Ige plans to pull state law enforcement from Mauna Kea
SA: … Gov. David Ige plans to pull state law enforcement officers back from the scene of the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope, at least temporarily, sources said this morning.
According to a memo distributed by the Ige administration this morning, Ige expressed his “severe disappointment that TMT will not move forward for now, despite months of often intense behind-the-scenes discussions” involving TMT, law enforcement and the protesters….
The memo also said that the TMT is not immediately ready to proceed with the project, prompting Ige to notify the protesters of the temporary stand-down by law enforcement.
However, Ige has said repeatedly he still intends to reassert the “rule of law” and reopen the Mauna Kea Access Road to allow construction to resume on the $1.4 billion telescope.
“It is our understanding that Hawaii County will give the protesters time to remove the unauthorized structures and materials before undertaking its own clearance procedures,” according to the Ige administration memo.
(Oh well... HTH: County police to halt increased Saddle Road enforcement)
The stand-down is expected to last more than 22 weeks, according to one source, but it is unclear what will happen after that.
It is also unclear if the stand-down will prompt the TMT opponents to vacate the protest site they have occupied on the mountain for more than 22 weeks.
Pua Case, one of the leaders of the protest, said state highways crews are expected to begin removing the barricades along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway today, but said the TMT opponents are not yet certain exactly what that means….
The stand-down did not appear to have taken effect as of 8 a.m. this morning. A half-dozen vehicles belonging to law enforcement officers with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources remained parked above the barricade on the access road as about 30 protesters chanted and danced ….
read … Ige plans to pull state law enforcement from Mauna Kea
Hawaii County Council rejects agreement with state on cost of policing TMT protests
SA: … Frustration with the standoff on Mauna Kea and the high cost of policing the protests boiled over today as the Hawaii County Council voted 9-0 to reject an agreement that would have required the state to pick up the tab for county police overtime and other protest-related costs.
Council members said they want to recover the millions of dollars that county police have already spent coping with the protests and patrolling the Daniel K. Inouye Highway around the protest camp. But the council refused to endorse a deal signed by Mayor Harry Kim that would have required county police to respond to Mauna Kea protests for up to five more years….
read … Hawaii County Council rejects agreement with state on cost of policing TMT protests
Related: TMT: Time to Reassess Viability of Hawaii Telescope Project
HTH: County police to halt increased Saddle Road enforcement