Following last week’s protests that postponed the start of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Mauna Kea, the summit road on Hawaii’s Big Island has been closed until maintenance and damage assessment is completed. “There’s also concerns of the hairpin turns in the area and just the overall quality of the road…” University officials are still trying to determine if it is safe to reopen the road.
“We respect those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights within the boundaries of the law”. What the State can not allow is for people to take the law into their own hands.
Attorney General Douglas Chin said in a statement Wednesday that “Mauna Kea is a protected conservation district, forest reserve and hunting area”. While we appreciate the effort of volunteers who helped clean up the summit road, the actions of certain individuals in the past week led to the University of Hawaii’s closure of the road. The restrictions have been implemented because of the series of protests on Wednesday, June 24, in which boulders and rock walls were kept along the road by the TMT protesters.
Placing boulders along the road on goal may cause people to get killed, he believes. He adds that the statement he made was not meant to attack the content of the disapproval, but the conduct in which it was executed.
The obstructions prevented the university from grading the road, a necessary road safety procedure performed twice weekly.
HONOLULU (AP) – numerous protesters opposed to plans for a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea came down from the mountain for a large gathering around the King Kamehameha statue in Honolulu.
Dan Meisenzahl, spokesperson from the UH said in a statement that the event that happened in the previous week was unprecedented, and they have been taking care of the road since decades.
“We are now working to find ways to enable the TMT project to proceed safely without putting workers, protestors and the general public at risk.”
The $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope is planned atop a mountain that some view as sacred. “It’s a long process”. Their group does not anticipate to win over the TMT in a day, month or year, but their commitment to safeguard the Mauna Kea is far more superior to any amount of money, he closed.