Telescope foes travel to California to appeal to key funder

HONOLULU — Leaders of a fight against building a giant telescope on Maunakea are in California trying to convince a financial backer of the project to withdraw support.

Kealoha Pisciotta says she and other opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope are scheduled to meet Wednesday with the president of a Palo Alto-based foundation established by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife.


The Gordon and Betty More Foundation pledged $250 million for the $1.4 billion project.

Foundation spokeswoman Holly Potter confirms the foundation agreed to a private meeting.

Pisciotta says it’s a last-ditch attempt to keep the telescope off Maunakea.


The Hawaii Supreme Court upheld the project’s construction permit.

Opponents say it will desecrate sacred land. Supporters say it will bring educational and economic opportunities to the state.

  1. Kaipo Wall January 30, 2019 1:09 am

    Mauna Kea does not need another telescope . Nough already .

    The astronomer community up there is kind of arrogant too.
    Unwilling to even paint the domes earth cinder tones , so they don’t stand out so much from down below . Sure they have their reasons , but their reasons are like a finger in folks eyes . Be flexible ? No way …its their way or the highway . As for the so-called ‘protectors’ , they need to get to know the mauna a lot better than most of them do . All talk and protest = shibai . Sorry , but true. So much bs on both sides .

    1. Richard95070 January 30, 2019 7:50 am


    2. John Smith January 30, 2019 10:40 am

      The reason they don’t want to paint the domes is the exact same reason the telescopes are on the mountain to begin with.

      Painted domes heat up, heat causes refractive air turbulence. The telescopes are at high altitude specifically for the purpose of minimizing atmospheric distortion…..

  2. LimeyinHi January 30, 2019 10:09 am

    Why is it that a segment of the ‘Hawaiian’ community want to stay in the stone age? No telescopes, no windmills, no space launches, no more nut’ting. Shunning technology is not going to help our future youth, they will just move away. I am not in favor of massive expansion, overpopulation, too many tourists Honolulu style but we do have some advantages here in the middle of the Pacific. It’s dark, close to the equator, volcanic energy, pure fridgid seawater just offshore but no, don’t touch it, everything is sacred, ‘don’t put a road there’ ‘it was once a trail’. It makes no sense to me. The old Hawaiians were explorers, navigators, astronomers and extremely innovative. What has happened to that spirit?

    1. Buds4All January 30, 2019 2:37 pm

      You are wrong “no more nut’ting” they want more hand outs!

  3. LOL in Kona January 31, 2019 5:16 am

    Their ancestors got here and conquered the others
    ….so they should tell YOU what to do!!
    After all, who cares if China has nukes on the moon
    ….it is not “their’ problem!

  4. joedriver January 31, 2019 6:48 pm

    Build it already. Life goes on.

  5. J.P. Evans February 2, 2019 3:33 pm

    Talk about “turning a blind eye”,…..Ask the Aina and I’ll bet my left nut they would say build it. After all, they used Mauna Kea for exactly the same thing – To observe, to learn, to teach, and use the stars to navigate – from place to place both on our world, and in our lives,….to learn where we came from, and where we are going, and THIS is what makes Mauna Kea sacred. I do not believe that the Aina would expect, or even want us to turn a blind eye to the very same questions they themselves had.

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