Letters: Chemical compounds from useless batteries will pollute; Legalized gambling will increase society’s woes; Shield faculty staff earlier than college students return

0
76

Batteries are not biodegradable. What happens to our beautiful Hawaiian landscape when dead batteries from solar-energy systems and electric vehicles start piling up? What happens to our water quality when chemicals and minerals leach out of dead batteries into our water table? The danger from Red Hill pales in comparison.

No problem. Carbon cashback will pay us dividends to allay our concerns (“Fossil-fuel fees would pay back via Carbon Cashback,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Feb. 7).

Give us a break.

Ronald E. Hughes

Aiea

Legalized gambling increases society’s woes

There is no doubt something needs to be done immediately about providing housing for Native Hawaiians. But a casino or any form of legalized gambling is not the answer.

In 2012 and 2013 the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling brought Drs. John Kindt and Earl Grinols to the state. They are gambling research experts who have no monetary or other stake in whether gambling becomes legal here or not. They spent countless hours with members of the Legislature and the public, sharing with them the results of analyses of decades of information collected on legalized gambling. The conclusions were clear-cut and not in question: Gambling is a losing proposition.

Hawaii already has its share of social ills, with homelessness, drug addiction, poverty, domestic violence and food insecurity, to name a few. Legalizing gambling — in any form — will only increase our problems.

Violet Horvath

Acting president, Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Politicians fail to fulfill duties to Hawaiians

This state has been dependent on tourism, and we’re unable to function since COVID-19.

This state has a mandate, but year after year the Hawaiian people are pushed aside. HLM: Hawaiian Lives Matter?

This state is named Hawaii because of its Hawaiian people. The Hawaiians belong here; everybody else are just guests. The Hawaiians have been suppressed and homeless for so long because of the state’s inability to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility. Many Hawaiians have died waiting for a homestead lease to build a house, build a life and be proud.

To all those politicians who are against any type of gambling, it’s time to fulfill their mandated fiduciary responsibility immediately. Otherwise, a casino or lottery.

Mary Alice Lee

Kaneohe

Protect school workers before students return

I am a “nana” of six grandchildren. Four are in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school.

Yes, they’ve been having classes online. Our high school and middle schoolers have attended in-class instruction, with no other classmates or just one to three in attendance. The four in high school decided to opt out of attending — it’s better and safer to be online. We are fortunate our grandchildren are doing well with online instruction, but they are losing out on the social aspect.

Parents want their children to be back in school. This would be great for the children. However, shouldn’t we protect all the teachers, administrators, all involved in the schools, down to the gardeners? This should be the goal.

We’ve had schools with positive COVID-19 cases, but we don’t know if they were the teachers or students, or where these were happening. The Department of Health should be more transparent.

I’m hoping that within this month all those involved with schools will be vaccinated. Then we can open all schools by mid-March 2021, right after spring break.

Pat Yamauchi

Hawaii Kai

Structural disparities lead to systemic racism

Poor Cal Thomas, so misinformed. He thinks that systemic racism means white people are “inherently racist,” and that this is disproven by white people contributing to help poor people of color and voting for Barack Obama (“Racism a matter of the heart, not government mandates,” Star- Advertiser, Feb. 2).

As “systemic” denotes, the problem is structural, in economic and political barriers that were devised long ago to maintain an unjust system and that persist despite changing times and the benign intentions of many white people.

Thomas repeats tired conservative mantras of individual responsibility, ignoring the injustices regularly visited upon hardworking, conscientious people of color that white people seldom experience.

Changing individual minds will not correct disparities of outcome based on unequal starting points and legacy structural disparities.

Sometimes only government action can move the system meaningfully toward fairness — for example, by Congress passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

David Monk

Hawaii Kai

EXPRESS YOURSELF

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