Although I have little interest in astronomy, I believe the lack of executive and legislative leadership concerning Hawaii’s adoption of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be the biggest scientific and single-project economic setback that we will experience.
If the same religious objections of Mauna Kea had been applied to Kilauea — home of the goddess Pele — we likely would not have a beautiful century-old Volcanoes National Park and the immense geological, biological and cultural knowledge and practice that has come from its establishment, where trained rangers provide excellent educational tours.
The ancient Hawaiians did study the universe and so discovered Hawaii, and now Hokule‘a will soon complete a worldwide voyage navigating from the study of the stars.
The TMT is almost certainly supported by the majority of its people.
The failure of Hawaii to embrace TMT and its huge role in encouraging local children interested in studying the universe would be a scientific, educational and economic loss for all of us, furthering Hawaii’s reputation as having a poor business, scientific and educational environment.
Despite Paris accord, state still pollutes
That Hawaii is the first to sign on to the Paris accord implies it actually cares. Here are some facts.
Hawaii is likely the largest climate-change polluter. Not just because of its active volcanoes, but because it imports 80 percent of its energy. And almost 9 million people per year visit by airplane, the most egregious emitter.
Thousands of cars are rented each week. Most commercial buildings are air-conditioned as a convenience, not a necessity.
Worse than this, Hawaii reduced subsidies for solar energy because it cost too much, and has discouraged windmills because they are unsightly.
Its imported energy is mostly oil, but attempts to switch to biofuels led to deforestation of Southeast Asia to plant palm oil trees. Biodiesel is well-documented to increase climate emissions.
Government can keep making believe you are doing good, but in fact you are enabling our demise.
Muslim insurgents bedevil Philippines
The occupation of a city on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, while probably temporary, glaringly illustrates the failure of national leaders to cope with decades of Muslim insurgents. It casts a shadow over the Philippines’ efforts to join the ranks of progressive nations with healthy economies.
The current president, Rodrigo Duterte, is the first whose roots are in the south. He was formerly mayor of Davao, Mindanao’s largest city. Yet Duterte seems no more capable than his predecessors in coping with Muslim rebellion.
This problem goes all the way back to the Spanish conquest, which left Mindanao largely unconquered. Successive administrations, American and Filipino, failed to bring lasting peace to the region, although millions of Christian settlers have changed the population balance.
Until the Muslim problem is permanently resolved, the prospect of another outbreak of rebellion will continue to project an image of instability.
Carl H. Zimmerman
St. Louis’ Marciel a legendary coach
How fitting that on Aloha Friday, Dave Reardon so wonderfully bid aloha to Coach Ron Marciel, a true Hawaii sports legend (“Successful prep coach Marciel had a rare gift,” Star- Advertiser, June 2).
As a proud graduate of Saint Louis (High) School, I was fortunate enough to know and learn from this great coach, and always admired his passion and “care and feeding” of his players.
Coach Marciel left an indelible mark upon every student athlete he guided, as evidenced by the exceptional words of the truly legendary Crusader athletes quoted in Reardon’s spot-on column.
So respected and admired was Coach Marciel to Crusader Nation that he was inducted to the prestigious Gallery of Distinguished Achievers, our alma mater’s highest honor.
Mahalo, Coach Marciel, for the enduring contributions you made to the Hawaii sports community, and support and honor to your ohana in their time of need. RIP, Coach.
P. Gregory Frey
Travel ban won’t provide safety
President Donald Trump’s travel ban is not about banning travel from Muslim countries, but about banning travel from the countries that might send terrorists to the United States.
The suicide bomber who murdered the innocent people in England was born in England, and I believe the same is true of the murders in France and Brussels. No one from the six countries in the proposed travel ban was involved in the attacks.
If we follow the reasoning of the proposed travel ban, we must ban travel from the United Kingdom and France into the United States.
No, the travel ban makes no sense except to give people the illusion of safety. But it’s just an illusion.
Congestion pricing could finance rail
Construction of Honolulu’s rail project likely will proceed past January due to a City Council vote to float bonds (“Council OKs bonds to keep rail work running,” Star-Advertiser, June 8). Surely there is a better way.
Introduce a congestion charge for vehicles traveling to the Honolulu business districts and dedicate the funds to the rail project. London and Singapore are great examples to follow.
Community acceptance is forthcoming when there is a direct connection between raising funds and dedication to a specific project such as the new train.
Long Beach, NSW, Australia