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Posts Tagged ‘TMT’

From Marti:

Great editorial in the Sacramento Bee yesterday about the analogies between the struggle depicted in the movie Avatar and the real world struggle to protect the last pristine plateau of Mauna Kea. Here’s a quote:

The California astronomers’ “unobtanium” quest – research papers revealing “the secrets of the universe” and identifying planets beyond our solar system – is certainly more noble than mining minerals, but it’s another example of promoting one culture’s notion of progress by overriding another’s reverence for the land. As in the movie, behind the Mauna Kea invaders stands the big money of a starry-eyed entrepreneur, Intel co-founder and telescope donor Gordon Moore.

Particularly rich was the comment posted by Richard Ha about the importance of process. Totally agree, Uncle, which is why we oppose a plan to manage the summit conservation district that is written by the lead-developer of the summit.  Just as one example, the plan puts no limit on the number of telescopes that could be built on the summit.

This is not surprising.  For decades, the University of Hawaii has promised to better protect the natural and cultural resources of the summit while actively destroying them.  This TMT+CMP combo is just the latest example.

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From Marti:

News coverage of the court hearing on the University’s plans for Mauna Kea characterized our opposition to the plan as anti-development.  It said:

“(opponents) want to block new development on the mountain by stopping approval of the management plan.”

As one of our kupuna pointed out, actually the motivation is all the University’s part.  She said

“advocates for more telescopes on the summit want the UH CMP rushed to completion in order to move forward with several new development plans.”

While it is true that as long as there is no plan there is no TMT, that is not the desired outcome for the plan.  We’re not trying to block the plan to stop TMT.

What we do want is the opportunity to have a real plan–one that arises out of a transparent process and allows communities to articulate a public vision for the future of these extremely important public trust lands. That is what a public planning process is supposed to do. The point is that we have been denied the kind of critical, public and open discussion that would lead to such a plan. In its place, we are being told to shut up and accept a plan that was written by the university and driven by its interest in telescope development and telescope dollars.

We have long said that we want a fair opportunity to talk through and determine together how astronomy and cultural practice and natural conservation coexist–in what form, by what rules, and with what limits–on the summit. This is not an unreasonable ask. The University is wasting precious public education dollars on motion after motion in this case, because they are unwilling to compromise in any way on their development plans. For the University, this case is all about TMT. For advocates of the mountain, this case is not about TMT at all. It is about our standing, and the right of the people of Hawai’i to determine the future of a unique, irreplaceable summit that is part of Hawai’i’s public trust.

Click here to read the article from the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

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From Marti:

Yesterday morning, the Third Circuit Court heard oral arguments on the University of Hawaii’s motion to dismiss our appeal for a contested case hearing on the University’s new management plan for Mauna Kea.

Though we are still waiting for the judge’s ruling, the hearing made one thing clear: supporters of this “CMP” also support more telescopes (and more desecration and destruction) on the sacred summit.  Less than a dozen people sign-waved outside the Hilo courthouse during the hearing with pre-printed signs that said “Mauna Kea TMT Yes!”  If you ever doubted the connection between more telescopes and the University’s CMP, then yesterday’s demonstration of support for the “Thirty Meter Telescope” at a hearing on the CMP should make it clear that the University wrote this CMP to facilitate telescope construction on Mauna Kea.  Indeed, the CMP does not speak to any limitations on telescopes or a carrying capacity for the summit.

…unless, of course, if by “TMT” they meant “Too Many Telescopes.”

And, Mahalo Nunui!! This is just a little shout out to all of those who took time out of their workday to sit in solidarity with us before the judge.  Mahalo for your unwavering support.

Want to help? Click here to sign up for action alerts and receive regular court updates. And click over here to donate directly to the Mauna Kea Legal Defense Fund.

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From Melissa-

Tomorrow, we along with others will plead our case at the Board of Land and Natural Resource meeting for a contested case hearing on the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan.

Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, The Sierra Club-Hawaii, The Royal Order of Kamehameha I, KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, Dwight J. Vincente and Clarence Kukauakahi Ching have submitted a request for a contested case hearing on the plan.

Robert Harris, executive director of the Sierra Club, said that after the plan was approved in April Mauna Kea was chosen for a $1.2 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project.

“Our position is we’re not sure you should be approving new telescopes until this comprehensive management plan is finalized,” Harris said. “If you are going to call this a comprehensive management plan, I think you’re going to have to take into account future development and this plan specifically doesn’t address any development whatsoever.”

Department of Land and Natural Resources staff are recommending against a contested case hearing, saying there are no laws or rules requiring one because of the board’s approval of the plan and that the petitioners have no property interest in the project.

“The (comprehensive management plan) does not permit or authorize any new land use of development on Mauna Kea, including telescope projects,” the recommendation said.

Marti Townsend, program director for KAHEA, said there is a public interest in the protection of public trust resources. More time is needed to develop the plan and get public input, she said.

The DLNR says the acceptance of the plan doesn’t facilitate new construction but Townsend said she thinks it does, especially in light of the recent announcement of the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

“That was our concern all along — that we’re rushing through the management plan process in order to accommodate the TMT and so it’s really a development plan,” Townsend said.

To read full article click here.

The meeting will be held tomorrow (August 28, 2009) at 9:30 in the DLNR Board Room 132 on the first floor of the Kalanimoku Building at 1151 Punchbowl St. The Board Room is located on the makai (ocean) side of the building.

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