Hawaii fully okays construction of TMT, removes protest structures


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The Hawaiian state government today finally gave the go-ahead for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), sending close to 100 police officers to the mountain to remove four structures built by protesters to block construction.

[Democratic government David] Ige said he believes the state now has sufficient legal basis for construction to go more smoothly than it did following the telescope’s 2014 groundbreaking. After significant protests in 2014 and 2015, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that a 2011 permit from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources was invalid after finding the Land Board violated due process rights of project opponents by voting before the first contested case was held.

However, the Supreme Court approved an amended permit late last year, allowing the project to seek a notice to proceed. The conditions of the amended permit state that the TMT will be the last telescope to be built on Maunakea and that five other telescopes at the summit will be decommissioned and removed.

Despite Ige’s confidence in the process, opponents are preparing for further protests. Kanuha said he intends to “try and stop it the same way we did the first time.”

“This is about more than the mountain, this is about how we treat land and natural resources in Hawaii,” Kanuha said. “If we allow this to happen, we can kiss goodbye all we hold precious in Hawaii. It’s just a matter of time.”

Another protester, Lakea Trask, warned of an inevitable conflict. “The state is declaring war on Hawaiians,” said Trask, who was arrested and charged with trespassing during the 2015 protests. “The state is now using TMT to declare war, an all-out war on Hawaiians.”

First, this is the second time the state has approved this project, which followed the law both the first time and now. Second, the protests that stopped construction in 2014 and 2015 were not “significant” but were led by a very small number of people. Third, those same protesters, as quoted above, probably intend to repeat their actions once construction resumes this summer. If so, expect violence. These people know they will not be seriously punished for breaking the law, and will take advantage of this.

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7 comments

  • John

    TMT needs to go elsewhere. If they don’t have something politically advantageous to offer the left in deep blue Hawaii, they’re as good as dead. Just like the rest of science.

    “The state is declaring war on Hawaiians,” “The state is now using TMT to declare war, an all-out war on Hawaiians.” WAR!!?? REALLY??? WAR??!! Deranged, the lot of them.

    “TMT will be the last telescope to be built on Maunakea and that five other telescopes at the summit will be decommissioned and removed.” Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me. Are they trying to appease the deranged lunatics?

  • wodun

    Not so sacred that the protesters can’t defile it with structures.

  • not as dum as you

    You heard of Katherine kealoha well let me explain something to you she was the last one to sign for TMT and although you may not know she’s also the number one lady from the police department HPD the prosecutor’s office to judicial system for having for leading the largest Corruption even named The Mastermind by the judge who’s in stuck her ass in jail !!it was invalid with her recent arrest and that’s what’s going to be taking court. it’s a stay at further action stating while with the ESA she was apart of pushing tmt through ,it is percieved invalid, once again, of course with her recent conviction, and 99 plus more charges to go. so start packing up ,its a lose situation for tmt when it comes to this. c’mon you so smart go look her name up and the court filing voiding your papers . BYE

  • not as dum as you 'tmt

    You heard of Katherine kealoha well let me explain something to you she was the last one to sign for TMT and although you may not know she’s also the number one lady from the police department HPD the prosecutor’s office to judicial system for having for leading the largest Corruption even named The Mastermind by the judge who’s in stuck her ass in jail !!it was invalid with her recent arrest and that’s what’s going to be taking court. it’s a stay at further action stating while with the ESA she was apart of pushing tmt through ,it is percieved invalid, once again, of course with her recent conviction, and 99 plus more charges to go. so start packing up ,its a lose situation for tmt when it comes to this. c’mon you so smart go look her name up and the court filing voiding your papers . BYE

  • Not as dum as you: You are welcome to post here and to criticize and disagree all you want, but please watch your language and treat others with respect. Otherwise you will be banned.

    More important, by not doing so you weaken your argument.

  • wayne

    not as dum as you —

    You might want to get your meds reviewed next time you see your psychiatrist.

  • Cotour

    not as dumb as you, is not as dumb as he / she reads. (I thought that I was the king of rambling run on sentences, I bow to you, not as dumb as you)

    As long as these local people are committed and willing to sit in the road, ala Gandhi, and deny access to the mountain AND the state government is not willing to take physical action regarding clearing that road, then, not as dumb as you, and the locals win. Period.

    The key to this is how the poster identifies themselves: “not as dumb as you”, its kind of a prophetic name, no? Its simple but effective.

    No local or State law enforcement has been directed to remedy the situation (And law enforcement may be unwilling to do so and might just refuse). In this political atmosphere its just not going to happen. If they are willing to bleed at the hands of the law, and that appears to be these native peoples attitude, then again, they win. To expect otherwise given the track record of this particular situation is just, “dumb”.

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