Letters to the editor: 08-06-19

Telescope removals would go long way

Hayley Harris’ letter of Aug. 4 is spot on. That three or four telescopes no longer in use have been allowed, for any length of time, to remain atop Maunakea has been an unnecessary desecration of the mountain. Therefore, it has also been seen as a clear show of disrespect to the Hawaiian people.


Are we now to believe that these telescopes no longer used will be removed when TMT is built? How was it that each and every structure on Maunakea was not removed at the time it was considered unusable by those who erected it — as a measure of respect for the mountain itself?

Harris is correct: Any man-made structures that are no longer of use there on that incredible mountain have to go — now.

A good-faith effort to right this serious wrong might be one small step in helping to avoid the pending disaster of a community sundered.

David Bouchier


TMT would benefit seven billion people

I have lived in Kona on and off for 20 years. I have been saddened and angered many times by the disrespect of the land and residents of Hawaii when the profits of a few developers are placed ahead of the concerns of the 200,000 people who live here. Selfishness is not a good quality. It is the reason, however, for the gated luxury communities that are sprouting up around us.

I wish that the Hollywood celebrities who are trying to stop the telescope would help us stop over-development, but many of them are probably living in these communities that are designed to keep us out.

I am also frustrated by the protesters of the TMT project. I understand there are monetary and environmental concerns that can be and must be addressed. The telescope will, however, provide benefits for every human on our planet, so I hope protesters and lawmakers consider those benefits when they think about this project. Should my needs come above those of the other seven billion inhabitants of earth?

The ancient Hawaiians were some of the best navigators and astronomers in human history. As Maunakea was a sacred beacon for ancient Hawaiians, it could also be a beacon to those who will navigate our people to the stars. What could be a better tribute to those ancient navigators who used the stars to find this island?

Brian Haney


Held hostage by sovereignty movement

Mahalo for the great TMT front page article today, Aug. 4, which should put much misinformation to rest.

As to the sovereignty movement using the TMT to further their cause, I am concerned. In 1819, the alii and many kahuna and Hawaiian people realized the kapu system and old gods were false and the monarchy troops put a stop to the old religion at the south end of Alii Drive. Historical records are there.

This was before the missionaries came in 1820. And then from 1848-50 the land, for the first time ever, came under private ownership. And a big chunk was retained by the alii for the Hawaiian people, mainly for education. How is it then that the TMT would not be good for education? Seems like the union of the world’s cleanest air and the world’s best telescope would be a slam dunk.

The TMT should not be allowed to be held hostage by the sovereignty movement. The TMT is a win for everyone.

Ken Smith

Captain Cook

Cesspool problem not sexy enough

In regard to the “TMT and groundwater” article published Aug. 4, I have to wonder whether anyone cares about the 20,000-plus gallons of raw sewage that is being flushed into the ground by Puna residents every day (cesspools)?

Glass houses?

Not likely to get much Hollywood star power support though …


Joel Aycock