State senator: Plan to designate Maunakea occupiers as ‘homeless individuals’ is unacceptable – Honolulu, Hawaii

Date:

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-09-19 08:08:39 –

Two Oahu lawmakers have requested the Hawaii State Department to discontinue plans to forcibly eliminate remaining protesters in Mauna Kea.

However, DHHL President William Islay, Jr., said plans for immediate removal were “suspended.”

In a statement filed with Tribune Herald on Tuesday, Islay stated that DHHL is regularly addressing unauthorized campers and unauthorized structures in Hawaii’s Homesteadland.

“This department has recently begun to evaluate several campgrounds around Pu’u Huluhu to determine if social welfare is needed before issuing a trespass notice,” he said. “Then I was invited to a meeting with a local leader and asked for limited entry rights to the area.

“In light of the recent increase in COVID-19 infection, immediate removal near Daniel K. Inouye Wayway has been suspended.”

Protesters against the Thirty Meter Telescope, called Kia or Guardians, first camped around Mauna Keiya Access Road in 2019, when construction of the controversial observatory began.

“As a result of a recent decision by a Canary Islands court to revoke a land contract with the international consortium behind the Thirty Meter Telescope project, DHHL said Mauna Kea.” Minority leader Senator Kurt Febera and state legislator Staserin Eli wrote in a letter to Islay on September 9.

Mauna Kea has always been TMT’s priority site because of its altitude and latitude, which makes it ideal for seeing stars. The consortium behind the TMT designated Spain’s Canary Islands as an alternative site in 2016 and reached a land agreement in 2019 with the Puntagorda City Council, a municipality on the northern tip of La Palma.

However, last month’s land agreement was revoked after a proceeding was filed in the High Court of the Canary Islands by the ecological conservation group Ben Majek: Ecologistas en Axion.

“Long-standing mismanagement concerns and unfulfilled promises to address land-use, environmental and cultural conditions that caused public opposition in 2019 remain largely unresolved,” Congressman Islay said. I wrote in. “Many community stakeholders have received little or no direction from your department or other executive-level state authorities on suggestions for addressing stewardship responsibilities to Native Hawaiians. . “

“We have met with DHHL to request more information about Mauna Kea, and the department said we plan to designate Kupuna and Kia, who are peacefully occupying Mauna Kea, as homeless individuals. “Febera said in a statement. “This is unacceptable. I would like DHHL to rethink their position and proceed with our recommendation to discontinue and abandon all plans to remove Ohana from Mauna.”

The September 9 letter follows the letter sent to Islay on August 24, signed by Febera, Senator Hiro, Laura Acacio, and Kyle Acona, Jeanne Capella.

In the letter, lawmakers urged Islay to explore the possibility of allowing protesters to stay in the mountains.

“Kupuna and Kiai, who remain in Mauna Kea, continue to respect, respect and protect Mauna every day in Mauna,” they wrote in an August letter.

“They are not squatters, nor are they homeless. While in Mauna, they picked up and removed the trash left by squatters, parties, and visitors. They are also visitors. Educated, shared culture, and explained the history of this sacred place, Mauna Kea. “

At that time, lawmakers expressed concern that plans to eliminate protesters could force others to return home. This would be a problem given the continued surge in COVID-19 cases.

Acacio said in an email Tuesday that, to her knowledge, Islay had not responded to the first letter of the legislature and had not been contacted by him or his office.

She was unaware of the September 9th letter, “But it’s understandable, and I support its content.”

It is unclear whether other Big Island lawmakers have been invited to sign the following letter.

Send an email to Stephanie Salmon at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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State senator: Plan to designate Maunakea occupiers as ‘homeless individuals’ is unacceptable Source link State senator: Plan to designate Maunakea occupiers as ‘homeless individuals’ is unacceptable

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