Letters to the editor: 07-17-19

Lots in a name

I think the Maunakea big telescope will not successful until it has a Hawaii name, ASAP.


Steve Durst


Neighbors pushing forward, not pushing back

In reference to the “Our View: “Neighbors’ call for preservation curious” editorial on July 12, I was surprised at the author’s deduction that those who gave testimony at the PONC hearing on July 8 were NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) advocates. The author’s view is just that: a view. In this case an incorrect view of the meeting’s content.

Appealing to PONC was a way to offer an alternate solution to land preservation and sensible urban planning. The testimonies focused on preservation and land development of important Kona lands and the history tied to it — not on any hidden agenda the writer insinuated. I know, I was there; I testified. We asked for hooponopono.

Things have changed since 1984. We know much, much more today. The concerns expressed centered around historic preservation, possible disruption of water ways/flood plains, and a need for a complete archaeological inventory of historical components based on what we currently know.

We are seeking a pathway to assess the risks of over-development. For example, one of the risks is erasing hundreds of years of ancient Hawaiian achievements and knowledge. Its history gives Kona and the rest of our island home its sense of place. We asked that nothing be done until we know a full account of what is on the land before any destructive development takes place.

The author goes on to say (he/she?) “can’t speak for how deeply concerned anyone is about archaeological sites” and “Instead of rocks, the associations might be better off keeping up their demands for more roads.” Perhaps, the author can’t speak deeply about archaeological sites, however, we can because we’ve taken the time, effort, and process to find out. And we’re still learning. Furthermore, in reference to the “rocks” remarks in the article, I found it offensive and insensitive to our people and culture.

The editorial marginalized the true view of the content of the PONC hearing. We’re not trying to push back — we are trying to push forward. Some are able to; others not so much.

Likeke Bumanglag


Editorial called NIMBY for what it is

Thank you for WHT’s support of a 450-unit residential development between Lako and Puapuaanui streets in the July 12 “Neighbors’” editorial. This island desperately needs more housing and I hope county officials can work with the owner to design and implement an acceptable way to proceed with this project.

I know there are a few people genuinely concerned about the archaeological and historical impact of the proposed development, but the vast majority of people at the Pualani Estates HOA meeting who voted to support the PONC acquisition of the property were only interested in the effects on their traffic and schools. You were correct to call it NIMBY.

This does not mean the development should be approved as proposed. It sounds as if additional archaeological and environmental studies are needed. The reported plan to feed all the traffic from the development through the side streets of the neighboring developments is absurd. These side streets were not designed to safely handle hundreds of additional cars/day, let alone the trucks that will be used to build and service the new development.

The county needs to determine what modifications to Highway 11 will be needed to handle the additional traffic. It is unclear what the impact on local schools will be, and that needs to be resolved in advance of permitting. Except for possibly the first of these issues, none of these justify PONC acquisition.

The issues are legitimate and must be addressed, but the solution should not be to preserve all undeveloped land. It should be to develop plans that work for the good of all.


Bill Culhane