Hawaii governor says telescope-construction timeout extended

April 12, 2015 byAudrey Mcavoy
Hawaii governor says telescope-construction timeout extended
This undated file artist rendering made available by the TMT Observatory Corporation shows the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, planned to be built atop Mauna Kea, a large dormand volcano in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii in Hawaii. Gov. David Ige said Saturday, April 11, 2015 that a nonprofit company planning to build one of the world's largest telescopes atop a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred will maintain a moratorium on construction for another week. (AP Photo/TMT Observatory Corporation, File)

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Saturday that a nonprofit company planning to build one of the world's largest telescopes atop a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred will maintain a moratorium on construction for another week.

Ige initially announced what he called a timeout on of the Thirty Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea, a on the Big Island, on Tuesday after law enforcement arrested more than 30 protesters opposing the project.

As the weekend arrived, he said the company told him it will further postpone construction until April 20.

"I thank TMT for its willingness to be respectful and sensitive to all of Hawaii—its special people, its sense of place and its unique host culture," the governor said in a statement.

Kealoha Pisciotta, the president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and a telescope opponent, welcomed the opportunity for all sides to reflect.

"We're still not standing down. We appreciate the time to do research and consider everything—and that's a good thing," Pisciotta said.

"It's also a good thing that the aina is protected," she said, using the Hawaiian word for land. "Any time that happens is a good thing, and we welcome that."

Ige issued his statement from the town of Hilo, near Mauna Kea. He flew to Hilo on Saturday to attend the Merrie Monarch Festival, the state's biggest hula competition, said Jodi Leong, a spokeswoman.

Hawaii governor says telescope-construction timeout extended
In this April 2, 2015 file photo, Thirty Meter Telescope protesters chant after being arrested from the telescope building site on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii in Hawaii. Gov. David Ige said Saturday, April 11, 2015 that a nonprofit company planning to build one of the world's largest telescopes atop a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred will maintain a moratorium on construction for another week. (AP Photo/Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Hollyn Johnson, File)

The Thirty Meter Telescope is a California nonprofit formed by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Institutions in Canada, China, India and Japan signed on as partners and would receive a share of observing time. It selected Mauna Kea as the site for the observatory over Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain in 2009.

The Thirty Meter Telescope has received state construction permits and a sublease for the land from the University of Hawaii, which manages the area at the top of the mountain.

Native Hawaiians have filed lawsuits against the project. One is pending before the state's Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Opponents recently also started demonstrating on the mountain. Last week, state and county police arrested 20 people for blocking the road to prevent construction vehicles from reaching the summit. Another 11 protesters were arrested for refusing to leave the construction site at the summit.

Scientists say Mauna Kea's summit above most clouds offers some of the world's best conditions for viewing the skies. But some Native Hawaiians believe their creation story begins atop the mountain. It's also a burial site for ancestors and a home to deities.

Explore further: Amid controversy, construction of telescope in Hawaii halted (Update)

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5 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2015
Stupid religious nuts. Anti-science like the isis!
5 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2015
If you have a god, and he/she/it does not like technology, then someone has misread the instruction manual.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2015
Wow, nutty. Their deities are anti-science? Are there human remains on the site, and did anyone check first? Telescopes are for looking at creation, is there something wrong with that, or disrespectful of their place of creation? Are you not supposed to look at it or something? IDGI.

Anti-science is teh stupid. And teh stupid, it burns.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2015
From the "more information" link,

[Thirty Meter Telescope Project Manager Gary Sanders said] the site was "selected with great care and respect. There are no archaeological shrines or burial sites within TMT's project site. Comprehensive research by expert hydrologists confirm there is no threat to the aquifer."


OTOH I do have to admit that there have been cults who all killed themselves for reasons they thought sufficient. And then there's the Breatharians.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2015
I'm going to be extremely frank: this looks like obstructionism for the sake of spite.

Spite's not very religious. Just sayin'.
not rated yet Apr 13, 2015
Hmm... the venom of the comments makes you just like, if not worse, than those who protest.
That's quite an attractive design, compared to what's already there.
Hopefully, rational heads will prevail.
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2015
your smug comments only show how little you care of how another feels. You'll walk all over someone else and claim for the sake of their own good but really you're just being selfish. The comments here are only proving how tunnel visioned the science community can be. There are other more respectful views the science community could take. Oh did that word sting on this site? Respect?
5 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2015
I wanted to know more about the situation in Hawii, this is the best I could find.

Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2015
Good article, Vietvet.

I can see opposition if remains are being disturbed, or if their religion is being disrespected and if I saw evidence of these things I'd be against it. But neither appears to be the case.

This makes this look like obstructionism for the sake of spite, as I said, and that's not very religious. It's political. And that's a damn shame, since it appears that there's no disrespect, and no violation of remains. I think they could make their point without being a$$ho1es, and I think they're refusing to deal with reality. As has been pointed out, the culture they come from is known for their astronomical observations, and all I see is a bunch of people whining about astronomy being done, something that's actually honoring their traditions, in defiance of their own claimed beliefs. We call that "cutting off your nose to spite your face." It's an evil in the world.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2015
your smug comments
Please detail these comments you claim are "smug." You smell like another obstructionist, and it will be clear to everyone that you're lying if you cannot.

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