To Hirono: Meet with residents about radar project
An open letter to Senator Mazie Hirono;
Dear Senator Hirono;
You have rejected a request by your constituents here on Kaua‘i for a Zoom meeting to discuss the proposed HDR-H radar you are promoting to be built on our island.
We think your support for two billion of taxpayer dollars to be spent building an eight-story complex of structures in a tsunami zone, further restricting shoreline access and situated on Hawaiian crown lands, deserves a few minutes of your time to explain.
We are acutely disappointed by your unwillingness to meet and discuss this important issue. Our hope was that you would want to know that commerce and everyday life on Kaua‘i’s Westside would be disrupted for up to six years while construction of this massive project is going on; that hundreds of off-island workers would descend on our rental-housing market when there are already not enough houses for local families who need one; that Kaumuali‘i Highway’s roads and bridges would be broken by over 80,000 truckloads to build the radar complex and the 27-acre platform it would be built upon; that a nine-mile-by-nine-mile no-fly zone would impact our helicopter tour industry, causing job losses and disrupting flights to deliver resource workers to endangered bird habitats; that our electric utility’s goal to attain 100% renewable production, now over 70%, would be thrown into reverse by the multi-megawatt needs of the radar to be met by burning oil at the Port Allen plant.
We were also hoping to share with you our concerns about the ongoing desecration of Hawaiian crown lands upon which this facility would be constructed.
Senator, we urge you to reconsider. While Adm. Phil Davidson and a host of defense contractors lusting after this lucrative contract might think this is a good idea, there are more than 700 admirals and generals in the Pentagon, and their consensus is that in the fast-moving missile-defense race, the HDR-H has become obsolete technology.
It goes without saying that none of the corporations who will be enriched by these defense dollars nor any of its few Pentagon cheerleaders live on Kaua‘i, which will bear short- and long-term repercussions of this unwarranted and harmful military installation.
We live here. Our community has in the past overwhelmingly voted for you, and we are thankful for the good work you are doing for Hawai‘i on a wide range of issues. Please don’t turn us away when we call to discuss this very-important issue as though our thoughts and opinions don’t matter.
Casey Riemer, Laurel Brier, Chris Ka‘iakapu, Gary Hooser, Kip Goodwin, Kaua‘i