Give Grassroot Institute study a closer look
Paulo Tambolo alleged in a letter to the editor on Saturday (Oct. 10) that statements by Keli’i Akina regarding the cost of the Jones Act to Hawai‘i (“Great Lockdown Crash of 2020 …,” Oct. 4) were “based on no facts whatsoever.”
Tambolo said he had visited the Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i website “to see where he (Akina) got his bloated figures,” but apparently he overlooked our groundbreaking study, “Quantifying the cost of the Jones Act to Hawai‘i.”
It was conducted for the institute by the nationally-recognized, economic-research and consulting firm John Dunham & Associates, based in New York, which considered at least five different statistical scenarios concerning the cost of the Jones Act to Hawai‘i.
Its conclusion: The protectionist federal-maritime law, which requires vessels carrying merchandise between U.S. ports to be U.S. flagged and built and mostly owned and crewed by Americans, costs Hawai‘i about $1.2 billion a year, including $1,800 per average family, and 9,100 lost jobs.
The comprehensive study showed that eliminating the Jones Act’s U.S.-build requirement alone would save Hawai‘i about $532 million a year, almost $300 per resident and about 3,860 jobs.
Apparently unaware of our study, Tambolo declared one of Akina’s comments “unconscionable,” and said, “Until we get an independent, in-depth study done on the costs and benefits of shipping, with and without the Jones Act, rhetoric is not enough reason to suggest repeal of the Jones Act ….”
Well, to be clear, Akina did not urge full repeal of the Jones Act. He recommended only removal of the U.S.-build requirement. But more important, there already has been an “independent, in-depth study done on the costs and benefits of shipping, with and without the Jones Act” — and we produced it.
I urge Tambolo to revisit our website and download a copy for himself. If at that point he still has concerns about Akina’s statements, then perhaps we could take it from there.
Mark Coleman, Communications director, Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i
Sensationalism has no place in TGI
I am concerned with the content of The Garden Island.
There is less local news and more sensationalized headlines, and as of today the tragic photo of a man being shot in Denver.
We do not need these kinds of photos ever. It is hard to leave a paper unattended in light of young children and any sensitive person seeing this tragic, shameful event.
The population was already overwhelmed by negativity before COVID-19, and now it is a daily struggle for most of us.
If it was deemed necessary to cover the article, the photo and the size of the photo were very National Enquirer.
There are many local, national and international news stories of interest and concern to the population that carry far more educational purpose to us. There are also many uplifting, enlightening, educational stories to share.
Lighten up our lives, please.
Angela Headley, Hanapepe
Kaua‘i just not ready for COVID
In the recently-televised interview between Lt. Gov. Green and Dr. Fauci, there were four particularly important points underscored:
While mask-wearing is one of the best defenses we have, it is not safe when riding in a confined space with others also wearing masks because of the significantly-increased risk of infection when confined to an area where the air is shared for more than 15 minutes. Josh Green is himself an example of the propensity for communication of the virus in a confined area. The flights to the state will by definition have people in close confinement sharing recirculated air for 5 hours or more.
While there is a need to support our economy, we also need to recognize our culture and lifestyle in Hawai‘i, which requires greater-than-normal caution, according to Dr. Fauci, because of our multi-generational family living. See link at 10-minute mark.
It is certainly accurate that restoring tourism is an essential ingredient of restoring the economy. See link at 20-minute mark. However, will the economy be sustained when there are increased incidences of COVID and community spread particularly on the outer island which, as Dr. Green noted, have very limited medical resources.
As the outer-island mayors are suggesting, and as Dr. Fauci has confirmed, the one test prior to flight is not safe and is not effective because of the very probable contamination in the last 72 hours before flight or during flight. See link at 25-minute mark. A random sampling of 10% of the untested arriving passengers, Dr. Green’s current proposal, is nothing short of Russian Roulette. Not only will there be no such sampling for the first four days after the reopening, but the sampling plan, beginning Oct. 19, will permit undetected virus-carrying visitors to enter quarantine. This will not prevent some from needing care from our extremely-limited medical resources on Kaua‘i while potentially infecting others and causing the community spread that we have thus far been able to avoid.
We are so close to having a vaccine. Dr. Fauci confirms it is 2-2 1/2 months away. Must we be subjected to this significant risk of illness and death, without the resources to handle it, when we have worked so hard for so long at preserving the island’s health? Our tourist industry won’t be worth a tinker’s damn once COVID illness and deaths hit a poorly supported island like Kaua‘i.
Bridget Hammerquist, Koloa
Trump: Egocentric, disgraceful, dangerous
President Trump’s behavior from the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a disgrace, and his judgments concerning his personal health, the health of his family and staff and that of our nation have been wrong.
The proof: President Trump’s recent diagnosis of COVID-19 and subsequent hospitalization at Walter Reed Medical Center. If most people were presented with this scenario, a sane, logical individual would recognize the seriousness of this diagnosis and listen to the advice of his/her doctors.
To underscore the seriousness of the disease in this 74-year-old, obese male, the list of medications being used should be warning enough. In light of this, our “stable genius” president has left the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed Medical Center for no other reason than to engage in a photo-op, i.e., driving around the grounds of Walter Reed Medical Center to “wave to his fans” and to be seen waving.
How irresponsible. How stupid. Once again our president is endangering the lives of staff assigned to take care of and guard him. Prior to this hospitalization, if there was any doubt as to what/who the president puts first, there should now be no doubt. It’s “I, me, my.”
How egocentric, how disgraceful, and how dangerous.
Michael Diamant, MD., Koloa