Windmills on Molokai

Opinion by Walter Ritte

The players/partners: the state of Hawaii, Molokai Ranch, First Wind, and Hawaiian Electric. The goal: put up large windmills, an electric transmission line from Molokai to Oahu, and other electric facilities as needed to bring wind electric power from Molokai to Oahu.

I have been following this issue and have been involved as much as anyone, and the following is just my observations and feelings.

The most important player/partner in all of this has been left out – the community of Molokai. Only First Wind put a public ad in the Dispatch, announcing public meetings with the community…but they never did.

The majority of this community is Hawaiians, whose culture and traditions include respect for each other’s space. We teach our children to announce oneself, and ask for permission when visiting others when entering the forest, when gathering in another ahupua`a.

We now have received the first insult – is it from Linda Lingle or Abercrombie? – as the state announces they will begin building their billion dollar umbilical cord between Molokai and Oahu with an EIS process.

Our winds are protected traditionally in the gourds of La`amaomao and Wawahonua of Molokai Nui A Hina. As Hawaiians we have kuleana to our traditions and protocols so our future generations will be able to live in these islands. We cannot allow the state to ignore our protocols and traditions and force us to enter into theirs, as they come to grab the resources on our island.

I can understand Linda Lingle forcing things down our throats, but not the new governor.

The state is acting like an invading army, setting a bad example to others who come to our shores to take with out permission. We should boycott and not participate in the announced state EIS process.

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