MAUNA KEA NOW: A First Time Radio Interview with Four Born-Hawaiian Educators Who Speak Out About Mauna Kea

A unique interview with four born-Hawaiian educators speaking on their views and involvement in the controversial issues of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to be constructed on Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in Hawai`i, on the Big Island will be available on the Sandwich Islands Radio Network on the website this Saturday June 6th from 10:00am - 2:00pm PST. The interviews of the four native Hawaiian teachers share their knowledge with Filmmaker Catherine Bauknight, a guest on the show hosted by Kamaka Brown. Previews of the interview with Joshua Lanakila Mangauil and Dr. Paul Coleman can be accessed on youtube at: Part 1 Part 2

The pre-recorded interviews with Joshua Lanakila Mangauil, Michael Lee, Mikilani Young, and Dr. Paul Coleman will be aired on the live radio show this Saturday from Pasadena, CA. Their in-depth comments on the global choices being discussed about the controversy of constructing the world's largest telescope on Mauna Kea gives insight as to why this is not only a decision that affects Hawai`i but also the world. The (TMT) is headquartered in Pasadena, CA. The U.S., Canada, India, Japan and China are investors in the TMT $1.4 billion international project headed up by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena.

The controversial discussions in the interviews regarding the building of the TMT on Mauna Kea include the cultural and environmental impact on the native Hawaiian's sustainability, the possible desecration of the land and the pure water supply flowing throughout the Big Island and into the Pacific Ocean originating atop Mauna Kea versus advancing the scientific technology of Astronomy with the possibility to see 13 billion light years away with the proposed telescope to be built on the mountain. One goal is to discover the origin of the universe.

Joshua Lanakila Mangauil from Big Island, Hawaiian Studies Teacher, Practitioner, and a key leader in the movement "Protect Mauna Kea", is one of the main grassroots leaders to protect the Mauna Kea Conservation District from the telescope being built on the mountain by TMT. The twenty seven year old leader refers to himself as part of the "Next Generation" educated in the first Charter School in Hawai`i to learn Hawaiian culture and history and traditional education. He has been on the mountain day and night for several months. He led the stop to the official groundbreaking ceremony for the mega telescope in October 2014. An average of one hundred to one hundred and fifty people are following the call to protect Mauna Kea each day and come to the mountain to support the key group of defenders of the mountain. Mangauil says that thousands of people are on call if needed to come to the mountain and help prevent the beginning of construction. He is now presenting their case to protect the mountain and peacefully come to a resolution to appropriate authorities in Hawai'i including Mayor David Ige, University of Hawaii, and the Police Department.

Michael Lee, Papa Kilo Hoku (Hawaiian Star Priest) is a teacher and a highly respected Hawaiian Culture expert. He is recognized in Federal Court and City Council throughout Hawai`i for his cultural and lawful knowledge regarding the land. Lee says that the ancient Hawaiian culture is based on their connection to the stars and planets for navigation and knowledge. Mikilani Young, Kumu Hula at Kawahineali'inohoikeanuenue-`elua in the Los Angeles area, born in Hawai`i, speaks about her community leadership to help educate and share the knowledge of the culture of Hawai`i in the U.S. She is a leader of the "Protect Mauna Kea" movement in greater Los Angeles. She is connecting the Hawaiian culture with the U.S. based population of Hawaiian, Native American, and non-Hawaiian supporters and with the people of Mauna Kea who are protecting the mountain.

Dr. Paul Coleman, is an Associate Astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy in Honolulu. His research interest are in Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology. He looks forward to the possibility of working with the Thirty Meter Telescope for future projects. "The deeper we look into the universe the further back in time we look," Dr. Coleman reveals. "One of the defining characteristic of Hawaiians is that we are all astronomers", Dr. Coleman continues.

An interview with a California Institute of Technology spokesperson and Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory Board was requested but referred to a public relations firm who said they were unable to provide a representative to be interviewed on the TMT at this time.

In a recent press conference on May 26th Hawaii Governor Ige announced that the construction of the telescope can move forward. He also made his intentions clear, "And we will support and enforce their right to do so."

The fate of Mauna Kea will soon be known. How the decision influences the world is our future.

By Catherine Bauknight