Letters to the Editor: May 22, 2020

A reboot is not a fix

“TOURISM REBOOT” was the front-page lead on April 23 in West Hawaii Today and my blood ran cold when I read it. I suspect Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, is a well-meaning, competent, factually accurate person so as I read through the article and my sense of gloom got worse, I realized it had nothing to do with him. It was the lead itself; tourism reboot.


I have spent my working life in the world of technology (where the term “reboot” originated) and have a deeper understanding of the term than many. It conveys the sense of desperate urgency, essentially a last-ditch attempt to fix a problem, get the system running again without actually knowing how or why the attempt might work. At this point, we do not care about the why, only that it might work. A reboot (reload, restart, cold restart, cold upload, restore, delete and reload…) is not a fix. It is no more than an admission that our system is hopelessly snarled, and we are doing the functional equivalent of turning it off and then back on. Or banging (kicking) the side of the system case and hoping for the best.

In life, as in technology, problems don’t just go away. They move, evade, morph, but come back. So much for the word, “reboot.” But perhaps the real problem is the other word; tourism. It is glittery and promises what seems an easy buck … all illusions do this. And now that we all realize that tourists come with more than money and attitudes (a virus?), we find ourselves in a bad place. We see values that seem irreconcilable.

Many, many years ago, Jack Benny, the comedian, popularized the joke/gag of himself walking in the park and confronted by an armed robber pointing the gun at him demanding, “Your money or your life?” He paused thoughtfully for a long time until finally the robber demanded, “What’s it going to be mister?”.

Benny’s response; “I’m thinking. I’m thinking.” It was funny then, not so funny now.

Richard Apothaker

Waikoloa Village

Quarantine should continue for nonessential, out-of-state travelers

Hawaii is experiencing one of the lowest number of COVID-19 infections in the nation in good part due to the 14-day quarantine for travelers and the adherence of our local residents to the social distancing guidelines and sanitation efforts. When the quarantine is finally adjusted, I would like to see it continue for nonessential out-of-state travelers and allow interisland travel.

Given the popularity of Hawaii as a travel destination, our resources are oftentimes sadly over used. If the out-of-state quarantine remains and interisland travel is allowed, local residents will be able to enjoy our islands without being stampeded by herds of visitors.

John Totten


Keep prisoners behind bars

Back in April, I wrote a letter to the editor saying it was a mistake to release prisoners. Now Mr. Roth is saying the same thing. Those who commit crimes tend to go back to dong the same thing. That’s why they are caught and put in prison.

Let’s not waste any more taxpayer money recapturing these same criminals. Keep them behind bars where they belong, once and for all.

Colleen Miyose-Wallis


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