Letters for Sunday, July 21, 2019

Conflict in paradise

The conflict on the Big Island is confusing to me. Whatever happened to the pono concepts of aloha (compassion), kokua (help) and lokahi (harmony)?

Long before their ancestors arrived on the Big Island — long before Mauna Kea became a sacred place — Polynesians studied and respected the stars. They used them to find their way to the Big Island!

Stars served as navigational guides when the Polynesians reached Tonga and Samoa, where they developed a distinctive Polynesian culture. They were also guided by the winds, currents and birds.

Stars were very important to these navigators, the ancestors of the folks who are now protesting and obstructing the present and future study of these same stars.

The scientists and students who go to Mauna Kea to study the stars are not desecrating the mountain; they are respecting it by taking the study of stars to a new level. They are not disrespecting the mountain; they are honoring those ancestors by carrying on their work.

I think metaphorically of the TMT as a vehicle of discovery and exploration not unlike the early Polynesians who built wa‘a (canoes) for the same purposes. Can you visualize obstructing the building of canoes? Neither can I.

Imagine if the early Polynesians chose not to discover and explore. Imagine if they stayed in Micronesia and Melanesia. There would be no Hawaiians. No Hawaiian culture.

Let the protesters and scientists come together, practice ho‘oponopono, and share their mana‘o (knowledge of science and culture) by working to resolve their differences and continue discovery and exploration.

It’s the pono thing to do!

Jim Jung, Kapaa

Take a stand to protect land, ocean

Thank you Gary Hooser for being such a great advocate of protecting our people, land and ocean. The ball is in our elected officials’ hands. They have to decide if doing the right thing is going to benefit them financially or politically. It’s pretty disgusting no matter how you look at it.

Oh, our reefs are failing, it must be climate change, not the billions of tons of poison we have been pouring into our ocean so the agribusiness can profit. People, this has to stop now!

If our own Mayor Kakakami won’t stand up for us, who will? Heads up mayor, no free ride this term.

Linda Bothe, Kalaheo

7 Comments
  1. manongindashadow0711 July 21, 2019 8:30 am Reply

    I agree with you Jim, “it’s confusing !”
    However from my understanding . There are 13 telescope on that mountain and some are obsolete or just not in use. Why don’t they dismantle those not in use and obsolete? Then plan to build this six story telescope. That way the mountain wouldn’t look so cluttered.


  2. Makani B. Howard July 21, 2019 9:21 am Reply

    Totally agree with you Jim Jung.

    Don’t forget, the people from the Marquesa islands were here first, and then the people from Tahiti wiped them out. We (Hawaiians) overthrew the first settlers here. Now we are complaining about people disregarding our culture?

    Let’s all work together and look at what is really important. Culture and science can live together.


  3. Kauaidoug July 21, 2019 10:01 am Reply

    I agree completely with the poster on this. I keep thinking this is not desecration or defiling but taking the navigation by stars used by Polynesians to a whole new level. There are so many great things that could come from this project, bringing honor and respect to Mauna Kea. This is a great thing and an opportunity to spread word of this oh so important project that wants Hawaii as it’s home. Discoveries in Hawaii named Hawaiian. The stars and wonders of the Universe given Hawaiian names and let the world and future generations know from whence they were discovered, and struggle to pronounce:)


  4. Dnakauai July 22, 2019 10:43 am Reply

    Well said Jim, and now that all the protectors of the aina have gathered, let’s use that power and truly give respect to your land & culture to go clean up all the trashed & burned out cars from around the island. Especially the Anahola coastline!


  5. I saw a Vampire once July 22, 2019 8:46 pm Reply

    Well written Jim. Polynesia has always been a mystery to many people. Long before airplanes were invented, they traveled by water and canoes. I do acknowledge that aspect of Polynesia as one of the great mysteries of the time. How they traveled and visited from island to island over much amount of space of ocean water is a wonder.


  6. douglas henry July 23, 2019 11:02 am Reply

    I agree with Jim. This telescope is just another form of exploration. Hawaiians should be in favor of it. They should pick another fight that actually harms the environment.


  7. truth be known July 23, 2019 12:03 pm Reply

    Finally some voices of reason from the madding crowd. Dismantling the obsolete telescopes and building the new telescope on the same ground should provide a win-win scenario for all concerned. I don’t understand how constructing a telescope to study our universe can be viewed as “desecrating” the mountaintop. To me it signifies our yearning to understand where we came from and our purpose in the universe. Desecration is what the chemical companies are doing to thousands of acres of Hawaiian lands and waters. Can we not direct these protests to things that really concern us and future generations? Or is this a deliberate “smokescreen” to divert us from things that actually threaten us?


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