HILO, Hawaii – Deborah Ward presented herself as a witness in the ongoing contested case hearing, taking the stand on January 31.
Ward participated in the first contested case hearing in 2011, then as a member of the Sierra Club. She continued on – pro se – for the second iteration of the proceeding. She opposes the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope in the mountain’s conservation district.
Ward served for 23 years as a faculty member of the University of Hawaii Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management.
“As a recreational hiker,” Ward wrote in her direct testimony, “I visited Mauna Kea with my father, a physicist and astronomer, when only one telescope, smaller than a garage, stood at the summit. The vast wilderness vistas from the highest peak in the Pacific, was awe-inspiring, breath-taking, and serene. The sound of silence remains with
Ward said she was introduced to the controversies when she lived in Honolulu, and “met numerous other hikers and naturalists who were concerned about the proliferation of telescopes, several without permits.” She has been involved in the issue ever since, and was one of the hui of participants who took part in the 2003 contested case hearing and litigation that overturned the state permit for the Keck Outrigger telescope development.
The video above is the first of two 20 minute minute summary edits showing of key moments of Ward’s testimony. We will have some “breakout” videos from this testimony; segments focused on public access, wekiu bugs, and ants. Na Leo TV is covering the hearing live, gavel to gavel. The full archive can be found on the Na Leo TV Video on Demand page.