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Letters for Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Ethnic jokes part of Hawai‘i

Born and raised in Hawai‘i and having grown up with the comedy of Frank, Mel, Andy, Rap and, most-recently Augie and Jo Koy, I understand that the perceived intent can diverge sharply from the actual intent, not just in stand-up comedy, but also in everyday life by the rest of us.

Because of the diversity of ethnic groups who live here, we who grew up here in Hawai‘i can admit that every ethnic group has characteristics that can make you chuckle.

If we take ourselves and each other a little less seriously, we can reduce the misunderstandings over intent and ultimately form real relationships instead. Lightening up a little takes a lot of courage, but in the long run it’s worth it.

Wayne Delos Santos, Lihu‘e

Our current COVID-19 policy is a joke

OK, now I am convinced that Mayor Kawakami and his administration are even more messed up than I thought.

I wondered why there was no precise data on requirements for returning residents on the county site for COVID restrictions. Everything was geared for tourists (little Powerpoint graphs).

Now I know, as it is a total farce with absolutely no science behind it! A tourist can get a negative test 72 hours before arriving, go to a “resort bubble” and pay over $400 a night to stay there, test negative in another 72 hours and be out of quarantine.

However, a resident, even with a negative test in the same 72-hour, pre-flight period, is required to quarantine for 10 days in my COVID-free home! Why can’t I go to the War Memorial testing site and get a test 72 hours after arriving like a tourist ? Apparently, the county is more interested in the comfort and convenience of tourists than of the residents who pay their salaries.

Or, you can take a test on the mainland, fly to an outer island like O‘ahu with high COVID rates and stay 72 hours (like we can all afford that), take another test, and if negative, fly here with NO quarantine restrictions! Please explain what sense this makes. Seems like a ploy to feed business to the island hotels to me.

Prior to leaving five days ago to attend my sister’s funeral in Central New York, I diligently filled out and electronically signed the special “Kaua‘i county” online arrival form, and I also got a negative test here. I had filled out the New York arrival form (hard copy), handed it in at Syracuse, showed my negative test, and was on my way in less than a minute.

Prior to leaving for my return, I took an approved test (negative) 48 hours before my flight (waste of time and money, I now realize). Upon landing in Lihu‘e, I find that I was supposed to have received some QR code on my phone that I never got. Another “glitch” in their “fine-tuned” system. One hour later, after struggling with personnel who seemed to know less about the system than I did, I finally was able to leave.

Thankfully, we will be entering into the statewide “Safe Travels” program on April 5. In my opinion, the county should NEVER have been given the right to “opt out” of this system for the messed-up, out-of-control fiasco we have now. I hear people joking about Kaua‘i being a “third-world country.” Now I understand what they mean!

Michael Peyatt, Wailua

  1. RGLadder37 March 17, 2021 12:37 am Reply

    I can see how it is discrimination. War Memorial Center was set up to give vaccines if needed only for tourist. It is a joke. They might change the safe travel program in June. Giving it to everyone if funding allows it so. That means you can get a negative or if its positive and still take it 72 hours after arrival. That means you get your vaccines to for a price. Not bad set for a local to get. Bring this up to your state legislatures. See what they say.

  2. nobody March 17, 2021 5:08 am Reply

    Welcome to the cancel culture. The next culture being canceled might be yours.
    It’s only the beginning.
    By the way, “lighten up” is no longer a permitted thought.

  3. LTEreader March 17, 2021 9:42 am Reply

    Michael Peyatt –
    This “system” has been anything but a “messed-up, out-of-control fiasco” and Mayor Kawakami has done an excellent job keeping COVID from entering our shores. We’ve had the lowest number of deaths in the State, and in the Nation! For that, most residents are grateful.
    With the uncertainty of new variants, the CDC is recommending that people don’t travel right now, but you ignored the warning. Perhaps you should have stayed home. Or better yet, stayed in New York because your negativity sucks! And, how dare you compare Kaua’i to a “third-world country.” Shame on you!

    1. Mike Peyatt March 17, 2021 10:33 pm Reply

      LTEreader Well, sorry that my sister died and that traveling to her funeral offends your little senses and the CDC. I am simply saying that if a tourist can get a second negative test in 72 hours, why not a resident ?? That to me is messed up. If it is ok for a tourist, why not a resident that might have a job and need to make a living. Sorry, your comment is idiotic, so shame on you. I hope that you do not suffer the same loss of a family member out of state and suffer such pain !!!d Obviously, you are simply a cruel and hate filled person ! I had a negative test before I left Kauai, another 48 hours before I returned, same rules as a tourist !! Fair is Fair, so get off your high horse and stop judging other ! Your are the one that has an attitude that “sucks ” ! As for the “third world county” , I simply said that I have heard other “locals” make the comment and in this case , the shoe fits !

  4. YuCalJoe March 17, 2021 12:38 pm Reply

    It’s a personal choice to let words and symbols make you feel angry about the color of your skin and/or your heritage. There’s no a single word or symbol that does this to me. I ignore it all. It’s fun to see the reaction of someone who tries to demean me, and all I do in return is laugh at them. Call me what you want, fly any historical flag you want, and keep any historical statue up as well and I won’t care. It’s my choice!

  5. frequent visitor March 17, 2021 2:18 pm Reply

    We need help here. We will visit Kauai in October for two weeks. We have been coming for 40 years. We love to ride boogie boards at Brennaches. We are vaccinated. The Hawaii visitors site says my vaccination is only good for three months. Will the whole island have to get another shot or just visitors? Why do I need to be tested if i have had my shots? I cannot get a test done within the 72 hour limit. Should I just cancel and forget about ever coming back to Kauai again?
    Mahalo for your help.

    1. james March 18, 2021 6:01 am Reply

      Where did you read that the tourism board says your vaccination is only good for 3 months? I can’t find that written anywhere. Are you sure you saw that?

      1. frequent visitor March 18, 2021 12:41 pm Reply

        It was the CDC at It is down about half way on the page.

        CDC appears to indicate that vaccinations valid for 3 months

        The CDC has recently said that quarantine should be avoidable for those who have been vaccinated at least two weeks prior, remain within a three (3) month window following receipt of the last vaccination dose, and remain asymptomatic. There was no additional travel guidance, as the information was only related to COVID exposure. However, the CDC said, “Individual and societal benefits of avoiding unnecessary quarantine may outweigh the potential but unknown risk of transmission (among vaccinated individuals).”
        The Bottom Line Currently…

        Ultimately, the decisions regarding the future of vaccine travel are now in Hawaii Governor David Ige’s hands. As things look now, after receiving the vaccine, you’d need to travel within three months of your last dose. This timeline will potentially be extended as more information is available. We’ll continue to monitor this situation closely.
        This gives me no comfort.

        1. james March 19, 2021 7:11 am Reply

          I think you are misinformed. You will not be denied entry to Hawaii if you were vaccinated more than 3 months from arriving in Hawaii as long as all other protocols are followed. Please refer the the state and county safe travel rules for entry to Hawaii and the individual Islands. Even those who have not been vaccinated are allowed to come here as long as they follow the safe travels guidelines. The 3 month vaccination issue is a red herring. I don’t follow why you even mention it.

    2. Wailua Girl March 18, 2021 3:30 pm Reply

      The LTE section is DEFINITELY the best place to ask for help regarding travel rules. You could always call an official office where people know about these things, but why bother when you can ask complete strangers online! If calling and getting an official answer is too hard then yeah, maybe cancel and never come back again.

  6. WAVE March 17, 2021 2:24 pm Reply




  7. LTEreader March 19, 2021 8:46 pm Reply

    Mike Peyatt,
    I’m sorry your sister passed away. And I’m also sorry you feel I’m “a cruel and hate filled person” because I’m not. Call me all the names you want, however the reality is there’s millions around the world who’ve missed or postponed funerals, weddings, graduations, birthdays, and/or celebrating holidays with family & friends this past year because of a pandemic.
    You traveled to and from a State that’s still considered a ‘hot spot’ and should have just done what was asked without hurling insults in our newspaper. New York City’s seven-day-average rate of positive results hasn’t dropped below 6% in months, and their new cases per capita are double the National average right now. You may have diligently stayed home for 3 days, however who’s going to ensure every resident that travels will do the same? Many didn’t when the 14 day quarantine requirement was in place.
    As for “I am simply saying that if a tourist can get a second negative test in 72 hours, why not a resident ??” There’s a few modestly priced bubble resorts with Kama’aina rates that you could have stayed at for 72 hours, then re-tested. Flights are the cheapest they’ve been in many years, which would have helped offset this cost. You knew what you were up against before you traveled, did it anyway, and returned with an attitude.
    And it’s irrelevant if “you’ve heard other locals” refer to Kaua’i as a Third world Country, it’s you who said it in our paper for everyone on the planet to read. Perhaps visit one of those Countries on your next trip so you can appreciate where you live. Thanks to our Mayor, and his strict policies, we’ve been very fortunate throughout this pandemic. We’ve also seen the Island come together and help one another like they’ve done many times in the past. Third World Country? Not even close.

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