Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim issued his long-awaited proposal Monday to resolve the protest against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, calling for a "core group" of community members as a next step to provide future direction.
Gov. David Ige handed Kim the task of ending the impasse on the mountain, now in its 12th week, saying the Big Island mayor was in the best position to bring about a settlement.
The mayor held a series of meetings with native Hawaiians leaders and others. But his efforts were dismissed by some of the protesters who said his support for the TMT construction was a non-starter when it came to resolving the dispute.
Ige did not immediately react to Kimʻs proposal. But David Lassner, University of Hawaiʻi president, said Kimʻs "path is consistent with the Board of Regentsʻ resolution affirming collaborative stewardship and University of Hawaiʻi commitments. "
"We need ideas for ways forward like these that can help shift thinking to paths in which there will be wins for all the people of Hawaiʻi -- Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike. UH stands ready to work with any and all interested in forging a peaceful way forward, whether or not they believe TMT belongs on Mauna Kea."
Kim's booklet, called "The Heart of Aloha, Maunkea, a Way Forward," reviews the recent history of the native Hawaiian cultural and political revival, starting with the 1978 state constitutional amendment recognizing native customary and traditional rights.
The document also reviews the contentious issues dealing with astronomy on Mauna Kea, including the complaint that there are too many telescopes on the mountain, contributing to its "poor management."
In response to that charge, the booklet observes: "The University of Hawaiʻi has made a legally-binding commitment that the TMT site will be the last new area to be developed for observatories and has committed to the removal of 5 current observatories by the end of 2033 as a condition of the TMT permit."
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