Letters to the Editor: June 29, 2020

It’s the least you could do

Much of Maunakea is protected by Hawaii’s progressive land use laws and conservation district designations — meaning that these public and private lands should not be developed and scenic, cultural and biological significance should be protected. Yet under the control of the DLNR and the University of Hawaii, those protections have been weakened and land protections lost, leading to the degradation of these sacred lands.

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In it’s last Maunakea ruling, the Hawaii Supreme Court said that since there is already significant, substantial, and adverse impacts to the environmental and cultural resources at the summit because of 50 years of astronomical development, a little more won’t matter.” (Source by Sierra Club) So the Supreme Court is saying, since they (DLNR and UH) have been negligent in enforcing Hawaii’s land use laws and conservation district designations, a little more lawless behavior by the TMT is OK. Further degradation of the environment is OK.

Then the state Attorney General issued a subpoena to investigate KAHEA, a nonprofit that advocates for proper stewardship of our resources for social responsibility and environmental justice. The state also promoted the narrative of unlawful protest activity. No protest activity have been judged unlawful to date. The Department of Hawaiian Homelands never transferred title of the land where the base camp Puuhonua at Maunakea is located to the state. The access road was closed by Gov. David Ige and not the protesters, although the road is under jurisdiction of Hawaiian Homelands.

Now, the astronomical community is asking whether they should remove the decommissioned telescope. The least you could do is clean up your opala that expected and taught to children. Imua kiai. End the behavior of our state and county of selling out our environment to corporations.

Leslie Iijima

Waikoloa

Who’s right about rights?

I have worked in the health and education fields all my adult life, and support the governor in his efforts to keep the citizens of Hawaii safe. It is astonishing to me that people feel their rights are being negated by quarantine or reasonable restrictions on personal conduct. Really?

Look at the picture on page one of last Sunday’s paper, all the carefree dads and kids fishing on the pier. If precautions are being taken they definitely are not in view. It appears there are no masks, and no physical distancing. Please if I am wrong, correct my impressions.

We have made sacrifices in our lives to get the virus under control: trips deferred, high school and college graduations unattended, births of new family members unattended, visits to older family members deferred. The list goes on. And the reason we did that is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here and our abandoned destinations.

So we ask visitors to share some of the burden and not bring infection to us, and that’s a constitutional infringement? I am just as tired of being careful as anyone, but being sick, on a ventilator or dead doesn’t appeal to me either.

Mary Beth Hilburn

Captain Cook

Letters policy

Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less and will be edited for style and grammar. Longer viewpoint guest columns may not exceed 800 words. Submit online at www.westhawaiitoday.com/?p=118321, via email to letters@westhawaiitoday.com or address them to:

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