State won’t put TMT contested case transcript online

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The state Land Board rejected a petition from a Thirty Meter Telescope opponent seeking an online transcript of the project’s contested case hearing.

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The state Land Board rejected a petition from a Thirty Meter Telescope opponent seeking an online transcript of the project’s contested case hearing.

Copies of the 6,935-page transcript, prepared by court reporters through a contract, were delivered to public libraries at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and in Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Waimea and Honolulu.

The Land Board in a response filed Wednesday said state law doesn’t require them to be made available online.

Kealoha Pisciotta, a TMT opponent who participated in the hearing, said not providing electronic copies handicapped parties while preparing their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, which are due May 30.

To get their own copies, participants need to purchase transcripts from the court reporter at $1 per page.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources purchased five copies at $3,500 to distribute to the libraries for participants to use. The Land Board said that’s more than the agency is required to do.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs offered to provide a digital copy to project opponents but it was unclear Friday if that was made available. The Land Board said it had digital copies of seven of the 51 transcript volumes, which it provided to OHA.

Yuklin Aluli, an attorney representing the environmental group KAHEA, said Friday that OHA couldn’t purchase the transcript in time because of procurement rules, though an agency spokesman was not able to confirm that by deadline.

She said she is accessing the transcript at the Hawaii State Public Library in Honolulu.

“We have struggled along,” Aluli said. “It’s the best we can do.”

The hearing lasted 44 days and involved 71 witnesses.

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Pisciotta couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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