DOT’s ‘epic failure’
Thursday’s obscene traffic catastrophe on Highway 130 taught Puna residents that the state Department of Transportation not only failed Project Management 101, but never showed up to class.
The lack of information provided to the community is inexcusable. Residents were provided no notice, no timeline, no plans, no officers to direct traffic, no digital signage, no forum to voice concerns.
Re-striping, road construction and the sudden disappearance of the dedicated right-turn lane on Shower Drive during the first week of school?
Who planned this?
The impact? Hawaiian Paradise Park residents turning off their engines while they waited an hour and a half to travel 100 yards. Keiki standing on the side of the road for the length of their favorite Netflix show while awaiting their bus. Other children sitting in a stationary bus with no AC. Teachers and faculty stuck in traffic, scrambling to find someone to take over their class.
Trying to make it to the airport? Not a chance! Not to mention anyone else who needed to make it somewhere on time to make a living, get to the doctor, care for a loved one or live their typical Thursday morning schedule.
The DOT neither picked up my calls nor any of my neighbors’, but instead hid behind an automated phone system that sent callers to voicemail, none of which were returned to us. Their press release shortly before noon was too little, too late.
The DOT needs to be held accountable for this epic failure. It needs to provide transparency to residents and communicate to its stakeholders. Highway safety and transportation isn’t a casual game of roulette, it’s an imperative that affects our community at all levels — education, commerce and the livelihood and safety of families.
Get with it, DOT. Our community deserves better.
One flag for all
Nobody can be more Hawaiian than me.
My parents, myself, children and grandchildren are all born and raised in Hawaii.
Those against the Thirty Meter Telescope march for sovereignty, which is the true underlying issue. Sovereignty tramples Old Glory and divides the people, undermining our strength.
I am for unity over sovereignty — one Hawaii, one people, one flag.
Share the mauna
As an educator, I am always pleased to see so many of our keiki, their parents and grandparents at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, which provides so many fun and inspiring activities for our children.
Among these children are those who would continue the stargazing activities of their ancient ancestors, who used their observation of the heavens as part of their navigational skills and wisdom to gain an understanding of their world and make new discoveries.
It would be sad if the current “protectors” of Maunakea sever the lines of our future native astronomers by depriving them of the modern means, such as the Thirty Meter Telescope, of observing the universe to arrive at new understanding of the universe and a deeper appreciation of the Kumulipo. By sharing this understanding, all people can take better care of their place in the universe.
Maunakea is very special not only to the ancient people of this land, but also to the world. We know that recent discoveries made from Maunakea have increased humankind’s knowledge of our universe.
The spirit of aloha embraces sharing. Sharing the mountain in a respectful way would not dishonor the ancient stargazers and their descendants.
A caution to the protectors of Maunakea: Be careful for what you wish that in the process of trying to protect the culture, it is not destroyed.
Barbara Ann Arthurs