TMT protesters are at it again, this time preparing to rally at Caltech’s Astronomy Building in Pasadena later today, Friday, April 28, at 3 P.M., according to Pasadena Now’s report of a post on ColoradoBlvd.net.
Caltech and TMT
This isn’t the first time protesters have assembled in Pasadena, which is where Caltech and the telescope project’s offices are. When TMT construction started in 2014, they did the same to criticize Caltech’s participation in the project and to stand in solidarity with some Native Hawaiians and other opponents of the project who blocked the road to the project site on Mauna Kea.
After a quiet period of little to no large-scale protests from opponents of the telescope, this rally comes — a bit suspiciously — during the time when authorities in Hawaii are wrapping up their examination of the evidence from the contested case in order to reach a decision.
I can’t help but wonder if this is a preemptive response to fearing an upcoming loss or an attempt to intimidate the courts as they deliberate the tail-end of the case.
Hawaii Not as Divided as it Seems
Although the news of this latest protest may continue to artificially inflate the idea that Native Hawaiian opposition to the project sits at 100%, the truth shows a vastly different reality: Hawaii is not as divided as it appears on the matter of TMT.
A new poll, conducted by Tulchin Research (an arm of Pacific Resource Partnership) discovered that when it comes to the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, 72 percent of likely voters said they supported it. Numbers on the Big Island alone have risen as well, with 68 percent of residents saying they favored it, 15 percent more than two years ago. The poll included 800 likely voters.
Kyle Chock, interim executive director of Pacific Resource Partnership, stated “Even on Hawaii Island, support is over 2-to-1 that this is a project that they don’t want to see an opportunity lost for local kids there.”
Mauna Kea and TMT
Additionally, the University of Hawaii at Hilo Office of Maunakea Management is actually being awarded by the Historic Hawaii Foundation for their preservation efforts with a 2017 Preservation Commendation Award at the 43rd annual Preservation Honor Award Ceremony.
The ceremony will place on Friday, May 19, 2017
5:00 – 8:00 PM, at the YWCA Laniakea Fuller Hall & Courtyard in Honolulu.
The TMT team has also been on the education and outreach trail, holding STEM events at places like Kealakehe Elementary School and the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy. Check out their facebook page for more pictures.