Your Views for October 29

It’s our land

I am writing this letter in answer to Aaron Stene of Kailua-Kona (Your Views, Oct. 27).

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I oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope being built on our sacred mountain, and I am also against the building of the Hoku Kea on Halepohaku as I see it as a way to push for more observatories on the mauna.

In fact, Mauna a Wakea (Maunakea) belongs to the Department of Hawaiian Homes, which is leasing the land to the University of Hawaii. I believe the rent is for $1 a year.

Being that it is under the DHHL, it also belongs to kanaka maoli. We are the trustees of said land, which includes Hale Pohaku as well as Pu‘uhonua O Pu‘u huluhulu, including the road up to our mauna.

Here is only a part of the approved UH regents’ resolution dated Nov. 7, 2019 (dealing with Maunakea management):

“WHEREAS, the Board of Regents believes and acknowledges that Maunakea holds a special and important place in the history, culture, and hearts of the peoples of Native Hawaiian ancestry and all of Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, Maunakea has become a symbol of Native Hawaiian self-determination; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents recognizes that the University of Hawaii … has been criticized for past and present management of Maunakea; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents realizes that any mismanagement of Maunakea is hurtful and disrespectful to the sanctity and inviolability of this place to Native Hawaiians and others.”

As persons of Native Hawaiian ancestry, we do have a say into what goes on in regards to our mauna. So many of our kanaka maoli are on the waiting list, some of whom perished while still waiting for land. All the while, UH was using our mauna to their advantage. That road that is being used up and down our mauna belongs to us the DHHL.

Enough is enough. We don’t need not even one more observatory.

I will not address the complaint of littering because I passed through there a week ago, and it was intact. If you mean the tents, some of which are weather-beaten, it is what it is. The weather in that area is very harsh at times and windy.

I commend all those kupuna and kia‘i who withstood the elements all those grueling years for the sake of preserving what is held sacred for centuries. Imua kakou.

Ida S. Perez

Hilo

Non-native trees

Regarding “Fewer Christmas trees this year” (Tribune-Herald, Oct.26): So, the state government is OK with the import of hundreds of live, non-native conifer trees from the mainland, or who knows where?

Each tree laden with unknown bacteria, bugs and fungi from their native habitats, wherever that might be.

The dying, slowly decomposing trees are scattered all over Hawaii.

The state then feigns shock and surprise at the appearance of a rapidly spreading blight that is going to wipe out the entire ohia-based forest ecosystem throughout Hawaii in coming decades. And will spend millions to “study” it.

Meanwhile, Norfolk pine trees are established here, grow quite nicely, and do not need to be imported. But you need to lawyer up first because the crazies will sue you for colonialism or something.

Words fail.

But I still love this place.

Aloha, God bless, and Merry Christmas to all.

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John Powers

Pahoa

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