East Hawaii News

Report: TMT Crews May Head Up Mauna Kea Wednesday

November 16, 2015, 6:32 PM HST
* Updated November 16, 6:36 PM
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Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope are preparing ahead of news that TMT crews will ascend Mauna Kea in the coming weeks.

Last Tuesday, TMT International Observatory Board of Governors Chair Henry Yang announced that a “small crew of local workers” would head up the mountain to conduct site preparation activities at some point this month.

Although the month is only half-way over, the crews may be headed up sooner rather than later. This is according to information reported Monday by Hawai’i News Now, noting that “law enforcement sources” confirmed with the media outlet that crews would be headed up the mountain Wednesday.

TMT spokesperson Scott Ishikawa told Big Island Now Monday that details of TMT’s resumption would not be announced ahead of schedule and that he could not comment on whether or not crews would head up the mountain Wednesday.

“Given past events, we’ve decided not to announce details in advance to ensure the safety and security of our workers and any involved law enforcement personnel,” Ishikawa said.

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Opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope have taken to social media to reinforce their stance and call for a return to the mountain to stand in unity, following last week’s news.

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Activist and TMT opposition leader Kaho’okahi Kanuha recently told Big Island Now that he had left Mauna Kea during the lull in activity so that he could return to his family and preserve resources while TMT crews were also saving up.

“For me it was about making use of resources, getting back and fulfilling the other normal responsibilities we have in life, so that when the time comes to take a stand on the mountain again we can,” Kanuha said.

That stand may come soon, but Kanuha doesn’t believe that the meeting between opponents and TMT crews will result in much different than TMT’s previous attempts up the mountain.

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“I think we can expect much of the same, just a different time of the year, different month, different day,” Kanuha said. “That’s it.”

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