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Observatories to resume operations amid protests

12 Aug 2019, 15:16 UTC
Observatories to resume operations amid protests
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An artist’s impression of the Thirty Metre Telescope at sunset. Image: TMT Observatory
Editor’s note: Demonstrators protesting construction of the Thirty Metre Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii have blockaded the access road to the top of the state’s tallest mountain where some of the world’s premier telescopes are located. The following news release details an interim agreement to re-open the observatories to full-time employees.
After a four-week suspension of work at the summit of Maunakea, the existing telescopes will attempt a return to operations.
“The Maunakea Observatories represent an invaluable sector for Hawaii Island and our entire State — the economic impact, intellectual capital, educational resources and community support they provide is irreplaceable,” said Governor David Ige, State of Hawaii. “The interim solution for access to the telescopes is a step forward but remains inadequate for the long term. The State remains committed to re-opening the Maunakea Access Road intersection as an immediate priority. The State stands behind the more than 500 employees’ efforts to bring the telescopes back online to begin astronomical observations again.”
The Maunakea Access Road remains blockaded. However, activists agreed, after the Emergency Proclamation was withdrawn, to allow all existing observatory employees, including astronomers, to ...

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