Letters to the Editor: September 3, 2020

Too much noise

The Living Stones Church, at the intersection of Alii and Royal Poinciana drives, seems to think it is OK to blast the large speakers across the lawns at 7 a.m. on Sundays. They have been politely approached several times about at least turning them down until 9 a.m., or their second service.

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This is a residential neighborhood and many are trying to sleep. The police have been approached, but say they can’t do anything about it even if there is a noise ordinance in this area. Our County Council representative isn’t responsive. Others are respectful of the neighborhood and keep the noise in check until the appropriate time. At least, I would think this church would understand and respect that principle.

Randy Swain

Kailua-Kona

Meal system not working

Local public schools need to offer weekly versus twice daily pickup for school meals.

In response to the pandemic, several months ago the USDA provided waivers for schools that are providing online instruction so that twice daily pickup for school meals is no longer required. But guess what, our local schools have not made this adjustment and are still requiring that the parents drive to the school, twice daily, to pick up breakfast and lunch with the students in the car.

This is absurd. We have many schools with a very high proportion of students entitled to free and reduced cost meals, we have hundreds of cars lining up for food giveaways and yet the school meal program has not been able to adapt to the times and the need. How are people out of work supposed to find gas money to drive to school that might be 45 minutes away, manage teaching their kids at home among the many other challenges that we are all facing at this time. I have heard concerns about food safety, but that is simply an excuse. Meals can be frozen, simple ready-to-heat or packaged shelf-stable foods could be made available.

It appears that there is a form of EBT (food stamps) that can also be used to get the food to the families in lieu of school meals.

We need to put pressure on our local administrators to make the changes to serve these families. Food insecurity is going to lead to great health issues down the road. Let’s try to solve the problems that we can right now.

Vivienne Aronowitz, dietitian

Waimea

Way off the mark

Jon Lomberg’s Aug. 30 letter urging the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to relocate to Spain was way off the mark. The TMT has underwent 10 years of public, and judicial review, on the state level. As a result, they have the legal entitlements to start construction now. If they’re forced to leave, it will be yet another black eye on our business climate.

The master lease for the Maunakea telescopes ends in 2033. If the TMT is forced to relocate, this will be spell the end of astronomy on the mauna. I firmly believe the other telescopes won’t go through the permitting ordeal required to upgrade their existing facilities.

The telescopes on the mauna have always been controversial — remember the Keck Outrigger project from the mid-2000s?

But, I’m deviating from the point of your letter. The TMT consortium needs more funding due to the project delays, but their decision to potentially seek National Science Foundation funds will kill the project. It will require doing a new Federal NEPA EIS and do a Section 106 consultation with Native Hawaiian groups.

In other words, this action will unnecessarily reinvent the wheel. The TMT did a state level EIS, underwent two contested case hearings for the conservation district use permit, and numerous court cases (some of them are still ongoing on the state level). As result, the opponents of this project will use this opportunity to litigate this project to death.

I firmly believe the NSF won’t fund this project in Spain, and the TMT won’t survive another round of permitting review on Maunakea.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

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Letters policy

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