Letters to the Editor: June 28, 2020

Masks save lives

The Big Island has done a wonderful job of preventing the spread of COVID-19. What have we learned from lessons here and abroad?


First and foremost, wearing masks and disinfecting hands and social distancing work very well. Places like Hong Kong and Taiwan started early and have had fewer than a dozen total deaths from the virus. New York city has had 17,000. Masks work.

How do masks work? My mask protects you from my mouth spray (talking, coughing, etc) and your mask protects me from your spray. You could say mask wearing is a form of respect. Refusing to wear a mask in public shows profound disrespect for others. Who would do such a thing? Only a delusional emperor who thinks he wears new clothes.

Anyway, keep up the good work Big Island. Masks save lives.

Charlie Webb


Help us to help Hawaii

June is PTSD Awareness Month and the East Hawaii Dog Psychology Center has trained dozens of dogs for veterans with PTSD over the past few years and hopes to dramatically increase this program in the next year, especially because 20 veterans commit suicide every day and having a service dog is the single best way to prevent this.

This work is especially needed locally now that so many Hawaiians have lost their jobs due to the effects of COVID-19 and the reduction in particular in the tourism industry. We are seeking grants and other funding to offset the cost of vocational training and employment in this wonderful and satisfying field.

If you want training, need a service dog, or can offer to assist in some fashion, contact us at easthawaiidogpsychologycenter@yahoo.com. The government cannot do everything we need to be done, but together we can find answers. Help us to help Hawaii.

Carl Oguss

President, East Hawaii Dog Psychology Center

BLNR rejected EIS, not work

In Wednesday’s edition, Tina Owens expressed her view that the BLNR was wrong to reject the final EIS submitted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, based in Washington DC. The EIS was supposed to reveal the environmental impacts that could result from a resumption of aquarium fish collection in West Hawaii. Specifically, PIJAC chose to study the impact that would result from granting 10 collection permits to 10 fishers in West Hawaii.

It was the EIS that was rejected, for its failures. This was not a decision about tropical fish collection itself. Notably the EIS simply assumed that future collection would continue at the same levels as was reported in past years. It chose not to consider any annual limits on fish collection in its study, nor any annual collection limits on the 10 permits it sought. Furthermore, the EIS made no attempt to analyze the likely future state of our reefs or the impact of future aquarium fish collection on the reefs. It is well known that the reefs are already in decline due to global warming and ocean acidification. The BLNR also gave several other reasons for its rejection.

This was no rejection of the work done by Tina Owens and others over many years.

Bill Graham



Letters policy

Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less and will be edited for style and grammar. Longer viewpoint guest columns may not exceed 800 words. Submit online at www.westhawaiitoday.com/?p=118321 or by email to letters@westhawaiitoday.com.