How is it that my barber, the waiter at my favorite ramen shop, and an untold number of others gained the responsibility to verify my vaccine status and my identity whenever I need a haircut or lunch or whatever? Are these individuals trained to safeguard my personally identifying information? Can they assure me of protection of my driver’s license number, address, birthdate, etc.?
We’ve all learned hard lessons about the need to safeguard personally identifying information. Now the city requires that I provide my ID and my vaccination verification to almost everyone. I must show my ID to sit down to lunch.
Paradoxically, I am required to wear a mask to enter, but I must remove the mask to prove that I am the person named on the vaccination card. I don’t know about you, but my driver’s license photograph was taken without a mask.
Give vaccinated priority in receiving services
For those 15% who choose not to be inoculated, there are a variety of options.
First, they pay for their own hospital costs. I don’t think that insurance companies or hospitals or social services should reward them. They should get the next bed that comes open after the vaccinated get theirs. And they should get use of the next oxygen system.
I remember the dear nuns in religion classes telling me, “God helps those who help themselves.” I wonder if the nuns would include getting vaccinated as helping yourself (as well as those with whom you have contact), possibly akin to “thou shalt not commit murder.”
Bible doesn’t prohibit COVID-19 vaccinations
The first recorded use of vaccination occurred in the 16th century in China. The hollow metal needle was invented in 1844 and syringes were separately designed in 1853. The Old Testament began to take form in the eighth century B.C.
While I am not familiar with the Koran, I grew up in a Mennonite family where different churches competed in “Jeopardy”-like competitions, and so I memorized most of the King James version of the New Testament. While there is mention of the practice of bloodletting, the words “vaccination” or “injection” cannot be found anywhere in either the Old or New Testament.
I do not understand how someone can claim a “religious exemption” without being able to cite the passage instructing them not to be vaccinated. To my understanding the Bible reads, “Thou shalt not murder” — which includes killing yourself by not getting vaccinated.
Carl L. Jacobs
Don’t blame Ige for declines in tourism
I am sick and tired of everyone — would-be visitors, anti-vaxxers and multinational hotel corporations included — blaming Gov. David Ige for declines in tourism.
There are a few other factors: COVID-19 itself, politicians trading human lives for votes and the millions of foolish Americans who have refused to be vaccinated.
Ige didn’t cause the problem. He merely described it.
Would the money-grubbing hotel chains and anti-vaxxers parading in Waikiki prefer that visitors spend millions to walk among our unvaccinated and then join the patients begging for our hospital beds?
Vacation rental flexibility would burden taxpayers
The state established a 180-day threshold for vacation rentals to provide a clear understanding to taxpayers for what qualifies as a transient accommodation.
Such accommodation is subject to the transient accommodations tax as well as the general excise tax on gross rental income received.
Those who operate vacation rentals need to recognize that this is a business activity that creates a burden for our community residents. Operations of vacation rentals can exhaust community resources such as roads, water, sewers and rubbish services.
Vacation rentals and other business endeavors should be operated lawfully and as such, appropriate taxes should be remitted to cover the cost to our communities.
In addition, the state Department of Taxation is aware of the ongoing debate of stricter regulations of short-term rentals proposed by the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting.
If the city does not establish a threshold aligned with the state, this will burden taxpayers who must remember different rules for multiple government entities (“Some flexibility on vacation rentals,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Sept. 12).
Isaac W. Choy
Director, state Department of Taxation
Vacation rental scheme a giveaway to hotels
The city spent an immense amount of time and money two years ago, increasing penalties and enforcement of existing vacation rental rules. Then the city failed to fund the seven enforcement officers (“Short-term rental bill gets first public hearing,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 2).
The powers that be, under the cover of a pandemic, now disingenuously complain that the existing ordinances are less than effective, and that more is needed. How can the existing ordinance be ineffective when the city’s enforcement mechanism was never funded nor attempted in any serious manner?
Under the city’s current plan, the long-established right to month-to-month tenancies would largely be eliminated for the benefit of the Wall Street hedge funds that own much of the Waikiki hotel landscape.
The situation we face today is very likely gross incompetency by city government and/or a system utterly corrupted by the hotel industry. Was building a $200 million Hawaii Convention Center at taxpayer expense for the benefit of the hotel industry not quite enough?
Paul M. Dold
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.
>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.
>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813
>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax), [email protected], staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter