Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Telescope - What or when is "soon"? - Part 2

We continue our blog coverage featuring Hawaiian officials who would prefer not to have to make decisions with three items below. The first deals with the much-discussed alternative site in the Canary Islands:

...Perhaps the TMT’s most dreaded scenario is moving to La Palma and ending up in the same kind of legal and political quagmire that stalled the project in Hawaii. Ben Magec, which has fought tourist developments on the islands since the 1980s, is trying to make that happen. Spokesperson Pablo Batista says the proposed TMT site—which would expand the footprint of the ORM by 5%—is a protected conservation area and includes three archaeological sites with petroglyphs from people who lived there thousands of years ago. He says the group has been meeting with TMT officials since 2016 but the project has chosen a site “that would have the greatest environmental and cultural impact.” Gordon Squires, the TMT’s vice president for external relations, says an archaeologist would be on hand during construction to preserve artifacts.

After IAC applied to expand the ORM site to make room for the TMT in 2017, Ben Magec appealed to the courts, which revoked the proposed expansion because IAC’s application lacked an environmental impact statement. The TMT had already performed an environmental assessment, which was submitted in June along with a new application. The TMT had hoped to apply for a building permit on La Palma in July, but that will now have to wait for the approval of the ORM expansion, which Rebolo expects to be completed this month.

Ben Magec intends to make the process as slow and as painful as possible. “Every administrative step that the TMT tries to take to build on the chosen site … we are going to take to court,” Batista says. “We will spare no effort.” To TMT leaders, the tone is unsettlingly familiar.

The activists blocking the Mauna Kea Access Road announced today “there has been word” that the state will use Hawaii National Guard troops and out-of-state law enforcement officers in the next 30 days to clear the way for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope to begin...

In a news release posted on social media this morning, the protesters said they have also been notified that “law enforcement is considering using excessive force by way of chemical dispersants to punish and suppress our people standing in peace and protection of our mauna.” ...

Activists who’ve been blocking construction at the summit of Mauna Kea for the past seven weeks have begun doing some light construction themselves.

They’ve put up an unpermitted wooden building at their base camp.

And the state ― not protesters ― could face hefty fines if the structure isn’t taken down.

Builders say the wooden structure at the Puu Huluhulu side of the protest camp is a library and learning center for the keiki.*
*Editor's Note: The word keiki is Hawaiian for "baby" or "child", literally "the little one."

“They make universities like that, but nothing for the keiki," said Kevin Kahikina, one of the builders.

“It’s kind of a safe spot for the keiki for research, do homework. A quiet place for them out of the town that they have here for them.”

But Hawaii County says it's an unpermitted structure.

Mayor Harry Kim told Hawaii News Now the county doesn’t know who built it so the property owner, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, is responsible and could be fined more than $1,000 per day...


No comments: