Thursday, July 31, 2014         

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Objections place hold on telescope sublease

By Associated Press


Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved a sublease for a $1.3 billion telescope that would be one of the world's largest, but the approval is on hold until the board hears objections in a separate review process.

The board met Friday to discuss issues raised previously about a plan to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii island.

The University of Hawaii leases land from the state where the telescope would be built, and the Thirty Meter Telescope group would sublease the land for about $1 million after it is fully built.

The sublease is the last major bureaucratic hurdle for scientists, although the proj­ect also faces the threat of lawsuits by opponents.

Opponents raised questions about whether appraisals of the land were done appropriately and whether Native Hawaiians were properly consulted. They said that if the telescope is built on Hawaii's tallest peak, it will desecrate a place held sacred by Native Hawaiians.

"Mauna Kea is very sacred to me, to my culture, to my future culture, to my future generations," said Pono Kea­loha, who describes himself as a Hawaiian national.

Representatives from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which would get a percentage of the rent payments, questioned how the rental amount to be charged was calculated.

"Based on our research, we know some of the telescopes on the mountain are selling viewing time for between $80,000 and $100,000 per night," said Sterling Wong, OHA public policy manager.

Land Board Chairman William Aila said the objections were heard, but UH provided what the board thought were legally appropriate answers.

Several opponents requested what's known as a contested case hearing. The sublease will not be in effect until each of the contested cases reaches conclusion, a process that could take as little as a month or as much as a year, Aila said.

Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press

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harley1 wrote:
stall, obfuscate, whine, make false claims, all to eventually be winnowed away through a so called 'deliberative' process which will end up with the way cleared for construction. The obstructionists know this, and only do this since they can. The longer it takes, the better as far as they're concerned, in the hope that it will all magically vanish and they can go look for the next project to stall, obfuscate and make false claims about......
on June 28,2014 | 05:57AM
Mythman wrote:
Have you heard of SKA?
on June 28,2014 | 11:47AM
false wrote:
harley1 & bekwell, OHA has a valid objection, namely that the State is leasing out the land too cheap. With the telescope being rented out at an average of $90,000.00 per night, using OHA's numbers, there is a potential of the telescope being rented out at $328,500,000.00 a year. $1,000,000.00 annual rent is less than 0.003% of the potential annual income. In short, at that rate the State is being gypped. The rent should be $6.5 million (approx. 2% of maximum annual rental rate), plus 5% of the actual annual income.
on June 28,2014 | 03:45PM
jasurace wrote:
For starters, you're off by a digit. $90k times 365 is $32M. But more importantly, that's the amount to cover the _operating cost_. For example, the Keck annual budget is about $40M. The state doesn't "pocket" the money, that money goes into the local economy (well, a significant portion, anyway) to pay the salaries of the Keck employees. No one is stashing that money in a bank somewhere. The idea of that being the "rental price" is nonsensical.
on June 28,2014 | 09:14PM
Manu Oo wrote:
Again the UH regents, politicians and "Big Money" neglect Hawaiian's culture and sensitivities. Same old story: "Suppress the Hawaiian natives because we (regents, politicians & money) know better". What pains me the most is "They" have already trashed our mountain with other telescopes and now want a bigger one. Remove all the old telescopes and structures before even think about putting another.
on June 28,2014 | 06:17AM
wiliki wrote:
I don't see that doing scientific research is "trashing" the mountain.Mauna Kea is unique and the only places on earth that this kind of research in which both the northern and southern skies can be done.
on June 28,2014 | 02:24PM
bekwell wrote:
Whomever is objecting to this project should be excommunicated from Hawaii and forced to live in Los Angeles.
on June 28,2014 | 07:12AM
Makua wrote:
Of course there will be objections. To object is to be Hawaiian. Why not see the wisdom and good in this and the knowledge gained from contemporary technology as man advances in the universe.
on June 28,2014 | 07:36AM
hanalei395 wrote:
The wisdom and good it brought to the Hawaiian culture and becoming sacred, Mauna Kea was the first land mass to come into view to the brave Polynesian voyagers, to the First Hawaiians. Discovering the most isolated islands in the world. Mauna Kea was also the first happy sight, a sacred sight, of more of the first people to settle these islands.
on June 28,2014 | 08:12AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Kahoolawe was considered sacred to some Native Hawaiians, so the military had to stop using it for training. Makua Valley is considered sacred to some Native Hawaiians, so the military had to stop using it for live fire training. Taro was considered sacred to some Native Hawaiians, so UH was prohibited from selling a patent for disease-resistant taro. Fact of the matter is that Native Hawaiians are quick to play the sacred card, and when they do politicians and judges run scared and usually side with the Native Hawaiians.
on June 28,2014 | 10:10AM
hanalei395 wrote:
For non-Hawaiians, it's easy for them to say anything about Hawaiian issues.
on June 28,2014 | 11:51AM
wiliki wrote:
No non-Hawaiians have to stick to the facts, Hawaiians can make up anything that they can think of that might make their gods unhappy. No god in the past can predict the future. There is myth or legend spoken that says that telescopes are no good on Mauna Kea.
on June 28,2014 | 02:31PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Not a "myth or legend", ... but a lie, ... just now made up by no good wiliki.
on June 28,2014 | 02:49PM
kaiakea wrote:
From where do you pull this knowledge? Is it in Kamakau, Malo, Fornander; where can one find this? My guess is that you are making this up. To the Hawaiians, all land was sacred: the evidence is in the plethora of place names and legends where gods and sacred chiefs dwelt. The observatories on top of Wakea's mountain can not only be for the good Hawaiians but all people. Professional Hawaiians who hold this back are bringing shame to all Kanaka Maoli.
on June 28,2014 | 04:29PM
star08 wrote:
And, why not see the process, of understanding and acknowledging those who are opposed to this giveaway of a sacred site to technocrats, as important to the advancement of human cooperation?
on June 28,2014 | 10:25AM
false wrote:
Some can't do that because they're always looking backwards. They only see what was and can't see what's ahead.
on June 28,2014 | 10:49AM
krusha wrote:
The only people grumbling are those religious fanatics who think this telescope will bring on the wrath of the Hawaiian gods down on the people. I just hope the BLNR are not influenced by these Kahunas after hearing them out unless they themselves are part of that cult.
on June 28,2014 | 09:27AM
Ronin006 wrote:
I find it interesting how Native Hawaiian activists play the sacred card whenever they oppose something. The unfortunate thing is that they usually get their way with their phony claims. The funniest one was when UH intended to sell its patent for a disease-resistant taro it had developed. Hawaiian activists objected, claiming taro was sacred to some Native Hawaiians, and UH back down. If taro is sacred as Native Hawaiian activists claimed, it seems to me Native Hawaiians throughout the state would stop desecrating it my mashing it into poi and then eating it.
on June 28,2014 | 10:01AM
hanalei395 wrote:
The SAME taro brought to these islands by the first Kanaka Maoli, not to be endangered of becoming extinct. Ronin, being a non-Hawaiian, doesn't get it. And never will.
on June 28,2014 | 12:20PM
entrkn wrote:
on June 28,2014 | 10:09AM
cojef wrote:
Psst. know a used for sale cheap?
on June 28,2014 | 10:33AM
DemBones wrote:
Uh... does "objection" mean "give me money!?"
on June 28,2014 | 10:38AM
Mythman wrote:
Huh? Sounds like the OHA gang wants a higher rent and are using some dude aka a cultural practitioner with a hawaiian name to protest until they get the higher rent. Same tactic unions use when they strike someone they want higher wages and benefits from. Come on, now. Sacred and Hawaiian have zilch to do with it when the OHA is involved - just another Player in the Big Game of Hawaii land.
on June 28,2014 | 11:52AM
localguy wrote:
Always a bunch of weak minded whiners who have to be appeased. So many losers in the Nei.
on June 28,2014 | 02:53PM
eleu808 wrote:
The offer of any hush money is an insult to the people of Hawaii. To allow bulldozers and Dynamite of Conservation zoned land for any price is criminal. Why have any zoning laws at all?
on June 28,2014 | 11:19PM
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