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The Latest: Hawaii governor visits telescope protesters

July 24, 2019
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Kumu hula Bradford Ikemanu Lum, left, presents ho'okupu to kupuna during the seventh day of protests against the TMT telescope on Monday, July 22, 2019 at the base of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island. The DLNR reported the number of activists on Monday at 1000, down from about 2500 over the weekend./Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)
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Kumu hula Bradford Ikemanu Lum, left, presents ho'okupu to kupuna during the seventh day of protests against the TMT telescope on Monday, July 22, 2019 at the base of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island. The DLNR reported the number of activists on Monday at 1000, down from about 2500 over the weekend./Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on protesters blocking the construction of a giant telescope in Hawaii (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is visiting protesters who are blocking construction of a giant telescope at the summit of the state’s tallest mountain.

Hawaii News Now streamed live footage of Ige’s Tuesday arrival.

Protesters met the governor with a nose-to-nose greeting called honi as he approached a tent where Native Hawaiian elders have been blocking the road to Mauna Kea’s summit.

A woman presented him with lei. Another thanked him for coming.

Earlier in the day Ige announced he was asking Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim to lead talks with the protesters.

Ige also acknowledged the issues underlying the protests are deeper than the telescope and are about “righting the wrongs done to the Hawaiian people going back more than a century.”

About 1,000 activists are gathered halfway up the mountain.

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11:30 a.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is asking Hawaii County’s mayor to lead efforts to find common ground with protesters blocking the construction of a giant telescope at the summit of the state’s tallest mountain.

The governor last week indicated he was willing to talk to protesters, who have prevented construction vehicles and crews from reaching Mauna Kea’s summit since July 15. But Tuesday’s statement is the first public step he’s taken toward that end.

The governor says both he and Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim understand that the issues underlying the protests are deeper than the telescope and are about “righting the wrongs done to the Hawaiian people going back more than a century.”

About 1,000 activists are currently gathered halfway up the mountain.

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