comscore Letters: Negative views of tourism go back years; Will unvaccinated continue to wear masks?; Interisland travel rules difficult for visitors | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Negative views of tourism go back years; Will unvaccinated continue to wear masks?; Interisland travel rules difficult for visitors

Readers of the Star-Advertiser editorial, “Ways to better handle tourism in Hawaii” (Our View, June 6), might benefit from knowing that Hawaii residents’ sentiment about tourism has moved from positive to increasingly negative starting in 2005, when 55% of residents surveyed by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) said “yes” to the statement, “This island is run for tourists at the expense of local people.”

By 2019, 67% of residents said “yes.”

Other HTA survey questions show a similar pattern, going from positive responses to negative, starting about the same time. In 2006, 46% said “yes” to the question, “Does tourism better your overall quality of life?” compared to 59% in the prior year.

In 2007, 45% said “yes” to the question, “Has tourism been mostly positive for you and your family?” — far from the 60% saying “yes” in 1988.

Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi

District 19 (Diamond Head, Kahala, Kaimuki, Kapahulu)


Will unvaccinated continue to wear masks?

When we reach a vaccination rate of 70% and all restrictions are lifted, what will the people who have not received their vaccinations do? Will they continue to wear masks and keep social distancing and not attend family and social gatherings?

I know I’m ready to go back to my normal lifestyle. Are people who have been vaccinated coming down with COVID-19? If they are not, it should show that the vaccines work, and that everyone should get their shots now and not wait.

Ernie Itoga

Waialae Iki


Offer vaccinations to foreign tourists

Japan is experiencing long vaccination waits while Hawaii (and the rest of the U.S.) have an excess supply of vaccines. We should provide vaccination clinics here to pre-travel tested Asian visitors, reviving our hospitality industry with a kind of medical tourism.

Hawaiian Airlines in particular would directly benefit from a passenger-load resurgence by marketing flights from Japan and Korea as vaccination vacations, or vaxcations. Hotels, restaurants and retailers would reap the benefits as well.

There may be official restrictions on foreign visitors receiving vaccines, but at least 16 states, including Texas, Florida, Indiana and Iowa, currently allow it. An indirect fee on recipients to reimburse the cost to the government seems reasonable.

Travel by Hawaii residents to Japan and Korea will unfortunately be limited until those countries feel more comfortable with their own vaccination progress. Hopefully, this idea could accelerate that process.

Barney Wilson



Interisland travel rules difficult for visitors

I am a fully vaccinated Maryland resident who recently returned from an extremely frustrating trip to three islands: Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

This “trip of a lifetime” turned sour over Hawaii’s poor handling of COVID-19 restrictions. I can understand why a negative test might be required before entering the islands, even though U.S. citizens are at liberty to travel among the other 49 states without one.

If one proves negative, then why was a test required between each island? Why weren’t these tests free, instead of costing up to $200? Who is profiting from these?

Why were only those shots administered in Hawaii accepted as valid? Why weren’t more testing sites available so that visitors could easily schedule appointments?

There is no rhyme or reason to Hawaii’s handling of the reopening process. Therefore, as previously planned, Hawaii is not on my family’s list of return-to destination spots.

Jo Anne Stevens

Woodbine, Md.


Women have the right to control their own bodies

According to philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant, morality is based on free will and freedom of choice. Today, why should anyone determine what a woman can do with her body?

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court made the determination that abortion is legal. Whether it is moral or immoral is a woman’s personal decision according to her own beliefs. Unless a woman allows a man to be involved in the decision process, a man has no rights or control over this process.

Roe v. Wade allows a woman freedom of choice and to exercise her free will. It is a woman’s fundamental right to determine what she can do with her body, both legally and morally.

Machismo attitudes continue to negate a woman’s equal footing in society (“Legal isn’t the same as morally right,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 8). Remember, if men gave birth, there would be no debate about abortion.

Julie Toussaint



Reparations won’t teach hard lessons of history

Regarding reparations: No matter how you color it, history doesn’t change. You can change the spin, look from a different perspective, but it doesn’t change.

Recently a mass grave was discovered in Canada, filled with the remains of First Nations children who had been taken from their homes.

History shows there were at least 311 massacres in Australia and New Zealand between 1780 and 1930. Literally millions of deaths, Black and white, were recorded over the last 240 years in Africa. That doesn’t even count the inter-tribal battles.

Hundreds of child graves have been found at Irish homes for unwed mothers. We’ve not even touched upon the Soviets, Chinese, Central European, the Ottoman Empire or South American unfound graveyards.

No race, religion or tribe is free from stain. Reparations are not about learning; they are punishment for something we had no control over.

History can teach. It is up to each of us to control our own history and what it teaches those who follow.

James Pritchett



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