Hawaii activists get ready for start of work on telescope
By CALEB JONES and JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER Associated Press
July 14, 2019 09:18 PM
FILE – This undated file illustration provided by Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) shows the proposed giant telescope on Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island. Construction on giant telescope to start again in the third week of July 2019, after court battles over Hawaii site that some consider sacred. (TMT via AP, File)
MAUNA KEA, Hawaii
Some Native Hawaiian groups say they are preparing to protect Hawaii’s tallest mountain from an attempt to resume construction of a giant telescope.
They say they will gather peacefully at the base of Mauna Kea. The road to the summit will be closed Monday morning as trucks carrying construction equipment start to make their way to the peak.
State officials say anyone breaking the law will be arrested. Protesters have been arrested during previous construction attempts.
After years of legal battles, the state Supreme Court upheld the project’s construction permit.
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Scientists say the Thirty Meter Telescope will help them peer back to the time just after the Big Bang and answer fundamental questions about the universe.
The site is world-renowned for astronomy. It’s also considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians.