Letters to the editor – 5/6/15

Drone safety?

With interest I read Alison Young’s Click Chick column on unmanned aircraft systems, aka drones, but it doesn’t mention anything about issues like safety and privacy.

Can anybody just purchase and fly a drone in any area? I frequently have walks at Ala Moana Beach Park. It is a nice park and one can enjoy a leisurely walk here without having to watch out for cars. However, I recently noticed that people fly their drones over the park. This makes me wonder if this is safe. What if a drone malfunctions and crashes onto someone? It wouldn’t be the first time that a drone malfunctions. Also, is it OK with people if someone flies a drone over their backyard? It seems like the perfect spying tool. Why is it necessary for amateur photographers to take aerial photographs? These days, when I have my walks at Ala Moana Park, I have to watch out for objects in the sky that could crash onto me. I wonder what will happen if more and more people get drones and fly them over crowded beach parks? Sooner or later, someone will get hurt.

Sandra Gerst

Native science

In his column “Mixed Feelings On Mauna Kea Scope,” Dan Boylan notes that “Since 1969, six ever-larger telescopes have found their way to Mauna Kea … They seek to expand our knowledge and understanding … That requires courage to pursue the unknown. The unknown yielded new homes and Mauna Kea.”

For the record, in 1968, University of Hawaii received a general lease from Hawaii Land Board to build the 0.9-meter telescope on Mauna Kea. More pertinent to the present issue, the university did not receive permits for its 2.2-meter telescope; NASA’s 3.0-meter infrared telescope; the 3.6-meter telescope built jointly by Canada, France and Hawaii; the 8.1-meter Gemini telescope; Japan’s 8.3-meter Subaru telescope; and the W.W. Keck Observatory’s twin 10-meter telescopes.

Accordingly, in a sudden move to cover this oversight, Hawaii Land Board issued “after-the-fact permits.”

For the record, the first settlers to Hawaii saw Mauna Kea more than 17 centuries ago. In 1,270 A.D., Kalaunuiohua almost succeeded in uniting the Hawaiian archipelago five centuries before Kamehameha I. In the 15th century, roundtrip travel between Hawaii and the other

South Pacific islands slowed, so that the descendants of the first settlers came to call Hawaii their new home. In the 1770s, while British sailors struggled with finding “longitude,” Capt. James Cook marveled at the navigational dexterity of the Hawaiian sailors in and around their island environment.

In this age of political correctness and transparency, historical correctness was/is paramount. Mauna Kea was never unknown to Hawaii’s indigenous people, and more pertinent to the present issue, Mauna Kea was/is home to Wakea and Papahanaumoku.

Wayne Hinano Brumaghim

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