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Letters for Friday, August 20, 2021

Churches should welcome mobile vaccine unit

Recently, the Lihue Missionary Church (LMC) appeared in the eye of the local COVID storm.

One of their youths, who was riding in a van and then attended Sunday service in late July, tested positive for COVID-19. Pastor Dave, who is defending LMC, its actions and the good things that “God is doing through LMC,” would have the public believe that LMC takes COVID “seriously, and wants to be wise in taking precautions against it.”

If this is indeed the position of LMC, I have a suggestion for Pastor Dave: Invite the mobile COVID vaccination unit to your church for a day of prevention and help protect the Kaua‘i community for further spread of COVID-19. This invitation should also be extended to all of Kaua‘i’s places of worship.

Michael Diamant, Koloa

Highway in Kapa‘a needs signalized pedestrian crossings

On a Friday evening driving through Kapa‘a town you suddenly approach NOKA facility on the mauka side and Otsuka’s on the makai side. Directly next to Otsuka’s are several food wagons, and probably the largest is Jimmy’s Grill. There is usually a crowd because of music and dancing within the food court.

As you’re driving, just a few feet from there is a crosswalk, and during 8:30 to 9 p.m., it is practically dark, and the visibility is not very good. The speed limit is about 25 miles, and if you’re driving over the speed limit an accident may occur.

While I approached the crosswalk there are pedestrians crossing back and forth to get to either side of the highway. I immediately slam on my brakes because I now see people crossing in the crosswalk, which makes me realize that if I was not paying attention someone might get hit in the crosswalk. I strongly feel that one of those yellow blinking lights should be installed to alert drivers that someone is in the crosswalk. People are always crossing in that location, so it doesn’t really matter if it is during the daytime or during the nighttime hours.

Please adhere to this editorial before an accident may occur!

Pa‘aluhi Gonsalves, Anahola

Jones Act costs shipbuilding, seafaring jobs

The Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i shares Paulo Tambolo’s concern about “loss of U.S. jobs.” (“Jones Act ensures U.S. jobs,” Forum, Aug. 17).

The recent commentary by institute President Keli‘i Akina (“Island residents need relief from Jones Act burden,” Forum, Aug. 15), did not address the jobs issue directly, but it did mention there would be 9,100 more jobs in Hawai‘i — U.S. jobs — if not for the Jones Act, based on a 2020 study commissioned by the institute.

The institute’s newest report, “Five myths about the Jones Act,” explains that U.S maritime jobs have declined over the past many decades, whereas if the act were reformed, shipping activity would increase, leading to more maritime-related jobs.

As the report notes, 300 U.S. shipyards closed between 1983 and 2013, leaving only four shipyards as of July 2021 that build large, oceangoing ships for the commercial market — and three of those are foreign-owned!

Further, “As the output of these four shipyards has plunged, so has shipbuilding employment — by nearly in half, from 180,000 in 1980 to 94,000 in 2018. The number of Jones Act ships has dropped from 193 in 2000 to 96 as of February 2021. With a generous estimate of two, 25-member crews for each vessel, that’s a loss of 4,800 seafaring jobs.”

And just to be clear, “dockworkers, stevedores, truckers and other ‘indirect and induced’ jobs do not owe their jobs to the Jones Act. Maritime-cargo transport would exist with or without the Jones Act, which serves only to limit competition. If more foreign shipping were allowed in, there would be more maritime-related workers needed.”

Tambolo was right when he said we in Hawai‘i are “captive consumers.” A few American corporations control the shipping of cargo between U.S. ports, thanks to the Jones Act, and consumers here and throughout the U.S. have no choice but to pay for it, through higher prices and fewer jobs.

Mark Coleman, Communications director, Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i, Honolulu
Source: The Garden Island

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