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Hawaii Supreme Court to hear Mauna Kea telescope case

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A man dressed in a traditional malo holds an upside-down Hawaiian flag, a symbol of distress, outside of the Hawaii Supreme Court building Thursday morning.
  • a symbol of distress
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Hawaii’s Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case involving building one of the world’s largest telescopes on Mauna Kea.

Opponents are challenging a permit allowing the telescope to be built on conservation land. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, allowing it to bypass the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Protesters are planning a rally outside the Supreme Court building before Thursday morning’s hearing. Many opponents say they are against building the Thirty Meter Telescope on land they consider sacred.

Construction halted in April after dozens of protesters were arrested for blocking crews.

Astronomers revere the site because Mauna Kea’s summit at nearly 14,000 feet is well above the clouds, and provides a clear view of the sky for 300 days a year.

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