Hawaii’s governor expresses support for TMT protesters

Hawaii’s governor expresses support for TMT protesters

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In the ongoing protests that have blocked construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) as well as shutdown all thirteen other telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Democrat governor David Ige visited with the protesters yesterday, expressing sympathy for their positions.

Ige indicated last week that he was willing to talk to protesters. But his visit and statement Tuesday were the first public steps he’s taken toward that end. “We will be working together to determine next steps that are in the best interests of all the people of Hawaii,” Ige said in his statement.

In a nod to activist preferences, his statement referred to them as “protectors” of Mauna Kea instead of protesters.

Protest leader Kealoha Pisciotta said officials must consider not building the telescope on Mauna Kea. She said she met previously with the mayor and governor without making any progress. “We’ve done all of that. But it’s window dressing trying to get our buy-in,” Pisciotta said. “We really need people to honestly consider our positions this time.”

TMT will not be built on Mauna Kea. Bet on it. Ige always favored the protesters. Following standard Democratic Party strategy, he made believe he would enforce the law, but set things up so that the protests would have a chance to swell and block construction. He is now using this situation as a ploy to give the protesters what they want, while making believe he has no choice.

Moreover, Ige’s actions likely mean that the other thirteen telescopes are in serious danger as well. It is very likely that this power grab will allow the protesters, a small minority in Hawaii that does not have the support of the majority of the population, to force their shut down.


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  • Col Beausabre

    “Protest leader Kealoha Pisciotta said officials must consider not building the telescope on Mauna Kea. She said she met previously with the mayor and governor without making any progress. “We’ve done all of that. But it’s window dressing trying to get our buy-in,” Pisciotta said. “We really need people to honestly consider our positions this time.”

    Translation, we don’t care what the courts said. We don’t care what the legislature passed. We want our way or else.

    The “people” DID consider your positions. You LOST. (apparently the Left has a difficult time grasping the concept of losing – see 2016).

    The Rule of Law – one of the crowning glories of American society – does NOT apply in Hawaii

  • Cotour

    Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau and the book Civil Disobedience and “Community organization” is the model. (Remember, the the home state of the last president, B. Obama is Hawaii)

    If the people will not obey the law and the decisions of the court, what can or will be done?

    If there are no consequences for ignoring the law then the law is impotent and irrelevant.

    The Governor appears not willing to enforce through force the courts orders and is not willing to begin arrests and escalate the situation. Case closed.

  • Felicia

    Stop spreading animosity and false comments through these articles which only outline a one sided story. The ones breaking laws are TMT. Hawai’i law states that no structure shall exceed 7 stories…. TMT will be 18 STORIES HIGH ABOVE GROUND! How is that abiding the law? This is only one of many laws being broken, please do your own research to find legitimate truth.

  • Cotour

    I would assume that any zoning regulations that determined the height of a building in Hawaii would be very specific to residential and associated areas, not related to a building on the top of a mountain 13,000 plus feet high in isolation for the purpose of scientific research.

    That in itself is by definition a “special condition” and I am fairly certain that that is reflected in the approvals that the project appears to legally have.

    That seems a bridge a bit too far, 13,000 feet too far.

  • lokahi

    Cotour- just because something is law or the courts mad a decision doesnt make it Right and permanent!
    otherwise . why is it the sodomy ( which was a law against homosexuality ) is not enforced and now homosexual marriages can now occur after being in place nearly 200 years?
    what about Abortion? it was Illegal! then a liberal court decided it is legal …and Now it is on the verge of becoming Illegal if not even more restricted.
    such a presumption of yours may seem legit at first but when challenged will be found wanting.
    the whole Building of those telescopes for years have taken place by politicians skirting the law , codes and ordinances or just plain making it up as they go.
    enough is enough .
    moreover, what is next? another so called scientist saying a 50 meter telescope will be a better project? to see what? ET?
    the earth is a big place . many uninhabited remote locations to view the skies. do it there. in Chile .. ALMA!

  • Cotour


    What you seem to bring out is that these kinds of things can be fluid and changes can and will be made as necessary.

    Is there a reasonable compromise here? Can there be no scientific facilities on these locations? Aren’t there facilities there now and won’t some of these be taken down in trade for the new facility?

  • commodude

    Actually, Lokahi, the courts do determine what is right, they have spoken, and the appeals process has run its course.

    To continue to fight once the court has stated that construction can begin is to support rule by mob and utter chaos, as opposed to rule by law.

  • Kevin Sweeney

    I am new here and not necessarily technically savvy. However, a southern hemisphere site such as Chile is not desirable or practical for viewing the totality of the northern hemisphere sky, or so I have read. I am also aware that other very large telescopes (VLT, ELT) are either in operation or planned for Chile. The ELT is in fact larger than the TMT. It is the northern hemisphere that lacks coverage. From what I have seen and read, I have come to the conclusion this is not about Mauna Kea or even the TMT. It is generally accepted that Hawaii religion and/or tradition has never believed that the entire mountain is sacred ground never to be touched except for religious or cultural purposes. The mountain was mined and logged for years even by native Hawaiians. What appears more likely is that the mountain has become a symbol for complaints (legitimate or otherwise–not mine to determine) of disenfranchisement and discrimination by non-native populations. It seems the TMT, a tool for the benefit of all people and especially Hawaii, is a casualty in this fight. That is a shame for us all. It is not like they are putting condos and gambling casinos up there. The mountain is big enough for us all, just as it has been in the past. Compromise is in order, but I fear that will not happen.

  • Michael G. Gallagher

    Can the top of Mauna Kea be federalized?

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