comscore Letters: Get vaccinated, and keep wearing that mask; First Amendment allows for Trump’s many lies; Unrest and guns lead to violent confrontations | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Get vaccinated, and keep wearing that mask; First Amendment allows for Trump’s many lies; Unrest and guns lead to violent confrontations

Just over 47% of Hawaii is fully vaccinated. This is not herd immunity — not even close.

Wearing a mask has proven globally to work in the fight against COVID-19. We also know that the honor system of vaccinated people going maskless will not be respected and that the unvaccinated will exploit this, as there isn’t a way to determine who is or isn’t vaccinated.

Therefore, please get vaccinated and please continue to wear a mask so that we don’t have to ever shut down our economy again. We are very close to beating back this pandemic. Let’s do it together.

Amy Day



Clean-energy batteries pose disposal problem

Scott G. Gier brought up some good points (“‘Clean’ energy creates a mountain of waste,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 4).

With more electric vehicles and photovoltaic systems coming, in the future there will be an enormous number of batteries that need to be disposed. How will governments and industry handle this problem? Is there a plan? Aren’t environmentalist concerned about this? Will it just create a different environmental nightmare?

I am sure there are many municipalities just like Honolulu with very serious waste-disposal problems. If the batteries can’t be burned in a facility like H-POWER, how will they be disposed?

Gier also brings up the point that mining the metals to make the batteries will affect Third World cultures and environments, and usually not in a good way.

Phil Alencastre

St. Louis Heights


Let seniors continue mail-in license renewals

I read that Honolulu County will suspend mail-in driver’s license renewals for license holders 72 and up whose “gold star” documents are already on file, effective June 1 (“Why is Honolulu County scrapping popular by-mail renewal for certain driver’s licenses?,” Star-Advertiser, Kokua Line, May 27).

The reason for the change reportedly is that it was tying up staff needed to serve customers in person. What? I could turn that argument around and say we should encourage renewal by mail to reduce the waiting line for renewals, and to avoid wasting time and gas to get to the renewal locations.

This very popular option should be continued. I hope the city Department of Customer Services rethinks its decision.

Louis Faulkner

Hawaii Kai


Estimate all cost factors in rail wheel, track issue

In regards to the rail cost estimates of between $2 million for wheel changes and more than $5 million for new “frogs,” the big picture should be considered (“Search continues to fix Oahu rail’s too-narrow wheels and too-wide tracks,” Star-Advertiser, May 16).

If Hitachi will be paid $130,000 for each day of delay, that means for every month that delay amounts to about $4 million. An explanation of that delay cost with avoided operating costs would help the public understand the situation.

New wheels create a heavier car that costs more to operate. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has mileage projections for the first 20 years of operation, and knows how much energy it takes to propel the current trains down the track. HART can determine the additional costs of operating heavier cars.

Probable long-term energy costs could be another factor. Cost forecasts are available from Hawaiian Electric.

If these costs are presented, it would help the public appreciate the factors HART will consider in this decision.

Jon Yanagida



First Amendment allows for Trump’s many lies

What exactly is the right to free speech granted by the First Amendment? Does it give any citizen the right to say anything about anybody at any time?

Can you say, in public, that you will kill the president of the United States, or the speaker of the House of Representative or majority leader of the Senate, or the governor of your state, and walk free? I don’t think so.

Can you repeatedly make a false statement — such as former President Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii — and walk free? The simple answer is yes. It was repeated over and over by Donald Trump and was accepted as fact. A lie repeated and repeated will finally be accepted as true. Unfortunately, this same person kept repeating, from August 2020, that if he lost the election it was because of fraud. Millions of Americans actually believe this today.

I must give Trump credit, as his lies and generalized statements not backed by facts have his supporters hoping that he will enter and win the 2024 presidential election.

Gilbert Horita

Ala Moana


Name McKinley after the composer, not president

To solve the school name controversy, my suggestion is to rename the school William T. McKinley High School after the American composer, William Thomas McKinley, who passed away in 2015. His many compositions of symphonies and concertos spanning 40-plus years are known in the classical music world. His Elegy for Strings is to me most notable.

My suggestion solves several problems.

>> It eliminates the tainted President William McKinley High School name.

>> The name William T. McKinley High School would celebrate someone from the arts. McKinley High School has had a solid music program.

>> It preserves the tradition of eight generations of alumni who proudly call themselves “McKinley grads.”

Von Kenric Kaneshiro

Downtown Honolulu


Unrest and guns lead to violent confrontations

Russia’s plan is a simple one.

Step 1: Continue to promote political divisiveness through social and other media, then wait until other states follow Texas’ lead with no-permit-needed open firearms carry.

Step 2: Just sit back and enjoy the action while every road rage incident, political argument and perceived slight sets off a self-generated population reduction scheme among the most well-armed civilian population in history.

Harold Senter

Aina Haina


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