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Sunday, August 30, 2020
Letters to the Editor August, 2020
By Letters to the Editor @ 11:01 PM :: 3839 Views

Big Island COVID Upsurge Shows Failure of Airport Screening

Aloha Editor,   Aug 30, 2020

Shouldn’t there be some people screaming about the $80 million spent to install auto-temperature sensing equipment at Hawaii’s airports which has done NOTHING to intercept people with CV?

A case in point is the recent surge in CV cases in Hilo due to people from Oahu flying in the past week to a funeral for a locally famous musician.

Why didn’t this very expensive system detect these people flying in from a relatively “hot” zone?

More to the plans of the State to keep us safe, how about the fact that 75 million people have taken the CV test, yet apparently it is not reliable enough for Hawaii to use that in determining if someone flying in from overseas can be exempt from the 14 day quarantine in order to jump start our economy again?


Stathie J. Prattas

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

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COVID numbers that tell “the rest of the story”

Dear Editor, August 25, 2020

It would be highly informative if the State of Hawaii reported more detailed numbers and percentages of COVID numbers that tell “the rest of the story,” e.g.,

- number of Daily reported “new” COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization

- of those hospitalized, how many in ICU?  How many on ventilators?

- what’s the total number of hospital beds?  ICU beds?  Occupancy totals for both by state and island. Total beds with COVID patients? Report percentage occupied and remaining capacity for each type of bed  (remember, “flattening the curve” was so not to overwhelm the hospitals).

- what is the median age of those hospitalized patients?  ICU patients?

- what is the median age of those who die?  Number of deaths by age group.

- what are the numbers and percentages of those found COVID-19 positive by distinct age groupings and zip code?

These detailed numbers mean something far more significant that daily new case numbers - and allow for analysis!

Ultimately, we’re only getting raw total new daily positive case count numbers from the state leadership - and it is not providing a full picture of the impacts, and how - with some leadership and focus - the latest panic could have been avoided.

This quote astounded me today:  “It really only has to be temporary while we get testing, while we get contact tracing, while we get isolation done.”

So, Why weren’t they preparing for this since, oh, say, April/May, nearly 90 days ago?

Perhaps you can use your platform to advocate for more open and full reporting from our elected officials.

Aloha, And thank you -

Dave Pound

Kailua, Oahu

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It is just not that trendy to post videos of police saving lives

Dear Editor, August 20, 2020

What got lost in the protest is that Black Lives Matter BECAUSE ALL LIVES MATTER.  For a supposed equal rights protest there was a lot of violation of OTHER people’s rights.  Don’t people’s lives matter who live and work in neighborhoods taken over, looted, vandalized and burned?  Don’t commuters’ right to travel matter? 

Also lost is the truth that the police actually save more lives (African American included) than they take (who do you think responds to 911?).  But in part it is just not that trendy to post the numerous videos of police saving lives and protecting rights.  So you just get the relatively few videos of the relatively few bad police violating their oath posted over and over and over.

The reality is that since Black Lives Matter, people should MORE fund the police and have greater police protection in neighborhoods with high crime rates and gang warfare.

Tragically, we have “legitimized” the notion that when an injustice occurs or is perceived, we are justified in hurting ANYBODY else, whether connected to the issue or not.  That is a fatal lesson to teach to our children.

Leighton Loo

Mililani, Oahu

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COVID: Public is paying the price for government mismanagement and active cover-up

Dear Editor,  August 18, 2020

The editorials and letters in today’s Star-Advertiser (“State falls short on data, transparency”; “Closure of community gardens shortsighted”; “Handi-Van service isn’t adequate for COVID-19”; “Older surfers need closer access to beach”; “Open Ala Moana Park for early walkers”) are uniformly polite towards government, and are solicitous of reasonable consideration for exceptions to the recent closure edicts via emergency powers of government.

If the whistleblower disclosures about the number of active contact tracers (17? 20? 30?—whatever the numbers that were disclosed in earlier Star-Advertiser articles) are true, as opposed to the outright misrepresentations (lies) of 100 or more, the public is paying the price for government mismanagement and active cover-up.  Cases could have been 20% or 30% lower if the tracing had been conducted properly and as represented.  The extent of closure could have been much less if the government had done its job.

Even now, as suggested (or as reason informs us),

  1. Open the community gardens every other day for every other plot to provide physical distancing.
  2. Open the parks for exercise and for small family groups of 5 or less, with physical separation, and simply enforce that.
  3. Allow restaurants, bowling alleys, even bars (until 10 PM) that are operating within the guidelines, to remain open.  Don’t penalize business that have been operating properly.  And don’t penalize us citizens by making life harder than it has to be.
  4. Enforce masking when indoors or in more crowded outdoor areas (but not when exercising).  Enforce physical distancing.

We must do our best to bring the infection levels down, but PLEASE, within reason, as the letters above request!

Richard Stancliff

Makiki, Oahu

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How I Beat Homelessness by Working

Dear Editor,  August 18, 2020

Too bad COVID can't be seen as a get-out-of-homeless free pass. Homeless is a prison too, & no crime is required to be thrown into that prison where you become untouchable by employers, for no reason.

The problem is HR, which has no hiring process. HR runs a process of elimination:  result = growing homeless population.

So what would a hiring process look like? 

1)  Run the ad/Craigslist post seeking applicants.  2)  When the first applicant shows up, hire her/him on-the-spot to fill the opening. Hire the 2nd, 3rd, etc. to fill all openings. Continue to build the list of applicants for the 1st day.

The first one(s) hired will either do the job or washout as unfit. Continue to fill washed out openings from the list. This is what equal opportunity & a hiring process looks like. No discrimination, no process of elimination, no cherry picking. Just put them to work on-the-spot, on arrival.

This is how I found work when I was homeless. I responded to help wanted, & when I spoke to the employer, I could tell by the conversation, he'd put me to work if I showed up. I showed up, & sure enough he put me right to work. I became working homeless, part-time, so not enough to meet market rate rent.

I kept working until I was able to retire from work & homelessness. Because there was no discrimination, no process of elimination, no cherry picking. I was put to work on arrival.

But we never hear of the governor, the mayor, the city council, or employers trying to fix their, yes their, systemic problem. They keep doing the tried & failed year-in & year-out, generation-in & generation-out, while the homeless population grows. Doing the same thing over while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.  DUH!!!!

Lum Loy

Honolulu, Oahu

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Please Do Not Close Community Gardens

Dear Editor,    August 10, 2020


The current surge in Covid-19 infections on Oahu is very concerning and requires a government level response to combat further spread. But, this lockdown is not a stay at home order. It appears to be an attempt to discourage certain behavior, risky and careless behavior, behavior that has led to the surge. That appears to be the impetus for the newly imposed restrictions on gatherings around the island and especially in parks and on beaches. BUT, COMMUNITY GARDENS ARE NOT BEACHES OR PARKS! Shutting the community gardens for the next month does not serve that end.

Just as during the original, much more restrictive, stay at home order, it was concluded that the community gardens were a place that could be accessed and enjoyed safely. As Mayor Caldwell stated when he exempted community gardens from the park shutdown:

“I think of a park as somewhere you go and do recreation of some sort, and community gardens are more than recreation, it’s about work — getting dirty and getting sweaty and growing things,” Caldwell said. “They’re places where people can grow things to eat, and that’s even more important today.”

What has changed since that statement making the gardens a place that has to be locked up!? Judging by the statements from the food bank, turnout for food distribution, the current unemployment rate and overall economic situation, should we be curtailing established food sources?

Anyone who has spent any time in one of the community gardens knows that gardening in the community gardens should be the poster child for IDEAL outdoor behavior right now. We are almost perfectly socially distanced in our individual gardens in an open airy space. 

Additionally, as gyms and golf courses remain open, the community gardens which are functionally A GYM for many of our (mostly elderly) gardeners must be closed?!

Finally, the gardens were open and frequented during the initial lockdown while infection rates were IDEAL, without incident! Has there been a cluster of infections that has been traced back to a community garden that we are unaware of?! Do the gardens now present some other risk that I am not aware of?



Byron Morrison 

Moiliili Community Garden President

Moiliili, Oahu 

UPDATE: Honolulu’s community gardens remain closed due to COVID-19 lockdown, but may get some maintenance help

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Perpetual Pandemia

Dear Editor,    August 9, 2020

Well little did we know that when we started hearing about a second wave that it was not viral but financial.  The devastation was not complete on the first lockdown we needed another month as a bullet to the head, we were still breathing apparently.

The problem here is that both Ige and Caldwell have tasted absolute lockdown power. The funny thing about power is almost no one is impervious to its allure.

The paradox here is how to re-open and keep cases going down.  States that—instead of counting cases--react to real data such as hospitalization rate, capacity and deaths are faring way better.

A manageable health situation is being portrayed as unmanageable using fear and useless data points to make overarching decisions. In the end Ige and Caldwell have a pocket full of lockdowns to use at will and have proven they can without and check and balances.

Bill Yarian,

Honolulu, Oahu


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