Letters to the Editor: July 13, 2020

Constituents do not need fear-based leaders

Dear Gov. David Ige, Mayor Harry Kim, Hawaii County Council members and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard,

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While you are considering the postponement of opening the island on Aug. 1 to travelers in possession of a negative COVID test please answer the following two questions:

Why are there testing stations within the state if you do not have confidence in the test results?

If you do have confidence in the test results, then what does it matter how many positive cases are on the mainland if Hawaii is only allowing passengers with a negative test to bypass the quarantine?

I am curious to how other communicable diseases that have never caused a state shutdown measure up to the current coronavirus numbers. Your constituents do not need fear-based leaders. We need leaders that are basing their decisions on all the information available, which also includes economic numbers. At what point do the unemployment and bankruptcy statistics become a state emergency? Many still have not received their first unemployment check and there have not been any additional federal funds approved or unemployment benefits extended for those that have lost their jobs.

Actions by our state do not have to be a binary choice. It is time to implement a comprehensive plan for surveillance through testing, quarantine and treatment of the infected, contact tracing for prevention and a healthy economy. If you do not have a plan, then maybe it’s time you join everyone else that has lost their jobs, businesses and income.

Rory Love

Kailua-Kona

Stop fake news

Reply to Barry Willis letter, he says “charge Maunakea protesters for the bills that they accumulated while they were breaking the law by closing the mountains access road.” While it has been shown that the protectors broke no laws while exercising their first amendment rights and that the governor admitted that he, not they, closed the access road. Some people insist on accusing protectors of illegal behavior.

In some way, I can understand why they cling to this false narrative, because all major local media kept reporting that the access road was closed by the protesters and continually reported it was extended and unwarranted. Police presence on the mauna as being necessary for enforcement of law and order and safety of the public. This of course was a complete fabrication. The police set up a speed trap at Pohakuloa and at the park ask any of the hundreds of people ticketed. This had nothing to do with the protectors. The state and the county tried to and succeeded in their propaganda campaign to discredit the protectors. Thus the opinions of people like Barry Willis abound.

Police showing up in militarized fashion to intimidate Hawaiians on Hawaiian lands should never be tolerated. I ask why is the University of Hawaii still in control of Maunakea. UH failed in its fiduciary duties to uphold and protect the environment and areas of cultural significance in exchange for money. Hawaiian lands and culture should be administered by OHA or other entity agreed to by the Hawaiians and no one else.

Les Iijima

Waikoloa

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