Let’s listen to those taking a stand

Going by what the law says, the Thirty Meter Telescope should be built.

Those with TMT went through a long legal process to reach the point where they could proceed with this project. The state Supreme Court ruled last October TMT’s Conservation District Use permit for construction of the $1.4 billion telescope is legal. Construction was scheduled to begin last month.

Many are calling on Gov. David Ige to enforce the laws and remove the demonstrators from the Maunakea Access Road.

In a recent letter, Hilo state Sen. Lorraine Inouye had this to say:

“We cannot pick and choose. Laws must be followed, all laws, all the time. Public trust requires bold leadership: Difficult decisions need to be made about the Maunakea, its management, and how we address the needs of our host culture.”

This is the seventh week of the access road’s occupation by protesters, who oppose the construction of TMT because they believe Maunakea is sacred. While nearly 40 demonstrators — who call themselves “protectors” — were arrested within the first week of the occupation, the situation at the access road has remained in a state of equilibrium for weeks now, with both demonstrators and law enforcement settling into a nonconfrontational routine, according to reports from West Hawaii Today.

Ige had previously issued an emergency proclamation regarding the protests on July 17, authorizing law enforcement to close more areas surrounding the access road. That proclamation was rescinded two weeks later, when the deadline to begin TMT construction was pushed back to 2021.

“If I block the road into Waipi‘o Valley (which I wouldn’t do), and refused to move, I would be arrested, hauled to court, fined or jailed,” the letter from Inouye continued. “But, if I say I am a ‘protector’ and block the (Daniel K. Inouye Highway) or the public road to the top of the mountain, I can, at this moment, do it without repercussion. That’s wrong. It opposes our rule of law.”

State Sen. Kai Kahele, who has visited with demonstrators, had another view.

“You know, there’s been enough development on the summit of Maunakea, and there’s absolutely no reason to bulldoze and excavate an area of Maunakea that has never been disrupted and disturbed in the history of our planet,” Kahele said in July. “Once you do that, you will never be able to restore that to its original condition.”

Something will have to give.

Ige is going to have to make a decision. This situation has reached a point it does not appear he saw coming. Thus, we have a standoff. But there are signs patience is getting thin.

Police recently ramped up traffic enforcement on Daniel K. Inouye Highway near Maunakea Access Road. They cited two traffic accidents, and the need for safety, as reasons why.

The state Department of Transportation erected “no parking” signs on the highway near the access road intersection, and police said that since Aug. 15 officers have issued more than 600 traffic and other citations and arrested seven individuals, charging them collectively with 13 offenses.

The citations were for a variety of reasons, including speeding; excessive window/windshield tint; driving without a license; driving without insurance; unsafe vehicle; no license plates; and parking violations.

Those behind TMT went through a long legal process on this project. No one will argue otherwise.

What we would argue is this: If you live on Kauai, and you were at either the Mauna March in Lihue in July, or the protocol and paddle-out at Pine Trees on Sunday, you could not help but notice the passion and the heart of the people there. You could not help but notice that this is about more than a legal right to build something. This is about their lives, their culture and their history. This is about their ohana. This is about land they consider sacred and saying no more. This is about standing up for something they believe in. They have done so peacefully and respectfully. The people at these gatherings should be respected, in turn, and, more important, perhaps we should listen to them. Hear their voices. If you were at either of these rallies, people participating displayed heart. It’s not about money or science or what is legally correct. It’s about who they are and who they want to be.

How often do most of us actually take a stand for something we believe? How often do we really decide enough is enough? How often do we refuse to compromise any longer because we’ve been compromising for decades and suddenly we’re living in a world we don’t recognize?

These days, people of real conviction are rare.

It seems so often these days anything goes. To be politically correct, everything is OK, it’s all a matter of personal preference. It’s hard to figure out what’s right and wrong anymore.

But those at the Mauna March and the paddle-out are men and women of conviction. At the very least, they are letting the world know where they stand and who they are.

Even if we don’t agree with them, even if we want the TMT to be built — and in all likelihood it will be — we should admire them. We should listen to their words. If we do, we might learn and even understand.

17 Comments
  1. Major Lee Hung August 29, 2019 12:37 am Reply

    Send them the bill for the police protection of the “protectors”.


  2. Ginger Doll August 29, 2019 2:43 am Reply

    Is nothing sacred anymore?
    Just as Jesus chased the moneychangers from the Temple, we must stand with the people who maintain the values of past generations.


  3. james August 29, 2019 7:58 am Reply

    So let me get this straight: if you have conviction and believe in something, you are to be admired and be allowed to break the law? The neo-Nazis have convictions, believe in their twisted ideologies, and hold marches. I could name many others who have convictions and beliefs. Your premise skews logic. The real issue is whether people who defy our rules of law should be held accountable, whether you agree with their ideology or not. Why should one group get a pass and another group get arrested or cited? There are legal ways to express your convictions, like the paddle-out or a march. Breaking the law, no matter who it is, is unacceptable.


  4. Sue August 29, 2019 9:48 am Reply

    Admire them just because they believe in something? Are you nuts?

    Many people believe in something, religion, clean water, etc….. but they don’t sit in roads and block projects or people’s ability work, or remember, drive on the freeway! Sitting in the road is not “peaceful” because the only way to remove them is to do something that is not peaceful, remove them with handcuffs or pick them up and carry them away. They are forcing others to be “violent” in finding a way to remove them.

    Other people who have deep beliefs I would NEVER admire: Al Queda, ISIS, Nazis, etc. Should we listen to their words and learn, too?


  5. John Holt August 29, 2019 12:48 pm Reply

    Hawaii was taken illegally (first point) and therefore your US laws should not apply. If I went to Africa should I not abide by their laws and customs. You foreigners should think about what you are saying and look at HAWAIIAN history not HAUOLE historical injustices done to not only the Hawaiian people but the Indians before us. America likes to think they are all that, but in fact the US government is the worst terrorists on this planet especially your incompetent president.

    John Holt
    Kauai Born and Raised


  6. Impatient Voter August 29, 2019 1:33 pm Reply

    “We should listen to their words. If we do, we might learn and even understand.”

    So then we should listen to people who say there will be a nuclear reactor up there? We should listen to people who claim wells will be drilled thousands of feet for cooling? We should listen to people who spread lies and fear without ever bothering to find the truth of the things they say?

    If their words are false, what are you learning? What will you understand?


  7. commonsense August 29, 2019 5:33 pm Reply

    These ‘protectors’ are breaking the law clear and simple. If they are not removed, this sets a precedent that will be used by others to promote their cause. Governor Ige, do your job and allow the police, that we pay, do their jobs and enforce the laws.


  8. Debra Kekaualua August 30, 2019 9:06 am Reply

    Boycott voting in continuing rigged gigs, boycott u.s. citizenship, boycott all corporates nonprofit corporates, federal dollars, military lunatics, incoming missile that Kauaians know was not an oOps, and all the judiciaropoliticals bought off by amelika lawyers, the counties PDs, or P.A. like Kollar, that are so corrupted hells bells are ringing all by themselves for now!


    1. Kauaidoug August 31, 2019 7:46 am Reply

      Mr Holt, didn’t one King from an island conquer other islands “illegally”? Your premise is nuts. Keep looking to the past and your children will suffer. Where we’re all these protectors as this approval process took years. Let’s face it, no one wants to piss off the Hawaiians. They took over the Lihue airport corner which from what I recall was made off limits due to damage to sprinkler systems. Why were they allowed? We all know why…
      These protectors are hurting the tourism but mostly themselves. The Polynesian explorers followed the stars, it’s time to honor that tradition and follow the stars again. TMT will discover galaxies, planets and who even knows and they will have Hawaiian names. Now that is something to be proud of and honor your ancestors and give your children the opportunity to make those discoveries. Look to the stars like your great navigators before. Wallowing in the past only gets you stuck in the present and condemns your future.


  9. Makani B. Howard August 30, 2019 9:17 am Reply

    Hawaiians took the island from the Marquesans. So does the island belong to them?

    Every place in the world has been “taken” from so other people. Learn some history.


  10. rk669 August 30, 2019 2:47 pm Reply

    Paganism practiced in a Land,will result in the Land Vomiting you out of Itself!


  11. Hana August 31, 2019 3:50 am Reply

    Lets get this straight.
    1845 Hawaii became independent nation state
    1893 Hawaii illegal occupation with the help of the United states military.
    Long story short, if you’re talking about illegal and breaking laws? How about USA breaking 126+ years of treason against a country nation state. All these Kia’i (PROTECTORS) are educating the world and to Express in Kapu Aloha.
    No violence, no weapons and to protect our rights that we are a independent nation and a country illegally occupied by a foreign government. Please do your research before you kindly insult us.
    So the correct laws in Hawai and has never changed is HAWAII KINGDOM LAWS and in there is a statue stating no desecration of protected lands. So your question was….. who is illegal in this situation……


  12. Kauaidoug August 31, 2019 8:00 am Reply

    Illegal overthrow? Nuts. It’s time to enforce the law. Stop wallowing in the past and you continue to condemn your children to a dismal future. Where were all these people as the TMT process went through courts? Oh that’s right that’s all illegal too. Move em out just like any group of true believers. Build the TMT and get on with discoveries and navigation of the stars. That is how to truly honor your ancestors and give your kids a chance to name galaxies and things we don’t even know after their hawaiian gods and ancestors. Now that is honoring your past.


  13. Debra Kekaualua September 2, 2019 7:58 am Reply

    Obviously, all the decades that occupiers have voted in u.s. rigged gigs, as the recent round of Evil was, we know who are the lawless liars, insane, rapers, plunderers, murderers, thieves, Birth certified amelikan judges, lawyers, P.D., Mayors, councils, crapitol circus clowns etc, who pretend to be brain damaged. The culprits voter citizens, u.s. military, specifically the Navy at PMRF and USAF Vandenburg California. REmember the missile oops, not an oops at all. The superferry, Lingle for u.s.V.P./obammasan, pearl harbor, 911, and all the other INside jobs includes the recent navy related pilot whale murders via sonar and other incinerations that tops anything the german playbook had and now points straight to amelika continuing to play out from that german gang. Hands down Amelika is the instigator and 800 billion dead people are attributed to amelika mafia, trumpsters. All the wars were instigated by those kinds of evilians some of which are living here, who are now so frightened by the facts that we have found and have brought to the forefront that they will say and do anything-everything to dismiss truth and integrity, because it means they All gotta go! Why pay more?

    FYI PODS is a newer corporate “moving” concept that will deliver/pickup to/from your driveway a container large or small. We are poised to claim every last nanoinch including Z and the independent transplants hale, vehiclesm and left behind opala that have statistically outnumbered us in these amelikan schemes to keep us slaves as Robinson does or continuing to maim and kill their own people as do the remaining 789 u.s. military bases around the planet. Oh yeah, 808kamtrales is another amelikan ploy to changing our skies to abnormal, or DEW direct energy weaponry also out from california.

    Another option are FEMA prison ships that will be bringing bad boys and girls to restore Alcatraz, but Z already picked the top floor 700 acre cell block, maybe he will invite you to stay with him and introduce you to the aliens that he is representing along with Biden and the Obama gig.


    1. Bill C September 4, 2019 1:33 am Reply

      For the love of God,….please go back on your medication.


      1. Debra Kekaualua September 16, 2019 9:42 am Reply

        You folks are the brainwashed! The insanity of the now Game Over Effect will affect everyone who is a card carrying american, including but not limited to Bill C.

        mAhalo for the love of God that counters EVery fake Game Over principle and justice prevailing, truth and integrity to all the thousands of lies, maneuvers and manipulations with evil intentions and ringing hells bells out from the newly restored Federal penitentiary as well as incinerator for those designated to the death row ward!


  14. truth be known September 8, 2019 2:45 pm Reply

    Bill C, perhaps it’s her medication that’s causing the feelings of anxiety and anger. She does mirror the sentiments of a lot of people these days and some of what she says has a modicum of truth that should be more closely examined. Don’t know about the “aliens” though. I’ll believe that part when I meet one.


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