My experience in dining at restaurants during Tier 2 has been commendable. I have witnessed proper spacing of tables and appropriate wearing of masks.
With the pressure of closing dine-in again, restaurant managers and staff can elevate their safety precautions even more. Owners should ensure COVID-19 testing of staff on a regular basis.
Keep the industry open and local economy improving. Teamwork.
Postal Service slow in delivering mail
Every year we send out postcards and Christmas cards to friends, relatives and business acquaintances. For the second year in a row, we are finding that people are not getting our cards or, if they do, it is taking 12 to 17 days. We were timely mailing all of our cards right after Thanksgiving.
I wonder if a class-action suit against the U.S. Postal Service is in the works. There should be. Refunds are due all of us who mailed cards and did not have them delivered. We bought 170 cards and only a few ever made it to their destination.
We started using FedEx from Hawaii. It costs more, but we are assured that items sent will arrive on time. The employees of the post office are all very friendly, but once we mail things, the system is not friendly to our Christmas cards.
HSTA leadership stalled contract
In referencing a broad-brush objection to furloughs for teachers, Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee cited my administration as having “imposed” a contract on the teacher’s union (“Corey Rosenlee,” Star-Advertiser, 5 Questions With …, Dec. 18).
That claim is false. The contract was overwhelmingly approved by the HSTA membership. It was line for line, word for word, number for number the exact contract negotiated by HSTA and my negotiator. It was the HSTA leadership — not me — who refused to put the contract to a vote when it had second thoughts after agreeing to its terms.
I waited in vain for any response from HSTA leadership when they backed away from their own negotiations. There was no choice for me but to implement the only contract on record. Ultimately, the original and only contract was the one presented to the membership for its approval.
As governor, I was not responsible for the failure of leadership in the HSTA, a condition only the membership itself could and can cure. If Rosenlee is looking for villains, I suggest he take a long hard look in the HSTA mirror.
Make owners pay for abandoned cars
Abandoned vehicles mar the landscape, become public eyesores and cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars in cleanup costs. Around the island of Oahu, I see discarded vehicles on road shoulders, highways and backroads.
A way to significantly mitigate the problem is to make owners responsible for proper disposal “from cradle to grave.” Once a vehicle is titled or retitled to an individual or entity, it is their responsibility to insure the vehicle is disposed of properly. There must always be a clear owner who is ultimately responsible for disposal.
If a vehicle is abandoned, the titled owner would have to remove it immediately, pay a fine, and cover the cost of any environmental damage mitigation. If the owner does not remove the vehicle immediately and pay such fine, he would then no longer be able to title or register another vehicle, or renew a driver’s license.
Should victims of car theft be penalized? No, but they should still be responsible for removal. As part of insurance law, disposal costs for abandoned/stolen vehicles could be required.
Keep inmates in case counts
I do not agree with this decision at all (“Oahu inmate infections to be removed from Oahu’s reopening metrics, Caldwell says,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 21).
An active new case is just that. Employees go home after their shifts. They have exposure to others and can infect others, just like the rest of us.
Inmates, staff should get vaccinations soon
Because of problems of social distancing, both the staff and the inmates of Oahu’s Halawa prison should have priority in vaccination.
This is simple common sense.
A HOPEFUL 2021
With a tumultuous 2020 coming to an end, wishes for a “Happy New Year!” seem more heartfelt than ever before.
What are your hopes and dreams for 2021? Let us know, in a letter (150 words max) or an essay (500-600 words). Email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or send to 500 Ala Moana Blvd. #7-210, Honolulu 96813, c/o Letters. The deadline is 5 p.m. Dec. 30, with a collection of them to run Jan. 3.