Malama Mauna Kea

Below is an excellent, pono response to the fraud EIS going forward on Mauna Kea. Please share with others and join in the boycott and response that Pua suggests at the EIS Open House events. Mahalo and solidarity,

Aloha mai kakou, friends and relations who support and love Mauna a Wakea here and everywhere. Spread the word to everyone….
please read this entire letter in reference to the Mauna Kea Huiʻs position on the upcoming UHH held EIS scheduled ʻopen housesʻ to be held this week on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island for a new 65 year lease on Mauna Kea

It is time for all of Hawaii to stand together. Pua Case


Aloha Mauna Kea ‘Ohana,

We come to you today to make a request to all who hold Mauna Kea in deep Reverence and Aloha.

As many of you know, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo (UHH) published an official notice announcing the preparation of yet another Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Mauna Kea. UHH announced they will be having “open houses” on the EIS Preparation Notice (EISPN) These so called “open houses” and the hearings that will follow, are going to be used to help UHH secure their bid from the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) for a new 65-year lease even though their current lease doesn’t expire until 2033.

It is no surprise that UHH is seeking a new lease that would last for ANOTHER 65 years. Without the lease renewal, the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project makes no sense. None of their international and corporate partners would invest in a project that will have to be taken down before the end of its calculated functional life. TMT decommissioning is expected to cost $17.1 million. This means that the TMT must have been in operation for more than 17 years to secure sufficient funds – just for decommissioning.

BLNR understood the TMT project would outlive the 18 years remaining on the current lease, but BLNR approved the TMT anyway. They did this TWICE – first, when they approved a TMT conservation district use permit and second, when they approved the TMT sublease. BLNR TWICE said “yes” when they should have said “no.” This is why we are in court (the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Third Circuit).

We believe the environmental review process, if done in a pono manner, is an important and critical part of the Aloha ‘Āina movement. What we are opposed to is the UH misusing this process to rubber-stamp projects like the TMT that erodes the public trust that is supposed to define the relationship of the state of Hawai`i with the environment and its peoples.
The Mauna Kea Hui is reaching out to you because we believe it is most prudent for us to BOYCOTT the so-called EISPN “open house,” which means we will not participate in these so called “open houses” or take any part in this FAKE EIS process until the courts have decided our Mauna Kea Case(s).

We are calling for this BOYCOTT for the following reasons:

In multiple cases, we are challenging BLNR’s decisions to approve the TMT project when serious adverse environmental and cultural impacts will result if the project is allowed to proceed. The UH/TMT International Observatory should respect these legal processes and wait to find out how the court will rule before they press on. If the court finds in our favor, then much will have to be undone – another big waste of tax payers’ dollars. And yes, UHH is using state tax dollars to do all of this.
The UH and State cannot keep ignoring the law and get away with it. If we want to live in a law abiding society then we all must agree to allow the courts to be the final arbitrators on questions of law. To do otherwise is to disrespect the court, basic civility, and Aloha.

To be clear we are NOT protesting the environmental review process. We are protesting the ways UH is misusing this process to manufacture a veneer of community consent to projects (like the TMT) that they have no intention of stopping on their own. The EIS Process is meant to inform decision makers so they can make an informed decision.
The BLNR knew about the NEGATIVE impacts of astronomy development on Mauna Kea. Prior EIS documents, from UH, NASA, and TMT, informed them of the negative and significant impacts that the TMT project would have on Mauna Kea and the people. Unfortunately, BLNR rubber stamped the project anyway—a clear indication of the level of political corruption that has come to define Hawai`i today.
We choose not to be party to such abuse of a public process designed to protect the environment (the ‘Āina) and the people. A key to the Aloha ‘Aina movement is to uphold that Hawaiian Nationals, regardless of their ethnicity, may reserve their rights under Kingdom law and therefore we reserve our right to comment at a later date if the need may arises—Until then we BOYCOTT.

Previously, UH/NASA was sued to do a more comprehensive EIS, which would include the TMT. When NASA planners did consider the cumulative impacts (including the TMT), NASA concluded – 30 years of astronomy related activities has resulted in “adverse, significant and substantial impact to the cultural and natural resources of Mauna Kea.” NASA EIS at ES-2. The TMT EIS also concluded Mauna Kea had suffered under UH’s management:
“From a cumulative perspective, the impact of past and present actions on cultural, archaeological and historic resources is substantial, significant, and adverse: these impacts would continue to be substantial, significant, and adverse with the consideration of the [TMT] Project and other reasonably foreseeable future actions.” TMT EIS at S-8.
BLNR, under its former chairperson, also confirmed this in its comments on the TMT FEIS:
“[i]t is our view that the effect of astronomy development on cultural resources and on the landscape of Mauna Kea has been significant and adverse. …we believe that the [TMT] project will increase the level of impact on cultural resources, which remains to be significant and adverse.”
(TMT FEIS Vol.2,p.17.)
Furthermore, hazardous materials and spills relating to astronomy related activities on Mauna Kea have been documented. Spills include, but are not limited to spills of Mercury, Diesel Fuel, Hydraulic Fluid, Ethylene Glycol, and Sewage (see TABLE 6-2 Hazardous Material and Sewage Spills Associated with Astronomy Operations on Mauna Kea, UH CMP at p. 6-9-6-10 recording spills from 1979 to 2010).

The proposed UH actions to negotiate a new lease is an attempt to circumvent HAR 171-36 (a)(2). With BLNR reissuing new leases, UH would have obtained leases for the Mauna Kea lands for over 110 years. Thus, this action is in violation of HAR 171-36 (a)(2) as well as HAR 171-95. In addition, this action is in violation of HAR 171-36 (a)(3) as the existing leases still have nearly 20 years remaining. *See also notes below

UH continues to propose mitigation measures that have no bearing on reducing impacts on Mauna Kea’s summit. Likewise, in the TMT EIS, “mitigation measures” did not actually offset negative impacts to the cultural and natural resources. UH/TMT’s offers of money, furniture and art designed to “engender a sense of place” for the very place that will be destroyed as mitigation, are offensive as would insult most people’s intelligence and sense of common decency.
Given this and the State Auditor’s findings regarding the misuse and abuse of Mauna Kea by the UH, further highlights just how the UHH application for another 65 years lease is preposterous and offensive.
It is however telling, because it demonstrates that after all these years the UH/TMT International Observatory only continues to disrespect our Wahi Pana (sacred places) and continues to show a deep-seated disrespect for Hawai`i and its people.

We hope you will join us in this stand for our beloved Mauna. We would not, however, wish to stifle anyone’s voice, song, proclamation of Aloha for Mauna Kea. We feel all must follow their hearts, we must all stand firm and speak truth for truth’s sake and for Aloha. We wish only to provide our perspective and a forewarning to ask all to please akahele—be aware!
In the end, we believe in Ke Akua, Na Akua and Na ‘Aumakua and that goodness, great blessings and Aloha shall abound always. We pray this day that all things righteous be fulfilled.

In Aloha we remain,
Kealoha Pisciotta, President of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou
Clarence Kūkauakahi Ching
Deborah J. Ward
The Flores-Case ‘Ohana
KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance
Paul Neves

Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) Bulletin on the website reads as follows:
Open house about the document are scheduled for 5:30 – 8 pm February 2, 2015 in Honolulu (it doesn’t say but we heard from others that is at the Cancer Center), on February 4, 2015 on Hawai`I Island at the Department of Hawaiian Homeland Office in Waimea and at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center February 5, 2015. Comments can be submitted to Ms. Stephanie Nagata, OMKM at

Hawaii Revised Statutes §171-36 – Lease restrictions; generally
(a) Except as otherwise provided, the following restrictions shall apply to all leases:
(1) Options for renewal of terms are prohibited;
(2) No lease shall be for a longer term than sixty-five years, except in the case of a residential leasehold which may provide for an initial term of fifty-five years with the privilege of extension to meet the requirements of the Federal Housing Administration, Federal National Mortgage Association, Federal Land Bank of Berkeley, Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Berkeley, Berkeley Bank for Cooperatives, or Veterans Administration requirements; provided that the aggregate of the initial term and extension shall in no event exceed seventy-five years;
(3) No lease shall be made for any land under a lease which has more than two years to run;

Hawaii Revised Statutes §171-95 – Disposition to governments, governmental agencies, public utilities, and renewable energy producers
(a) Notwithstanding any limitations to the contrary, the board of land and natural resources may, without public auction:
(2) Lease to the governments, agencies, public utilities, and renewable energy producers public lands for terms up to, but not in excess of, sixty-five years at such rental and on such other terms and conditions as the board may determine;