Judge denies petition for TRO against TMT

  • Protesters sing this morning near the Maunakea Access Road.

HILO — Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura today denied a petition for a temporary restraining order to halt construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The petition was filed as part of a larger lawsuit for an injunction by Maunakea Anaina Hou, Kealoha Pisciotta, Paul Neves, Clarence “Ku” Ching, Cindy Freitas, William Freitas, Kaliko Kanaele and Lanny Sinkin.

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“The evidence has not been presented to show that that (TMT) is financially unable to complete the project,” Nakamura said.

Nakamura also said the petitioners had not presented evidence that they were likely to prevail on the merits of the case or that the public interest favors granting an injunction.

Meanwhile, Honolulu police brought over to the Big Island last week to assist with the Thirty Meter Telescope protest are heading back to Oahu.

About a dozen police vehicles were seen traveling from down Maunakea to Hilo this morning.

“In response to a request for assistance from the Hawaii Police Department, 56 officers were sent to Hawaii Island last Tuesday,” a Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman said in a statement. “Their assignment was to assist the Hawaii police officers in keeping roadways clear for the movement of construction equipment. The officers and vehicles will return to Oahu (Monday and Tuesday).”

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According to to the spokeswoman, the officers come from nonpatrol and support units on Oahu. Their salaries will be paid by the department, and other expenses, including overtime and airfare, will be reimbursed by the state attorney general’s office.

When asked if there are plans for officers to return in the future, the spokeswoman said no further information was available at this time.

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