Maui Telescope Protestor Battles Over Hawaiian Language Use in Court

There’s a court case that’s drawing a lot of attention and not just for the reason the defendant is on trial but because he is insisting on defending himself in his native Hawaiian language.

…There is only one Hawaiian interpreter registered with the state, and demand for that interpreter is relatively low – accounting for less than one percent of the interpreter program’s caseload. But Kaho’okahi Kanuha says it’s not the Hawaiian language speakers who need interpreters.

…“The issue is when I speak to her she wasn’t able to comprehend that,” says Kanuha, “And so my demand to her was it’s on you, it’s your kuleana, it’s your responsibility to find an interpreter for yourself so that you as a judge can competently make a ruling in this case, in this trial.”

Maui Telescope Protestor Battles Over Hawaiian Language Use in Court | Hawaii Public Radio

(Not noted above) Legally speaking the state of Hawaii has two official languages: English & Hawaiian.


The lost continent of Zealandia hides clues to the Ring of Fire’s birth | Live Science

But despite its undersea status, Zealandia is not made of magnesium- and iron-rich oceanic crust. Instead, it is composed of less-dense continental crust.

…Sutherland and his colleagues now suspect that the changes in Zealandia at this time were part of a larger disturbance that quickly led to the formation of Ring of Fire subduction zones around the western Pacific.

“We don’t know where or why,” Sutherland said in the statement, “but something happened that locally induced movement, and when the fault started to slip, like in an earthquake, the motion rapidly spread sideways onto adjacent parts of the fault system and then around the western Pacific.” 

This process would have taken over a million years, but would have represented a dramatic rearrangement of the geology of the western Pacific.

The lost continent of Zealandia hides clues to the Ring of Fire’s birth | Live Science


Controversy over giant telescope roils astronomy conference in Hawaii

Near the end of the conference, a session that was a late addition to the program gave the podium to two kia’i. They shared with astronomers not their reasons for opposing the telescope, but the daily rituals they are following on Maunakea and an invitation to visit their roadside outpost.

That was a deliberate choice. “This is different, perhaps, from what you thought this would be,” said Pua Case, a native Hawaiian who has been organizing against the TMT for a decade. “We’re not presenting our side to get another side, we’re not going to do that. You know why? Because we’re meeting you for the first time, most of you.”

Instead, she explained that they wanted to offer astronomers a glimpse into their world. “The way we create relationship is through ceremony, ritual, tradition, ancestral passing down of knowledge and protocol,” Case said. That’s also how the kia’i have arrived at their opposition of the project and how their daily prayers on the mountain continue their process of determining how to live with Maunakea. “We have no choice but to stand, so we’re letting you know that,” she said.

Controversy over giant telescope roils astronomy conference in Hawaii | Space


Big Island: County Recycling Cutbacks A Sign Of Global Market Changes

Hawaii County …[is] no longer accepting plastic or most paper recycling.

……In 2018, about 224,200 tons were landfilled in Hilo and Puuanahulu (Kona) after more than 58,800 tons — about 20.8% — of waste were diverted, including 37,915 tons of green waste and nearly 21,000 tons of recyclables.

…The change will mean that the county will be shipping “possibly 4,000 tons per year of extra material” to the West Hawaii Landfill, the island’s only active facility.

…China’s [new] “National Sword” recycling directive that imports should have only minor contamination such as food particles or incorrectly sorted plastics.

Big Island: County Recycling Cutbacks A Sign Of Global Market Changes


Monsanto pleads guilty to illegally spraying banned pesticide on Maui

[Monsanto] plead guilty to spraying a banned pesticide on research crops in Maui, Hawaii, the US Department of Justice said.

Monsanto Co., also the maker of weedkiller Roundup, will pay the fines for storing the pesticide Penncap-M, an “acute hazardous waste” at sites [on] Maui and Molokai.

…The company knew that its use was prohibited after 2013. Penncap-M is considered an “acute hazardous waste.” The company also told employees to reenter the area only seven days after the spraying, when it knew that years earlier, 31 days was set as the required amount of time. 

Monsanto pleads guilty to illegally spraying banned pesticide in Maui – CNN

Consequences for willful and flagrant endangerment of employees, locals, and the environment should include criminal prosecution for the decision makers involved.

Kauai’s Waimea High School gets a taste of new farm-to-table menu

“It’s so important, I believe, for the people in the state of Hawaii to have food that’s locally grown, nutritious, delicious, and just easily accessible,” says First Lady of Hawaii Dawn Ige. “As an educator, I know how important a healthy meal is. If students have a healthy meal in their stomach, it just makes them feel better, so learning becomes a more natural and more exciting thing for them to do.”

Farm-to-school is one thing, but farm-to-state is an even bigger goal. Aside from the 100,000 meals that the Department of Education puts out a day, the prisons serve both the corrections officers and inmates. Senator Kouchi estimates that that’s another 13,000 meals, and points out that there’s also the state hospitals to take into consideration.

“If we hit this goal, we can more than double our food production here in Hawaii,” says Senator Kouchi.

Kauai’s Waimea High School gets a taste of new farm-to-table menu – HI Now


Hawaiian Tourism Authorities Launch New Visitor Education Campaign

…The Pono tourism movement. “Pono” is a Hawaiian word having a multi-faceted meaning, but, concisely, it connotes an ethos of respect, uprightness, prosperity and well-being.

“Many travelers visiting the Hawaiian Islands don’t necessarily understand why we stay on the trail when we hike, why we care about protecting our reefs, and many of the dangers they need to be mindful of,” said Jay Talwar, HVCB’s chief marketing officer. “Rather than scold them, we felt that, if our residents shared the ‘whys’ behind appropriate behavior, then most visitors would follow along; in other words, if we don’t show them the trail, how can we expect them to stay on it? That’s what our new Kuleana Campaign aims to do.”

Hawaiian Tourism Authorities Launch New Visitor Education Campaign | TravelPulse


Hawaii becomes 26th state to decriminalize marijuana – ABC News

Under the new law, people caught with small amounts of marijuana will no longer face a misdemeanor charge that had been punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Now people caught with 3 ounces or less of weed can still be hit with a citation carrying a $130 fine, but no jail term.

…While Ige took a hands-off approach to decriminalizing pot, he vetoed two other marijuana bills passed by the legislature.

He struck down legislation that would have made it legal for people to transport medical cannabis from island to island, and another bill that would have created an industrial hemp licensing program.

Hawaii becomes 26th state to decriminalize marijuana – ABC News


Hawaiian protesters started a school on Mauna Kea to teach local culture to the next generation

Presley Keʻalaanuhea Ah Mook Sang, a Hawaiian language instructor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said she first came up with the idea to start a community-led school or “teach-in” after witnessing the crowd swell in that first week from hundreds of protesters to thousands.

…The classes at the community-run Puuhonua o Puuhuluhulu University focus on topics including indigenous rights, history and a variety of other subjects taught through a Hawaiian perspective.

….The school quickly grew to a daily schedule of four one-hour blocks with five concurrent classes.

…”The morning is more indigenous peoples and native rights and towards afternoon is more Mauna-focused,” Ah Mook Sang said. 

…Since 1968, the University of Hawaii has been leasing the land at the summit of Mauna Kea. The area is on “crown lands,” land that belonged to the Hawaiian kingdom before it was overthrown in 1893 and is now managed by the state with the intended purpose of benefiting Hawaiians. The crown lands are still debated, as many Hawaiian groups believe they were illegally stolen. The university has been accused several times over the years of mismanaging the land, including in the ‘90s when the Sierra Club filed a complaint about the trash from the observatories.

Puniwai said teaching at Puuhuluhulu is a way to show she doesn’t condone her employer’s actions and to show her support for the protest.

…As for Ah Mook Sang, she’s hoping to keep the spirit of Puuhuluhulu alive and maybe see it expand to the other islands, where there’s already interest in forming branches of the community-led school.

Hawaiian protesters started a school on Mauna Kea to teach local culture to the next generation


Lā Ho‘iho‘i Ea Observed at Maunakea

The demonstration started 18 days ago by various groups who believe that Maunakea is sacred and say construction atop the mountain will further desecrate the site.  On Tuesday, the governor rescinded an emergency proclamation at Maunakea and the state issued a two-year extension to Sept. 26, 2021 on the deadline to initiate construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope project atop the mountain.

Maui Now : Lā Ho‘iho‘i Ea Observed at Maunakea, Jason Momoa Visits


U of Hawaii pursues controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea

Hawaiians’ protests have attracted the support of many across academe, who see the TMT — in the words of geneticist Keolu Fox of UC San Diego and physicist Chandra Prescod-Weinstein of the University of New Hampshire — as colonial science.

“Far from some replay of an ancient clash between tradition and modernity, this is a battle between the old ways of doing science, which rely on forceful extraction (whether of natural resources or data), and a new scientific method, which privileges the dignity and humanity of indigenous peoples, including Hawaiians and the black diaspora,” they wrote in The Nation. “It is a clash between colonial science — the one which, under the guise of progress, has all too often helped justify conquest and human rights violations — and a science that respects indigenous autonomy.”

Hulali Kau, a writer and advocate working in Native Hawaiian and environmental law, said, “To anyone that continues to try to frame TMT as a science versus culture argument, I would say that this struggle over the future of Mauna Kea is actually about how we manage resources and align our laws and values of Hawaii to connect a past where the state has subjected its indigenous people to continued mismanagement of it lands with its uncertain future.”

Among many concerns, including the university’s past management of the observation space, Kau said she worries that the TMT will include two 5,000 gallon tanks installed two stories below ground level for chemical and human waste. 

Mauna Kea, a conservation district, is home to the largest aquifer in Hawaii, she said. “There are still questions as to the environmental consequences.”

Kau noted that the university was previously embroiled in an indigenous space dispute, when it attempted to patent three strains of taro, or “kalo,” a popular food source. It finally dropped the patents several years later, in 2006. 

U of Hawaii pursues controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea and is leading indigenous institution


TMT protesters took to social media to make their case ― and build support nationally

The conflict over TMT has also made it onto the national political stage, with presidential hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeting their support for protesters.

Sanders, though, subsequently deleted his tweet.

Buente said in his estimation, TMT protesters have upped their game since the opposition began.

“The core movement has always been there, but they’ve learned a lot since 2015 on how to effectively use social media,” Buente said.

“By acting in kapu aloha, the message will survive in our current attention economy where people have so many movement options in front of them.”

TMT protesters took to social media to make their case ― and build support nationally