30 Meter Telescope opponents also against teaching telescope

HILO — Some leaders of the Thirty Meter Telescope opposition movement expressed disapproval of the proposed relocation of the University of Hawaii’s teaching telescope to a site on Mauna Kea.

A public comment period for the smaller telescope on Hawaii island was expected to end Monday, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

The university in September began hosting a website inviting comments after proposing to install the teaching telescope at Halepohaku, a mid-level facility located on the mountain at 9,200 feet (2,804 meters) elevation.

The 28-inch (71-centimeter) telescope is far smaller than the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project, which opponents said would desecrate land considered sacred by Native Hawaiians.

“It seems very irresponsible,” said Andre Perez, one of the leaders of the protest held at the Mauna Kea Access Road last year.

Protesters blocked the 6.27-mile (10-kilometer) road to the Mauna Kea summit in a demonstration against the project from July through December 2019.

“The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is already suing the university for mismanagement (of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve),” Perez said, “and they want to site a new telescope?”

Perez and fellow protest leader Noe Noe Wong-Wilson said Halepohaku and the upper slopes of Mauna Kea are ecologically sensitive areas. Installing a telescope and bringing more traffic to the mountain will threaten local ecosystems, they said.

The pair noted the university is entertaining the possibility of placing another telescope on the mountain during a delay in the decommissioning process of three observatories on the summit, which was part of the Thirty Meter Telescope construction agreement.

University of Hawaii Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin said earlier this month she expected some opposition to the Halepohaku site, but “we also know that many of the opponents are very happy that we’re going to be decommissioning the site on the summit.”

The public comments are expected to be forwarded to the university system’s Board of Regents, which will decide how to proceed with the project.

The board also established a group to investigate proposed changes to plans for Mauna Kea lands managed by the university.

6 Comments
  1. Galileo October 27, 2020 8:25 am Reply

    Any and all telescopes should be illegal. Anywhere. Not just sacred mountains. In general, anywhere there is a telescope it should be removed. Place em all in a pile and burn them. Telescopes are the real issue here. Must be anyway since we have plenty articles and national news stories about “opponents of 30 meter telescope.”

    With all due respect (as I feel the GI has unintentionally just “taken up” with this story as other outlets have driven the coverage), I have yet to meet opponents of any 30 meter telescopes. They are opponents of continued development and construction (be it technological, educational, commercial, or residential) on generational land, sacred to many (regardless of where you stand). Collectively referring to the group as anti thirty meter telescope is a preposterous modern day media take. Obviously this group is about protecting Mauna Kea and the surrounding aina. Perhaps conservationists, activists, or religous hawaiians in touch with the spirituality of their ancestors but not TMT opponents. They are not fighting against a telescope. They are fighting for their land. They are fighting a group of people who took that land under a presumption that they could get away with it little by little with no one noticing. The protestors are not opponents of telescopes, they are proponents of the aina, of Mauna Kea itself. Regardless of where you find yourself in this discussion, perhaps in regard to Mauna Kea fixing the broken promises of the past first would be a better place to begin.


  2. hutch October 27, 2020 12:40 pm Reply

    Utter nonsense. Mauna Kea was never considered sacred by native Hawaiians until they had their radical consciousness raised (?) by Haunani Kay Trask and other anger-heads who latched onto anything and everything that could be used to “prove” that Hawaiians were ‘victims’ of the evil white man. It relieves the burden of taking responsibility for one’s own actions when you call yourself a victim and blame others, but sooner or later, you have to just plain grow up.


    1. Pedro Campos November 24, 2020 6:10 pm Reply

      When you mentioned that name Haunani Kay Trask I had to look it up to see who that person is- and then I found her husband’s name listed: David Stannard.

      UGGHH! THAT’S where your problem lies, Marxists.


    2. Dave J. April 22, 2021 4:46 pm Reply

      I suppose if you wanted to say they weren’t protesting specifically against the telescope you could say they’re protesting against the progression of technology. It is slightly logically inaccurate to say it’s against telescope(s) since it would be just as valid to say they’re protesting against the REMOVAL of telescopes..
      The net result of the proposed actions is the disappearance of THREE old telescopes and their replacement with ONE modern alternative.
      So, unless my arithmetic skills are getting rusty the protest is actually a demand that we KEEP three old ones rather than replace them with ONE upgraded device.

      Maybe that’s what’s happened, I mean superstitions and rituals get written at some point in history, maybe some new ones have been thought up over the last few years? I mean if they’ve been written into a magic book, and the three rusty old ‘scopes are now viewed as ancient monuments their disturbance/upgrading could now be defined as sacrilege! Oh dear 🙁


  3. truth be known October 27, 2020 1:24 pm Reply

    Oh hell no, we can’t possibly allow 1 acre of of a 927 square mile mountain to be used to introduce our children to the S word (science). We need to keep them locked up at home watching violent cartoons because there’s a big bad virus out there that might affect .001% of them. Keep them ignorant and fearful. Bring back the Dark Ages. Oh, they won’t know about that though because that requires a knowledge of history which is about to repeat itself.


  4. Oreste Woodbury Lombardi December 3, 2020 11:36 am Reply

    The protesters have the power to block any construction on Mauna Kea or any other Hawaii mountain. This is a fact of life and only an act of God can change it. The telescope people have dithered too long on Hawaii. Environmental activists are organizing to block construction on the Canary Islands. This leaves only Chile and some less than satisfactory Northern hemisphere sites. It is time to face these fact and build it where they can. About six precious years have been wasted dithering over Hawaii.


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