Letters to the editor: 07-09-19

Reason for fires not climate change

Suddenly there’s anguish and hand-wringing over the threat of wildfire (DLNR News release, July 1; WHT article, July 2) with the inevitable finger-pointing at the “climate change” boogieman. Notice there’s never any mention of mismanagement of public lands associated with the state’s singular focus on endangered species.

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There is little doubt that a wind-driven wildfire on Maunakea would have disastrous consequences. For years, hunters have raised concerns over understory brush accumulation as the grazing animals, which once kept it in check were systematically eradicated to save palila — a small bird, which in spite of millions in expenditures on its behalf, appears to be following the path of countless other species toward evolutionary oblivion.

It will be interesting to see if Hawaii follows the lead of fire-ravaged California in employing grazing animals to chomp down fire fuel loads in its forests — a task once performed at no cost by Maunakea’s former wildlife inhabitants, which also provided a food resource to an isolated island community. That was of course before they became the scapegoat for palila’s extirpation.

Today, a dwindling avian species incapable of adapting to its 21st century surroundings drives virtually all human activity on Maunakea. Environmental zealotry trumps rationality. And we’re all going to pay for it, one way or the other.

Richard Hoeflinger

Keaau

Letter to state judges

What a shock it was to see the Kealohas found guilty. After a judge let a convicted child molester only get probation, my hopes were dashed that any innocent person would ever get justice.

My faith in the judicial system has been restored. There is hope after all. Keep it up judges. You never know when it could be a family member of yours who needs justice for whatever wrong was done to them.

Haley Harris

Waimea

Don’t selectively cite Constitution

George Will, in his July 4 essay recommending use of the Declaration of Independence as a tool to interpret the US Constitution, neglects an important point in our nation’s history. It is uncharacteristic of such an ordinarily scrupulous writer as Will, but many of his fellow “Constitutionalists” also overlook the period from 1776 to 1789.

During that time, the nation was run in accordance with a document titled The Articles Of Confederation And Perpetual Unity. Although the Articles themselves were not officially ratified until 1781, it was essentially under their principles that the new nation was governed from its founding in 1776.

The Articles provided for an extremely weak central government and virtually unfettered sovereignty of the individual states. This initial experiment proved entirely unworkable for numerous reasons and was replaced by the now familiar US Constitution in 1789.

In all the conservative pleadings for states’ rights and a smaller federal government, it is forgotten that the founders tried this first for 12 years and discovered their errors through experience. The result was our current constitution plus its initial 10 Amendments, which were quickly added.

If we are to use the Declaration of Independence from 1776 to interpret the US Constitution of 1789, we should likewise use the Articles of Confederation from the intervening period, if only for contrast.

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John Sucke

Waimea