Letters: Time to speak out about vaccinations; Choose healthy diet over Alzheimer’s drug; Let’s hear from those victimized by crime

Recently I’ve had three friends tell me they’ve not been vaccinated but “might consider it” after they see how things pan out (as if their expertise trumps that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

I’ve also had two occasions when employees in retail environments have told me they, too, are amenable but are unmoved to act.

It is not my nature to confront people about such decisions. Lecturing friends is uncomfortable; lecturing clerks, counterproductive. But such decisions in the face of COVID-19 are not benign expressions of personal preference. They are overtly dangerous sins of omission.

People who rely on others to take known-to-be marginal risks to help contain a pandemic while they themselves are unwilling to do so, are irresponsible. Companies tolerating such behavior by employees are reprehensible.

Vaccinations protect our schoolkids from a vast array of preventable diseases. It’s time for the silent majority to tell closeted non-vaxxers to grow up and accept what’s good for us all.

Stephen Turner

Pacific Heights


Super-rich rewarded for their contributions

Regarding recent articles about super-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk paying little or no income taxes in certain years: It was all within the boundaries of our tax laws, and unlike the normal taxpayer, they have armies of accountants and lawyers to fend off the IRS. All these people have basically changed the world, both economically and in the way we live.

Without risk and reward, the most likely outcome is a world without innovation. Does it make sense to punish success and reward failure? The U.S. is considered the land of milk and honey, where everyone has a chance to be successful through ingenuity, creativity and hard work. Is this the reason for the exodus from South America to the U.S., or is it to take advantage of our entitlement programs?

Carlton Chang



Reparations can include community investment

Reparations. Where does it start, should it ever end?

Reparations is a messy proposition — financially, politically and morally.

America’s original sin of slavery might even be considered a lesser sin than our treatment of Native Americans. Not only were entire tribes wiped out by wars and disease, they have lost most of their land. How do we, or could we ever, compensate them for their losses?

And of course, we have the internment of the Japanese; Chinese exclusion laws and racially motivated lynchings that were not limited to Black Americans. And we have a not-too-glorious history in our treatment of our Latinx brothers and sisters.

The types of reparations that makes the most sense are not payments to individuals, but deep investments in the communities. Perhaps a commitment to provide a great education to all; a single-payer health system where health is a right and not a privilege; and a clean and safe environment. And we need to include reformed and non-prejudicial policing.

Reparations will never end until we have created a more perfect union, worthy of our great American ideals.

Roman Leverenz



AVR will have positive impact on voting here

This year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 159, which would establish automatic voter registration (AVR) in Hawaii. This important measure eases barriers to registering to vote by allowing eligible citizens to opt-in be registering to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or state identification card.

Since 2015, many states have established some form of AVR. AVR improves and secures our election system by keeping Hawaii’s voter rolls updated. AVR may also improve Hawaii’s low voter turnout rate. Further, as voter rolls will be better maintained, the state will save upwards of $1 million each election year in needless waste.

In this era of crisis and change, decisions are being made that will have long-reaching consequences. Crucially, SB 159 would allow the people to more easily weigh in on the political process.

For these reasons, I’m calling upon Gov. David Ige to sign SB 159 into law.

Ian Ross



Choose healthy diet over Alzheimer’s drug

At $56,000 per year, the Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (aka Aduhelm), does not cure but only slows the progression of memory loss, and that’s a big maybe (“New Alzheimer’s drug offers hope to patients,” Star-Advertiser, June 14).

A doctor, and I believe him, told me that “eating healthy foods like tofu, fish, veggies and grains, plus simply daily walking, is your best way to stop Alzheimer’s. Stay away from Aduhelm.”

Another doctor told me, “Food is your best medicine. Don’t ingest all these chemicals that is unnatural to your body.”

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted nearly unanimously against this drug to be put on the market due to its severe side effects, such as brain swelling, confusion, diarrhea, delirium, disorientation, falling, headaches and its ineffectiveness. But the FDA was heavily pressured by Biogen to put it on the market.

It’s profit before people. Principles be damned when money is involved.

Melvin Wong



Let’s hear from those victimized by crime

The hot topic that sells news today is police accountability regarding the shooting of a teenager (“3 Honolulu Police Department officers are charged in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy,” Star-Advertiser, June 16). Everyone is jumping on the news.

How about telling the story of the people whose lives were affected by this teenager, who allegedly went on a crime spree with his brother and friends? The family who should be responsible for these kids is seeking compensation. Only in America.

Cliff Toyama



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