WAIMEA, Hawaii – Two views on Mauna Kea were expressed at a public meeting in Waimea on Thursday night. Hawaiian cultural practitioner and kumu Pua Case and astronomer Doug Simons with the Canada France Hawaii Telescope both spoke during the Galaxy Forum Hawaii 2015. The event was organized by the International Lunar Observatory Association, a Hawaiia-based non-profit looking to “expand human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon and to participate in internationally cooperative lunar base build-out, with Aloha – the spirit of Hawai`i.”
Case and Simons shared their feelings on what appears to be the eve of another attempt by crews to return to the summit of Mauna Kea to build the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope. The project has been stalled for most of the year as opponents of the project have blocked construction through large demonstrations resulting it multiple arrests. Case also talked about the seasonal shift as the time of makahiki is upon Hawaii.
On November 10th, the Thirty Meter Telescope announced a “small crew of local workers” will go to the TMT construction site this month to “conduct site preparation activities, starting with equipment maintenance and repairs.” A time or date for the planned work was not provided. Opponents of the project say they are hearing it could be as early as sometime next week.
On Thursday, the Department of Land and Natural Resources – on behalf of numerous state agencies – issued a list of media protocols “to help guide” coverage of TMT. Again, dates were not given, and the protocols stated that “there will be no advance notice of pending or planned law enforcement operations or activities.”
Big Island Video News will have more from this forum, including a panel discussion and presentations on the potential for the advanced astronomy on the moon.