Letters to the editor: 03-09-18

State, HFD should be involved in Kahaluu surf school operation

After reading the article in Wednesday’s WHT about surf school regulations, I wondered if any local businesses would survive if they were fined $36,000 per year. Creating a new bureaucracy will accomplish nothing but adding an unfair fee, and possibly, driving longtime business into closing their doors and terminating employees.

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Is that the only solution Cindi Punihaole of the Kahaluu Center could come up with?

I would suggest using the solution that the Hawaii Fire Department made about grandfathering in the longtime existing operators. The fire department has an interest because they’re the ones who will be called on for a ocean rescue. I believe it would be an appropriate use of manpower if the DLNR issued the licenses and the Hawaii Fire Department managed the licenses, the same service they provide for fire inspections in other businesses.

I really don’t see how fining tourist businesses will accomplish protecting the coral or reduce crowds on the water.

Having a limited number of experienced operators, who support coral conservation, is in my mind the only solution, not fining operators out of business.

Michael Flaherty

Kailua-Kona

Maybe not a mistake

While I appreciate the sense of responsibility and self-reflection it took for WHT editor Tom Hasslinger to write and publish his apology, on behalf of the paper, for publishing a racist letter in Monday’s edition (“We let you down, we’re sorry”), I’m not convinced that publishing the letter was a mistake.

As highly offensive and ignorant as the letter writer’s views are, the fact is that these people are out there, living in our community, even working in positions of authority, or maybe (God-forbid) running for elective office.

We like to believe that most people are tolerant of all lifestyles, religious views, races, and genders. We like to think that we all make an effort every day to be kind to others regardless of their circumstances. We want to tell ourselves that other people are just like us, but we’d be wrong.

Hateful people full of anger, misogyny, racism, xenophobia and intolerance walk among us. I, for one, would rather know who they are, and in what numbers they exist in my community. Deny that ignorance exists at your peril.

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Donna Beumler

North Kohala