The Latest: Legal actions possible after telescope ruling

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on Hawaii Supreme Court’s decision upholding a construction permit for a giant telescope (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Hawaii’s attorney general says there are further legal actions possible in the long saga over whether a giant telescope can be built atop the state’s tallest mountain.

Attorney General Russell Suzuki says there can be a motion for reconsideration filed 10 days after Tuesday’s state Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Thirty Meter Telescope’s construction permit.

Suzuki says those who challenge the ruling could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review it.

Kealoha Pisciotta, one of the main telescope opponents, says she’s not sure what their next steps will be. She says she doesn’t hold out much hope for the legal system.

Gov. David Ige says he’s pleased the decision will allow Hawaii to lead the world in astronomy.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case says the next steps involving telescope builders submitting construction plans. The department will review plans before issuing permission to proceed.


11:55 a.m.

The nonprofit company that wants to build a giant telescope on a Hawaii mountain says it is excited to proceed now that the state Supreme Court has upheld the project’s construction permit.

TMT International Observatory Board of Governors Chairman Henry Yang says in a statement they are grateful Tuesday’s ruling will allow the Thirty Meter Telescope to be built on Mauna Kea.

Thirty Meter Telescope spokesman Scott Ishikawa says they need to work out details about when construction can resume. Ishikawa says they hope state and county officials can assure safe passage for workers.

Protesters blocked the road to the mountain during previous construction attempts.

The court invalidated the project’s first permit in 2015, ruling that the approval process was flawed and ordering the parties to go through the steps again.


11:30 a.m.

One of the main Native Hawaiian leaders in the fight against a giant telescope says she’s bewildered by a state Supreme Court ruling upholding the project’s construction permit.

Kealoha Pisciotta is among those who consider the mountain where the telescope is planned to be built to be sacred.

Pisciotta says she hasn’t fully read Tuesday’s decision. She says she’s shocked.

The ruling says astronomy and Native Hawaiian uses on Mauna Kea have co-existed for many years. The ruling says the Thirty Meter Telescope will not curtail or restrict Native Hawaiian uses.

Kealoha says the people of Hawaii shouldn’t be disheartened by the ruling because it doesn’t change that Mauna Kea on the Big Island is a sacred place.

A spokesman for the Thirty Meter Telescope didn’t immediately comment.

The project has become one of Hawaii’s most divisive issues.


11:10 a.m.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled that the state land board was correct in approving a construction permit to build a giant telescope on a mountain Hawaiians consider sacred.

The ruling issued Tuesday is a victory for the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Mauna Kea on the Big Island.

Telescope opponents appealed after a hearings officer recommended granting the permit and the land board approved it. Opponents complained about various due process issues, including that the hearings officer had a conflict of interest because she was a member of a Big Island astronomy center.

The project has been one of Hawaii’s most divisive issues.

The court invalidated the project’s first permit in 2015, ruling that the approval process was flawed and ordering the parties to go through the steps again.

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