Letters to the Editor: July 6, 2020

Not enough turnaround time

I am about to reschedule a trip to Hawaii, but finding it impossible to get a COVID-19 “Rapid Test” in my area.


There is only one facility in my area that does this, but won’t test me because I don’t display any symptoms. There are many other facilities that test, but only one rapid test facility. Visitor guidelines require negative test results within three days prior to arrival in Hawaii. This is not enough turnaround time for tourists wanting to visit. Gov. David Ige should extend the turnaround time and make things less complicated for travelers.

Victor Leone

Clovis, California

No one should be getting a raise

I have read recently about the subject of raises being given to public workers. No one during this pandemic should be getting a raise. The April unemployment statistics for Hawaii stood at 23.8%, meaning one in four workers in Hawaii is out of a job.

According to an April 1 Honolulu Star-Advertiser article, no state workers have been furloughed. This is probably also true of County of Hawaii workers. These individuals are still receiving their paychecks whether they continue to work as normal, are working from home, or are not working at all due to social distancing rules. The article states further that Ryker Wada, director of the Department of Human Resources Development, does not know the number of state employees that fall in each of the above categories. Again, according to the article, Gov. David Ige has not executed the suspension of statutes of collective bargaining, as allowed by his emergency proclamation, which would make it possible to redeploy some if not all of otherwise idle workers.

Why not? In summary, government workers have jobs and their income has not been interrupted. They are very fortunate in this extraordinary and difficult time to have a steady income. They are also being paid out of taxes generated by all the workers in the state, many who don’t have jobs. Where will the tax monies for these raises come from? The tourist industry is effectively shutdown, which eliminates both jobs and tax dollars, almost 25% of our workers are unemployed and the government is planning on giving raises to government workers who have not missed a paycheck? That is simply wrong.

Donna Goodale


Ideas to help pay for deficit

Hey, here’s a few novel ideas to help pay for the $6 million deficit. Get more tourists to come to our island. Clean up the restrooms and keep them clean so tourists can tell others how pleasant their visit here was so more will come to support Hawaii’s main source of revenue.

End the business lockdown. And charge the Maunakea protesters for the bills that accumulated while they were breaking the law by closing the mountain’s access road.

Use the rainfall in Hilo for the west-side golf courses. You do this by storing it in reservoirs high above Hilo then letting gravity send it downhill on Maunakea past Waimea in a flume or a pipeline. This would end the huge expenses of drilling for water and keeping the pumps going.

Perhaps these out-of-the-box ideas might help pay our bills … much of which the Maunakea protesters cost us.

Barry Willis


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