Please, please, Mayor Blangiardi, hold off on going back to Tier 2 (“Oahu likely to slide back to Tier 2 this week amid rise in COVID-19 cases,” Star-Advertiser, April 5)!
The new cases are pretty clustered. Meanwhile, Honolulu is full of happy tourists, while well-behaved locals are getting on with their lives.
Tier 2 will be a giant setback, and not constructive. Focus on the clusters.
Mayor, governor need plan to curb infections
The count of infected people each day is getting higher. Last week, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said he was not so concerned of a higher infection rate because the hospitals do not have too many COVID-19 patients.
He may have been right last week, but he should be concerned now. Many of my friends over 60 years old have not gotten their vaccines, a reality check indicating hospitals soon will see more infected people.
Oahu needs to do something now. We the people have the right to know what the governor and mayor of Honolulu plan to do to halt rising infections.
Use hospital admissions to determine tier level
The governor seems to forget that the original stay-at-home order was to slow the spread of COVID-19, not stop it, in order that our medical facilities would not be overwhelmed. Officials should be looking at the percentage of hospital admissions/ICU bed occupancy due to the virus to determine returning to Tier 2 (or even 1).
Take pay, pensions from corrupt public workers
Here we go again. How utterly frustrating! Repeatedly the feds have to come in and clean up our mess (“Federal charges detail Oahu building permit corruption,” Star-Advertiser, April 1). The foxes are guarding the hen house and it’s absolutely deplorable.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and rail are frauds. The never-ending construction at the airport should have been audited decades ago. First the Honolulu Police Department scandal, then the Prosecutor’s Office, and now the city Department of Planning and Permitting, whose dysfunction and questionable permitting I wrote about five years ago in these very pages.
Shame on former City Councilman Ron Menor and the rest of the Council for failing to see and investigate what was so alarmingly obvious to many citizens for more than a decade. Ex-Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s habit of turning a blind eye will haunt him politically. He can’t lead or be trusted.
If a government employee is found guilty of a job-related felony, he or she should immediately lose pay, pension and benefits, retroactive to the time of the original transgression. Who could possibly oppose this?
Business, labor should support wage increase
Leaders of Hawaii’s largest union and the Chamber of Commerce praised lawmakers for restraint and patience in facing COVID-19 (“Legislative leaders wise to be patient,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, April 4).
It was disconcerting to read this hymn of praise, knowing that lawmakers seem to have failed again to raise the minimum wage. A joint statement by otherwise typical adversaries on this issue could have real meaning.
Imagine if labor and business called for a modest raise. Almost no union member earns the current minimum of $10.10, nor should they. Hawaii has the lowest minimum wage of all highest-cost-of-living states.
The Chamber thinks now is not the time to increase pay for the poorest among us. Now is never the time, it seems. Yet, research demonstrates that increases in minimum wage, not unlike union-negotiated pay increases, will be absorbed rather smoothly.
Business and labor voices should push lawmakers to demonstrate consideration for those most in need, even as they accept raises for themselves.
Republicans won’t be fair in running elections
Columnist Cal Thomas gave a history of black face, then blamed Democrats for the voter suppression and violence prevalent in the old South (“Georgia election law aims to make voting accurate, fair,” Star-Advertiser, March 30).
It was true that before President Lyndon Johnson supported voter rights, Democrats held the South. But that all changed when those same people and ideas became the present-day Republican Party.
Referring to the new voter law in Georgia, Thomas quoted President Joe Biden as saying, “It makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”
Despite the obvious voter restrictions aimed at keeping Republicans in power, the part of the law that turns a crow into an eagle is allowing a Republican-controlled legislature to overrule results in local elections.
Everyone should write their members of Congress to pass federal legislation on voter rights, as Republicans have proven they have no capacity for fairness.
Traffic congestion gets worse in Kaneohe
The traffic analytics company Inrix conducts an annual Global Traffic Scorecard that tracks congestion in more than 1,000 cities worldwide.
In 2020, as might be expected due to the pandemic, the stuck-in-traffic statistics in the U.S. alone dropped by 73%. But three U.S. cities saw an increase in hours lost to traffic last year: Santa Rosa, Calif.; Sarasota, Fla.; and Kaneohe.
Kaneohe? Go figure.
John Wythe White
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