State to hold hearings on Thirty Meter Telescope

HONOLULU (AP) - The state plans to hold two public hearings this week on a proposal to build the world's largest telescope at Mauna Kea's summit.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said Wednesday it will hold hearings in Hilo on Thursday and in Kailua-Kona on Friday.

Thirty Meter Telescope managers are seeking a permit from the department because they want to build the telescope on conservation land.

They hope to begin construction late next year and finish by 2018.

Some Native Hawaiians oppose the telescope, saying it would defile Mauna Kea's sacred summit. Environmentalists say the telescope would harm the rare wekiu bug.

Supporters say the telescope would advance science, provide jobs and help the economy.

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