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The visitor center on Mauna Kea was reopened this weekend after a month closure that supposedly forbid access by the public.
And yet, for that entire month, the state has allowed the protesters opposing construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to remain camped across the street.
To me, this illustrates where the state’s loyalties lie. They might talk a tough game, but they are really doing nothing to enforce the law and the legally negotiated agreements between the astronomical community and the various Hawaiian cultural institutions that had agreed on the conditions for building TMT. By allowing the protesters to continue to break the law and set up house on the mountain, the state is saying they really want construction to cease.
I say, maybe the time has come for astronomers to agree, and move lock, stock, and barrel south to Chile. In addition, maybe tourists should consider other places to visit, rather than a place that exhibits such hostility to outsiders.