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UPDATE: TMT Protest at BLNR Meeting Prompts Responses

October 30, 2017, 8:47 AM HST
* Updated November 3, 10:32 AM
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UPDATE: Nov. 3, 2017

Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory board, issued the following statement in response to an appeal to the Hawai‘i Supreme Court by TMT opponents.

“TMT remains respectful of the legal process of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and will respond to the recently filed appeal. It is our view that the key issues were addressed during the contested case hearings and that the recent decision of the BLNR provides a balanced framework in which TMT may proceed. Maunakea remains our preferred site for the Thirty Meter Telescope and we are hopeful that the court will issue a prompt decision on the appeal. We thank our many friends in Hawaii for their encouragement and support of the TMT project.”

PREVIOUS POST: Oct. 30, 2017

Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case issued the following statement on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, about protesters at the previous day’s BLNR meeting, calling for BLNR Member Sam Gon’s resignation:

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“Sam ‘Ohu Gon is held in the highest respect by innumerable people. As a scientist and as a recognized expert in native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices, Sam brings tremendously valuable perspective and integrity to the Land Board decisions. No Land Board member is appointed as a representative of or advocate for any particular group.

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“It is disappointing and frankly offensive that some who disagree with the Land Board’s recent decision on the TMT telescope choose to aim personally at ‘Ohu or any board member. This is not peaceful protest. We must simply reject this kind of divisiveness in Hawaiʻi as well as nationally and globally, and practice respect in our public discourse no matter our views.”

Out of respect for the contested case process, BLNR members have agreed not to discuss the TMT decision until the appeal period has run next month.

Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige released the following statement following last week’s arrests at the BLNR meeting:

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“The behavior of a few individuals at last week’s Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting was unfortunate, uncalled for and unacceptable. I support the actions the BLNR chair and staff took to restore order so the Board could conduct its public meeting in a safe and civil manner. I thank all the members of the Board for their stewardship of the public trust on behalf of the people of the State of Hawai‘i.”

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