John De Fries, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, supports a cap on tourism, but doesn’t know where to place that cap (“HTA approves plan to reduce Oahu tourists,” Star-Advertiser, July 30).
That cap should not be any higher than what the local population can serve. Don’t grow tourism so large that there are not enough local people to staff all the tourist businesses.
We already have problems with traffic and insufficient housing. We don’t need the tourist industry to bring in people to make those problems worse.
Local residents pay the price for having so many tourists here. They should be the ones to reap the benefits.
Visitor industry a blessing for Hawaii
The Star-Advertiser’s beating of its dead hobby horse condemning vacation rentals, and Carol Williams’ letter on the same page talking about an “agrarian” economy, are equally out of touch with the fact that tourism — in our neighborhoods as well as in Waikiki — is an incredible blessing for Hawaii (“Get moving on B&B rules, enforcement” Star-Advertiser, Our View, July 30; “Tourists do pollute Hawaii’s environment,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, July 30).
“Agrarian” in Hawaii meant astonishingly hard labor and low pay for bonded immigrants from Japan and the Philippines, to support a monopoly economy in which the famous “Big Five” Hawaii companies ran the state and everything in it.
As for vacation rentals, the newspaper — apparently in lockstep with hotels and their workers’ unions — still ignores the fact that the disturbances and pollution that irritate the ladies who lunch in our wealthiest communities actually are caused far more by local residents than by visitors.
CLEAR requires too much medical data
The Safe Travels program is a mess. It’s not user friendly, it’s unresponsive and it’s confusing. Now, to make matters worse, it recommends downloading the CLEAR Health Pass, which deceives travelers into authorizing CLEAR to collect one’s complete medical records, not just those related to COVID-19 vaccination and testing (“Why did the CLEAR Health Pass want so many of my medical records?,” Star-Advertiser, Kokua Line, July 14).
Why does CLEAR need to access decades of pre-COVID records to facilitate travel? And why is the state encouraging residents to expose their medical histories to a private company?
According to Kokua Line, the state didn’t even know CLEAR was asking for this authorization! Is that not incompetence, if not negligence, or just par for the course?
Francis M. Nakamoto
It’s right-wing ‘sheep’ that will get hurt
It makes me past tense when those on the right describe intelligent, mask-wearing, vaccine-taking responsible citizens as “woke.”
They and certain news outlets are spreading misinformation that is essentially killing their own constituents. It’s like wide-eyed sheep leading themselves to slaughter.
Even now, with the delta variant running rampant, they disparage, denigrate and dismiss the data, causing further suffering and death.
If it only affected those flocks of ovine, I wouldn’t care. But it affects all of us. Now that they have made their bed, they must sleep in it.
While the rest of us follow the science, I guess the right wing will be “sleep-wokeing” through this crisis.
Defining history from different points of view
The insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol were “law-abiding tourists.”
Likewise, the Blacks who came to this country in their comfortable ships were “seeking employment.”
History is a point of view.
COVID reveals weakness in our communities
John Tamashiro provided an odd editorial stance emphasizing that the Democratic proposal to counter racial and economic strife is through free stuff (“Democrats’ proposals a recipe for disaster,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Aug. 2).
There have been numerous discussions and wish lists on both sides of the aisle on various ways to deal with these ongoing issues, but to date nothing has been set. Neither is anything free, except for COVID-19 vaccinations.
The pandemic has revealed structural weaknesses, both economically and socially in our communities. Continuing with the status quo will ensure another recipe for disaster in future events. Until then, mask up and get vaccinated so we can all get through this together.
Ryan Tin Loy
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