Peace on the mountain
We live in troubled times. Wherever there is an issue there is contention, loud voices, immovable positions and too often even violence. We all know that this situation only gets worse unless men and women of good will, foresight and wisdom step forward to find solutions that provide a “win” for all of the parties involved. Those of us who are in business know that all good business is based on the simple principle that all sides need to see progress in any transaction for that transaction to stand the test of time.
With Maunakea and the Thirty Meter Telescope we have found ourselves in a conflict that has seemed to head in the same direction as so many others — where in the long run there may be no real winners and all losers. The long-term loss is to our Hawaii Island community that will again find itself broken because it could not find a way to provide progress to all involved.
In the midst of this, the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce have been pleased and proud to see that our mayor, Harry Kim, has stepped forward to provide the outlines of what could be a tremendous step forward for this island and for all parties involved. We have long known that Harry hates intransigent conflict and loves peace. He has applied that love for peace and for our island home to outline an audacious concept: a park whose very existence will demonstrate to the world that this island — if nowhere else — can find peaceful solutions, can live in harmony and can show the way forward.
Like all audacious solutions this concept started with what can be described as a fuzzy thought, almost more of a hope or wish. But over the months we have seen this concept begin to take shape as many in the community have embraced it and added detail bit by bit. What we see taking shape is a mountain that continues to host astronomers who make discoveries that our Hawaiian ancestors would be proud of — and that we who live in a perfect place for making such discoveries can share with a world hungry to know more about our universe. And at the same time a place that honors those who first landed here, tamed the islands and created a culture that became rich in a very special sense of adventure, of love of the land and all it produced. And that was welcoming to others who came to celebrate this place.
As a voice of the business community the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce salutes Harry for having the foresight and wisdom to suggest this park as both a solution and a true monument to what can be accomplished here. We pledge that we will work together with those in the community who look for a solution and a way to bring this vision to reality. We encourage others to join in this quest.