PASADENA (CBSLA.com) A plan to build an 18-story $14 billion observatory on Mauna Kea – Hawaii’s largest and most sacred mountain — – has drawn worldwide ire.
CBS2’s Joy Benedict reports the protests came to Pasadena Saturday.
Some California scientists designed the 18-story structure (including large telescope) but construction has been delayed as the result of a court fight.
It’s a community rich in history and tradition. But a piece of the islands came to Pasadena Saturday as many folks gathered to send a message to the courts in Hawaii.
“This planet is still sacred and if we don’t stand for it– who will?,” said Pua Case, a member of Mauna Kea Hui.
She is part of a group appealing the building permit.
“We have finally as a people said no. Enough is enough,” said Case.
She was invited to come to Pasadena and speak at today’s informational protest.
“When you think of Hawaii what do you think of? You think of beautiful oceans, palm trees — you don’t want to look at a building,” said Miki Lani.
The TMT (30-meter telescope) is so powerful it could see as far back as where the universe started.
There are already 13 telescopes on the summit. Residents say 18-stories is too high.
“There’s no 18-story building allowed on our entire island,” Case said.
The builder said they are constructing the telescope further down the summit – on a lave plane — and far from ancient burial sites.
They also say the telescope will be visible by only 14 percent of the island.
“So now they’ve moved onto the northern plateau — which would be what I would see every day for the rest of my life,” Case said.
The Hawaiian Supreme Court agreed to hear the case earlier this month against the telescope and Benedict said that court has a history of upholding environmental laws.
“It has not met the eight criteria in order to build in a conservation zone,” said Case.
The courts will now have to decide – honor the past or look to a scientific future.