comscore Letters: Time to require proof of vaccination for services; Get rid of illegal B&Bs, raise hotel room tax; Visitors picking flowers diminish Hawaii’s beauty | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Time to require proof of vaccination for services; Get rid of illegal B&Bs, raise hotel room tax; Visitors picking flowers diminish Hawaii’s beauty

Our government and businesses have spent millions urging the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, to no avail. This effort must stop. We should now be concentrating on protecting the vaccinated public.

The multiple reasons given to refuse vaccinations, be it political or because of misinformation, is irrelevant. The new delta virus is spreading throughout the nation, primarily in the unvaccinated communities, and unless we can reduce the spread, we are looking at another lockdown.

Government and businesses should require a vaccination card to be shown before allowing individuals to board a plane, bus, train or boat, or enter stores and restaurants.

Being forced to use drive-by pickup for food and essentials may change the minds of some unvaccinated people.

The consequences must be experienced by the unvaccinated, who put everyone at risk and have no respect for their family, friends and the general public.

Hal Omori



Get rid of illegal B&Bs, raise hotel room tax

The article, “There’s too many visitors” (Star-Advertiser, July 18), really ticked me off.

All residents of Hawaii know there are far too many visitors here already: increased COVID-19 cases, long lines at shops and restaurants, no room at our beaches, harassment of our endangered animals, increased number of dangerous rescues, crazy driving and parking, no aloha, and more.

Residents want action, and we want it now. Yet another Hawaii Tourism Authority proposal to be discussed at a future date just doesn’t cut it anymore.

There must be no more illegal vacation rentals or B&Bs. Enforce the laws as written, hire inspectors and levy fines.

Once the illegals are out of business, charge every visitor the highest transient accommodations tax (TAT) possible. With 20,000-plus visitors per day, we could remedy a lot of issues that should have been addressed years ago.

If a tourist balks at the fee, he or she should probably just stay home and watch us on TV.

Jill Thach



Educate tourists on rules that protect wildlife

Living on the North Shore, and swimming most days in the summer, my husband and I have noticed literally boatloads of tourists getting off a catamaran to swim and chase the turtles feeding off of the reefs at Pupukea. The tourists often try to “pet” them and touch their shells. I’ve actually scolded some of these tourists.

I think the operators of these tour boats need to inform their customers of these NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) guidelines, because they are making money off our wildlife and they should be responsible: People should be at least 10 feet from sea turtles, 50 feet from monk seals, 50 yards from dolphins and small whales, and 100 yards from humpback whales.

It would be great if NOAA made an informational short video that is shown to everyone flying to Hawaii on the planes to not touch the monk seals, turtles and other wildlife.

Penny E. Nakamura



Visitors picking flowers diminish Hawaii’s beauty

Lately there has been a spate of incidents where tourists have been harassing seals, turtles and porpoises, the fauna of Hawaii.

But how about the flora, too?

I’ve noticed on several occasions tourists picking the pretty flowers from the beautiful yellow poinciana tree in the Queen Kapiolani Garden across from the zoo, sticking them behind their ears, and having their photos taken.

Removing those flowers diminishes the beauty of the tree and spoils the picture-taking for subsequent viewers.

I’ve admonished those brazen tourists, and they quietly slink away.

They need to be informed beforehand: Don’t harm the flora and fauna of Hawaii.

Ed Kuba



More EVs would advance state’s energy goals

Happy news: the editorial in support of electric vehicles (“Pick up EV pace to lessen CO2 effects,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, July 15), referring to a study by Katherine McKenzie of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (“More electric vehicles could cut Hawaii’s CO2 emissions by 93% by 2050,” Star-Advertiser, July 12).

The study cleared up doubts about EV adoption with surprisingly overwhelmingly positive results. What a win-win for Hawaii, to reduce emissions and dependence on imported fuel.

Carbon fees and dividends would accelerate the transition. I thank U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz for introducing the Save Our Future Act of 2021 and hope that U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono cosponsors the bill. I urge U.S. Reps. Ed Case and Kai Kahele to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), which includes pricing carbon with rebates and assistance to impacted communities. The EICDA includes best help for lower- and medium-income households, so it’s fair and effective and fast to implement.

Bobbie Best



Wise advice from man married 70 years

My husband shared this happy and, I’d say, wise story. Recently when delivering two hot meals to an elderly couple, he met their daughter, who proudly told him that her father turned 95 this week, her mother is 93, and they have been married for 70 years!

My husband turned to the father and asked him the secret to a 70-year marriage. With a pause, a ponder and a laugh, his answer seemed so appropriate to these times of anxiety and uncertainty. With his smile he said, “Just go with the flow.”

Melodee Metzger



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