By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - The president of a Native Hawaiian organization says building a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea will come with educational opportunities that Hawaii shouldn't reject.
Keahi Warfield is president of Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities. He told the Rotary Club of Honolulu Tuesday that he believes there's a "silent majority" of the public who support the Thirty Meter Telescope.
The telescope proposal has divided the Native Hawaiian community, with many opponents saying it will desecrate sacred land.
Warfield says many people have thanked him for expressing a view that they're afraid to vocalize.
His group has been allowed to participate in an upcoming hearing for the $1.4 billion project. The state Supreme Court invalidated the project's permit last year and ordered a new contested case hearing.