Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, April 22, 2017

Science marchers noted in Hilo today that Hawai`i has been a supporter of science since kingdom days when
King Kalakaua installed electricity in Iolani Palace in 1886. The White House installed electricity in 1891.
Photo by David Corrigan/Big Island Video News
SUPPORT CAME FROM MARCHERS TODAY FOR SCIENCE THAT AFFECTS EVERYDAY LIFE, from science that provides telemedicine in remote Ka`u, to the science that improves local warnings and documentation of earthquakes, vog, hurricanes and water quality. Marchers on Hawai`i Island and worldwide walked for science, which develops methods to combat the berry borer that reduces Ka`u Coffee crops, the cocid that destroys macadamia trees, both vital to the Ka`u economy, and the blight that kills native ohia trees, vital to the Ka`u watershed.
     An estimated 600 marches for science took place around the world on Earth Day to send the clear message that science and scientists are vitally important for the well being of the population, the country, as well as the planet. The first-ever March for Science was described by organizers as a celebration of science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community.
"There is No Planet B," says a sign carried by the International March for Science contingent in the
Merrie Monarch Parade today in Hilo. Photo by David Corrigan/ Big Island Video News
     On this island, support for science came to an Earth Day gathering at Hawai`i Community College in Kona, which is launching new science courses. Speakers gave presentations on food sustainability, water quality, octopus aquaculture and more. Ka`u’s County Council member Maile David talked about the science in the ancient Hawaiian Ahupua`a land management system.                    
     Outside of Hilo, volunteers planted trees at Ho`ola Farms. Inside Hilo, the International March for Science joined the Merrie Monarch Parade, with walkers pointing out that Hawai`i's King David Kalakaua was a science enthusiast and installed electricity in Iolani Palace in 1866, years before Washington installed it in the White House.
    Marches also took place on O`ahu, Maui and Kaua`i.
     Held on the 47th Earth Day, the main March for Science was in Washington D.C. where nearly 150,000 braved the rain to gather on the national mall. Ka`u’s U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono tweeted: "With an administration that deals in alternative facts, supporting objective science is more important than ever #MarchforScience#EarthDay."
     On Twitter, Sen. Brian Schatz presented an example of people worried about respect for science by posting a poll with the question, "Should Trump remove regulations intended to combat climate change?" The results showed a resounding support for climate scientists. One of their most important research stations is here on Mauna Loa.
    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted a Native Americn proverb: "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
    Beyond Hawai`i and D.C., marches proceeded in New York City, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Boston, Denver and many cities in California and other states. The idea was to bring together “scientists, educators, and advocates, as well as social service workers, artists, trade workers, business people, our elderly population, and families,” said a statement from organizers.
     They portrayed the march as political but not partisan, promoting the understanding of science as well as defending it from various attacks, including proposed U.S. government budget cuts under President Donald Trump, such as a 20 percent slice of the National Institute of Health, which funds medical research.
    Trump has slashed budgets for science programs, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. His 2018 budget outline, released last month, envisions a dramatically smaller federal investment in science and medicine, while boosting spending on the military and reserving billions of dollars for a wall on the Mexico border.
     In an Earth Day statement, Trump said “rigorous science” goes into his administration’s decision making. “We can and must protect our environment without harming America’s working families,” part of the statement reads. “That is why my Administration is reducing unnecessary burdens on American workers and American companies, while being mindful that our actions must also protect the environment.”
     Those “unnecessary burdens” have included doing away with regulations to protect waterways from coal mining operations. Trump has also scrapped information on methane emissions, and rolled back standards on car pollution.
The International March for Science in Hilo, one of more than 600 worldwide, joined the Merrie Monarch Parade.
Photo by David Corrigan/Big Island Video News

     With marches around the world, many attracting tens of thousands of participants, historians are calling the events unprecedented in terms of scale and breadth of the scientific community involved.
“Hell has no fury like a scientist whose integrity is questioned,” Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network, told NPR. “They are giving their lives to their work and have one thing to hang on to — the truth and their integrity. It’s not just lab people, but everyone from computer programmers to people working on cancer,” she added. “All these people, they’re not happy being called liars.”
     W. Ethan Eagle, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote in his blog that the March for Science is about making sure that science gets the support it needs.
     “President Trump’s budget proposal cuts funding to basic science, slashing programs within the NIH, EPA, NASA between 10 and 30 percent, for a net savings of just less than $10 billion, while simultaneously ballooning spending in the military by 52 billion. This kind of policy shift away from science and towards the military is a dangerous shift in US priorities towards ‘might makes right.’ We must stand together against this dangerous idea.
Mauna Loa Observatory is one of the leading research stations on climate change. Science March
participants fear its funding will be cut. Photo by Forrest Mims III
     “Science brings us together because the essence of science is consensus. That’s a word I wish I heard more coming out of Washington. We must hold all elected leadership accountable to facts,” wrote Eagle.
     Organizers of the March for Science in Vienna, Austria, on the group's Facebook page, said that they earlier encouraged people to turn out to join a movement that began shortly after Trump entered the White House. In Switzerland, marchers took to the streets in Geneva. In Spain, hundreds assembled in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. In Germany, marchers gathered at the Brandenburg Gate and Dresden, and in Australia they marched in Sydney. Science supporters also gathered in Greenland.
     In London, scientists and science enthusiasts marched from the Science Museum to Parliament Square, past the city's most celebrated research institutions. Many protested what they consider to be an "alarming trend" among politicians for discrediting their research.
     “I’m encouraged by the marches I’ve seen already taking place around the world,” said Rush Holt, a former congressman and head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “For generations scientists have been reluctant to be in the public square. There is a lot of concern.”
     Speakers in Washington included Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief and climate scientist Michael Mann. Hundreds of scientific institutions, environmental groups and union groups partnered with the march.
     Pharmaceutical companies, concerned about the impact on research talent of Trump’s attempts to ban or restrict travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, supported the march. In a video, Pfizer said it was “proud to stand behind our scientists.”
Hearther Kimball, a climate scientist with University of Hawai`i helped organize the Hilo March.
Photo by David Corrigan/Big Island Video News
     The White House’s recent budget proposal would remove around $7 billion in science funding, with the National Institutes of Health, which funds medical research, bearing much of the pain. Earth sciences, ranging from weather satellites to marine research to coastal preservation, are also lined up for severe cuts. Trump has galvanized scientists with his comments about climate change, which he has called a “hoax,” as well as questions about whether vaccines are safe and threats to cut funding to universities that displease him.
    Heather Kimball, a climate scientist with University of Hawai`i-HIlo, said the marchers are celebrating "science as a process and how it can be ingrained in culture in ways that are valuable and interesting.'" She pointed to the importance of indigenous science and science education for children.     She noted worry among scientists who, in fear of funding cuts, are changing titles of research proposals from using the words "climate change" to "climate variability." She pointed to the Mauna Loa Observatory, saying it has the longest continuous atmospheric carbon monitoring record in the world, the data used by scientists globally. She stated that he Big Island is a good venue for climate science and studying sea level changes, with a "natural gradient from sea level to the mountain tops for looking at temperatures changes and precipitation changes."
     She also stated that cuts to EPA, NOAA and Sea Grant would have enormous effects on the Hawaiian Islands.
      Kimball noted that a separate March for Science was held at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening in Hilo, making it 12:30 a.m. today Eastern Standard Time. She reckons the Hilo March was the first in the U.S.
     See a film of the Saturday Hilo science marchers in the Merrie Monarch Parade at www.bigislandvideonews.com

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THE KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN goes to a public Steering Committee meeting this coming Tuesday, April 25, at Na`alehu Community Center, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
     The Windward Planning commission will hold a Ka`u CDP public hearing on Wednesday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center and Thursday, June 1 at 9 a.m. at the County of Hawai`i Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo. Following the Windward Planning Commission making recommendations, the County Council will hold Ka`u CDP public hearings and take action. With approval, Mayor Harry Kim will sign the Ka`u CDP into law and an Action Committee will be appointed to guide the Ka`u CDP implementation. The Draft Ka`u CDP and the Planning Director's "non-substantive revisions" are available at the site: www.kaucdep.info.

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National Park Rx Day, Sun, April 23, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A growing movement prescribes parks and nature for the improvement of health. Presentations & activities include a yoga session with Danielle Makaike, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.; lomilomi and kalo, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Walk with a Doc, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Free; park entrance fees apply.

Ka‘ū Food Pantry,
Tue, April 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

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