…Try Something Else

While the State of Hawaii was busying themselves with last minute shopping and preparations for Christmas, the Government that runs the state announced that they would make a move to stand down police and security at the Mauna Kea standoff of the Thirty Meter Telescope (“TMT”).

Mauna Kea, August 2019
PC: The Author

It was said in that announcement that the Kia`i (means “protector” in Hawaiian, pronounced “kia e” and is the presumed name of any Hawaiian actively opposing specific types of developments across the state, including TMT) would need to stand down from their positions on the intersection of Daniel K. Inouye Highway and Mauna Kea Access Road by the 26th of December.

Otherwise, according to the Kia`i, force might be used to clear the road.  

In comes the ineffective diplomat, Big Island Mayor Harry Kim, announcing that he brokered a “truce” if you will between the County of Hawaii and the Kia`i. His truce literally says that because the state pulled the police off the mountain, that the Kia`i will take their tents that are blocking the road at the cattle guard, and put them off to the side of the access road.

This “truce” is to be in effect for two months. The move happened on Friday, the 27th of December.  

The “truce” allows the Kia`i to stay at the mountain, albeit off to the side of the access road, while the Mayor told them that there would be no move of equipment during the truce. All the while, opaque sounding statements by Mayor Kim eluding to further discussions with all parties will take place, and that the truce might go longer than two months.

So, in other words, nothing is in play to truly “solve” this issue. And to boot, those in positions of power, like Hawaii House of Representatives Speaker Scott Saiki, say just as much – this is solving nothing.

A quote from a successful friend of mine came to mind when watching all this. It’s a play on the whole “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”. He shared with me another way to look at this phrase:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try something else.”

If this is a “try something else”, it really does not seem like a lot has actually been done. And at $15 million dollars burned up in the ensuing 5 months of police watching the Kia`i and doing little else, it feels like we have reached just another level of stalemate. As mentioned in an open letter to the Governor a couple of months back, the people managing this problem need to be put to the side and real negotiators need to be brought in. Otherwise we could go into a holding pattern action which we do the same thing over, and over and over again on this issue.

And that is not trying something else. That is, instead, insanity.