Sunday, Feb. 05, 2023|
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Time to ‘get real’
I have serious concerns after reading Ms. Judith Perino’s recent letter to the editor (Your Views, Oct. 6).
Yes, some of the ideas she is taking from the Maui County playbook could be implemented here. However, I have serious issues with placing a moratorium on short-term rental developments and hotel units.
Who would decide when this moratorium would be lifted? This seems to be a back-door Trojan horse to stop all development.
Construction and real estate, like it or not, are key parts of the state’s economy. If you place a moratorium on such developments, you’ll be facing a lot of unemployed workers with no alternative jobs in place.
The Maui County plan, as far as I understand, is to develop more affordable housing in lieu of more high-end developments. There are cost, regulatory and environmental issues that have held up such developments. If there was money to be made constructing affordable housing, then you’d see developers jumping hand over foot to build said housing.
That isn’t happening.
The key parts of the Big Island’s economy are astronomy, military, tourism and construction/real estate. All of these industries are under attack in some fashion by certain groups.
We need to get real and decide what kind of jobs and industries we want here.
The cost of tourism
I am writing this letter to you to bring awareness to the tourism industry and how it affects our natural resources and environment in Hawaii.
If you are a local in Hawaii, have you ever noticed tourist attractions in natural environments being messed up and torn to pieces? Tourism has swept over Hawaii like a tornado.
I believe we should make it mandatory for the airlines that bring people to watch an educational video about Hawaii to make them see the cultural aspect and how important Hawaii is.
The natural environment is being harmed, and the natural resources we use for food are in danger from tourism. I have lived in Hawaii my entire life and have noticed all of these tourists cause harm to our environment.
Hawaii is a very small place, and most of our locals live off of what we grow, hunt and fish here.
I have noticed four main things that tourists tend to do that negatively affect the environment when they come to Hawaii.
One very harmful thing is oxybenzone, an ingredient found in sunscreen that can be very harmful to the sea and coral life. Many tourists don’t notice and continue to use it in their water.
According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority … over 10 million tourists came here in 2019, and more wildlife is becoming extinct with more infrastructure being built.
Now with this being said, tourism gives lots of income to this state, and not all tourists are the issue, but aside from the money, all they do is cause harm to the environment. Think about how more money is being spent on tourist attractions and less on local families. Hawaii “runs off of aloha,” not tourism.
I want people to respect our home as much as we do and to know the importance of keeping our islands healthy. Our home needs help and love from the harm that tourism has caused. I believe if tourists were educated before they came here, it would make them more aware of what they were doing.
Hilo High School student
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