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Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: Keeping inmates in, with vaccines

As with most things, timing is everything, and that certainly applies to doling out responses to the COVID-19 threat. On Tuesday, the Hawaii Supreme Court sagely denied a third request by the Public Defender’s Office to release certain classes of prisoners early to help alleviate crowded conditions that can spread COVID-19.

Early in the pandemic the court had actually granted a similar request, allowing some 650 lower- crime inmates to be released between April and June 2020; that was necessary to ease overcrowding. But that was then — when COVID-19 was scarily new and vaccines were unavailable — and this is now, with rising inmate vaccination rates and dropping infection numbers in jails and prisons. Just keep those shots going, for inmates and staffers alike.

Happy 50th, Kokua Market

Here’s to Kokua Market on its 50th anniversary. And here’s hoping the natural foods store in Moiliili can keep going for another 50. That’s not a given, as multiple financial challenges mean it might not last the year.

Kokua is a cooperative, owned and run by members who buy shares. It’s distinctive this way, but also for its size: small. This means it can champion the backyard farmer, and offer local products you won’t find elsewhere. In this age of big-box retailers, Kokua offers a refreshing choice.

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