Warm congratulations to golfer Hideki Matsuyama for his victory at the Masters Tournament (“Hideki Matsu- yama makes history by winning the Masters,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, April 11). And isn’t it ironic that this young Japanese athlete demonstrated his skill in, of all places, Georgia, while too many U.S. elderly citizens of Asian heritage are being assaulted on the streets of our cities by cowardly bigots?
The very positive response to Matsuyama’s win by his fellow competitors and the fans at the tournament is more indicative of how our citizens reject the verbal and physical attacks on a segment of our population. Let’s join in that response and demonstrate our commitment to stopping the insane unprovoked attacks.
Robert S. Sandla
Don’t reduce renewable energy tax credit caps
State Sen. Glenn Wakai recently said that we can’t go “back to milking the tourism cow” and that we need to come up with potential incentives to get companies to locate here in order to diversify our economy (“After more than a year, Hawaii economy slow to diversify,” Star-Advertiser, April 13).
And yet Wakai and 22 of his Senate colleagues voted in favor of reducing the tax credit caps on solar energy and solar water projects starting next year. Then he did the same for House Bill 1174, a sneaky attempt to slip those renewable energy credit caps into a bill about film production tax credits.
Hawaii is leading the nation in several renewable energy measures — policy, innovation and execution — so why in the world would our senators want to put the brakes on one of our greatest successes? And then to lament about our state missing opportunities to diversify?
Solar energy diversifies Hawaii’s economy
I read state Sen. Glenn Wakai’s sensible comments about not endlessly “milking the tourism cow” and doing more to diversify Hawaii’s economy in areas like alternative energy. But then later that same day, Wakai and the Senate voted to amend House Bill 1174 and cut the state’s investment in locally generated solar energy in half. Unbelievable.
I know from experience that our solar industry is one of Hawaii’s few diversification success stories, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and dramatically reducing energy bills for homes and businesses. Local solar also has enormous growth potential and is a critical part of transforming our fossil fuel-dominated electric grid into a clean, resilient grid of the future.
I hope the House does the right thing and rejects the Senate’s HB 1174 amendments.
It’s time to Build Back Better!
Chief operating officer, RevoluSun
Vaccine refusers put everyone else at risk
During the pandemic, certain people refused to wear masks. They said it was government infringing on their rights. Never mind that it helped in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Their reluctance led to 31 million infections and more than 500,000 deaths in America. Yay for my rights! Uh-huh.
Now vaccinations are ramping up, and recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread the disease. The government wants to institute a vaccine passport to allow people to freely travel, gather and help stimulate the economy. Now these same people say it’s the government controlling me. What the hell? We’re in a pandemic. Hello?
Who are these people? Their reckless behavior got us into this mess. Now that we’re trying to get out of it, they want to pull our economy and quality of life backward? Your classic sand-crabs-in-a-bucket syndrome.
Robert K. Soberano
Second Amendment must be repealed
The United States leads the industrial world in gun violence and mass shootings. No other country comes even close. What’s the difference between us and these other nations? Just one factor: the proliferation of and easy access to guns.
Some estimates put the number of guns floating around the U.S. at as high as 350 million — 20 million more than our current population.
How we do confront this epidemic of gun-inflicted carnage? To do nothing, of course, is insanity. Enactment of strict national gun laws should be pursued vigorously, but these statutes always will be subject to Second Amendment challenges to the Supreme Court.
Given the current conservative makeup of the Court and in light of the pernicious 2008 Heller decision, it’s likely many of these laws would be struck down. The fact is there’s really only one solution and it’s going to be a long and Herculean task to accomplish it. But it’s a necessary and obvious one: Repeal the Second Amendment.
It’s the only way we finally get off this crazy treadmill of death.
Ballard displayed strength, decisiveness
Personally knowing Susan Ballard, I was so proud when she was selected as Honolulu police chief. She was a breath of fresh air at a department plagued and embarrassed by the corruption by the former police chief and his wife.
I wonder if the Honolulu Police Commission would have been as harsh if Ballard was a man (“Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard to retire, citing lack of support after scathing review by the Police Commission,” Star-Advertiser, April 10).
It’s always so infuriating when women are punished for showing strength and decisiveness when those same traits are rewarded in men. It astounds me that people in this community have not come to her defense, and I don’t blame her for resigning.
Enjoy your retirement, Chief Ballard. You deserve it.
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