Local Connection: The Thirty Meter Telescope

Local Connection: The Thirty Meter Telescope

By Rick Blangiardi

The dispute over construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea has gone national.  The New York Times last week called on Governor Ige to "Step up" and "Make it happen"...either on the side of the telescope or the opponents.Frankly...we don't need people in New York to tell us what to do on an issue as challenging as this.

It may sound simple to someone living in a place where concrete long ago replaced the natural environment and the original inhabitants were bought off with 24 dollars worth of goods.

The telescope dispute does not lend itself to New York style "pick a side" politics.

While there may be only a few hundred protestors on the summit...they do represent many in the Hawaiian and environmental movements who believe we've taken the summit for granted -- and allowed so many observatories that it's beyond the ability of the university to manage.

The telescope developers also have a legitimate beef -- that they spent nine years navigating the tangled political and bureaucratic roadblocks only to be frustrated on the eve of construction.

Yes...the governor could be more assertive on this issue -- but we don't have to look back too far to remember what happened to our last very assertive governor.  What's needed is a compromise that allows Hawaii too keep its reputation on the forefront of science while respecting the native culture that made Hawaii paradise.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.