Letters to the editor: 08-12-19

Try catchment, Puna

I just would like to say it’s too bad that in the Puna area water is lacking and not likely to be fixed anytime soon, but what about catchment? We here in Ka’u have had no water for forever without any hope of getting any either if you happen to have a rural location.

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We have survived on catchment and it rains a lot less here than on the east side of the island. Why would the county even think of restoring your system, it’s just going to be covered again by Pele?

Patricia Fujimoto

Naalehu

Hawaiians are astronomers

I have paddled and steered outrigger canoe for many, many years. I often imagine how it must have felt to be an ancient Hawaiian who could read the stars to find the path across thousands of miles of ocean between the islands of Polynesia. That great nation that stretched from Samoa to New Zealand to Tahiti to Hawaii.

The steersman of those great ships carrying a hundred or more people were the navigators. They studied the stars for years to learn their configurations and movements which changed daily, monthly and by season. Those navigators invented astronomy 2,000 years ago. Their life was to study the stars. They were the first astronomers.

My understanding is that the protectors on Maunakea are there to honor their Hawaiian heritage, culture and the ancestors who created it all. This is honorable. But why oppose people who also wish to honor the Hawaiians’ heritage?

After all, Hawaiians invented astronomy. Their ancestors were brought to Hawaii by the navigators. Now we have some non-Hawaiian astronomers who wish to build a great heiau to honor part of the Hawaiian heritage, astronomy. They are astronomers and the Hawaiian ancestors were astronomers. Maybe we all could work together to honor this important part of Hawaiian heritage, astronomy.

As a first step, why not name the proposed heiau “The King Kalakaua Telescope.” After all, King Kalakaua enjoyed modern astronomy, owned a small telescope and planned to build an observatory!

Lawrence Goff

Kailua-Kona

Root of TMT objection misguided

Well, I surmise that the TMT project, a super means of looking into the future for millions of the world’s inhabitants, has been placed on hold for another two years because of a lack of political courage on the part of state and local government officials. I’ve been a lifelong devotee of Hawaiian culture and history, even before deciding to settle here in 2016, having visited all of the islands 16 times between 1972 and 2015.

What always has confounded me is the attitude of the nativists toward their history and customs that antedate Western discovery in 1776, as if there was something sacred about some of the so-called customs, such as cannibalism. Yes, Maunakea was sacred to the indigenous Polynesian navigators who originally settled here, probably the world’s greatest navigators who possessed nothing but their minds in order to arrive here. But a telescope of the size and scope contemplated would go a long way toward enhancing the reputation of these super navigators. Where better to locate it?

So what exactly is so sacred about the spire of that wonderful world-renowned mountain that it would be violated by the placement on its summit of the world’s largest telescope?

No, the objection is nothing but more silliness, like their opposition to interisland ferry service a few years ago. Another worthwhile venture doomed because of opposition based upon little factual geological harm, but plenty of fire and brimstone nonsense.

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Jack Love

Kailua-Kona