Protesters halt Hawaii telescope groundbreaking

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONOLULU (AP) — Protesters have halted a groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony at the summit of Mauna Kea for the construction of one of the world's largest telescopes.

Office of Mauna Kea Management Director Stephanie Nagata says several dozen protesters standing, sitting and chanting on the road prevented a caravan of vans carrying attendees from reaching the summit Tuesday.

A live webcast showed protesters yelling amid attempts to start the blessing.

The groundbreaking for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope was being shown via webcast because of limited access to the construction site.

Telescope spokeswoman Sandra Dawson says officials haven't decided if the ceremony will be rescheduled. She says the disruption doesn't affect the start of construction.

Some people oppose building the telescope in a place held sacred by Native Hawaiians.