comscore Letters: Editorial on COVID-19 unfair to restaurants; We need agriculture, not more development; Governor unrealistic in dealing with pandemic | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Editorial on COVID-19 unfair to restaurants; We need agriculture, not more development; Governor unrealistic in dealing with pandemic

A recent editorial unfairly suggested that restaurants are responsible for an inordinate number of COVID cases statewide and that restaurants are not doing enough to protect employees and guests (“Restaurants must curb COVID cases,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, June 15).

The editorial cited 65 cases from three clusters, which represents less than one-tenth of 1% of the total cases statewide. The largest cluster, due to unvaccinated employees, occurred in April, before vaccines were widely available to people under 55 and the number of fully vaccinated people was still low. Since no transmission from employees to diners has been indicated, those cases may be better described as and included in the category of workplace COVID transmission. Diners do not appear to have been at risk because they ate at a restaurant.

Hawaii’s restaurants pivoted quickly at the start of the pandemic and implemented the many safety protocols recommended by the CDC to protect their employees and guests and continue to do so.

The restaurant industry’s safety record this past year has been remarkable, given the dire situation we faced a year ago.

Greg Maples

Chairman, Hawaii Restaurant Association


Save Our Future Act can reduce pollution

Mahalo to U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Sheldon Whitehouse for introducing the Save Our Future Act.

This bill prices greenhouse gases and localized air pollution and uses the proceeds for key market-based investments to dramatically reduce emissions, while supporting the transition for those with low to middle incomes, communities impacted by emissions, and fossil-fuel workers. To protect American manufacturers, the bill includes a border fee for goods from countries without a price on carbon.

The U.S. is one of two developed economies without a nationwide price on carbon. Economies with carbon pricing are seriously considering border fees on imported goods from countries without carbon prices.

The U.S. will be at an economic disadvantage, and money that could support U.S. businesses will go to other countries if it doesn’t price emissions.

Schatz, known for supporting effective climate-change solutions, has a game changer in the Save Our Future Act.

Virginia Tincher

Aina Haina


We need agriculture, not more development

Again, a developer wants to change farmland into residential developments (“91 homes planned to be built on farmland in Kahuku,” Star-Advertiser, June 21).

Recent television programs have told us that after four days without incoming goods, we will be without any food left in the stores. Yet many believe that something miraculous will supply us if this were to happen.

Few people have two weeks of provisions and water stored against a hurricane strong enough to stop shipping. Our output of agriculture to supply our needs during times of hurricanes is inadequate. We need to develop our agricultural products by giving advantages to those who will do the hard work of raising crops of fruits and vegetables.

State agricultural lands that are laying fallow could be used rent-free to start the development of farming that eventually will sustain our population. Valuable agricultural lands should not be covered up with concrete and asphalt to supply housing for an industry that is only looking to its own profit.

Paul Reeser



Don’t blame anti-vaxxers for government errors

William Muneno said that those who are vaccinated are being “held hostage” by the “anti-vaxxers” and that those who are vaccinated should not sacrifice for them any longer (“Don’t let anti-vaxxers restrict rest of us,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 20). Do we really need another reason to be divided? Is the coronavirus worth it?

The blame belongs with our ineffective leaders. We are in the position we’re in because of their policies. The anti-vaxxers didn’t create the tier system. And they are not keeping us tied to that outdated system.

They have not set the arbitrary 70% vaccination target in order to return to normal. Gov. David Ige could change that tomorrow by revising that number to 60%. We are the best in the country in terms of the rate of COVID deaths and infections and yet we act like we’re one of the worst. The anti- vaxxers aren’t responsible for that.

By the way, I am fully vaccinated.

Bert Oshiro

Hawaii Kai


Governor unrealistic in dealing with pandemic

The governor is enabling our population to become less interested in rejoining the workforce. Extending the moratorium on evictions so people don’t have to pay their rent, not suspending the $300 additional federal unemployment subsidy, which 24 states have already done or plan to do, and counting children 11 and below in our vaccination percentage all contribute to allowing the population to stay at home (or at the beach) and enjoy the fruits of those who are and desire to be employed.

This is why most of the states on the mainland are returning to normal and growing their economy faster than Hawaii. The governor is hurting our families and economy more than helping them by his unrealistic and dawdling policies. It is time to move forward.

James Roller



Shooting of teenager didn’t appear justified

The unarmed 16-year-old had stopped the car (“3 Honolulu officers charged in fatal shooting of 16-year-old boy,” Star-Advertiser, June 15). The police were standing to the side and rear of the car. They shot him in the back of his neck and shoulders. It was an execution.

Anne Miller



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