Letters to the editor: 08-21-19

Protectors the ones asking for law to be followed

When Hawaii became a state in 1959, the United States returned what is known as the “ceded lands” to the new state under a special trust that these lands be used, in part, to directly better the conditions of Native Hawaiians. These lands were separate from and in addition to the Hawaiian Homelands already in existence. Further, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has no jurisdiction over these lands.


It is important to note that the state did not acknowledge the trust’s existence until 1978 and the state’s public and laws and policies mirror that of territorial officials (or some might say of the annexationists).

If the state had breached its trust obligation under the statehood act when the state leased ceded lands at Maunakea to the University of Hawaii in 1967, the university was not excused from satisfying the state’s obligation under the statehood act. The university regents need to “go back to school” as do other state officials.

The TMT controversy is the natural consequence of 60 years of state neglect. Many have mentioned the “rule of law.” In that case, we need to go back to the statehood act of 1959, which is the primary law, and make sure that the state adopts the laws and policies that the state was supposed to have done in 1959. The protectors are only asking that the “rule of law” be followed.

Michael Matsukawa


Accountability needed in pool closure

Thank you, West Hawaii Today, for bringing attention to the Kona Community Aquatic Center train wreck. Unfortunately, too little too late is no excuse and individuals in the county need to be held accountable.

Years of obvious neglect, mismanagement, and lack of daily maintenance have taken a toll on Kona’s ever popular, multi-use aquatics facility. Locals from all aquatic interests make KCAC a part of their daily lifestyle. Visiting swim teams, recreational swimmers and triathletes from around the world plan visits to our town because of KCAC.

Hopefully the county can be transparent, and make good on their plan to have our most-used, 50-meter swimming facility open in a timely fashion (it’s already been six months). Otherwise, they in the county need to offer a sincere apology first, to the children and locals of Kona. The second apology would go to the thousands of soon-to-visit triathletes and their families.

I swim and I vote.


Rob Murray