Telescope supporters tout benefits to humanity, Hawaii jobs

HONOLULU (AP) — Supporters of a giant telescope planned for Hawaii’s tallest mountain say it will enhance humanity’s knowledge of the universe and bring quality, high-paying jobs to Hawaii.

Opponents have gotten more attention as they have blocked a road leading to Mauna Kea’s summit for 11 days to prevent construction crews from starting their work.

But supporters are also impassioned.

Chad Kalepa Baybayan (BYE-bye-an) says astronomy advances human knowledge.

He’s a Native Hawaiian expert in the traditional art of using the stars, weather and birds to navigate the seas.

He says people have to learn to share the mountain. He says there’s enough space for everybody.

The Thirty Meter Telescope is projected to create 300 union construction jobs during its eight-to-10 year construction phase. It’s expected to employ 140 staff when operational.

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