comscore Letters: Those with student loans support social benefits; Restricting vaccinations hurts Hawaii economy; HSTA works for benefit of hard-working teachers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Those with student loans support social benefits; Restricting vaccinations hurts Hawaii economy; HSTA works for benefit of hard-working teachers

Regarding the letter, “Public shouldn’t pay student’s voluntary debt” (Star-Advertiser, March 3): I understand the logic behind the idea that individuals chose to take on debt in order to pursue higher education and, therefore, they should be held accountable for such decisions.

Some people might think that forgiving student loans is equal to giving them a free ride, but I think this is very ignorant. It fails to acknowledge the fact that most of the people who have massive educational debt are of the same generation that will be paying for Social Security and Medicare benefits for the generations before them.

Furthermore, this is the same generation that might not even have such benefits available to them when they are of retirement age.

If we want these people to be able to continue to work and pay for such benefits, then we need to make it possible for them to do so and still create a stable life for themselves.

Moana-Marie Nazareno



People of Hawaii should save Love’s Bakery

I know to us locals it would seem pono for people like Larry Ellison to help revive the fate of Love’s Bakery (“Larry Ellison could save Love’s Bakery,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 7). But if you think about it, he hasn’t lived in Hawaii for a very long time.

We, the people of Hawaii who feel sad about losing this iconic business, should start the ball rolling to raise funds. Hopefully if other people or businesses see we honestly want Love’s to remain, they might jump in. Anyone out there want to take the first step with a GoFundMe account? Five dollars or $10 here or there would make a big difference.

Donna Yap

Kalihi Valley


‘Centrist’ politicians won’t help all in need

I’m relieved to see the Democrats pushed through a pandemic anti- poverty aid plan even though all our Republican U.S. senators voted against it.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, noted that Democratic leadership had no interest in “a targeted bipartisan relief package.”

Republicans didn’t want a $1,400 relief payment, or to cut poverty by one-third this year or to cut child poverty in half, or to provide relief for states, cities and schools.

What’s a bipartisan package? A “centrist” relief package? As the Rev. William Barber said, “What is a centrist? You only make sure half the people get justice?” Only half get food on the table, a roof over their heads, adequate health care, a decent nonpoverty wage?

We must continue to fight for a decent minimum wage, the right to collective bargaining, decent health care, investment in our keiki’s education, and against poverty.

As the Grateful Dead said in “Ship of Fools”: I laid it on the line / I won’t slave for beggar’s pay / Likewise gold and jewels / But I would slave to learn the way / To sink your ship of fools.”

Brad Baang



Grateful for all those who take precautions

Thanks to all who helped us through this coronavirus year.

I’m the middle-aged dude who looks entirely healthy but has an underlying condition that makes a COVID-19 infection very risky. A special shout-out to those who regularly don their masks, keep their distance while in public, curtail group activities, and otherwise help limit the spread.

Public officials and health care workers deserve all our gratitude, of course. Many others have sacrificed and suffered greatly. But everyone’s contributions — often small, mundane and annoying — have kept Hawaii the safest place in the United States.

Mahalo nui loa.

Ethan Yorgason



Restricting vaccinations hurts Hawaii economy

Forty-eight states vaccinate people 65 and older. Hawaii is not one of them.

Twenty-nine states vaccinate all adults considered high risk. Hawaii is not among them.

I understand supply and demand and I am watching how Hawaii is using its share of the vaccine supply. We have used only about 74% of ours.

I am 67 years old with those pesky conditions that make me high-risk but are not a death sentence — unless I contract COVID-19. I also am fortunate enough to have some disposable income. Since the pandemic, those dollars are not being spent in Hawaii. My cereal, toilet paper and cat food arrive by mail.

If the politicians in fact support our seniors and the economy, there is only one solution. Vaccination. When people feel safe, there will be lines at our favorite businesses and activities only available on this unique island.

Not vaccinating and allowing more transmissible COVID mutations into the population only increases fear.

My only power is my voice and my vote. This is my voice and I never miss an election.

Beth DeWitt



HSTA works for benefit of hard-working teachers

This letter is in response to several others trashing teachers and their union. I’m not a loyal union supporter for personal reasons. However, the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) seems always to look out for the teachers’ interests because that is what it’s getting paid to do.

I’m not paying HSTA to look out for students’, administrators’ and staff’s best interests.

I also saw teachers being bashed because they got paid throughout this pandemic and are concerned about more exposure if all students returned in person. One letter alluded to other professions taking even more exposure risk than teachers (“HSTA needs to care more about students,” Star- Advertiser, Letters, March 7).

True or not, come and apply for this gravy job. There are always openings to the point where they recruit on the mainland. Free parking, cheap lunch, all the breaks. Instead of grumbling and whining about how privileged teachers are, come and apply and see how Hawaii’s teachers cruise for their paycheck.

Dean Furukawa



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