HONOLULU — A hearings officer is recommending that a construction permit be granted for a giant telescope planned for a Hawaii mountain summit that some consider sacred.

Retired judge Riki May Amano is overseeing contested-case hearings for the Thirty Meter Telescope and issued her recommendation Wednesday. The $1.4 billion project has divided those who believe the telescope will desecrate land held sacred by some Native Hawaiians and those who believe it will provide Hawaii with economic and educational opportunities.

Now that Amano has made her recommendation, telescope opponents and permit applicants may file arguments with the state land board.

The board will hold a hearing and make the final decision.

A second round of contested-case hearings was necessary after the state Supreme Court invalidated an earlier permit issued by the board.

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