Letters to the Editor: June 25, 2020

Can airlines do the testing?

Since there are constitutional issues that confound Hawaii requiring COVID-19 testing of travelers prior to arrival, is it within the legal ability of airline companies to require customers, for any air travel, to show a negative test, within a reasonable date of boarding? Some airlines require travelers to wear masks. Others are implementing greater sanitizing and restyled seats. It appears medical history forms will be necessary to the preparation process (the forms only as truthful as the traveler needs them to be). In addition, safety in air travel is optimized already with baggage checks, pat downs, and customers removing shoes, so why not go for the full package and find out if airline companies can require a negative test before boarding any flights? Would that not be in the interest of customer safety? Our islands would benefit from the extra precaution.

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Barbara Feliciano Pinkerton

Waimea

No justice, no reefs

The lack of meaningful justice has been on display across the country lately and while our own backyard outrages don’t measure up to the tragedies and the taking of human lives on the mainland, still the flagrant poaching of our natural resources remains a scourge on the community and those seeking justice.

A measly $200 fine plus court fees, was the penalty issued last week by the court against one of two defendants charged with poaching 550 reef fish for the aquarium pet trade. The initial charges included collection of prohibited species, illegal gear,in addition to failure to hold required licenses and permits. All but two of these charges were dropped through negotiations between County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth and one defendant, Mr. Wayne Newman, who pleaded no contest in court. The defendant could have faced penalties upward of $1,000 per count and up to 30 days in jail. (The other defendant and partner, Mr. Tyron Terazono postponed his arraignment until June 30)

However, Roth, who is currently running for mayor and who describes his office’s core mission as “pursuing justice with integrity and commitment,” let Mr. Newman off with less than a slap on the wrist. In effect, it was a slap against the entire community and the DLNR officers who made this rare and difficult to enforce case airtight. What amounts to 36 cents per animal is simply the cost of doing business for this destructive and unwanted trade and apparently the local courts are in agreement with this business plan.

Without meaningful fines issued by the court to demonstrate the state’s commitment to protect our natural resources, the health of our reefs, the sustenance for responsible local fishermen, and the pride of our visitor experience, has no future.

Claire Trester

Kohala

Use Tasers instead of guns

I don’t see why police officers can’t use Tasers in place of guns. That way they can incapacitate their suspect long enough to get handcuffs on that person without causing fatal harm. Of course it doesn’t prevent officers from using other methods that may be dangerous for a suspect. For those that commit crimes, it’s best not to do anything that can get them arrested. I recall saying back when that show was airing, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Colleen Miyose-Wallis

Kailua-Kona

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