HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Now that three legally permitted projects have been struck by Kapu Aloha protest, the business community is raising the alarm about potential impacts on the overall economy.
All three of the projects – a telescope, a park and a wind farm – promised community benefit and have been approved by all the political and legal authorities that oversee development in Hawaii.
While the thirty meter telescope developers expected resistance from the beginning, the protests against the Kahuku windfarm and the park in Waimanalo were much bigger than expected.
They were invigorated by the success of the TMT protests.
So now the question is what will be the next targets?
In a state where land use and environmental regulations are already among the most onerous in the nation, the prospect of protests AFTER approval adds risk to almost any kind kind of project.
The one thing all three standoffs have in common is anger over the perception that the government is not listening to the community – and the process cannot be trusted.
That level of distrust in government is widely shared, and in a lot of ways, its justified. Although lawlessness, is not.
People need to trust that their government cares and listens. Too often ours does not. But the answer in a Democracy of laws is not to randomly block projects. The answer is to vote the people you don’t trust out of office.