Has anyone ever compiled an accounting of the total monies wasted by the Kealohas while they were being paid salaries in office?
Days? Weeks? Months? Years? On the public dime? Being paid to do one job but performing another? Wasting the resources of the Criminal Intelligence Unit on 24-hour surveillance? And, likewise, the court and attorney fees in taking the uncle to court and winning a bogus civil judgment against him?
Reading the headline “City must pay ex-chief’s legal fees” (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 14) — fees that could be well over $1 million — raises questions about costs the city will embrace hiring attorneys to fight the decision, as well as the chief’s $250,000 go-away money that probably will never be repaid, and a possible civil suit initiated by the uncle that could cost the city between $12 million and $40 million in damages.
To borrow from, and paraphrase, the late U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen:
“A couple million here, a couple million there, and pretty soon it adds up to some real money.”
Hanauma Bay needs good reservation system
I was amazed to read about the parking problems around Portlock/Hawaii Kai Triangle area (“Residents upset by Hanauma Bay visitors jamming street parking,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 13).
Apparently once again a city agency has dropped the ball. The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) had nine months to set up a reservation system for Hanauma Bay and, from what I read, has not even started working on one.
Perhaps DPR should adapt the system used to set up appointments for renewing a driver’s license. Where are our representatives on resolving the problem?
I was happy that Hanauma Bay was reopening, but maybe it should have remained closed until all the problems were resolved.
Operation Warp Speed an incredible success
Operation Warp Speed has finally come to fruition in less than a year. This will go down in history as an incredible medical feat. The American people started receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this month.
It appears that health care workers and senior citizens with serious medical problems and in nursing homes will be the initial recipients of the Pfizer vaccine. Active-duty military personnel, police officers, firefighters, essential government officials and the general public should follow in receiving immunizations but not necessarily in that order.
The Moderna vaccine may be ready in late December and vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies will be available in early 2021, so we should be patient and understanding of when the supplies will be distributed.
Diamond Head opens, businesses stay closed
After months of being closed, a popular visitor attraction on Oahu is slated to reopen this week with COVID-19 protocols in place (“Diamond Head State Monument to reopen Thursday,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 15). Diamond Head State Monument will reopen to the public today, exactly nine months after state officials closed it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And since the 300 bars, restaurants and small stores are closed forever, you’ll have plenty of time to go for that nice healthy walk. Following protocols, of course. It’s all for “your safety.”
Pahoa, Hawaii island
Many less fortunate than government workers
Rosemary Cabral (“Workers, children bear brunt of budget cuts,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 16), and Hawaii’s state employee union leaders have been fully employed with all benefits: sick leave, vacation, medical, retirement, etc., throughout this entire pandemic.
Meanwhile, hotel workers, airline and tourism employees, restaurant and retail workers and many thousands of others became unemployed or lost businesses through no fault of their own.
And then there are those who have struggled for months on end to obtain unemployment insurance from the totally inept state unemployment office. Many of these same unemployed are about to come to the end of rent assistance programs and become homeless through no fault of their own.
And most people, instead of whining, are living ohana and aloha and doing their best to get through this situation.
As I see it, Cabral has it better than most!
Andrea W. Bell
Tracking apps would provide contact tracing
I wish the Hawaii would use the COVID-19 tracking apps from Apple and Google. That way if we pass by somebody who later tests positive, we can get tested, too.
Location is not tracked. It is just recorded that somewhere you passed by an infected person.
Effective, low-cost contact tracing!
Daniel C. Smith
Feral roosters crowing day and night in the city
I live near the park at Beretania and Smith streets where feral roosters crow day and night, causing sleep disruptions for the many living nearby in two huge condo buildings. The chickens are multiplying, and I have seen them downtown, on Iolani Palace grounds, near Straub Medical Center, in Kakaako and Kailua, clearly not their only habitats.
The serious damage they are causing to our health is common knowledge, yet it persists month after month. City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga is working on it, but has not been able to find the money or means of removing the nuisance birds.
By law, it is the city’s responsibility. Please, Mayor Caldwell, do your job and relocate these animals.
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