In response to the expanding need for child care, and Hawaii’s rapidly aging population, the state should support the development of intergenerational (IG) care programs. The state and county governments could work with the private nonprofit sector to develop new IG facilities by providing land and funding for construction. Government- funded lead grants could then attract matching grants.
Intergenerational care programs have proven to be cost-effective and mutually beneficial to both keiki and kupuna.
Using a nonprofit organization such as Preschool Open Doors to distribute state and federal funds would circumvent existing state constitutional barriers to state funds going directly to nonprofit educational organizations.
Bill provides protection for sharks in Hawaii
As the sponsor of the Senate version of the 2021 Senate Shark Protection Act, and strong supporter of the 2010 landmark shark finning and fin sales ban, House Bill 553, which passed the House and Senate unanimously, provides necessary protections to our mano (shark).
Current law doesn’t prohibit the intentional capture or killing of sharks for commercial or recreational purposes, including for shark trophy hunts, capture of shark pups for the aquarium pet trade or mutilation for their teeth, jaws or other parts. Unfortunately, there have been dozens of these cases over the years, which is why the state Department of Land and Natural Resources also supports this measure as necessary and enforceable.
HB 553 exempts research and education by allowing the continued issuance of permits, and would not criminalize the accidental capture and release of sharks — ethical fishers already release sharks incidentally captured, and that’s what should continue.
Given the growing threats our reefs and oceans face, we must take every step to protect these ecologically important marine species, as we did for rays in 2019. That’s exactly what HB 553 does.
State Sen. Mike Gabbard
Biden’s policies create a nation in crisis
In less than four months, the Biden administration has successfully dismantled sound economic, national security and energy security policies and without remorse, created a nation in crisis.
His success surpasses the “warp speed” development of the corona- virus vaccines. And there is more to come. People receiving enhanced unemployment compensation and generous stimulus payments, both tax-free, have little incentive to give up their life of ease to go to work. Their wages will be taxed and the net amount received will probably be less than current benefits.
Adding more deficit spending and increasing income taxes will have the unintended consequence of boosting inflation and stifling productivity. Punishing successful entrepreneurs by confiscating their income serves as a disincentive for economic success.
Meanwhile, crooks will access the lucrative government subsidies and benefits with impunity. Is anyone responsible for monitoring and accounting for these spending programs? Does anyone care?
Nation’s cohesion lost in a ‘distrust doom loop’
It is most concerning to note the scope and gravity of the decline and failure of this country’s “infrastructure” transcending beyond the physical and encompassing personal, social, economic and political realms.
Its signs and symptoms manifest, for example, in homelessness, increased violence, ethnic and racial hypersensitivities, lessening effectiveness of coronavirus measures, and simply the loss of cohesion, common good and trust in each other. Our leaders and officials exercise “lousy practices of public manipulation,” “deceive with no remorse” and use “inaccurate statements” (“Why Honolulu rail system should end at Middle Street,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, May 10).
Hopefully, this country can disengage from the “distrust doom loop” (“Biden’s plan to restore trust in America’s collective good,” Star-Advertiser, David Brooks, May 10) with concrete measures to give proof to people that they are seen and not forgotten, and that others are coming through for them.
Coronavirus statistics should be on front page
It is a disservice to the readers of this newspaper to displace the daily Hawaii COVID statistics to a place other than the front page. We are not over this pandemic now or in the mid-term future.
The citizens of Hawaii deserve to be reminded daily of the data associated with the pandemic and of the importance of personal virus mitigation behaviors. Placing the statistics on the front page of the paper is a daily reminder that we must all continue to do the right things for ourselves, our families and others.
COVID restrictions have caused too much harm
I agree with Rhoads E. Stevens (“Declare pandemic ended and move on,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 11). After more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, I have seen an increase in workload and the loss of freedoms, while politicians line their pockets and destroy the lives of anyone who doesn’t agree with their “new normal.” Countless people have lost jobs, not because of health, but because of the decrees dictated by Gov. David Ige and former Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
I am a clerk. I work among those who stock, cut meat, fill prescriptions, cashier, bag and pick up rubbish. We are not high-paid executives, nor do we have the highest education. But we have been working hard for more than a year, six to 14 days in a row. We are still here and healthy. What we are sick and tired of is masks and social distancing. And by the way: The plexiglass needs to go, too.
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