The backlash against tourism has begun because the government has not done what it said it would do. After the last year without tourists, one can almost understand people with signs on “their beach” and trucks with “tourists, go home” written on the back. This is just the beginning. Social media is full of people protesting tourists trashing the aina and showing no respect for Hawaiian culture.
Hawaii has a large number of tourists right now because there is no other place to go. Europe, Canada, Mexico, Asia and most other places are not recommended for travel. So Hawaii is getting more than its fair share of people itching to travel and spend the money they have saved for the past year.
With the lifting of COVID-testing on July 8 for fully vaccinated travelers, the numbers are likely to go even higher.
After over a year of discussing “managed tourism,” there is no management going on. That is why people are upset. All that matters is the money coming into the state.
Allow digital record of COVID vaccination
We are excited that Hawaii may allow fully vaccinated people from the mainland U.S. to skip quarantine.
We would like to suggest that you do not require travelers from states that have official digital databases, or some forms of official digital vaccine passport, such as California, to carry hard copies of our vaccination card.
This can greatly reduce fraud and save manpower and time for the state government and airport staff.
Allow airlines to issue wristbands, and save travelers the worry of losing their hard-copy vaccination card.
Morgan Hill, Calif.
Hawaii was wonderful for first-time visitor
Spending a month of vacation in Hawaii is indeed enjoyable, safe and memorable.
I have seen numerous tourists from the mainland who desperately wanted to enjoy outdoor activities together with their family and loved ones after a long period of lockdown. Great numbers of people visiting is awesome.
Hawaii is the best destination to visit. There are various opportunities to experience wholesome family activities for bonding, with the great Hawaiian aloha.
Visiting Maui, Lanai and Oahu made my travel very easy during this time of pandemic. The Safe Travels program helped me to travel without any difficulty while feeling safe to holoholo.
I sincerely want to give much credit to all those responsible for making Hawaii open to tourists. Going back to Reno, I have memories to share and am thankful for this first-time experience of Hawaiian hospitality. I am grateful to everyone. God bless you. Mahalo!
Fr. Arlon M. Vergara, O.S.A.
POW-MIA display will remain in place
To honor our dedicated servicemen and women, every year (from Memorial Day through July 4), I display a POW/MIA table surrounded by the five flags representing our service branches, with a POW/MIA flag set off apart from the others to signify their separation from their comrades.
Last year, and again this year, I received a visit from a city representative advising me of a complaint they received regarding this display. The representative was most polite and courteous, and I understood he was simply doing his duty. He informed me that in order to comply with existing rules, I need to move my display from the easement adjacent to the street. Otherwise, I could receive a citation and a fine.
I choose not to move the display. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are more than 81,000 Americans who are still missing/unaccounted for from conflicts as far back as World War II. We all need to show our loyalty to our country and support of our servicemen and servicewomen, and I am willing to take the risk of being fined for my actions.
Neighborhood board opposes KIKU-TV change
On June 21, the Wahiawa-Whitmore Village Neighborhood Board voted unanimously to express strong opposition to the end of Japanese and Filipino programming on KIKU-TV. The abrupt 30-day notice hardly gave time to process or assemble any action, but our board believes it is important to express our communities’ disappointment.
Many of our residents, who are elderly or are immigrants, and of Japanese or Filipino descent, reside with limited income. They relied on KIKU- TV for cultural, informational and entertainment programming.
New York’s RNN National, LLC, owns KIKU-TV today and will switch over to “ShopHQ,” a 24/7 American home-shopping television network. This further diminishes the ability to share Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) stories and information, when our nation needs it most.
KIKU-TV and its staff have touched the lives of at least three generations of Hawaii residents. We’ll always remember “Change 1-2-3” (Kikaida), the moment the “white fan” is thrown (Abarenbo Shogun), the heart-wrenching love story of MariMar, and much more. Mahalo for scheduling programming that brought families and people together.
Chairperson, Wahiawa-Whitmore Village Neighborhood Board
Higher taxes on wealthy makes economic sense
Asking the rich to pay more taxes should not be viewed as punishing success, but simply a reminder that those who took a larger share of the economic pie should pay more, which is the right thing to do (“Taxes are for raising revenue, not for punishing the wealthy,” Star-Advertiser, Froma Harrop, June 24).
It’s simply a good, fair idea to tax the wealthy. They have been taking a big chunk of the economic prosperity. The government needs to push back so that poorer Americans can share that prosperity. Wealthy people have disproportionately reaped the benefits of economic growth and the stock market in recent years, contributing to increasing inequality.
Part of the bedrock of American democracy is treating everyone with equal concern and respect. These are the values that made America a world’s envy. We should keep it that way.
Rod B. Catiggay
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