comscore Letters: We’re lucky to have access to vaccines; Too much noise can ruin life in paradise; Raise hotel taxes, other fees for tourists | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters: We’re lucky to have access to vaccines; Too much noise can ruin life in paradise; Raise hotel taxes, other fees for tourists

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How lucky we are to live in Hawaii and the United States, where everyone over 12 years old can receive a highly effective and safe COVID vaccine. It appears that virtually everyone in our country will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated before the end of the summer.

While many of our fellow citizens continue to reject this opportunity, hundreds of thousands of people in other countries are likely to die of COVID complications within a year. Unlike our citizens, however, many of them will not have had the choice to save their lives as well as the lives of others.

Analyses reveal that approximately 90% of recent deaths in the U.S. have been unvaccinated people. So, unless our medical providers recommend otherwise, the excuses we make to continue to refuse to be vaccinated are vacuous when compared to the odds of dying or having long-term negative medical consequences if we contract this disease.

It should be obvious to every rational person that the more people are vaccinated, the sooner everyone around the world will be able to resume living normal lives.

Robert Griffon



Too much noise can ruin life in paradise

Kuleana, the aloha spirit, a sense of community, caring for the land and caring for our fellow man all seem to be disregarded when it comes to noise.

I have never been anywhere in the world where the people are so disrespectfully loud.

It is a childish competition to see who can be the loudest, as if everyone craves attention they did not get as a kid: the loudest fireworks, loudest motorcycles and scooters, and the loudest music on the planet.

Was no one required to take sociology in college to learn about the public costs of noise pollution? Perhaps we must make it grade-school material so noisemakers can grasp that they are infringing on others’ lives and happiness.

I would like a maximum decibel level added to vehicle inspections. And the fools who use the cannon-sounding fireworks push us to eliminate all fireworks, even the most beautiful.

Please people, noise is just noise and no one wants it here in paradise.

Ryan Routh



Ohtani achieved more than Ruth, Wagner

I definitely hate and deny the comparisons between the legend Shohei Ohtani and Babe Ruth (“Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis and Vladimir Guerrero are saving baseball from itself,” Star-Advertiser, Volcanic Ash, July 4). Babe Ruth played in an all-white league while the great Ohtani is doing it against players of all colors.

Ohtani is simply super-awesome, hitting his league-leading 31st home run this season as a pitcher as of this writing. Ohtani’s versatility extends to his team-leading 12 stolen bases.

The legendary Hank Aaron should top the list as far as baseball card prices go. Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth cards are worthless in my heart and soul, for they played in an all-white league. Long live the legendary Shohei Ohtani from the Land of the Rising Sun. Enough said!

Dean Nagasako



For the People Act needs vigorous debate

Karen Hobert Flynn said that if Congress passed the For the People Act, all U.S. citizens would finally be free (“Protect our freedoms through the For the People Act,” Star-Advertiser, July 5).

I do not wish to let our Congress off the hook easily without lengthy, thorough and vigorous debate on all points of the proposed legislation. Without that, the act would fundamentally change our national elections’ processes and procedures.

Are we ready to fund elections with federal funds that future generations will pay for through more debt? Are the states so inept that they cannot run their elections as stated in our Constitution? What confidence will voters have if politicians do not need to ask for their financial support?

The For the People Act is terrible policymaking by our Congress and federal administration. For the moment, let me keep my less-than-perfect individual freedoms.

Curtis Wheeler



Raise hotel taxes, other fees for tourists

Recent letters to the editor and the Maui mayor have suggested that airlines reduce flights to their island, as the airport is burdened with too many tourists coming in (“Maui Mayor Mike Victorino wants tourism pause,” Star-Advertiser, June 30).

Of course, the airlines are trying to recoup some of the lost revenue caused by low numbers of passengers during lockdowns. As they were bleeding red ink losses, I doubt if they would agree to fewer flights.

Another alternative would be to raise the hotel tax. Look at Las Vegas (13.35%) versus Hawaii (10.25%). New York charges 14.75% plus a flat fee of $3.50 per day. That doesn’t seem to deter people from going to Las Vegas or New York City.

Also, increase the entrance fees at all entertainment venues for tourists. We also could give a living wage to the many people who cater to the tourists.

The new tax revenue should go to local government, not the home country of the hotel owners.

Joanne Lee



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