Thursday, August 6, 2009

TMT is boost to Hawaii economy

Rep. Jerry Chang's (District 2 - Hilo) letter on the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) appeared in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald:

TMT is great news
Published: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 10:13 AM HST

The recent announcement that the Big Island was chosen as the site of the new Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is the best economic news I have heard all year.

Hawaii is fortunate to have one of the best geographical sites in the world for the study of astronomy, and we should take advantage of this asset and do everything in our power to ensure that the TMT project goes forward as planned.

We are all proud that our state will be home to the largest optical/infrared telescope in the world. I believe that this will further enhance Hawaii's reputation in the global field of astronomy and attract new jobs and related activities beneficial to our community.

I am aware of the concerns on the impact of the telescope on cultural resources. These issues can be resolved given that the Legislature passed HB 1174, giving the University of Hawaii the authority to oversee management of the Mauna Kea lands.This bill, now law, sets the stage for the proper management of Mauna Kea in a way that is respectful to all of its users.

This is Hawaii's opportunity to show the world that we can support the advancement of science while preserving the host culture. It's exciting to think that should our children dream of a career in science, they will be able to pursue those dreams close to home.

I welcome the TMT and appreciate their vote of confidence in Hawaii.

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