Haleakala Observatory Process in Trouble

Ilima Loomis at Maui news wrote:

A hearing officer who acknowledged receiving inappropriate outside pressure to reach a decision on a major new telescope proposed for Haleakala said Monday that he was “surprised” to have his report thrown out and felt it was rejected because it embarrassed people on both sides.

Attorney Steven Jacobson said that it was “irritating” to see his work rejected after four years of hearings and review. But with both supporters and opponents of the project upset about his report, he said there was no one willing to come forward and argue in favor of keeping it when it was challenged…

Read the whole article at Maui News

Note: The Hearings Officer was fired because he had private discussions with Sen. Inouye who was reputed to be pressuring the officer for a favorable decision about the telescope.

Haleakala Telescope Hearings Officer Fired

A controversial solar telescope atop Haleakala suffered a setback Thursday when the hearing officer was fired and his recommendation to approve the project was thrown out by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

The board ruled that Steven Jacobson had inappropriate discussions with outside parties to the case — ostensibly, Sen. Daniel Inouye’s office and the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy, among others. The board ordered him immediately discharged from the case…

Read more at Civil Beat

Haleakala Telescope

See Kilakila o Haleakala website

Map of Proposed Telescope Sites

The Issue

One view is that, Maui (and Hawai’i as a whole) needs high tech jobs

Another view is that Haleakala is a sacred place with deep meaning in the Hawaiian culture. The existing telescope buildings are an obvious eyesore and adding more will only intensify the problem.

haleakala

 

Panelists Discuss Haleakala Telescope

Panelists Discuss the Clash of Cultures and Land Ownership on Hawaii’s Sacred Peaks
(from the Kilakila O Haleakala website)

‘The law of Aloha is in the land.’ Kealoha Pisciotta

Respect for Kanaka Maoli Spiritual Practices

Panelists explained that from a kanaka maoli perspective, the summit of Haleakala is considered ‘wao akua,’or the realm of the gods. The very lands of Haleakala are seen by many as the kinolau (physical manifestation) of the sacred goddess Pele, a place that should be regarded as a temple.

Kea&Kiope
Sierra Club Maui, MCC Hawaiian Studies Program, and Kilakila o Haleakala sponsored a May 17th panel discussion on a new 14 story tall telescope proposed for the summit of Haleakala. Pictured above,are panelists Kiope Raymond, Hawaiian Studies Department head at MCCand President of Kilakila o Haleakala and Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, a group on Hawaii Island that led an alliance (including Sierra Club) who successfully challenged the state for failing to follow its own management plan and deal with the impacts of expanding the telescope complex on the summit Mauna Kea.

Kanaka maoli come to such places to worship and feel close to their ancestors.

Psciotta, who had worked at a telescope facility on Mauna Kea for many years, expressed respect for the scientists who work on the mountain, but not for the treatment of the land. She referred to the many pollutants (such as mercury and other waste products ) that came with the use and maintenance of the telescope facilities and the fact that their impacts on groundwater and native flora and fauna were not adequately considered by the state.

KilaKila board members are concerned that the summit of Haleakala has no comprehensive management plan. No one seems to be discussing the huge amount of energy the proposed 14-storyhigh ‘solar’ telescope would be consuming on Maui to maintain ideal temperatures in its huge footprint. All the panelists referred to the need to leave the landforms unaltered on the mountain peaks because they have connections to other landforms which are all part of the kanaka maoli spiritual tradition.

Ed&Debbie
Panelists Ed Lindsey,president of Maui Cultural Lands and Debbie Ward, who worked closely on the Mauna Kea telescope challenge campaign as a representative of the Sierra Club’s Moku Loa (Big Island) group.  Not pictured are the fifth panelist, Kaleikoa Kaeo, Hawaiian studies professor at MCC and panel moderator Rich Lucas. Representatives of the UH Institute of Astronomy and others supporting the telescope project were invited to be panelists, but they declined to participate at this time.

Land Ownership:

The telescopes of Haleakala’s ‘Science City'(more properly described as the Ahupua’a of Papa’anui in the district,or moku of Honua’ula) sit on ceded land. These are lands that belong to the Hawaiian Kingdom and were ‘ceded’ to the U.S. government with the 1898 annexation. Most of the 1.8 million acres of’ ceded’ lands became ‘state lands’ when upon Hawaii statehood in 1959. A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling decreed that the state had no authority to enter into agreements about the ceded lands with other parties until the land claims of kanaka maoli were settled. The state is appealing this decision.

A New Vision:

Panelists, all of whom opposed the construction of further buildings on Hawaiian mountain peaks, were united in one vision. The state of Hawaii needed to have a shift in perspective regarding the island’s land. Ceded lands need to be managed by kanaka maoli. Mountain peaks like Haleakala and Mauna Kea need to be respected as part of the spiritual heritage of all of Hawaii’s people, not as a real estate commodity to be leased by state agencies for a dollar a year to military and research facilities whose activities can impact landforms native creatures and the groundwater sources.

‘Aloha is the guiding principle of our life here in Hawaii,’ explained Pisciotta ‘and the law of Aloha is in the land.’

Hawaiian Opposition to Telescope

Panelists Discuss the Clash of Cultures and Land Ownership on Hawaii’s Sacred Peaks
(from the Kilakila O Haleakala website)

‘The law of Aloha is in the land.’ Kealoha Pisciotta

Respect for Kanaka Maoli Spiritual Practices

Panelists explained that from a kanaka maoli perspective, the summit of Haleakala is considered ‘wao akua,’or the realm of the gods. The very lands of Haleakala are seen by many as the kinolau (physical manifestation) of the sacred goddess Pele, a place that should be regarded as a temple.

Kiope Raymond and Kealoha Pisciotta
Sierra Club Maui, MCC Hawaiian Studies Program, and Kilakila o Haleakala sponsored a May 17th panel discussion on a new 14 story tall telescope proposed for the summit of Haleakala. Pictured above,are panelists Kiope Raymond, Hawaiian Studies Department head at MCCand President of Kilakila o Haleakala and Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, a group on Hawaii Island that led an alliance (including Sierra Club) who successfully challenged the state for failing to follow its own management plan and deal with the impacts of expanding the telescope complex on the summit Mauna Kea.

Kanaka maoli come to such places to worship and feel close to their ancestors.

Psciotta, who had worked at a telescope facility on Mauna Kea for many years, expressed respect for the scientists who work on the mountain, but not for the treatment of the land. She referred to the many pollutants (such as mercury and other waste products ) that came with the use and maintenance of the telescope facilities and the fact that their impacts on groundwater and native flora and fauna were not adequately considered by the state.

KilaKila board members are concerned that the summit of Haleakala has no comprehensive management plan. No one seems to be discussing the huge amount of energy the proposed 14-storyhigh ‘solar’ telescope would be consuming on Maui to maintain ideal temperatures in its huge footprint. All the panelists referred to the need to leave the landforms unaltered on the mountain peaks because they have connections to other landforms which are all part of the kanaka maoli spiritual tradition.

 

Ed Lindsey & Debbie Ward
Panelists Ed Lindsey,president of Maui Cultural Lands and Debbie Ward, who worked closely on the Mauna Kea telescope challenge campaign as a representative of the Sierra Club’s Moku Loa (Big Island) group.  Not pictured are the fifth panelist, Kaleikoa Kaeo, Hawaiian studies professor at MCC and panel moderator Rich Lucas. Representatives of the UH Institute of Astronomy and others supporting the telescope project were invited to be panelists, but they declined to participate at this time.

Land Ownership:

The telescopes of Haleakala’s ‘Science City'(more properly described as the Ahupua’a of Papa’anui in the district,or moku of Honua’ula) sit on ceded land. These are lands that belong to the Hawaiian Kingdom and were ‘ceded’ to the U.S. government with the 1898 annexation. Most of the 1.8 million acres of’ ceded’ lands became ‘state lands’ when upon Hawaii statehood in 1959. A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling decreed that the state had no authority to enter into agreements about the ceded lands with other parties until the land claims of kanaka maoli were settled. The state is appealing this decision.

A New Vision:

Panelists, all of whom opposed the construction of further buildings on Hawaiian mountain peaks, were united in one vision. The state of Hawaii needed to have a shift in perspective regarding the island’s land. Ceded lands need to be managed by kanaka maoli. Mountain peaks like Haleakala and Mauna Kea need to be respected as part of the spiritual heritage of all of Hawaii’s people, not as a real estate commodity to be leased by state agencies for a dollar a year to military and research facilities whose activities can impact landforms native creatures and the groundwater sources.

‘Aloha is the guiding principle of our life here in Hawaii,’ explained Pisciotta ‘and the law of Aloha is in the land.’