The Ranger Reports

In the lead up to the BLNR meeting the Office of Mauna Kea management released some of the ranger’s and MKVIS staff reports. These document the day to day happenings at the MKVIS and the summit over the last three months since the protests began.

Mauna Kea Protest
Protests on Mauna Kea, June 24, 2015. Photo by Dan Birchall, used with permission.
I knew it to be bad, I had heard about a number of the specific events detailed in these reports. I really did not have a full picture of the occurances, something that these reports make very clear.

Read for yourself… MKSS Rangers and Staff Logs

The reports detail repeated vandalism, some petty thefts, continued harassment of staff and visitors, and repeated and illegal blocking of the road.

Many have declared these reports to be outright lies, claiming that these things never happened. I know better. I know the people who wrote these reports personally. I have breakfast with them routinely in the Hale Pohaku dining room and have listened to them relate these same occurrences. Often the words they used were a little less diplomatic than these written formal reports, the product of frustration and anger. Everything in these reports rings true, down to specific events that were described to me first hand.

There are many themes that can be read here. Foremost is that most of the protesters have behaved within their self imposed Kapu Aloha, many days passing without incident. Well described are encounters with individuals who have not behaved well. Motivated by anger or drugs they have been a problem for MKVIS staff and other protesters, and have often been dealt with by other protesters.

Many of the protesters have recognized no wrong on their side of this divide, it is all Kapu Aloha, no problems. It would be nice if they would exercise better control of their own people, but this is unlikely to happen.

The same goes for both sides of course, but as there is much better central control on the MKSS and observatory side, as the people involved are employees, they are far less prone to create incidents. Indeed I am ever more impressed with the professionalism displayed by the rangers and staff when dealing with intolerable situations.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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