Statement issued by Kanaka Maoli Scholars against Mauna Kea bill

Aloha mai kakou,
Maybe this is already posted on Maoliworld somewhere else but I found this statement from our scholors, and for some of us our kumu, to be full of mana. I cut and pasted from kahea's blog.
EA!! KU'E!!
Aloha 'Aina
Koa What?What?

Kanaka Maoli Scholars Against Desecration
Statement on Mauna Kea - February 17, 2009

We declare our opposition to SB 992/HB 1174 and SB 502/HB 1370 and any
other legislation bills that would transfer Mauna Kea to the University of
Hawai`i (UH). These current legislative proposals would give the UH
complete management authority over Mauna Kea and allow implementation of a
plan that has no limit on telescope construction, would close public
access to the summit, and exempt UH from public oversight in the name of

Mauna Kea is a sacred summit, which is already being desecrated by the
existing science telescopes. The Hawai`i revised statute 711-1107 on
Desecration specifically states that no one may commit the offense of
desecrating “a place of worship or burial,” and the statute defines
“desecrate” as “defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically
mistreating in a way that the defendant knows will outrage the
sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the defendant’s
action.” If this legislation passes, state legislators would be violating
their own state law.

These legislative proposals also interfere with on-going litigation on the
current regulations governing Mauna Kea. We would also like to remind
state representatives and the general public that in the recent Third
Circuit Court case regarding the management of Mauna Kea, the court ruled
in favor of the Plaintiffs—Kealoha Pisciotta, President of Mauna Kea
Anaina Hou; Debbie Ward and Nelson Ho, Co-Chairs of Mauna Kea Issues
Committees, Sierra Club Hawai`i Island Chapter; Ali`i `Ai Moku, Paul K.
Neves of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Moku of Mamalahoa Heiau Helu
`Elua; and Clarence Ku Ching, individual Native Hawaiian Practitioner—and
against the UH and the state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR)
for violation of the regulations protecting Mauna Kea as a conservation
district. This lawsuit is currently on review before the Intermediate
Court of Appeals (ICA) after the University appealed the lower court
ruling against them. Though the University only recently withdrew its
appeal from the ICA, counterclaims that go to the fundamental merits of
this issue remain before the ICA.

Besides blatant desecration, and interference in on-going litigation, the
negative environmental effects are numerous. As noted in the Testimony of
the Plaintiffs regarding this legislation, two reports by the State
Auditor have found that UH’s misuse and the BLNR’s failed oversight is
“inadequate to ensure the protection of natural resources, and neglected
…the cultural value of Mauna Kea.” Their report further stated that the
University’s Institute for Astronomy “focused primarily on the development
of Mauna Kea and tied the benefits gained to its research program,” and
that its focus on telescope construction has been “at the expense of
neglecting the site’s natural resources.” Also, in 2005, an Environmental
Impact Statement required by federal court order found that the cumulative
impact of telescope activities on Mauna Kea has had a “substantial,
adverse, and significant” impact.

The current proposals also violate the land claims of the Hawaiian nation.
These legislative attempts to transfer a portion of the Hawaiian Kingdom
Crown and Government Lands of which Mauna Kea is a part, is in direct
contravention of the Hawai`i State Supreme Court’s holding in OHA v.
Housing and Community Development Cororation of Hawai`i, 2008. The Hawaii
Supreme Court barred the transfer of this land base by the state. If this
legislation passes, state legislators would be violating the state Supreme
Court ruling.

This exploitative venture proposed by this legislation must be stopped
because the entire scheme promotes the ongoing violation of the sacred
summit of Mauna Kea; it would be irresponsible and bad public policy, as
well as a continued abuse of state power.

J. Leilani Basham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Hawaiian Studies,
University of Hawai`i at West O`ahu

Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Ph.D., Mellon-Hawai`i Postdoctoral Fellow, Kohala

Maenette K.P. Ah Nee-Benham, Ed.D., Dean of Hawai`inuiakea School of
Hawaiian Knowledge, University of Hawai`i, Mānoa

Kealani Robinson Cook, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University
of Michigan

J. Noelani Goodyear-Ka`ōpua, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Political
Science, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Lisa Kahaleole Hall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Women’s Studies, Wells

Sydney Lehua Iaukea, Ph.D., Mellon-Hawai`i Postdoctoral Fellow, Kohala Center

Kū Kahakalau, Ph.D., founder and director of Kanu o ka ‘Āina New Century
Public Charter School

Lilikalā Kame`eleihiwa, Ph.D., Professor, Kamakakūokalani Center for
Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Val Kalei Kanuha, Ph.D., M.S.W., Associate Professor of Sociology,
University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Anthropology and
American Studies, Wesleyan University

Brandy Nalani McDougall, Ph.D. Candidate, English, University of Hawai`i,

Noenoe K. Silva, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Political Science, University
of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Ty Kawika Tengan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Anthropology and Ethnic
Studies, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Lani Teves, Ph.D. Candidate, Program in American Culture, University of

Haunani-Kay Trask, Ph.D., Professor, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian
Studies, University of Hawai`i, Mānoa

Liza Keanuenueokalani Williams, Ph.D. student, New York University


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