Tags: mauna kea | telescope | go-ahead | protesters

Mauna Kea Telescope Gets Go-Ahead, But So Do Protesters

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:11 AM

Work on a giant $1.4 billion telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea is being allowed to move forward, but Gov. David Ige said people protesting the hulking observatory have the right to show their disapproval.

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the big island of Hawaii with an elevation of more than 13,700 feet at its summit. The new Thirty Meter Telescope, which is being built near the summit, is supported by the nonprofit TMT Observatory Corp., a partnership between the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.

Protesters have been fighting the construction of the telescope since work began on it last October, reported NBC News. The University of Hawaii last year started seeking renewal of its Mauna Kea Science Reserve and Halepohaku facilities for its 13 observatories and telescopes already on Mauna Kea.

"We're all tracking to go to the Supreme Court, where all the bigger questions will be answered regarding Native Hawaiian issues," Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou preservationist group, told NBC. "Hopefully they will rule that there will be limits to development and those limits will be based on impact."

Ige told KITV on Tuesday that the Thirty Meter Telescope organization followed all the proper channels in getting the huge new telescope approved.

"My review found that the TMT project took the appropriate steps and received the approvals needed to move forward," said Ige. "The project has the right to proceed with construction, and the state will support and enforce its right to do so."

"We also acknowledge the right to protest this activity," the governor said. "We will protect the right to a peaceful protest and will act to ensure public safety and the right to use our roads for lawful purposes."

KITV said Ige has asked the University of Hawaii to start decommissioning as many telescopes on the mountain as possible.

Henry Yang, the chair of the TMT International Observatory Board, said the Thirty Meter Telescope observatory will abide by any state guidelines placed on it and construct the building within the rules provided.

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Work on a giant $1.4 billion telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea is being allowed to move forward, but Gov. David Ige said people protesting the hulking observatory have the right to show their disapproval.
mauna kea, telescope, go-ahead, protesters
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2015-11-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:11 AM
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