Letters to the Editor: August 21, 2020

What would you do?

To the unkind person who took my jewelry out of the Kohala Hospital bathroom on Aug. 10:

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Hawaii has the largest group of kind, caring, decent people of the other places I’ve lived. Most people would know that someone who leaves jewelry in a hospital bathroom is not up to par. But perhaps the person who took my jewelry was not from Hawaii.

I had spent the day taking shots and drinking liquid that facilitated the tests and the working of the machines. The last test was nuclear medicine. The technician handed me my jewelry and I went to the bathroom. I was completely done in from that last test and not thinking straight, instead of putting the jewelry in my purse I must have laid it on the sink and just walked out without it.

If I had found that jewelry, I would have turned it in. Wouldn’t you?

Sandra Gray

Kapaau

Pascal came up with analysis

Although I generally agree with Ken Obenski’s comments on wearing masks during the COVID-19 crisis, I would offer one correction. It was not the Pierre Laplace who came up with the analysis that belief in God is statistically preferable to atheism. It was instead the famous Pascal’s Wager by another famous French philosopher and mathematician of the 17th century Blaise Pascal.

Essentially, the argument posits that if you believe God exists and you are wrong, no harm. If you are right, salvation and everlasting life are your rewards. Pascal felt that although we could never know scientifically whether God exists, the cost/benefit analysis favors betting that God does exist.

John Sucke

Waimea

DHHL needs to ensure homesteader access to voice, data services

Native Hawaiian homesteaders living on Hawaiian Homelands have received shoddy internet service from Sandwich Isles Communications, DHHL’s exclusive telecommunications provider for voice and data services, over the last several years. SIC offers a maximum 15Mbps/3Mbps DSL service, which is significantly slower than Hawaiian Telcom and Spectrum’s residential service offerings.

Sandwich Isles’s lack of speed upgrades is because they’ve been insolvent since 2013. Their insolvency has lead to the filing multiple lawsuits against them by the creditors of Paniolo Cable LLC, and the federal government. These various lawsuits will ultimately result in the dissolution of Sandwich Isles.

There is two options how this will play out. The first option is one entity purchases Paniolo Cable/Sandwich Isles and keeps the assets intact. This is the less disruptive option for DHHL homesteader’s internet/voice connectivity. If there is multiple buyers for these assets, the likelihood of a major service disruption is very real.

DHHL has a fiduciary responsibility that all Native Hawaiian homesteaders have uninterrupted voice/data service. They entered into an exclusive agreement with Sandwich Isles in 1995, which barred other companies from serving these areas. This is why DHHL needs to take the lead in ensuring homesteader access to these necessary utilities.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

Follow-up needed on effectiveness of ‘control activities’

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) recently advised that “control activities” such as trapping, staff hunting, and aerial shooting would be conducted for animals that “may” damage the habitat of the endangered palila bird. The DLNR has been routinely eradicating sheep and goats on Maunakea since 1980, under a federal court mandate to “save” the palila, identifying the animals as cause for palila population decline.

In 1980, there were thousands of sheep and 6,000 palila coexisting on the upper flanks of Maunakea. Today, 40 years later, after millions have been spent on animal eradication and fencing, there are nearly no sheep left, yet the estimated palila population has continued to plummet to only 700 remaining birds.

In that 40 years, there has been no follow-up or reevaluation of the effectiveness of the original court mandate. In the 2020 legislative session, the Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission submitted proposed legislation to manage rather than destroy our local game resources.

One bill requested DLNR update facts and statistics, and investigate the true cause for palila decline, SCR62. COVID-19 has delayed that legislation until next year. Unfortunately, there are no delays in the DLNR’s relentless and senseless extermination program directed at Hawaii’s game animal, a valuable source of local sustainability and recreation for its residents.

Nani Pogline

Keaau

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