Letters for Friday, January 1, 2021

Time to get rid of safety checks

Approximately a year ago, there was talk in the state government of eliminating the safety check process for our vehicles. Also, many licensed mechanics who do the safety checks find it that it’s not worth their time and profit isn’t worth a darn (most of the fee goes to the state). Also, our vehicle-registration fee has doubled in the past couple of years.

Now with this pandemic (COVID-19) we were all relieved for almost all of this year (2020) from not to have our vehicle(s) safety-checked.

My point is, brand new vehicles don’t have to be safety-checked for several years after purchase. Even these brand-new vehicles may burn out a headlight, turn signals, brakes, etc., which causes a safety issue.

So with that said, “why not be fair and get rid of the safety-check process?” It would relieve us from one more fee and it will give mechanics more time to work on a vehicle to run safely.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Let’s not rush things, mayor

In a statement regarding the new rule 24, Mayor Kawakami said, “Now that our community has been able to enjoy the holiday season without a major surge in cases, we feel we are in a good position to loosen inter-island travel restrictions….”

While I have applauded our mayor’s actions up until now, I find this to be a major case of jumping the gun. Christmas was less than a week ago. The holiday season includes New Year’s Eve and Day — both occasions for large gatherings. Given the current recommendation for 10 days of quarantine, this rule should not be considered or take effect prior to Jan. 11 or 12 — time enough to actually assess the number of cases resulting from holiday celebrations.

Mr. mayor, I am asking that you reconsider the effective date of this new rule.

Donna Gould Carsten, Kapa‘a

  1. John Patt January 1, 2021 7:55 am Reply

    I agree with Donna Carsten.

  2. nobody January 1, 2021 8:36 am Reply


    I’m not sure the mayor has rushed anything, maybe just the opposite. When Kauai opted out of the Safe Travel program 11 weeks ago the fear was that it would not work and cases would skyrocket statewide. Well that didn’t really happen to the rest of the State did it? The Thanksgiving surge didn’t really happen either.

    It was a risk to shut down Kauai’s economy and our mayor took it. At the time it seemed it the right thing to do. But things have changed. Maybe the Safe Travel program is working for Hawaii? The proof is in the pudding as they say.

    Is Lt Gov Josh Green right about the Safe Travel program working and our mayor was wrong? Time will tell. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. How long should we wait???

  3. Iso Late January 1, 2021 8:39 am Reply

    Donna, some of us have been deeply thinking deep, the solution is, all the scaredy cats should isolate themselves and just order delivered take out. Nowthere’s an idea whose time has finally come and will increase restauarant revenue, and taxes, to support our government workers and elected officials.

    That way the 98% who have or will experience none or mild symptoms can go on with their lives and their visitor industry employment, and you can go Covid free for life with no fear of Covid or new clear attack.

    As the human immune system would have it, the rest of us outdoorsy types would just have to accept symptom free immunity, being non-contagious, and being part of Herd IMMUNITY, just like we did last year and the year before and all the years prior, as the annual flu wraps its snively head around the world, year after decade, after century, after millennium, after infinities of eras going back past the Neanderthals who eventually settled in the warm tropical areas, makes sense, eh? Warm Health, Cold Flu…!

    In fact even before the Homo Saps, the other vertebrates had to put up with the pesky seasonal virus oscillating between northern and southern hemispheres as far back as the little spineful critters globetrotted, relying on only their God given immune systems for at least 550 million years.

    For some reason people who are elderly and eat junk and fast food, loaded with modern toxic chemicals and sugars, and fake flavors, aromas, and preservatives, along with synthetic factory made vitamins, antibiotics, and vaccines, not to mention agricultural poisons to kill every little thing that would dare share our foods, as well eating animals that are on prescription drugs, just like their human counterparts are on same or similar toxic and lethal prescription drugs, along with the promoter of weakness the Air Conditioner.

    Yep these are the people, who dabble in freak food, and are the ones who would do best to isolate themselves from all other living things and even hand shakes, instead of the majority of us not on freak food, who don’t need masks, 6’ a-social behavior, and wash our hands till we get a rash.

    But be sure to close the curtains to protect your self from the sun’s deadly rays, and the sky when falling, and even that rascally little chicken, Chicken Little.

    It’s still true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, just like a stitch in time saves 9.

    Nature is wondrous, you can believe in her.

    Always best to follow the Natural Path…!

    1. david presley January 1, 2021 9:02 pm Reply

      When we are dealing with the 2% that are not as lucky as… well you I guess, how do you recommend stacking all the bodies? Naturally, of course. Like a cord of wood or like a log cabin. In your experience, when stacking the 1200 dead bodies that your plan will impose on the unlucky 2% of the island, how do you keep the flies away? Do you have a natural remedy for the smell?

  4. Rusty January 1, 2021 8:51 am Reply

    Besides Howard, who can stop rust on the rusty sides of the island…?

  5. LJ January 1, 2021 9:50 am Reply

    @Howard Tolbe
    As an automotive technician who used to perform safety check inspections, its 100% pointless. The laws regarding turn signals, brake lights, mufflers, etc. should be enforced by…law ENFORCMENT, not mechanics. What stops a tail light or headlight from burning out literally 10ft after driving away from the safety check station? If it does, what did that $25 and half hour of time accomplish? Its a waste of resources, on every front. From the driver to the shop to the bureaucrats who have to review each and every photo taken during a safety inspection. Pointless.

    Instead, issue a memo to KPD that any burnt out light, cracked windshield, etc results in a warning and a record of the incident is tied to the vehicle. If an infraction happens again and the problem isnt fixed, issue a citation. If its a tint issue, issue the citation or let the driver remove it on the spot. Simple solution that would save 1000s of man hours paid for on tax-payer dimes.

  6. semperubisububi January 1, 2021 12:14 pm Reply

    Donna, I am in agreement with you. The Mayor has done an outstanding job but I believe he’s jumping the gun and should rethink this. Today the news is reporting over 240 new cases in the islands, so we are just beginning to see the Christmas spike. Kauai continues to have minimal cases and it is due to opting out of Safe Travels temporarily. Let just wait a few weeks and see how things go…especially with the new highly contagious new strain forming in CA and other states. Better to be safe than sorry.

    1. judi January 1, 2021 4:26 pm Reply

      I agree with Donna and just today there is news of serious increased in cases on Oahu No point in rushing as Kauai has been very vigilant and safe thus far. I appreciate Mayor Kawakami and hope he will wait a little longer before instituting Rule 24 Being patient will make a huge difference once the vaccine is widely available. Then we will truly appreciate that Kauai is the best place in the world and we are so lucky to be here.

  7. Citizen Cane January 1, 2021 1:07 pm Reply

    The safety check system is essential, but the inspection process has been overburdened by bureaucrats (what a surprise!) who lengthened and complicated the process in an orgy of extra hoops, loops and tablet devices. By not keeping it simple (KISS) they drove many auto service folks to stop offering the service, despite raising the price—making compliance a difficult and fraught endeavor requiring appointments and/or waiting in lines. Not to mention one glaring omission: your 1 yr. old car may flunk because of a frayed wiper blade, but but you can get away with a 120 db muffler that rattles your neighbor’s coffee table because inspectors don’t get decibel meters anymore, the DOH gave up jurisdiction over “vehicular noise control,” and the cops just don’t seem to care, or have the tools to deal with it.

  8. manawai January 2, 2021 8:51 am Reply

    semperubisububi said, “Today the news is reporting over 240 new cases in the islands, so we are just beginning to see the Christmas spike.”

    Ahhh…if you’d listened to the report, that was several days worth of tests. So the State’s numbers are flat; not rising. Try to keep up.

  9. Steve Martin January 2, 2021 2:03 pm Reply

    Happy New Year every body!! Yes Howard I agree. Good comments of common sense thinking. In order to get rid of the inspections we will have to come up with something else that the state can further continue to rob our wallets for as they do. The inspections show us that they have nothing to do with safety, it’s just another way like the the airlines charging for baggage, restaurants, car dealers, charging for using credit cards to pay and on and on… the state must keep pressure at any angle it can in order to keep our wallets as empty as possible 24/7/365.

  10. Dt January 2, 2021 8:11 pm Reply

    How many false positives are we gonna go through? Our family friend was diagnosed positive and retested negative with no symptoms. A student at the school had the same issue. How come the DOH won’t reclassify false positives. Could it be that the numbers are being falsely inflated?

  11. Wil Welsh January 2, 2021 11:32 pm Reply

    Safety checks, registration, licensing could all be done every two years, instead of every year. That would cut expenses and save a lot of time for everybody with very little sacrifice of safety and accountability.

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