By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - Five Native Hawaiians are asking to participate in a hearing for the construction permit of a giant telescope on Mauna Kea.
Their requests submitted this week to the state land board say they have cultural and traditional rights to Mauna Kea. Their letters say their participation will help the board make a decision.
The state Supreme Court invalidated the Thirty Meter Telescope's construction permit and ordered a new contested case hearing. Those who oppose the $1.4 billion project say it will desecrate sacred land.
Edward Akiona's request says he's more recently become aware of the mountain's cultural significance and that his father's ashes are scattered there. Richard DeLeon's request says he's a chanter of prayers and dancer of ancient hula, and the telescope will infringe on his spirituality.