comscore Letters: Protesters can’t compare to previous generations; Groups work to make Chinatown better place; Support public schools, don’t cut their budgets | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Protesters can’t compare to previous generations; Groups work to make Chinatown better place; Support public schools, don’t cut their budgets

We were floored by the selfishness on display at the anti-mask, anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine march held at the state Capitol on Dec. 19 (“Anti-vaxxers, Trump supporters, youth sports advocates rally at state Capitol in downtown Honolulu,” Star-Advertiser, Photo Galleries, Dec. 19).

While we recognize the real financial and emotional pain of quarantine, we can’t help but contrast the “don’t tread on me” crowd with the example of previous generations.

In the world wars, civilians planted vegetable gardens, gave up meat and rationed gasoline to free up supplies for frontline troops. Today, the front is closer to home, and the troops are our health care workers, who risk their lives working 12-hour shifts in increasingly crowded ICUs. But you can’t bear to wear a mask or forgo youth soccer for a few more months? Really?

Yes, freedom is important, but it’s not an absolute: We routinely curtail individual liberties for far less compelling reasons (try walking around topless in public, as a woman). If our governmental leaders had modeled and supported collective sacrifice back in April, some of the 300,000 Americans we lost might still be with us now.

Lindsay and Marcy Wilhelm



Thanks to boss who stands up for workers

I work at a small local business store and we make announcements about covering your nose and mouth while shopping. I saw a tween with her friends not following social protocol.

As she left, she coughed at me. My boss came running trying to confront this ungrateful individual. I was proud that my boss and company had my back.

Donna M. Cadiente



Don’t include inmates in city’s daily case counts

I do not think prisoners should be included in the Oahu count of COVID-19 cases (“Oahu may revert to more-restrictive Tier 1, Mayor Caldwell warns as COVID-19 cases climb,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 21). They also should be excluded from the positivity rates.

Both of these numbers are negatively influencing our ability to move to Tier 3 or at least stay at Tier 2. Yes, they should be counted, but the numbers should be reported separately.

The staff, on the other hand, should be included. They will be going home, or out shopping in the community. The prisoners aren’t going anywhere and are in a unique quarantine/isolation situation.

It was stated in the paper that the numbers had not been this high since Sept. 5. Just out of curiosity, what was the prisoner count at that time?

Please, Gov. Ige, listen to the mayor on this one. And make a decision quickly.

Sally L. Jones



Hidden economy thrives where politicians fail

I find it interesting that the authorities have accidentally discovered that there is a thriving underground economy here in the form of unreported rental income (“Hawaii landlords rejecting $8M in overdue rent,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 8).

They should not be surprised. I’ll bet that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Such a hidden economy often develops in states and countries where the political climate is such that the populace feels overtaxed and overregulated, that the cost of living is too high, and that their government is unresponsive to their needs.

Hawaii’s political climate certainly meets all these criteria.

“Why should I give any more than I must to a government that is not out to help me?” is the mindset that develops under these circumstances. Folks will get away with what they can.

If our politicians would pay attention and respond, this problem will take care of itself.

Gordy Fowler



Groups work to make Chinatown better place

Nina Wu’s article (“Chinatown conditions worsen in pandemic,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 21), is a counter to an October Civil Beat story about new life in Chinatown. Both contain truth.

The picture you chose to run shows a truly awful piece of Chinatown. Mahalo for mentioning “the elephant in the room,” as River of Life continues to distribute Styrofoam food containers thrice daily to people who strew their detritus throughout Downtown and Chinatown.

Besides the Chinatown Business Association, which gets regular mention, there are other groups both formal and informal working to make Chinatown a better, cleaner place, in spite of police recalcitrance and mayoral dithering.

Willis H.A. Moore



Support public schools, don’t cut their budgets

Our education system and our students are struggling. We the public want an excellent public education system. Our teachers are working hard to provide the best that they can under the circumstances of the last 10 months.

Why on Earth would our governor punish and cut a system that is in dire need of dedicated teachers (“Hawaii public schools superintendent reveals furlough dates for teachers, other employees,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, Dec. 15)? We do not have enough teachers in the best of times.

Please support our public schools and do not furlough anyone from the public school system.

Barbara Dwyer



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