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Saturday, July 20, 2019
July 20, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:08 PM :: 4001 Views

Kahele Gives Protesters Reason to Stonewall

Telescopes Already Being Damaged by Protests

SA: … The 13 telescopes of the Maunakea Observatories are expected to remain shuttered through the weekend and likely beyond following Tuesday’s decision to bring 25 employees off the mountain due to safety and access issues….

Facilities and high-tech instrumentation worth many millions of dollars are potentially vulnerable.

“This isn’t a camera you can buy off the shelf,” Dempsey said. “A lot of these are very fickle. These instruments need a lot of love and tender loving care, and often this means daily attention.”

Simons said that while the summit is a virtual ghost town, the observatories are still being monitored remotely 24/7 from their sea-level headquarters in Hilo and Waimea.

The greatest concern, he said, are the instruments that operate optimally at extremely cold temperatures using liquid cryogen. Since no one is on the mountain to refill cyrogen tanks, those instruments are slowly warming and could be damaged. They will need to be re-cooled before they can be used again.

Simons said the summit has endured shutdowns in the past due to extreme weather, but never for more than a week or so.

“I would be more concerned if this goes on for a month,” he said.

While many of the telescopes can be operated remotely, it becomes too risky if no technician is on-site.

“If they encounter serious technical difficulty — such as shutter stuck open during bad weather — then it puts the sensitive optics and the instrumentation at risk,” said Rich Matsuda, chief of operations at WM Keck Observatory.

In the meantime, science and potential discoveries are being lost with dozens of projects on hold.

For example, UCLA astrophysicist Andrea Ghez was on island this week hoping to peer at the galactic center at Keck as part of a project to prove there is a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

There is a limited summer window for those who want to look at the galactic center.

“Normally, when you lose telescope time, you don’t get it back,” Simons said.

Astrophysicist Thayne Currie with the NASA-Ames Research Center and Subaru Telescope said his scheduled project was ruined by the shutdown.

“We had precious telescope time with Subaru’s exoplanet imaging instrument. We were planning crucial tests that will help us someday image another Earth. All that time was lost. We will not be able to make it up in the foreseeable future. At some point I worry about the state of our instrument,” Currie said in an email.

Some other interrupted projects:

>> At the UKIRT observatory, scientists were hoping to spot a star system with seven Earth-size planets in orbit with three of them in the habitable “Goldilocks” zone where water exists as a liquid and potentially suitable for life. The problem is that observations have to be done at specific times when the planets transit the central star and each other.

>> At the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the Megacam instrument was working with University of Hawaii astronomers to follow up observations from the UH Pan-STARRS telescope on Maui targeting potential asteroids.

>> At the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, a team from UH intended to discover new stars in two active star-forming regions in the direction of the Taurus constellation. The work aims to discover new information about star formation.

>> At the Submillimeter Array, astronomers planned coordinated observations of the galactic center along with the Chandra X-ray and Spitzer infrared space observatories. The Spitzer will be retired in January, so this was the last opportunity for the coordinated observations….

read … Mauna Kea astronomy on hold due to Thirty Meter Telescope protests

History of Anti-Telescope Violence:

Ige: “We have been very patient with all those on Mauna Kea”   

SA:  … “We have been very patient with all those on Mauna Kea, but we will continue to enforce the law,” he said this afternoon at a news conference in Hilo.

Ige said there were reports of drugs and alcohol in the puuhonua on Puu Huluhulu, but said the state is not on the verge of clearing the activists camp….

He said authorities have told the organizers of the protest that drugs and alcohol were being used at the site, and asked the organizers to enforce the rules of the puuhonua.

Top Comment: “Ige, the protest spokesman called you a liar so will not talk to you. Enough of taking punches from them. Stop this from escalating. If they are violating any laws, arrest them! No more negotiating and discussions. They had their time on the news. Just do it!” ….

HNN: As TMT protest at Mauna Kea swells, governor struggles to find way forward


Oh, well: Facts about the TMT construction in Hawaii

read … Ige gives an update

Ed Case –and 75% of public--Unequivocally Support Telescope

SA: …Hawaii Congressman Ed Case was the most unequivocal in his support for the telescope, saying in a statement, “I support the continuation of world-class astronomy on Mauna Kea, including completion of the TMT, together with the commitment to the removal of five current telescopes and to broader community engagement.”…

Lt. Gov. Josh Green took to social media to say that no project is worth damaging Hawaii’s social fabric. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and state Sen. Kai Kahele (D, Hilo) called for a moratorium on construction, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont tweeted out his solidarity with the Native Hawaiian demonstrators….

more than 100 religious leaders from Hawaii and abroad have signed on to a statement of solidarity with Native Hawaiians “protecting sacred Mauna Kea.”…

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono released a statement expressing concern about the safety of the demonstrators and deferring to their request that they be referred to as protectors of the mountain, rather than protesters. But she also said she respected the thorough regulatory and legal review the project had gone through.

“Like everyone in Hawaii, I am concerned for the safety of the protectors — including kupuna — who are exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest at Maunakea,” wrote Hirono.…

SA: Honolulu City Council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi will be holding a press conference at 11 a.m. today on Mauna Kea to discuss her support for demonstrators

News Release: Senate Hawaiian Caucus releases statement on TMT demonstrations 

AP: For Native Hawaiian activists, the fight against Thirty Meter Telescope is a boiling point in Hawaiian history

(These politicians are not chasing votes—can you figure out what they are chasing?)

PDF: Poll: 77% Support Telescope

Big Q: How has the state handled the Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope conflict so far?   (‘75% – Too Lenient’)

Big Q: Do you support work on the Thirty Meter Telescope starting Monday? (94% – YES It’s time/overdue)

read … No Leadership

‘Preparing for War’ on Mauna Kea

SA: … The crowd of demonstrators on Mauna Kea opposing the Thirty Meter Telescope grew to as many as 1,200 people Friday, but Gov. David Ige told reporters he will not call in additional Hawaii National Guard troops to help control the protests for now because he does not want to “escalate the situation.”

Ige also said he “never, ever” contemplated the use of tear gas on demonstrators on Mauna Kea, and state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials held news conferences Friday morning and afternoon to deny reports among protesters that the state had approved the use of “excessive force.”

“This is inaccurate, and no state agency or leader can make such an approval,” the DLNR said in a written statement. “This, and rhetoric such as ‘the state is preparing for war,’ is dangerous and false,” according to a statement from a Joint Information Center set up by the state.

read … Dangerous Rhetoric

Protesters: Ige a “liar” – We will not meet with him

KHON: … “There are no drugs there’s no alcohol in there we walk around that Puuhonua and to say that this exists is an attack on us our integrity and governor, I am very disappointed.”

In regard to Ige’s claim that law enforcement is providing security, Kahookahi refuted that. The kiaʻi has kept order in the Puuhonua on their own. He says law enforcement has not interacted with the crowds. They’ve remained posted near the cattle guard.

He also says Ige has not reached out to them.

“I am not willing to meet with a liar. I see no point in meeting with someone who has shown a lack of integrity a lack of honesty and has resorted to lies over and over and over again,” said Kahookahi Kanuha, Kiaʻi of Mauna Kea.

The kiaʻi instead extended an invitation out to people to come to the Puuhonua to see what it’s like for themselves.

As for the governor’s emergency proclamation, it runs through August 2….

read … Kiaʻi calls Ige a “liar” after he made claims of alleged illegal activity

Telescope Protesters Deign to allow some law enforcement through Mauna Kea Access Road

SA: … Thirty Meter Telescope protesters today agreed to allow a few unarmed Hawaii National Guard officers through the blockade on Mauna Kea Access Road.

In a meeting this morning, protest leaders (kupuna) agreed to let 14 National Guard and several Honolulu police officers to relieve the officers on duty along the access road. The officers are unarmed with no arrest authority….

The agreement was made to relieve the officers on the road, including DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers and sheriffs from Oahu. There currently aren’t any National Guard officers present at this time. Protesters said they don’t want increased law enforcement on Mauna Kea.….

read … Thirty Meter Telescope opponents agree to let some law enforcement through Mauna Kea Access Road

Office of Maunakea Management reports to New UH Hilo Chancellor

HTH: … At UH-Hilo, new Chancellor Bonnie Irwin’s tenure at the university begins as construction is set to start on the $1.4 billion project. (UHH welcomes new Chancellor July 3, 2019)

“Regarding TMT, it was already on the road before I arrived,” Irwin said when asked about the project this week. “So it is my responsibility now to get up to speed, to learn, and so I’ve been reading a number of documents, and I’ve been talking to various people involved.”

Most valuable so far is a report from a series of conversations called “Envision Maunakea,” she said.

“And by reading that document, you really understand that there’s a whole spectrum of opinions,” Irwin said. “It’s not just one side and another side, there’s a whole series of them. And that was really important for me to understand.”

Irwin, who started in the role on July 1, said arriving at this point in the TMT project, is “sort of like trying to jump on a train that’s already leaving the station. So you have to run to get caught up, and grab hold of the train. You have a sense of where it’s going, but exactly how it’s going to get there is hard to determine right at first.”

As chancellor, Irwin said the Office of Maunakea Management reports to her, while some of the larger strategic decisions are made system and statewide, although she is “part of the conversations.”

“One of the many things I’ve learned about Maunakea and TMT is that many, many people are involved at various levels.”

Her main role is to keep apprised of what’s going on “and make sure that I’m informed.” ….

read … “it was already on the road before I arrived”

Editorial: Without ag, wildfires

SA: … High winds, hot and dry conditions plus thousands of fallow land provided ideal fire conditions. It’s that last component, of lands left fallow with the closures of once-verdant sugar and pineapple plantations, that leads to the ominous forecast of more menacing brush fires….

Plantations used to use their own staffs, water sources and equipment to monitor, then extinguish, unplanned fires. But the demise of plantations has left large acreages dry, ripe for fires. Last week’s larger Central Maui fire included at least 4,000 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. (HC&S) lands. It will be an ongoing battle for Mahi Pono, the new owner of those former HC&S lands, to remain on guard and prepared against flare-ups; the same vigilance applies to landowners of other former plantations.

Warnings during brush fire season — the summer months — have been an annual ritual in Hawaii, but year-round vigilance may be increasingly warranted….

read … Editorial: Without ag, wildfires

2 Honolulu Council members want to keep the Homeless Homeless

SA: … Two Honolulu City Council members say they disagree with a decision by Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration to use $4.5 million in state funds to help house Oahu’s homeless and instead want the money to go toward providing medical services and treatment beds for those still on the streets.

The clash over priorities for dealing with the homeless is triggering the need for the administration to seek Council approval in order to accept the money. Resolution 19-165 goes before the Council Budget Committee on Wednesday.

City Community Services Director Pam Witty-Oakland said the money will help provide case management services for clients who receive housing vouchers to live in 60 units under an expansion of the city’s Housing First program.

But Councilwomen Carol Fukunaga and Ann Koba­yashi said that while the program helps those ready to go into permanent housing, it doesn’t help those on the streets with more urgent needs for medical services such as those dispensed at joint outreach centers in Chinatown and Iwilei….

read … 2 Honolulu Council members disagree with Mayor Kirk Caldwell on how to use funds for the homeless

Higher Per-Capita Distribution of Pain Pills On Neighbor Islands

CB: … More than 200 million prescription pain pills were supplied to Hawaii from 2006 to 2012, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration database made public by the Washington Post this week.

More pain pills per capita were distributed on the neighbor islands, especially Maui and the Big Island….

According to the government-backed Hawaii Opioid Initiative, Hawaii has “not yet experienced the magnitude of the opioid crisis seen in other parts of the country,” but is still working to develop a prevention plan, since many drug trends pop up late in Hawaii compared to the mainland.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Hawaii has one of the lowest rates of overdose deaths involving opioids. In 2017, there were 53 drug overdose deaths involving opioids, and the number of these deaths has not changed significantly over the past decade.

Also in 2017, Hawaii providers wrote 37 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people, which was one of the lowest rates in the nation….

read … Higher Per-Capita Distribution of Pain Pills On Neighbor Islands

Trump Ridicules Plastic Straw Bans

HPR: … Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blasted out the slurping non-soggy alternative in an email titled "Make Straws Great Again," a play on the president's famed slogan.

"I'm so over paper straws, and I'm sure you are too. Much like most liberal ideas, paper straws don't work and they fall apart instantly. That's why we just launched our latest product - Official Trump Straws," Parscale wrote late Friday. "Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink." ….

Parscale had registered his frustrations with the newest eco-friendly fad earlier this week on Twitter….

And earlier on Friday, Trump himself weighed in on the issue during a gaggle with reporters, saying "I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws, arguing that plates and wrappers are also made of plastic but aren't receiving as much attention or disdain.

"Everybody focuses on the straws. There's a lot of other things to focus [on]," he said.

Many environmental groups have been pushing for alternatives to plastic disposable straws, which gained traction in the wake of a video showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose. However, the paper alternatives many restaurants have begun using often quickly become mushy and unusable as the liquid permeates them. There are other non-paper, non-plastic alternatives which are slowly gaining steam, including hay straws, bamboo straws, reusable metal straws, glass straws, or encouraging patrons not to use straws, as Starbucks has with new lids….

After Democrats flipped the House in 2006, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed to phase out styrofoam in the Capitol cafeterias, bringing in "corn-based, compostable dishes and utensils," according to The Hill. But when Republicans won back the House in 2010, they brought back the non-recyclable styrofoam….

Link: Make Straws Great Again

read … Trump Seizes On Soggy Paper Straws As Campaign Issue: 'Make Straws Great Again'

Anti-GMO Kauai Councilwoman Just Like Trump -- Goes to Russia

KGI: … I was surprised to read Mr. Jason Blake’s reprimand among the letters in TGI (June 20). The letter is the continuation of the Western mainstream media’s overblown and misguided Russophobia in blaming Councilmember Cowden for her participation in a local, history-related, short trip to Russia with a delegation….

Don’t bother with the Mueller report. Instead ask your fellow Hawaiians and Americans how many of them experienced being personally and directly influenced by the Russians before the elections.

I asked more than 100 of them here and elsewhere, and none of them experienced any; they only read about it. So, for them and for me it is just hearsay. Or perhaps Mr. Blake presumes that the Russians are so smart, and the Americans and Hawaiians are so dumb, that we can be influenced without noticing it? That’s what his reprimand implies.

June 20, 2019: Cowden needs to read Mueller report

read … Praise due councilwoman instead of reprimand



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