comscore Letters: Tourists don’t pollute, support life in Hawaii; Don’t allow anti-vaxxers to get COVID treatment; Save Haiku Stairs as public safety measure | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Editorial | Letters

Letters: Tourists don’t pollute, support life in Hawaii; Don’t allow anti-vaxxers to get COVID treatment; Save Haiku Stairs as public safety measure

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Too many visitors (“‘There’s too many visitors’,” Star-Advertiser, July 18)?

Hawaii is blessed. Every state must have its own enterprises in order to survive. Alaska has its oil, Michigan has car manufacturing, West Virginia its coal and Pennsylvania its steel. All of which suffer from pollution.

Hawaii, on the other hand, has tourists. For the most part they are happy and friendly, and relative to many residents, they do not pollute or commit crime. In a word, they do little harm.

They are to be found mainly at our airports, in Waikiki, and a few other tourist destinations. Many of us who do not work in the tourist industry do not even see tourists during the normal work week. They pay our taxes, both the general excise tax and hotel room tax, which helps pay for government workers and the Legislature (without, I may add, having a voice in how it is spent).

Yes, they may naïvely touch our seals occasionally, but they do not deliberately kill them. Please let them stay and encourage them to come, because your paycheck and mine indirectly depend on these nice folks.

Phil Bennet

Aina Haina


Restore restrictions, testing for visitors

In the last two weeks, cases of COVID-19 have gone up in Hawaii by 189%. This is an alarming figure. It can be traced to opening the state to tourists without testing them at each airport.

Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green need to protect Hawaii residents and go back to an intelligent tourism policy before our state becomes a COVID-19 center and our people begin dying needlessly.

It is sad that our state economy depends so heavily on tourism that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of those of us who live here permanently and who, incidentally, vote.

I asked my friends and neighbors to contact the local media and the governor to get the policy on tourism changed back to one that is safe for all of us.

Francine Pearson



Stop chasing those who will never get vaccine

I’m kind of tired of the push for vaccinations and targets of 70% of the population vaccinated.

People don’t want to get vaccinated for several reasons: I will be safe and won’t catch it; I’ve already had COVID-19 and don’t need the vaccine; religious beliefs or health restrictions. These people will never get the vaccine.

Let’s move on. Counts should include those who already had COVID-19, and eliminate those younger than 12 who can’t receive the vaccine. Let’s see if the real numbers are enough to open up.

Leonard Oshiro



Don’t allow anti-vaxxers to get COVID treatment

People who have planned surgeries shouldn’t have their surgeries and other scheduled health plans adversely affected by unvaccinated individuals being hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus.

Hospitals should give notice that after a certain date they will stop accepting unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. Don’t get vaccinated. Then if you do get COVID-19, you’re on your own.

Bill Astman



Save Haiku Stairs as public safety measure

“Spectacular!” “Jaw-dropping!” “Awe-inspiring!”

Those are the words I use to describe the pictures I saw when I Googled “Haiku Stairs.” I ask members of the City Council, “Have you seen these views and is it worth saving?”

Tearing down the stairs won’t stop people from going there (“Haiku Stairs’ removal advances at City Council,” Star-Advertiser, July 21). The genie is out of the bottle. The Maunawili Falls Trail is closed for two years (“Maunawili Falls Trail to close for 2 years for project,” Star-Advertiser, July 9). Yet people keep coming. Sacred Falls has been closed for decades. People still trespass.

With the Stairs gone, people’s lives will be in greater danger. Our first responders also will be in harm’s way. You have control, if the trail is properly maintained and managed.

This is a natural resource that should be shared with everyone. Keep the Haiku Stairs.

Robert K. Soberano



Community policing belongs everywhere

Clearly, the best way to be a part of, and engage with, the community is to be directly involved in it. I applaud the city’s new police foot patrols in Chinatown (“New Chinatown police enforcement plan yields arrests, connections and COVID vaccinations,” Star-Advertiser, July 22). It is long overdue and a step in the right direction.

This is what local policing should be, cops walking beats, talking with business owners and people on the street, showing presence and getting to know the community outside of their vehicles.

Furthermore, this should certainly not be a program that relies on special appropriations or authorizations, and it should definitely not be limited to Chinatown.

All of our island communities need this kind of grassroots policing: Kailua, Kaneohe, Haleiwa, Waipahu, Kaimuki, Kalihi, Moiliili, Kakaako and Waianae, to name just a few.

Kevin Butterbaugh



Electric lawn tools should replace gas ones

California is considering a ban on the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small off-road engines. It is described as an important effort to reduce air pollution.

The loud noise emitted can also damage your health, your hearing and your quality of life.

Honolulu would be a healthier place to live without these gas-powered tools. Electric tools are readily available as replacements and raking a yard is healthy exercise.

Chuck Larson



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