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LETTERS for the Nov. 19 issue

By Staff | Nov 20, 2020

Open the track!

(The following letter was sent to county officials.)

It is a beautiful sight to see community residents safely exercising in county parks and facilities — playing basketball, baseball and swimming, for instance. We now know that exercise and being outside in the sun to get Vitamin D3 both help keep us healthy during a pandemic.

It is disappointing that Parks and Recreation has no date to open the Yamamoto Track at War Memorial. We, the community track users, have been eagerly awaiting its opening since it closed to fix the parking lot.

Since the sport of track has already been labeled as “low-risk” by the state DOH, there should be no hold-up from opening the track. Bathrooms can be cleaned just like all of the other facility and park bathrooms. The same protocols given to the other county facilities and parks can be adhered to at the track.

Come on, Mr. Mayor and Parks and Recreation — let’s open the track!

CYNTHIA MONTELEONE, Local Track Coach & 2019 World Champion Track Athlete, Lahaina

Council spotlights the history of Hawaii lobster fishery

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has published the first of seven new issues in its historical Pacific Islands Fishery Monographs series.

Taking a deep look into the history and current state of some of Hawaii’s most important fisheries, the series provides a comprehensive view on the social, cultural and economic impacts of Hawaii’s fishing industry.

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Fishery, the first of these new monographs and the ninth overall in the series, is now available.

Written by Michael Markrich, the monograph charts the history of what was once the most lucrative fishery in the State of Hawaii and the factors that led to its current closure.

Beginning in the 1970s, the Hawaiian lobster fishery quickly boomed in the 1980s, where spiny lobsters like those caught off the coast of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands fueled the growth of “surf and turf” items at fine dining restaurants nationwide.

The fishery entered a period of decline in the following decades, due to factors such as the expansion of marine protected areas in what used to be lobster fishing grounds, such as the marine national monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In the two decades it was most active, from 1977-1999, the fishery landed $50 million worth of lobsters.

The monograph’s findings and perspectives do not necessarily represent those of either the council or the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The council’s hope is that this history will expand the reader’s understanding of the diverse views of the fishermen, scientists, managers, policymakers and environmentalists who influence federal fishery management.

The goal of the series is to provide a captivating history that respects, as best possible, these multiple factions.

A limited number of printed copies are available on a first-come basis by contacting the council.

The publication and prior issues of the series are also available online at http://www.wpcouncil.org/educational-resources/education-library/.


Biden’s priorities, 1-10

In the next several weeks, President-elect Joe Biden will be preoccupied with creating a 100-day action agenda.

It might be called “Operation Renewal.” Here are my top ten choices, in no particular order.

Develop a public health strategy for containing and rolling back the coronavirus.

Support a multi-trillion dollar assistance package for economic recovery, with emphasis on relief for renters, unemployed workers and small businesses.

Restore U.S membership in the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization.

Issue a strong statement in support of racial justice, including explicit condemnation of hate groups.

Reaffirm support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, opening it to new applications and removing limits on renewal of status.

On immigration, halt building of the wall with Mexico, begin dismantling detention facilities (especially those with children), find the parents of unaccompanied children, stop ICE harassment and roundups of undocumented people, respect sanctuary cities, and resume accepting asylum applications. Lift restrictions on immigration from Muslim countries. Restore refugee admissions to their highest level in the Obama years.

Restore, by executive action, the roughly 100 environmental regulations from the Obama era that Trump rolled back as part of a comprehensive strategy for climate change.

Restart diplomacy with Iran on the nuclear deal. (Iran’s leader has expressed readiness to do that.)

Clean house in the Departments of Justice, State, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, as well as in the Environmental Protection Agency, National Security Agency, and Consumer Protection. Affirm to all professional staff that the nightmare of disrespect and disregard is over.

Restore sanity to U.S. foreign relations, starting by reaffirming U.S. alliance ties and letting China’s and Russia’s leaders know that the U.S. is prepared to engage on the basis of mutual respect and benefit. Seek Russia’s agreement to extension of the New START (strategic arms).

Of course the to-do list is much, much longer. Student debt, consumer fraud, Department of Justice independence, Supreme Court expansion, labor and financial regulations, defense of public lands, protection of whistleblowers, back-to-school plan… it’s almost endless.

And all of these come down to appointments of people with integrity, experience and humane values. Fortunately, such people are plentiful.

Oh… if Mitch McConnell tries to sideline the appointments, do what Trump did: appoint “acting” secretaries and directors.