UA's scope case seriously flawed


While planning to "save" money by closing the journalism department, the administration is now trying to decide whether to sink more millions into "research 1" things like litigating, lobbying, bribing Apaches or funding biology studies. Things don't look good in court for UA's secret Pearl Harbor Day clear-cut strike. The lone federal judge siding with the University of Arizona (UA), Cynthia Hall, confused the UA's 7-telescope Graham project with the 3-telescope project under construction. She took the footprint size of the 7-telescope project and misapplied it to the 3-scope project. She mistakenly declared the UA's first three scopes can be located anywhere within a 24-acre "zone" or "site." There is no 24-acre "zone" or "site" anywhere on Mount Graham! The 24 acres refers to the deforestation footprint of the final, completed 7-scope project of roads, buildings and telescopes that would sparrow across a vast 150-acre territory mapped by Congress. However, this is a lawsuit about the 3-scope project, not about UA's 7-scope project.

After completion of the 3-scope "exempt-from-all-law" project, Congress said UA could build four more telescopes, but subject to environmental and cultural laws. Because the 3-scope project represented a radical, first peacetime exemption from U.S. environmental and Native American religious protection laws, Congress limited it to an 8.6-acre deforestation footprint tightly clustered to the west of a designated landmark.

The UA, in its clandestine Dec. 7, 1993 clear-cutting assault, elected to violate the law and build an unauthorized location east of the landmark. Imagine an astronomer that cannot tell east from west or a judge that cannot tell a project's footprint from a project's boundary perimeter! Lastly, imagine UA now appealing a case based upon such a flagrant misreading of the legal statutes.

George Smith


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