I just got done reading Tuesday’s editorial in the Star-Advertiser (“It’s time to let go of Haiku Stairs,” Our View) and even though it’s 3 a.m., I’m so upset that I have to respond now.
First of all, it’s not at all a dangerous trail! It’s probably the safest on the island because you have a railing on either side, and level nonslip steps almost the entire way. Also, there’s little chance of getting lost on the stairway so rescues should be much less likely.
And then, saying that there are other safer, legal hikes to reach awesome ridgeline views makes me think that the author has never even been up there. The view from the top is incomparable, and the first time in my 40 years here that I truly felt that I was on an island. You can see the ocean around us from many directions.
I agree that it’s been a nightmare for the neighborhood near the trailhead, but there are other ways of getting to it without going through the neighborhood. And that’s why the city should get off its okole and choose a vendor already. It’s had plenty of time to decide, but as usual, drops the ball at every occasion. It would be such a shame to lose this epic hike because of inaction by our elected officials.
Shared sacrifice on vaccine saves lives
Stephen Tsai’s column was entertaining (“Isle residents should get benefits for our sacrifices,” Star-Advertiser, July 13). I agree that we deserve benefits for the sacrifices made during the last year. However, I would assert that we have already realized great benefit.
Many of us have elderly parents or grandparents living with us. COVID has taken over 500 from us. Had we not made the sacrifices and minimized the spread, more of us would have brought COVID home and potentially lost a loved one. If we had experienced the same death rate per capita as New Jersey, we would have lost more than 4,000 of our loved ones.
To all of you in the community, thank you for the sacrifices you made. Many lives were saved, possibly my elderly mom.
Capitalize on rental-car shortage to improve isles
Hawaii has been given an enormous gift, just when we need it most. The current shortage of rental cars allows the state to recalibrate Hawaii’s tourist industry.
We can reclaim our aina by limiting the “wheels” that allow visitors to follow the internet to our most precious preserves and beaches. Tour companies will need to reinvent themselves and resorts will be incentivized to provide authentic cultural experiences, music and entertainment on site. Visitors seeking an “off the beaten path” adventure can do so with guides who understand and espouse Hawaiian values.
Unless the state acts quickly, when automobile manufacturing returns to normal, we will again be inundated by U-Drive cars. Hopefully, the counties could set a cap on the number of rental cars permitted on each island. Yes, there would be an economic impact, but wouldn’t it be worth it to have the quality visitor industry that our beautiful islands deserve?
Don’t go carelessly from sidewalk onto crosswalk
A recent letter to the editor stated that by law, pedestrians have the right of way in the crosswalk. No one will argue that point. But the sidewalk is not the crosswalk.
As kids we’re always taught to stop and look for oncoming cars to make sure it’s safe to enter the crosswalk. I’ve seen people just step into the crosswalk forcing cars to jam their brakes to avoid hitting them. If you are on the sidewalk, you do not have the right of way.
Be smart: Enter only when it’s safe to enter. Once in the crosswalk, be aware of the oncoming cars and don’t take it for granted that the driver sees you and will stop. We all need to show a little aloha to and for each other.
Keep rail scaled to Oahu ridership, other needs
Letter-writer Josh Lee argues that big cities such as New York, London, Beijing and Tokyo have transportation systems, “usually subways” (“Oahu needs rail to connect island,” Star-Advertiser, July 11) — therefore, Oahu needs one. This is invalid, apples and oranges. His referenced cities are totally unlike Oahu. Aside from the obvious land limitations, Oahu has between 900,000 to 1 million people, while the other cities have populations 10-20 times larger from which to draw financial support and ridership.
Focus on our own circumstances. Mass transit is important, but with so many other pressing problems — tourism growth, homelessness, housing costs, sea-level rise — we must exercise fiscal responsibility and explore alternatives such as creating a multimodal transportation hub at the Keehi/Middle Street locations.
Mistrust of government, Pharma halting vaccines
Why are people anti-vaccination? Government and Big Pharma.
The same entities that lobbied to keep a free(ish), relatively safe drug (marijuana) illegal and gave us the opioid epidemic instead, now want us to trust them to take a vaccine? This is why some people are anti-vaxx.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. So when the powers-that-be tell me not to take a bong hit, I consider it a damn fine reason to take two.
Joseph T. Bussen
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.
>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.
>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813
>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org, staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter