Commentary: America’s coronavirus crisis needs a 9/11 Commission

COVID-19 has altered the course of our nation’s history in so many ways. Even as we fight to bring the virus under control and save lives, we are also aware that our country will be feeling the effects of the pandemic for years and possibly decades to come. It isn’t enough to beat the virus, we have a responsibility to learn from our mistakes so we can be better prepared in the future.

My Turn: Explore partnerships for water reuse at Kealakehe WWTP

I’d like to compliment the Department of Environmental Management and plant manager Alika DeMello in particular for the rapid response and implementation of a solution to the sewer spill that occurred earlier this month on Alii Drive. An overt sewage spill such as that one gets attention from the press and the public. But a much more insidious problem exists related to partially treated human wastewater.

My Turn: Your vote is your voice in government

On Aug. 8, the primary election in Hawaii County will be deciding on the mayor, prosecuting attorney and several County Council seats. Voters who do not vote in the primary election will have no say in who will hold these offices. Do you need any other reason to understand why your vote in the primary election is very important?

Commentary: The ADA as a work in progress

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law transformative legislation known as the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was a major victory for the rights of people with disabilities, not just in the United States but globally.

My Turn: Hemp can transform our island

Hawaii needs a more diverse economic base. If it wasn’t obvious before, it sure is now. Tourism is not going to save us. Sure, when the world was not in a pandemic, things were rolling around quite well with tourism being the big dog.

Save our stimulus: Payout time for Congress on virus Rx

Two months ago, House Democrats passed the HEROES Act, another round of coronavirus stimulus relief. At $3 trillion, it was proclaimed dead on arrival for Senate Republicans, who crossed their fingers and bided their time, hoping Jared Kushner’s prediction of a “rocking” economy by mid-July would come true.

Commentary: Mask wearing: Maybe you have a right to put your health at risk, but not that of others

“I don’t need a mask!” declared the San Diego woman to a Starbucks barista. The woman apparently believed she had a right to enter mask-free, contrary to the coffee bar’s policy. A surprising number of Americans treat expectations of mask-wearing during the coronavirus pandemic in a similar way — as if these expectations were paternalistic, limiting people’s liberty for their own good. They are dead wrong.