“Migrant surge is a big challenge for the president” (Star-Advertiser, March 9), reported the overwhelming surge of migrants along the border with Mexico, noting that border agents encountered migrants 78,000 times in January, 19,000 times since March 1 and that facilities are inadequate to accommodate the surge.
The immediate problem should be attributed to the president himself who, attempting to put distance between his administration and the previous one labeled “harsh” and “cruel,” yielded to virtual signaling, relaxed border access controls and essentially invited the surge.
Immigration is a plus all around for our nation and those fleeing poverty and violence, but knee-jerk partisan political moves should not replace needed changes to immigration law, removing the conditions that create the impetus to migrate and building an infrastructure that supports a legal immigration process.
Perfectly composed photo of firefighter
I unfolded the newspaper and was greeted by a half-page color image of a firefighter dangling from a rope just above raging storm waters, searching for a missing person swept away in what is normally a stream but now a fast-moving river (“Raging waters,” Star-Advertiser, March 10).
What struck me and caused me to stare at the photo was the perfect composition of the photo, the facial expression of firefighter M. Souza, the water roiling just below him. I immediately saw two things in his face: confidence, not fear, and a dread that he may find what he was looking for.
If this is not Pulitzer Prize stuff, I don’t know what is.
Charles S.J. Davis
Photographer should win prize for image
The photo of firefighter M. Souza, taken by Star-Advertiser photographer Craig Kojima, should be submitted for a Pulitzer Prize. This is one of the best photographs of emergency services I’ve seen.
Painless vaccinations at Windward health center
We frequently read and hear reports of suboptimal and discourteous service by government agencies. However, this was not the case in my experience.
My spouse and I registered and received our COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 2 and March 3, organized by the Hawaii Department of Health at the Windward Community Health Center. The agency staff and volunteers were courteous and efficient in the process from beginning to end, in spite of the many kupuna who were scheduled.
They answered our concerns, administered the vaccine painlessly, monitored us, and checked us out with clear directions in handling potential adverse reactions. And important for us 75 years and older, there were no delays and prolonged waiting. We are extremely grateful for the convenient, compassionate and efficient service received. This was truly a five-star rating!
Bernard A.K.S. Ho
Students should pay tax on reduction in loans
It was pointed out to me that whenever a credit card debt or any consumer loan is reduced or forgiven by arbitration or negotiation, it is considered income and the recipient is issued a Form 1099 in that amount by the lender. Taxes are levied on the reduction according to the person’s tax bracket at the time.
Perhaps if our present administration insists on forgiving student loans, this also should be the case.
These student loans represent millions, no, billions of dollars, and are guaranteed by the government, so the lender must be repaid.
Just think of the revenue generated that could go toward offsetting this expense.
Gordy and Marilyn Fowler
Private businesses will lead economic recovery
Denise Soderholm’s letter is right on (“Don’t private businesses help the economy, too?,” Star-Advertiser, March 5)!
She questions the preposterous assertions of two state union representatives who say that government workers are “the very people who provide the services that will lift us out of economic despair” (“Public workers keep economy going,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Feb. 28).
Hello? What were these people smoking? Or drinking?
Without small businesses — large ones, too, and many of them devastated — whose taxes, and whose employees’ taxes, pay for our already bloated government bureaucracy, from the governor on down to the imbeciles running the unemployment division (latest missive: can’t open the claims office in person because too many people will show up, and there isn’t enough security), there is no government, no services, no workers. No nothing.
Who do you think pays for all this?
Outside of our first responders, who are vital to Hawaii’s recovery and for whom I have great respect, government workers add no revenue to the economy; rather, they drain it.
As Soderholm says, it’s commerce and business that will lead the way to the state’s recovery.
Don’t sell Sand Island land to special interests
I’m just an ordinary citizen, but what’s going on with Sand Island Industrial Park (“Bill would facilitate sale of Sand Island Industrial Park,” Star-Advertiser, March 8)?
As Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case asked: Why? This short-term solution would herald more future funding problems. Help the public understand. Should we be following the money?
I’m concerned about the future funding of coastal lands and dam safety under the care of the DLNR. What will the state neglect in order to give some special interests a break?
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs also has strong objections. Now that the COVID recovery act is slated to help the state during these dire times, there is no need to sell off precious assets.
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