Eroding the mountain
A new Long’s has appeared in our Waimea community, apparently by magic and without any community input or environmental impact statements. It’s difficult to drive by it without a spike of anger that is soon smoothed out with the acceptance and release that goes with living a life of aloha.
I’ve been lucky to experience just a fraction of what the first Polynesians found in the forests, streams and waterfalls, a natural expression of aloha that they must have internalized and incorporated into their lives, allowing them to thrive.
Aloha has sustained the Hawaiians through the many affronts to their culture and way of life, but the TMT is just too massive to be absorbed. The mountain itself has been compressed more than 30 feet in the years since the first telescope was erected.
Mauna a Wakea (mountain of father sky) is now protected by hard-won rules and procedures, but when a large corporation decides it wants to do something, the very people whose job it is to carry out those protections allow themselves to be co-opted.
E kala mai if I presume to speak for the Hawaiians, but the Hawaiians are seekers and pioneers and understanding the cosmos has been vital for navigating and understanding their world. There has been an uneasy partnership up until now with laudable efforts at building cultural connections between the telescopes and the Hawaiian community.
But the Hawaiians also understand that they belong to this place and in belonging to this place, it is their kuleana to protect it. Mauna a Wakea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai are the triumvirate at the center of our island; Mauna a Wakea soars to the heavens, connecting those who seek a spiritual sustenance that is more vital than food.
Aloha is vital to this island and her people but it continues to be eroded with the encroachment of those whose egos have blinded them, but we all will shoulder the dire consequences.
Keep access road open
After reading Janice Palma-Glennie’s recent letter regarding the Kohanaiki access road, I decided to take a stroll through the developer’s website (kohanaiki.com). It is highly polished and written for prospective buyers who are eco-conscious, sustainably minded and extremely affluent. Under the heading “intelligent luxury,” the first line reads: “On the Kona Coast of Hawaii a new private community is emerging, aligned with the Big Island’s culture ….”
If the developers and buyers are truly interested in aligning themselves with the Big Island culture (rather than simply making statements to elevate a prospective buyer’s sense of psychological well-being), let them demonstrate the value of their word by keeping the Kohanaiki access road open to the public all the way south to the members-only restaurant.