comscore Letters: Seniors have hard time scheduling vaccinations; House referral strategy harms democracy; AVR will give houseless a voice in public policy | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Seniors have hard time scheduling vaccinations; House referral strategy harms democracy; AVR will give houseless a voice in public policy

Many seniors without online services are having difficulty scheduling vaccination appointments. I’m one of them.

I don’t have a computer and my phone is without internet access.

How can I schedule a vaccine appointment? I’ve desperately called CVS, hospitals and every number given to me. No success.

Every place that provides vaccinations should have a table nearby to take applications from eligible walk-ins for future dates.

Soon vaccinations will be available for the next age group and the seniors will be further back.

I’m frustrated and seriously thinking about forgoing the vaccine.

Clarence Chun



Understand necessity of taking the vaccine

I read an article by Tamara Keith of National Public Radio that said nearly half of the people who voted for Donald Trump are reluctant to take COVID-19 vaccine.

Who are these people, I wonder? Still reeling from the recent chaos, I felt at first that they would get what they deserve. But then I took a step back to reason and saw the consequences, which are nothing short of catastrophic. This reluctance would only prolong the pandemic, bring on unnecessary suffering for themselves and their families, and create economic difficulties to themselves and the whole society.

This epidemic has cost more than 500,000 lives in the U.S. and continues the horrendous ravaging grief around the world. Our nation is literate, but something is definitely missing in our education and comprehension of reality.

We need to get away from the fake-news ideology and grasp reality. It will be good for all of us.

Birendra Huja

Waialae Iki


House referral strategy harms democracy

I absolutely agree with Bob Grossman’s point that we need to question the state House speaker’s practice of referring bills to four committees, essentially killing the bills (“Quadruple bill referrals insidious abuse of power,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 18).

One example from this session: amendments to the Our Care, Our Choice Act (Senate Bill 839, companion bill not heard in the House). The amendments, drafted by the state Department of Health to effectively respond to community need, recently won Senate votes by an overwhelming 21-4.

After crossover, the speaker assigned SB 839 to four committees, making it impossible to complete hearings by the end of session. House leaders could have re-referred to fewer committees, yet chose to decline to give this bill a fair hearing.

With so much support for these amendments, it sounds like House leaders are out of step with communities across the state. Moreover, does this practice contribute to putting democracy in Hawaii in reverse? Process integrity and accountability and transparency absolutely matter.

Lynn B. Wilson



HART must be restricted to a limited budget

The $12.449 billion budget projection submitted by Lori Kahikina, interim CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, is described as “conservative” because it includes “every foreseen unknowable” (“Larger rail budget packs generous contingency plans,” Star-Advertiser, March 19).

I looked up the word “conservative” in the dictionary and could find no such definition. But doesn’t Kahikina realize that, based on its past record, HART will find a way to spend every dollar put into its budget and then some?

The way to handle HART is to give it a fixed budget to cover known expenditures and then, if it fails to stay within budget, force it to cut back on its plans. But, if Kahikina really believes the way to handle HART is to give it more money than it needs, she should resign immediately because she obviously is not fit for the task.

Edward D. Lasky

Hawaii Kai


Put rail at street level through the city center

The present situation with the $12 billion rail project cannot be solved with another P3 arrangement.

The taxpayer will have to pay for the increasing cost. One way we would be able to lessen the cost as the elevated rail arrives in the city center is to eliminate the elevated rail structure and use existing streets to reach Ala Moana Center.

The most practical route requires study. Lowering the rail to street level would provide an open view from the mountain to the sea for streets crossing the rail route.

The visual appeal of the city is very important to tourists and residents.

Sandy Urata



AVR will give houseless a voice in public policy

Automatic voter registration is an efficient way to make our registration process more convenient and secure. More importantly, it will play a crucial role in finally giving our houseless community a voice in policy change (“Poverty, houselessness should not mean loss of voting rights,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, March 18).

Houseless residents are vulnerable to public regulations. Let’s remove the barriers that have kept them out of the political conversation. This acceptable form of voter suppression must be addressed.

Stacie Burke



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