Mayor Rick Blangiardi has decided to keep Oahu in Tier 3 even as COVID-19 numbers rocketed past the former Tier 2 threshold of 50 new cases daily.
He pointed out that the commitment to roll back above this threshold was developed in a pre-vaccine world. But registering so many new cases in a population that is 32% vaccinated should be more frightening, not less, since it suggests new and more contagious variants are spreading.
We can be grateful that kamaaina who have been vaccinated will be safe. But there is no vaccine for keiki, and with a month of school and summer camps ahead, it is only a matter of time before we see school and camp-based infection superclusters.
The mayor should instead commit to a “COVID Zero” strategy, crushing the virus to protect everyone, including unvaccinated keiki and the immune- compromised, from the ongoing pandemic.
Commission’s criticisms of police chief wrong
With regard to the Honolulu Police Commission wanting to speak with Chief Susan Ballard about her thoughts, the chief should tell the commission to “go pound sand.”
The commissioners concluded and already appeared to know what was necessary to run the Honolulu Police Department. Their petty performance evaluation and, more so, ridiculous 60-day performance improvement plan shows how small-minded and gotcha-driven these egotistical individuals are (“Commission review details Honolulu Police Department chief Susan Ballard’s leadership flaws,” Star-Advertiser, April 8).
I doubt seriously that any one of them could do a better job. So why waste everyone’s time now? Do these individuals know the city and state are in the throes of a worldwide pandemic? Are they remotely aware that the chief’s predecessor had created a cesspool? Give me a break!
Thank you, Chief Ballard, for your years of service to Honolulu and our citizens. Enjoy your retirement!
Weed out police officers unsuited to the work
When a police officer shoots a motorist who is posing no threat to herself or others, it is not an “oopsie.” It is not a “my bad.” It is not a “sorry about that.” It is negligent homicide.
The officer should immediately be removed from the force and a grand jury should be convened. The officer’s supervisor, who had all the facts and did nothing about them, also should be fired.
When are we going to weed out the cops who are trigger-happy or emotionally unsuited to police work? Policing is a difficult and dangerous job that requires a high degree of professionalism. Anything short of that can be (and often is) lethal.
Keep lawbreakers from roaming Oahu streets
The death of a 16-year-old is tragic, but it didn’t have to happen if some questions were answered, such as: Why was a juvenile with reportedly 30 prior arrests allowed to run rampant in the streets? Why wasn’t this problem addressed with the prosecuting attorney’s office and the court system (“Family, friends mourn teen suspect killed by Honolulu police,” Star-Advertiser, April 8)?
How is this person the victim when this group had allegedly just committed other crimes while driving a stolen car, fleeing the police at a high speed and ramming vehicles, including police cars?
Obviously the Honolulu Police Department was doing its job by arresting him and his friends so many times. If a prosecutor had petitioned the family court to hold over these juveniles until they became adults, they would all still be alive today.
I also call on the media to quit sensationalizing criminals and making them into rock-star celebrities. Just report the facts. That’s why it’s called “news.”
Waikiki restrooms need better maintenance
The public restrooms on Waikiki Beach are in substandard condition. They are an embarrassment for the city, hotels and other businesses trying to be an upscale destination. The main restroom behind the police station often has homeless people staying in the women’s restroom.
The city could remodel the restroom by the police station and charge $1 for use. This would help pay for the remodel and keep an attendant to clean and monitor the area. The other rest- room in the middle of Waikiki could be used as a free public restroom.
It is time to remodel the main rest- room so people aren’t uncomfortable and afraid to use them. A clean public restroom is worth a small fee.
Resolve to decarbonize Hawaii’s economy
Hawaii has two critical imperatives: reduce carbon emissions and become more self-sustaining. State Senate Concurrent Resolution 44 establishes clear goals to move Hawaii toward a climate- safe state with “a statewide commitment to a just transition toward a decarbonized economy.”
That commitment also means that Hawaii will increase its energy production from local sources, thus lessening its dependence on imported fossil energy.
It’s a win-win. I urge our representatives to pass SCR 44, “Declaring a climate emergency and requesting statewide collaboration toward an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate.”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.
>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.
>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813
>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org, staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter