Letters: DOH visit not as bad as misleading public; Handi-Van service isn’t adequate for COVID-19; Older surfers need closer access to beach

Gov. David Ige reportedly scolded state senators who visited the Department of Health to obtain first-hand information about contact tracing staffing and operations, accusing them of being “neither respectful nor appropriate.”

I would opine that it appears from media reports that the Health Department has misled the public about its ability to manage contact tracing. Such behavior is considerably more disrespectful and inappropriate.

Health Director Bruce Anderson and state epidemiologist Sarah Park should be assigned cases to contact trace.

Cyrus Siu



Closure of community gardens shortsighted

The most recent COVID-19 shutdown includes community gardens (“Oahu beaches, parks and team sports will be halted once more,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 7). Those who have registered garden plots will no longer be able to legally tend their plants and access foods they have invested time and money into growing.

This, of course, is a time when many of these gardeners may be out of work and need the food from their gardens more than ever before. Needing to do more shopping for food could actually increase the risk of COVID-19.

Certainly, appropriate physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, and not congregating in groups all make sense and should be enforced. However, closure of the gardens is shortsighted.

Alan Titchenal

Diamond Head


Handi-Van service isn’t adequate for COVID-19

In this time of pandemic, in a world of mixed messages, I find myself totally confused. On the one hand, we have the mayor and his minions demanding that we wear masks and social distance. These requests were made with the idea that it would protect seniors with underlying conditions, which include myself and my partner of more than 25 years.

Recently we contacted Handi-Van to arrange transportation to a local grocery store. We were shocked to learn that Handi-Van crowds its vans, which makes social distancing impossible. Handi-Van also demands that all passengers wear a mask. What are those with breathing difficulties to do? What about those on oxygen, which makes masks or face coverings impractical?

Because of this misdirected train of thought, my partner has not left home since March.

In other jurisdictions across the country, vans pick up as few a single passenger at a time and some offer free rides during COVID-19. Things must change so our seniors are not held captive by antiquated rules.

Charlie Doremus



Older surfers need closer access to beach

Beach parks are closing again; auwe! For many of us surfing elders, the closing of beach parking lots is inhibiting our surf access.

Because of our advanced age and our longboards, it can be quite a schlepp from street parking in some beach-area neighborhood to our chosen surf spot. For our kids, with their 8-foot gliders, they can comfortably manage a long walk to a short surf. And the grandkids, with all the time and energy in the world, with light little boards, no problem.

But think about us uncles! We have dogs, cats, kids, grandkids, jobs, volunteer obligations and wives, all waiting for us after we’ve had a few waves and a shower. We’re not going to laze around on the sand.

To quote Phil Edwards, “The beach is just something that you cross to get to the surf.”

Please, patrol the beaches, but liberate the car parks.

Henry Trapido-Rosenthal



Open Ala Moana park for early walkers

I am 73 1/2 years old and, for the last five years, I have been driving to Ala Moana Regional Park at 5 a.m. to walk 5 miles around Magic Island. I pass dozens of other senior citizens who come to do the same, respecting physical distancing and keeping to themselves, mostly wearing masks.

It is thus very sad to have this taken away from us with the closure of the park. This walking exercise for this group of mostly senior citizens is a life-saving exercise. Staying at home and losing your mobility and flexibility even for two weeks can have serious consequences.

Finding other places to walk during this time calls for crossing streets, bypassing homeless people trying to sleep, navigating uneven terrain and a level of discomfort and danger.

If only the park could be open for walking between the hours of 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Please.

David Easa



Consider renaming town of Captain Cook

The craziness of cancel culture is something I do not support. The rewriting of history is a dangerous path. However, in light of all this, I think one bit of history should be considered: the town of Captain Cook.

For the past 45 years, with the Hokule‘a and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, it is clear that Capt. James Cook should not be honored for simply sailing into Kealakekua Bay while en route to find a northern passage back to Europe. It has been established that the Polynesians had explored the Americas long before Cook arrived — perhaps even as much as 500 or more years before.

So in light of changes happening now, some to right wrongs and others out of defiance, I believe that the story of Cook’s “rediscovery” is incorrect and that we should honor the true story of Kealakekua Bay and West Hawaii. One way would be to rename the town of Captain Cook to something more appropriate.

Ned McMahon

Captain Cook


Parent company should bail out Young Bros.

I was shocked and dismayed to read the Star-Advertiser give a second (within a few weeks) free deceptive “advertisement” for bailing out Young Brothers (“Young Brothers needs a lifeline From the PUC to stay afloat,” Island Voices, Aug. 13).

It also was recently reported that Young Brothers’ parent company earned a huge profit. It is criminal to ask for a bailout when there are so many small businesses and individuals fighting for survival and in need of assistance. That would be like a family with two businesses had a slight loss in one small business while the other, far larger business, had a huge profit — leaving the overall financial situation of the family financially sound. Yet the family pleads for assistance at the expense of helping the many families and small businesses struggling to barely survive in these difficult times.

Bob Karman

Hawaii Kai


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