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Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Letters to the Editor April, 2020
By Letters to the Editor @ 1:00 AM :: 2772 Views

Rethink Tourism for Post-COVID Hawaii

Dear Editor, April 13, 2020

I hope one of the outcomes of this pandemic will result in a real, and honest, discussion to lessen our dependence on tourism as a primary economic driver for Hawaii. We need to have a real discussion on ways to diversify our economy away from being dangerously dependent on the latter.

Hawaii's other economic drivers are construction/real estate along with the military These industries are too cyclical, and staked to the ebb and flow of world events.

There aren't a lot well paying jobs here in tourism. This has resulted in a population decline due to more and more people moving to the U.S mainland. This won't change unless we all look in mirror, and decide what kind of future we really want. The first step is stop saying no to every new project, or industries, that want to start operations here.

The local government can't be a savior forever, as they're both saddled with unfunded retirement benefits owed to ex-government employees.

I am deeply concerned about where this state is headed. The future looks very bleak unless changes are made.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

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Police Question People on Virus-free Island of Lanai 

Aloha Mr. Mayor!    April 13, 2020

In the past, when we had the Mayoral debates on Lanai, I enjoyed speaking with you directly and in one case, sitting with you on the bench outside the Hale Kupuna social hall while you waited for your 'ride' to return so you could catch the ferry back to Maui.

As you know sir, Lanai still has no reported virus cases ... Praise God!  Having said that, it appears our ONLY alleged contact with folks who might be 'at risk' of being exposed to the virus are our first responders (MPD and fire fighters) and others deemed to be "essential personnel" (Fed-Ex, etc.) who are traveling from Maui to Lanai via the ferry.  We have NO idea if these folks are being tested regularly or what precautions are being taken besides mandatory face mask use when traveling on the Expeditions ferry.  These same folks shop in our stores and likely mingle with our Lanai residents while 'out and about.'

It appears that you are following similar, if not the same State guidelines Gov. Ige is imposing as well as those of Oahu Mayor Caldwell.  The most recent Maui County mandate was the 11 pm-5 am curfew that began Friday 4/10 and supposedly ended today, Monday 4/13.  

Considering Lanai is a VIRUS-FREE island, why are we being lumped in with the islands of Maui and Molokai regarding these strict (and potentially constitutionally illegal) mandates?  I recently was told our MPD here on Lanai were allegedly stopping folks during the day last week and asking them where they were going!?!?!  This was second hand information which I cannot confirm but perhaps our Lanai MPD can do so?

The points that I'd like you to consider sir are these:

1)  Our 'escape routes' have been curtailed via air and sea unless we are "essential personnel" or have serious medical conditions which require us to travel inter-island.  If that is the case, then we're quarantined (I presume on the island we traveled to) for 14 days.

2)  If Lanai residents' ONLY source of exposure to potentially 'virus-carrying' people is through those who are deemed to be "essential personnel" ... then those folks need to STAY ON ISLAND and be housed here with enough coverage for the necessary shift changes throughout the week.  While it may prove to be a hardship to their loved ones, we're being asked to "shelter in place" and to adhere to all of the strict mandates even though we've been deemed to be VIRUS-FREE since the official edicts were issued weeks ago?!?!?

Thank you for your consideration to my concerns.  I'm looking forward to receiving your timely response.


Margaret Peary

Lanai City, Lanai

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RimPac COVID Problem

Dear Representatives,   April 11, 2020

I have trouble believing that the military is still planning to have RimPac exercises here, bringing 25,000 people from all over the world where every country has COVID-19!!   We finally have closed the state to tourists, now we bring in 25,000 people from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. We don't even know how many problems some of these countries have had and whose militaries, if they are like ours, might not reveal how many people in their organization have had or have been exposed to the virus.  We don't know about their testing.

These people will come onto our shores and mingle with us.  Will they have masks, will they obey our physical distancing rules?   Will they go on dates?  What will they find to DO?  Will they have the coronavirus?   Do we have enough real tests (not just taking a quick temperature; we all know that doesn't tell us what we need to know!) that have fast results to give to those coming to shore? And we'd have to do it every morning.  No way this will work or have a good result!  We have cancelled the OLYMPICS for Heaven's sake!! These exercises can wait a year.

PLEASE join the governor and save us from this huge insurgence of people from all over a world that is infested with a deadly virus!!   And just when we might be getting a handle on things?  Ridiculous!   Outrageous, unthinkable!!   The military has already made several huge mistakes, don't let them make us the next one!!  I can NOT believe this is to go on as scheduled!!


Gretchen Gould

Kaneohe, Oahu

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Does Ige Command Respect? 

Dear Editor,   April 9, 2020

Why is Governor Ige surprised by the lack of cooperation in Hawaii during this pandemic?

Being soft on crime, as we currently release several prisoners out of jail, wouldn't have anything to do with it now would it?

Once again, “the glue that binds our community together is only as strong as it’s leaders” referring back to my comments made regarding Ige’s last state of the state address.

When our public officials decides to not uphold the rule of law equally and fairly, then one must expect gray areas to be taken advantage of.

When people know that there are absolutely no consequences for their actions; and/or not enough jail space to park their happy arses when they do break our “so-called-laws” then what more could you or would you expect?

Too many disappointments and failures on your part Ige for anyone to trust or hear you at this point. Playing favoritism and/or bending the rules for some but not others is never a good idea.

To all the tourist coming to Hawaii... wait a little longer. The illegal camping throughout our state will be up and running again just as soon as the pandemic is over. Hawaii won’t be as worried about where you’ll be lodging then guaranteed!

Lisa Malakaua

Hilo, Hawaii


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