Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, May 27, 2024 77° Today's Paper


Letters: When we knew better, we did things better; Most of COVID relief bill for progressive projects; Race has nothing to do with breaking the law

Although the pandemic is the first in 100 years, learning to change our behavior for the sake of health and safety is hardly a new phenomenon.

I remember as a child, sitting in the front seat of the family car, and my mother having to stop quickly. Often, I was jerked forward or even off the seat. There were no seatbelts and certainly no airbags in 1966. Now in 2021, we forget our car’s airbags are even there, and automatically buckle up without even thinking about it. We now know better.

Most adults can remember the days when cigarette smoking was allowed in restaurants and on airplanes. Those who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s remember people, including doctors and nurses, smoking in hospitals. But, science proved to us that secondhand smoke is dangerous, and now smokers know not to light up in public places. We now know better.

Now we wear masks and socially distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. We now know better. The question is, will each one of us take the responsibility to do better?

Leslie Evans

Ala Wai


Most of COVID relief bill for progressive projects

In response to the letter, “Perhaps Republicans should turn down aid” (Star-Advertiser, March 15): No Republican in Congress voted for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill because $1 trillion of it was filled with what The Wall Street Journal editorial board described as expansions of progressive programs, pork and $270 million for unrelated policy changes.

Only $825 billion is directly related to COVID-19. A few examples of Democratic pet projects under the guise of COVID relief:

>> $50 million for “family planning” to nonprofits;

>> $86 billion to save pension plans, many co-managed by unions;

>> $1.5 billion for Amtrak;

>> $350 billion to 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on unemployment statistics so (Democratic) lockdown states will receive more funds. States that stayed open for business and weren’t any worse than other states in COVID-19 statistics get much less.

Alison Lopez



Clean up ditches, canals to prevent flood disaster

Plain and simple common sense tells you that when you disturb watersheds, local government and developers are responsible for providing protective drainage infrastructure systems to divert the high volume of runoff from lower-lying communities.

Our local government has been negligent in maintaining and cleaning drainage ditches, culverts, canals and rivers to ensure that the flow of excess water entering the system will not compromise and endanger the welfare and safety of lower-lying communities.

It’s time for leaders to wake up, since they have not learned from the past. In the 1960s, an elderly woman from the Keapuka subdivision was found a mile from her home after she was swept away by flood waters. Definitely time to wake up!

Patrick N. Custino



Racial discrimination part of human existence

Racial discrimination is here to stay. It began in mankind’s earliest times and will not end until the end of the human race.

It is sometimes difficult to understand. For instance, the Germans killed millions of Jewish ancestry only because they were Jewish.

Thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry were locked up in concentration camps by the United States. They were called “internment camps” in an effort to soften the wrong our country committed against its citizens. Yes, they were concentration camps, with barbed wire fences and watchtowers manned with machine guns.

AJAs volunteered to fight in World War II and were the highest-decorated soldiers in the war who fought in the worst battles.

Today, because the coronavirus allegedly came from China, Asians are attacked.

In spite of all these injustices, today we are the greatest country in the world that advanced from the days of slavery.

James Kataoka

Mililani Mauka


Race has nothing to do with breaking the law

I take exception to the entire article, “Minority students in Hawaii see higher arrest rates, report finds” (Star-Advertiser, March 25). I am sick to death that every occurrence, all of a sudden, is race-based. The facts are that almost none of them are race-based.

The article said that more than 93% of the offenses were related to truancy, alcohol consumption, running away or curfews. OK, so what?

Another statement said that these arrests lead to lasting negative effects on youths’ lives. Well, what should be given to them? A gold star for breaking laws?

Maybe we should look at the parents of these children. They are legally the ones who are responsible.

Diane Tippett



Militarization threatens the whole planet

The news about Hawaii’s involvement in the expansion of the nation’s militarism is very disturbing. First there was the new battleship being sent to Pearl Harbor, and now we learn about the drones at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (“6 Reaper drones will be based on Oahu,” Star-Advertiser, March 24). Of course, there’s the ongoing missile defense system.

The amount of money in our national budget for war preparation, compared to our investment toward a world at peace, is becoming more problematic. When connected to American nationalism and our diplomacy methodology, finding peaceful solutions to international differences becomes more difficult.

The nuclear arms race and the world’s power struggle to have the most weapons threaten the whole planet. Perhaps our politicians and generals should reread “The Butter Battle Book” by Dr. Seuss!

Marian Heidel



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