Thirty Meter Telescope a wonderful, appropriate gift

The Thirty Meter Telescope will be a wonderful and very appropriate gift to the Hawaiian people. Here are the protesters’ complaints, and how the state, the University of Hawaii and the courts addressed them over the past 10 years:

• Fourteen would be too many telescopes. Five telescopes are being removed, leaving nine.

• The TMT will be a “pimple on the mountain.” The construction site has been moved from the summit ridge 500 feet lower, where it will not be visible from the summit nor from the visitor center.

• Hawaiian burials and cultural practices will be disrupted. At the new location there have never been burials nor cultural practices.

• There are few benefits to Hawaiians. The nonprofit TMT consortium will provide 1,000 jobs, pay $1.08 million in annual rent, and $1 million per year for STEM education on the Big Island. It will enhance our reputation. It will diversify us away from tourism. The rest of us do not want our children to have to move to the Mainland to provide for their family because they cannot make it at home.

Is it naauao to always look to the past, never the furure? Is it pono to be selfish? There are about 560,000 Native Hawaiians, with 298,000 still living in the state, plus a million non-Hawaiian citizens. There are at most a few thousand who are protesting the TMT. They have their rights. They have been respected. The rest of us also have rights. Please respect those as well.

Richard “Oli” Olson



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