The City Council’s $5 million appropriation for local farmers is an important development (“$5M agricultural grants program necessary for Oahu farmers,” Star-Advertiser, June 27). Many of Oahu’s aging urban areas represent a local source of adapted food crops tempered by time, harsh urban conditions and the love of caretakers.
Many local residents have fond memories of their favorite mango, lychee or jabong tree growing in a relative’s yard. As these aging neighbors yield to inevitable redevelopment, the edible legacy of these plants is lost.
I encourage the City Council to fund a program to seek out noteworthy edible plants from these neighborhoods, and collect and preserve them for future generations to evaluate and enjoy. Oahu is a biological treasury of tropical food crops, hidden literally in our own backyards.
Concrete buildings can collapse here, too
As one of thousands of residents of concrete apartment buildings in Hawaii and millions throughout the world, the collapse of a condominium in Florida was a wakeup call. Could the same thing happen to my building?
The answer is probably. Concrete buildings are subject to damage known as spalling, which must be addressed.
Neglect invites eventual disaster. But repairs can be expensive, which is always unwelcome news for the owners who must shoulder the cost. The disaster in Florida underlines the fact that the need to face this is avoided at one’s peril.
Carl H. Zimmerman
Ranked choice voting good option for Hawaii
We should adopt ranked choice voting (RCV). With RCV, your favorite candidate is No. 1 and on down to the one you consider the worst. The least popular are eliminated first and it keeps going that way until a winner is selected.
Politicians who oppose RCV, believing it would jeopardize their careers, have said that voters are too stupid to understand it. That means they know they’d be eliminated in the first pass.
Another option we should have is “none of the above” for those times you can’t stomach the choices on a ballot. Why should we condescend to have some of their worst choices shoved down our throats?
Pahoa, Hawaii island
Vaccinations prevent resurgence of diseases
Anti-vaxxers think that their choice doesn’t affect others, but by refusing to get vaccinated, they open the door for variants and resurgence of diseases believed to have been eradicated. Getting vaccinated is the one conscious and active decision one can make to prevent this. Do it for the sake of others living now and in the future.
Vaccinated have reason to fear unvaccinated
In response to a letter writer who asked why vaccinated people would fear the unvaccinated (“Don’t stigmatize the unvaccinated,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 27): The fact is, although you are less likely to contract the virus if you are vaccinated, the vaccine does not make you 100% immune. It does prevent severe symptoms, particularly symptoms that require hospital care. Those who are vaccinated are fearful of the unvaccinated, who can still unknowingly spread the virus to anyone.
Bottom line: Get vaccinated!
Will tourism resurgence bring back conflicts?
After 15 months of virtually empty streets and a blissful, if strange, quiet here in Waikiki, tourists are arriving again in hordes. Recently for the first time here in Hawaii, I saw a truck flying a Trump flag on Kalakaua Avenue and a man wearing a “He’s Still My President” T-shirt.
Unlike the mainland, we haven’t experienced those antagonistic and violent episodes of militant Trumpers refusing to wear masks in restaurants, stores and other businesses over the past year. Here there is a traditional code of politeness and deference to requests for courtesy by business owners and managers, which is a beautiful thing.
But crime is spiraling rapidly and we’re not even back up to full capacity yet. I sense a kind of wild and chaotic energy, as though a pent-up need and demand is being released. I felt lucky, as we seemed to be insulated from the most disruptive and brutal aspects of what has been going on for the past five years. Now, I’m not so sure about what will happen going forward.
William E. Conti
Put on life jackets when paddling canoes, boards
Rescuers came to the aid of 12 paddlers from two canoes that capsized south of Sand Island on Sunday (“No injuries reported after 2 outrigger canoes flip 1-1/2 miles off Oahu,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, June 27). There was no mention of any paddlers having personal flotation devices (life jackets).
Paddlers should have PFDs on or in the boat unless they are in a programmed event with accompanying escort boats. I know it is not local custom to wear PFDs, but they do save lives.
By the way, standup paddle boards (SUPs) are technically vessels, and users should have PFDs unless they are actually in a surf zone or a designated swimming area. Transiting to the surf area still requires a PFD, a whistle and a light if at dark. The inflatable belt or suspender life jackets are comfortable and safe.
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