Your Views for May 21

Changes needed

Starting over, let’s consider how to make life better than it was before COVID-19, with diversified industries, instant affordable housing and ways for hotels, restaurants and businesses to recover as quickly as possible.

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Depending primarily on tourism and real estate development has been shortsighted. Strikes, terrorism, pandemics, economic downturns are some of many things directly affecting Hawaii’s economy. Though tourist numbers increased through the decades, the overall economic impact and quality of life decreased.

With potential for self-sufficiency, create sustainable employment while enhancing Hawaii’s tourism industry and protecting the environment. Develop forestry and agriculture for food, textiles, energy and all kinds of products for local use, exports and souvenirs.

COVID-19 restrictions helped resolve traffic jams. Moving forward, reduce the number of rental cars proportionately to traffic impacts. Many tourist destinations around the world are car-less. Increasing shuttle transportation services and reliable public transit, people will adjust accordingly.

Using residences for vacation rentals is detrimental to the lodging industry. Return to the housing inventory condos and homes originally designated as residential. Though revenues might be less, long-term rental income is guaranteed. This increased housing helps stabilize the market.

Besides homes for residents, eliminating these short-term rentals will help increase occupancy of resorts, hotels and condominiums that were developed to accommodate visitors.

Considering hotel rooms lack kitchen facilities, going out to eat helps restaurants and businesses. Getting out, people shop and are enticed with tourist activities.

Though pandemic recovery presents challenges, it offers opportunities and hope for a beautiful and prosperous future.

Michele Lincoln

Lahaina, Maui

Tee times

This letter is in response to my husband (a retired school teacher) and his fellow golfing buddies’ frustration at trying to get a tee time under the new rules at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course.

The new rule states that he must call the day before to schedule a tee time, starting at 7 a.m. He has gotten a busy signal every single time, starting at 7 a.m.

Finally, one of the group managed to get an 11:30 time. The problem is this in the heat of the day, which is very dangerous for kupuna, with risks of dehydration, heat stroke and skin cancer.

Simple solution: kupuna hours, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Let them schedule a tee time in person; the phone is not working! This is how they did it … before.

Now that we know better, it is time to do better for our kupuna.

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Carrie Kowalski

Pahoa

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