Letters to the editor: 06-14-18

Air quality? How about airline quality?

I realize that the community is focused on the changes Madam Pele is making, the air and water quality and, of course, the many displaced people of that area. Luckily the people of Hawaii are a caring group and these families will be getting the support they need to move on.

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Saying this, we still have to deal with other issues we are facing such as our upcoming elections and how it will affect our daily lives. My personal concern is interisland transportation and how we are at the mercy of Hawaiian Air.

Last week my wife’s medical return trip had a problem so she had to buy a ticket one way home at 2 p.m. on a Monday that cost $220, plus one bag. I called Southwest Airlines and booked a flight from LA to Vegas.

The cost?

It was $120, with the first two bags free. That’s a 270-mile trip compared to 200 miles between Oahu and Hawaii Island. My question to the candidates is, will the state equally share Honolulu airport or will they make it difficult for Southwest to service Hawaii as they have done in the past to every upstart competition to Hawaiian Airlines?

And please don’t use the excuse that Hawaii has other options. These options are commuter services not competition to Hawaiian Air. Hawaiian has built a huge airline on our backs. I feel that enough is enough and it’s time to get rid of all the politicians who have sold their integrity for favors from our monopolies that continue to put us behind excessive profits.

Paul Santos

Ocean View

Spend military budget on helping Hawaii

Mayor Harry Kim has said due to the Kilauea eruption “needs are greater than we’ve ever seen.”

The U.S. military budget is now $686 billion annually. Just $100 million, or .14 percent of it (less than 1/4 of 1 percent) would go a long way in helping people displaced from their homes and farms.

What are we defending?

Jim Albertini

Kurtistown

Cruise ships could be shelter use

Efficiency housing units are being constructed for some of our displaced friends and families in Puna. However, there is another option to get people out of the Red Cross shelters.

After a hurricane in the Southeastern part of the mainland/Gulf of Mexico, a cruise ship was brought to the devastated area for housing for displaced persons. A cruise ship that could house 600-plus families docked in Hilo Harbor could assist with temporary housing solutions as well as housing any out-of-state or off-island volunteers from the Red Cross. A request for funding to rent a small cruise ship could be made to FEMA.

A cruise ship could house one family to a cabin. Each cabin has a bathroom, the ship has laundry facilities for the passengers to use for their clothing, and a ship’s laundry to handle sheets and towels. Additional cots could be provided from Civil Defense, if necessary. Additionally, the ship contains restaurants for use by the Red Cross to fix meals.

If this emergency continues for several months, school buses could be sent to the dock area to pick up children for school. After the ship is released from emergency housing duty, its company could refurbish it for its return to cruising. This option has worked in other areas of the U.S. Why not here?

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Brenda Ford

Captain Cook