April 9, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO: David Corrigan
Supporters and opponents of the proposed Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (known as the CMP) crowded the Moku `Ola Ballroom in the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on Wednesday, during a special Board of Land and Natural Resources hearing.
The state BLNR is deciding whether or not to approve the CMP, which would give the University of Hawaii-Hilo the authority to manage the the cultural and natural resources of the mountain as detailed in the 299 page document.
Although the CMP would have favorable implications towards the astronomy industry that uses the summit area of Mauna Kea to observe the universe, the CMP does not do much to address the issue of the telescopes themselves. CMP supporters say it is not a development plan.
After a few hours of opening remarks, which included a lengthy presentation by University of Hawaii-Hilo, including president David McClain, the hearing moved on to the public comments.
Opinion was mixed on the proposed CMP, with a virtual split down the middle for and against.
Sources say that of the 80 or so people signed up to testify, only about 30 have already done so.
The hearings are expected to wrap up Thursday, with a decision by the BLNR that evening.
This video series attempts to show but a small excerpt of the hearings from Wednesday, starting with the BLNR intro, the UH-Hilo Q&A, and then a small cross section of public comments, chosen to represent the many differing opinions on the matter. (3 for the CMP, 3 against)