Pro, anti-telescope arguments aim to sway Hawaii land board

Pro, anti-telescope arguments aim to sway Hawaii land board

September 20th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Science

FILE - This Aug. 31, 2015, file photo shows telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island. Hawaii's land board will hear arguments over a judge's recommendation that a construction permit be granted for a giant telescope planned for a Hawaii mountain summit that some consider sacred. The $1.4 billion project is embroiled in another round of hearings after the state Supreme Court invalidated a construction permit the land board previously issued. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's land board is hearing arguments for and against building a giant telescope on a mountain some consider sacred.

Wednesday's hearing in a Hilo hotel comes after the retired judge overseeing contested-case hearings for the Thirty Meter Telescope recommended granting the project a construction permit. Riki May Amano issued her recommendation in July after hearing testimony that spanned 44 days.

Opponents and supporters are echoing much of the arguments made during those oftentimes emotional days of testimony.

Telescope attorney Douglas Ing says there's no rational reason why Native Hawaiian religious rights would be affected by developing the project.

Telescope opponent Kahookahi Kanuha says it's up to Native Hawaiians to determine which places are sacred and how they should be protected.

It's not clear when the board will make a decision.