Haleakala Solar Telescope Desecration

Maui News May 21, 2009

Emerson Earl considers small roadside shrines “trash” (Letters, April 14) but declaims that a 20 story concrete eyesore on top of Haleakala is “appropriate” (Letters, May 17). He goes on to spout a lot of grandiose but meaningless words about the proposed telescope.

I don’t have a strong opinion on the telescope. But then, I am not Hawaiian. I listen to Hawaiian friends and relatives when they tell me that this is a desecration and culturally inappropriate. Only a very ungracious guest of Maui would ignore their words and trample our hosts’ sacred place.

I hope that proponents of the solar telescope can find a little ha’aha’a and open their eyes to “miracles” a lot more solid and “appropriate” to Maui than a two-edged sword of science.

I truly feel sorry for anyone who exists in a ha’ole bubble – a sort of piece of the Mainland on Maui – that causes them to remain oblivious to the entire dimension of Hawaiian culture.

Respect the culture. Wake up and realize that there is a culture on the island that is different from yours.

Karen Chun

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