Hawaii not afforded same rights as other states

Americans in Hawaii are not given the same rights given to Mainland Americans.

Those from the contiguous 48 have access to interstate driving and can move inexpensively across the country. In Hawaii, we are limited to expensive flights for short island hops. For example, a 200-mile trek in the continental U.S. for a family of four costs about $40 (10 gallons of gas). In Hawaii, a round trip between Maui and Oahu costs $720 airfare and $150 for a three-day car rental.

On the Mainland, people go by air, train, bus or car. Here, it’s only by air. Thus, family reunions, shopping and fun trips are often shelved because of expense. The H1, H2 and H3 highways are important to Oahu, but we still lack interstate and interisland travel options.

Another Hawaii concern is Internet shopping. We often can’t purchase Internet items because there’s no shipping to Hawaii. When free shipping is offered, it often excludes Hawaii. Ironically, the shipping distance between California and New York is 1,200 miles farther than from California to Hawaii, yet it’s done.

To correct these inequities, we must: allow tax credits for interisland travel (to make up for the lack of interstate highways); and pass legislation mandating Hawaii’s inclusion in Internet shopping transactions that are given to other states.

Hawaii has been a state for 54 years. We should have the same rights and benefits as the rest of the country.

William J. Coelho