Letters for Sunday, June 20, 2021

Build another lane on Kuhio Highway

Perhaps because he lives in Wailua Homesteads, Paulo Tambolo does not realize the effects of shortening the contraflow hours would have on the traffic heading to Lihu‘e. When the cones are removed after 11 a.m. it creates a backup that can “crawl” through Kapa‘a town for hours.

The best solution is to construct another lane from the Wailua Bridge going south on Kuhio Highway.

Caroline Okasako, Lihu‘e

It’s COVID-19 pneumonia that kills

Addendum to article “Non-maskers risk lives” published June 15, 2021:

My apologies. I failed to mention in my last letter to the editor concerning COVID-19 this week, though the COVID-19 vaccine does not keep one from getting COVID-19 or spreading COVID-19, it does what is the most important: it keeps one from getting the deadly COVID-19 pneumonia. The COVID-19 vaccine keeps the vaccinated out of the ICU, off of the ventilator, out of the hospital, in general.

What the COVID-19 does NOT do is, again, keep the vaccinated from getting COVID-19 and spreading COVID-19…spreading it to someone who cannot receive an effective dose of the vaccine, who may very well die from COVID-19’s pneumonia. It’s COVID-19’s pneumonia that kills people, folks.

I hope I’ve made myself clear on this subject.

Christopher Schaefer, Kapa‘a

Officials should have seen rental-car shortage coming

On 21 May, Honolulu Civil Beat published an article about the rental-car shortage. It quoted a local tourism official who said, “It’s an unexpected consequence of the pandemic that we did not see…” Really? Why not?

Is it not the job of visitor-industry experts to foresee such consequences? It should be a rather simple matter of finding out how many vehicles each rental company has, how many visitors will be arriving each day, and calculating the shortfall. (Since we live on an island in the middle of the ocean, no one is likely to drive in, nor are car-rental agencies able quickly to order in extra vehicles from the next county or state.) If these tourism authorities cannot connect the dots, what are they being paid for?

Meantime, all we hear from people like Kalani Vierra is the usual vapid chirping about how wonderful it is that visitor arrivals have been swelling. Have any of these folks recently driven Kuhio Highway through Wailua? Even without pre-pandamic numbers of rental cars on the road the Kapa‘a Crawl is back. I shudder to think how congested the corridor will become if/when more visitors (and more rental cars) arrive.

Wasn’t it only a few months ago that the industry was promising to become more “sustainable,” “ecofriendly,” “considerate of residents,” “supportive of local culture” and other high-sounding qualities? What happened?

H.M. Wyeth, Anahola

Federal Reserve must help average Americans

I just had a conversation where someone brought up the fact that there seem to be a lot businesses offering sign-on bonuses for taking a job.

This person said it seemed unfair to them that sign-on bonuses should be so common among businesses but pay for workers who have powered it out for these same companies receive no special recognition except maybe a thank-you sign in the window.

The question was asked if this was an issue to be discussed or is it something that is frowned upon.

I think it’s being frowned upon. Very little attention seems directed to the root problems. After a signing bonus is used up workers end up with pay that is sometimes below subsistence. That is why Americans continue working more than one job just to stay alive.

A measurable percentage of Americans live one paycheck away from homelessness. Since wages were uncoupled from national productivity in the 1960s American workers have become wage slaves.

Government programs artificially inflated unemployment and pose problems for the old “normal” system because those workers are earning a higher income than when working.

Here comes a 6-trillion-dollar budget that will worsen this situation and introduce more bizarre inequalities.

Why is the Federal Reserve bailing out banks while borrowing against the GDP to pay Americans to be unproductive? When will the Federal Reserve turn from spoonfeeding huge banks and provide relief to communities struggling to provide public safety and Americans struggling to put food on the table?

Alfred Brock, Wayne, Michigan

  1. Jm June 20, 2021 5:57 am Reply

    I’ve been telling county officials to Biuld another lane for 20 years. The amount they spend on cone head contra flow since it started, they could have made a road of gold

  2. james June 20, 2021 7:09 am Reply

    It is very unlikely that fully vaccinated folks can spread Covid 19. From the CDC: “A growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. Studies are underway to learn more about the benefits of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. However, the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus.” In other words, while possible, very unlikely. So, get vaccinated. If you are one of the very rare people who can’t get vaccinated, protect yourself. The rest of us, both vaccinated and those that chose not to get vaccinated, need to get back to normal and all government restrictions should be lifted immediately. Ige, what are you waiting for?

  3. Re-Christopher June 20, 2021 7:19 am Reply

    You’ve actually made yourself less clear. The NIH links a death rate of 4.3% percent to those with co-morbidities and the the pneumonia one can get with covid. Your explanation is so so convoluted and contradictory. You’re just digging yourself deeper. Stop trying to rationalize your totally irrational approach to the topic. Again best of luck and health to your wife battling cancer.

  4. Croesus June 20, 2021 7:33 am Reply

    You are confusing the function of the US Treasury with that of the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s main and original mission is to be the lender of last resort for banks unable to meet its obligations, such as in a bank run where a majority of depositors withdraw their money. Yes, the Fed is there to save the bankers from their own customers and it’s also true that it has strayed away from that mission lately.

    When you ask why the Fed is bailing out banks, its because it was originally created by Congress for that purpose

    The Federal reserve acts as the banker for, and remits its annual earnings to, the US Treasury who implements the current administrations fiscal policies


  5. RGLadder37 June 20, 2021 7:40 am Reply

    16,800 per year in tourist. 100 per day in tourist. 1400 per month in tourist. This is the average.

    Not that much to sustain the shopping malls. On Kauai. Rental cars is an indicator, then Kauai is really broke and in a recession.

  6. RGLadder37 June 20, 2021 7:54 am Reply

    Who’s in charge of tourism? No one is in charge. Because no one brings in the tourist to Kauai. They just show up. Placing some one in charge is a goofy attempt at giving credit. But who? I don’t know. Nobody cares about sports. Cross them off the list. Economics? That person has to be smart. What must be done to attract more than 16,800 to 35,000 people to the island? I’d rather go to Miami. More to do. Now what? I think they should rethink HTA. Be more tourism.

  7. kauaidoug June 20, 2021 8:53 am Reply

    I too fear the coming tsunami of rental cars and it will be a tsunami when covid restrictions are lifted. I just love the fact that the Wailua widening project was started earlier this year instead of getting done what they could during the pandemic. Oh, well progress, just hope I live to see the end of the project before I die of aggravation in the vaunted Kapaa Crawl. Hanapepe bridge anyone? Let’s hope not.

  8. Paulo June 20, 2021 8:55 am Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree with Caroline Okasako that we need another lane on the highway but it seems to be far from happening.

    The fact that Kapaa is a nightmare to drive through means I normally keep my errands to Lihue, returning home to Wailua Homesteads usually before noon from Lihue with gridlock from the airport to my turn off on Kuamoo at the river.

    A couple of times in the afternoon I’ve had to go into the beginning of Kapaa to Longs, with the same gridlock now going Lihue direction.

    Our road is structurally deficient and needs another lane from the airport to Kealia and it would still be overcrowded. Same with the Wailua bridge.

    The point of my letter last month was to point out our lack of planning and hope for no more approvals of large projects such as the denied Hokua Place and it’s 769 residences or approved resorts including the Coco Palms which will only add to the nightmare.

    As I pointed out in my letter last month and H.M. Wyeth pointed out in his today, we still are not seeing the full extent of the traffic as rental cars will be in short supply for another couple of months. I don’t even want to mention the ocean incursion happening at Wailua Bay. The East Side needs some serious thought to this expensive road problem we are dealing with due to lack of planning i.e., approvals of projects without thought to infrastructure.

  9. nothings free June 20, 2021 8:56 am Reply

    Wow Christopher! Thank you for the clarification! So let’s get this straight? The vaccine does what a majority of those in our medical community say that Hydroxychloroquine, Dexamethasone, and Remdesivir can do, and all are virtually safe to take (ALL HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE FDA AFTER LONG TERM STUDIES FOR SAFETY)! But instead, we need to make every American shoot an untested, experimental, and non FDA approved cocktail of modified RNA shot, which Pfizer says will only give you 6 months of optimum protection, into our blood stream? So what do we do then? Take the volunteer Lab Rat route and get the cocktail shot every 6 months or year? FOR LIFE? For Covid 19? Which only kills .006% of those who get i,t mostly because they already have life threatening health problems that will kill them soon anyway (600,000 deaths mostly with pre-existing conditions divided by the over 100 million Americans projected to have been infected)! Children are basically IMMUNE ALREADY! The fact is that most everyone under the age of 70 who get Covid won’t even know they had it? What will be the effect on our bodies after this RNA modification is injected into everyone every year like all the other flu shots? This isn’t a “vaccine” like Small Pox, Measles etc. which give you nearly a lifetime of immunity! There have been hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and adverse side effects from people taking the shot once! Of course, the Democrat Politicians are making money hand over fist while your Walmart “nurses” are injecting the masses. “Free vaccines for everyone on aisle 9”! Thanks for the clarification, and we hope and pray your experiment is successful long term! You Guinea Pig recruiter you!

  10. Rampartview June 20, 2021 9:28 am Reply

    Alfred should learn a little about the Federal Reserve. First it is not an agency of our government. It is out to work, enhance and protect the banks first and that is why they think a lot more about the banks and financial institutions than they think about the people. I repeat this is a private institution that does not have to answer to the US Government!

  11. Uncleaina June 20, 2021 9:38 am Reply

    Absolutely right! All the marketing talk about sustainability blah blah. It’s NEVER real! It’s about money; now, in the past and forever in the future.

  12. RevW June 20, 2021 10:49 am Reply

    @Chris S. … You’ve made it clear that your information is either incomplete or from biased sources, and contradictory. You may simply not understand how the two main categories of COVID19 vaccines work, or that ‘immunity’ is inherently about not contracting the infection. This is a virus; as far as we know it does not have a ‘latency’ phase. An individual virus is not immortal. Like most other things on the planet, it either replicates, or is destroyed, or wears out and dies. If the vaccination results in near 100% immune response, the person’s immune system will not allow later ‘intake’ of the virus to infect the host. Without being host to viable COVID-19 viruses, that person has nothing with which to infect someone else.

    Also, pneumonia is not the only effect of COVID-19 infection that kills people. The CDC and other reporting agencies still haven’t sorted out how to categorize and track deaths from pre-existing conditions that would have killed the person anyway, when the person also has COVID-19. If, for example, the person goes into irreversible cardiac arrest while hospitalized with COVID-19, did COVID-19 ** cause ** it, or did it just happen to occur while the person was hospitalized with COVID-19?

    While the vaccine may not guarantee absolute immunity to this virus, NOT being vaccinated massively increases the chances of contracting it &/or passing it along.

  13. numilalocal June 20, 2021 11:01 am Reply

    In regard to the re-SURGE-ance of tourism in Kauai, what happened was the visitor industry and government did was simply default to making the most of a cash cow. Foresight is not a strong point of government. Because it basically sits back and collects money – while the private sector does all the heavy lifting – government is not about to step on anyone’s financial toes by enacting some common-sense limits.

  14. Jjjames June 21, 2021 10:52 am Reply

    a large part of the traffic situation on Kuhio Hwy has to do with the antique hand-me-down signal system on this island. Vehicle detection systems are either non existent or non functional. Advanced vehicle detection is non existent. If the state DOT and our state representatives would SPEAK UP and get proper and up to date equipment for our island, things would be different.

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