By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - Scientists involved in Hawaii astronomy are hopeful that builders of a giant telescope planned for a mountain held sacred by Native Hawaiians don't give up on the project.
A recent state Supreme Court decision invalidated the $1.4 billion project's permit to build on conservation land, which could delay construction by several years. The nonprofit company building the Thirty Meter Telescope hasn't yet indicated its next move. Protesters say they will continue to fight the telescope.
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Executive Director Doug Simons wants the company to "hang in there." He says the project will provide economic and educational opportunities for Hawaii.
Native Hawaiian astrophysicist Paul Coleman at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy says stopping the project will be a "global disappointment" that will deter high-tech industries from considering Hawaii.