headline, “Kauai travel rules bring job and revenue losses” (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 2). The correct headline should have read, “COVID-19 brings job and revenue losses.”
As for Dr. Mark Mugiishi, Raymond Vara and Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who said that Wilcox Memorial Hospital has only nine ICU beds but could flex up to 20: They seem to be saying that Kauai should sacrifice its Tier 4 status and drop back down to Tier 1 conditions, fill those ICU beds (and for the most fragile of Kauaians to die) so that off- island-owned hotels can make money.
I commend Kawakami for his courage and his care for his citizens. The rest of us in Hawaii only wish we had elected officials who stood up for us the way Kawakami has for Kauai.
No good can result in call to ‘destroy’ Trumpsters
Bryant Ching asserted that the new administration should “do their utmost to destroy the Trumpsters economically, psychologically, emotionally, physically” (“Democrats should do as Trumpsters did to them,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 7).
This is a terribly troubling and sad aspiration to wish on anyone. I hope even fervent Democrats read this and that a chill went up their spine, too. I also pray this writer isn’t in a position of authority or in possession of weapons to do precisely what he is threatening.
COMFORT AND JOY
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.
In the spirit of the season, we are accepting letters (150 words max) and essays (500-600 words) with uplifting messages to share during this holiday season; the deadline is 5 p.m. Dec. 16.
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or send to 500 Ala Moana Blvd. #7-210, Honolulu 96813, c/o Letters.