Letters to the Editor: 11-06-18

Big Island needs legal hikes

I would like to comment about the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) hikers who got caught in the flash flood at Anna’s Pond (WHT 11/5/18).

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First, I would like to thank the rescuers who saved numerous lives. Second, I would like to say that I have been on a number of hikes with YWAM students and they have been very bright, enthusiastic, wonderful young people committed to helping people through their missions.

The problem, as I see it, is that, with the exception of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there are almost no legal hikes in all of the Big Island. Unlike on Oahu and Maui, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has refused to engage with private landowners here to make access available to our amazing natural places. As I have heard it said: “All good hikes on the Big Island begin with a ‘No Trespassing’ sign.” Because these hikes are illegal, there is no system to warn people when conditions are dangerous, and it makes law-breakers of people who have been going to these places their whole lives.

I have been trying to get the DLNR and other state officials to deal with this issue for years with no success. I hope it doesn’t take the loss of life to get them to do their jobs.

Matt Binder

Waimea

Mahalo for holding interfaith memorial for shooting victims

The memorial in Kailua-Kona for “The Tree of Life” Pittsburgh shooting victims was well-attended, reaching standing room only. Thank you for sharing your service with us all.

Basically, I am not a religious person, but my husband and I wished to extend our love, respect, gratitude and condolences to the Jewish people. They are good, loving, caring people who have given us so much — historically and currently.

The service kindly shed light on each of the victims as well as two black victims that were killed the day before in a Kentucky shooting.

A truly kind, all inclusive service that we hope never needs to be repeated.

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Margaret Casari Marceron

Kailua-Kona