Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Sign petition please– Pursue diplomacy, not war, with North Korea!

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

I *just* signed this petition to Pursue diplomacy, not war, with North Korea!

Will you sign as well? Every signature helps, and if you sign *right now* it will really build momentum. Head here, then help me recruit more as well!

https://www.change.org/p/pursue-diplomacy-not-war-with-north-korea?utm_medium=email&utm_source=notification&utm_campaign=petition_signer_receipt_b&share_context=signature_receipt&recruiter=20493166

Thanks! Jim

April 16, 2017 article in Hawaii Tribune-Herald on DU at Pohakuloa

Sunday, April 16th, 2017
April 16, 2017 article in Hawaii Tribune-Herald on DU at Pohakuloa
My first take on reading the article is that it is a very pro military article.  Callis had lots of material he could have used to raise questions but did not include it, including our radiation monitor readings of several times background. And there is no mention of the main hazard –inhalation of DU oxide particles –what Dr. Lorrin Pang, MD  said is “the most deadly form of radiation.”
Jim Albertini

Tests find no DU threat: But critics file petitions challenging Pohakuloa Training Area radiation monitoring

Four Hawaii Island residents filed petitions challenging the radiation monitoring plan for Pohakuloa Training Area.

The plan is the result of the U.S. Army’s use of depleted uranium — a dense, weakly radioactive metal alloy — in spotting rounds fired 50 years ago at PTA, Schofield Barracks on Oahu and mainland installations. It requires sampling of an intermittent stream bed downslope of the impact area.

Studies and monitoring efforts done over the past decade haven’t shown a health risk to Hawaii Island residents as a result of depleted uranium use and ongoing training. But petitioners say they want to see more monitoring, including continued air sampling, a citizen advisory panel or cleanup of the impact area at PTA.

“I am deeply concerned by the potential contamination of our air, fresh water resources, and food sources,” Hawane Rios of Waikii Ranch said in her request for a hearing to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “… As a kanaka maoli and Kia‘i Mauna (mountain guardian), it is my responsibility and birthright to show up, stand up and speak up when my lands and ancestors are calling me to do so.”

The NRC issued the Army a license to possess depleted uranium in 2013 to cover its use of the spotting rounds for the Davy Crockett tripod-mounted gun in the 1960s. The metal was used to give the rounds sufficient weight to simulate the projectile’s trajectory. The monitoring plan is a requirement of the license.

“We’ve done our part in submitting our recommendations to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” PTA Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Marquez said in a statement. “The NRC decides whether the Army’s proposal is satisfactory or if something different is required. Our responsibility is to obey the law and comply with the NRC’s decision.”

PTA spokesman Eric Hamilton said high explosives are not used in the radiological control areas where spotting rounds were fired.

NRC spokeswoman Maureen Conley said the petitions filed by the four residents were referred to the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.

“The ball is now in the panel’s court,” she said in an email. “Typically the process involves putting together a board comprised of administrative judges who will consider whether the petitioners have standing and have put forth admissible contentions.”

According to the Army, 140 kilograms of depleted uranium were confirmed to have been shipped to Hawaii. That would fit in a 10-inch by 10-inch by 20-inch box, according to Marquez.

Those shipments became known after tail assemblies of the rounds were found at Schofield in 2005 and subsequently at PTA, a 133,000-acre training area located off Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Since then, studies have been done by multiple agencies and the Waikii Ranch Homeowners Association. None have identified higher than normal radiation levels.

Waikii Ranch is the closest community to the training area.

“The level of DU in the dust sample is so low as to be statistically insignificant,” David Bigelow, Waikii association depleted uranium program manager, wrote to members in 2008. “… From this we conclude that we have not been exposed to DU.”

Depleted uranium is 40 percent less radioactive than uranium, which occurs naturally in the environment.

Jeff Eckerd, state Department of Health radiological branch manager, said the stream bed, which is dry except for periods of rainfall, is a more likely pathway for migration of depleted uranium since the heavy metal would likely only travel a couple hundred yards if aerosolized through use of high explosives in the impact area. Depleted uranium is 60 percent heavier than lead, he said.

Jim Albertini of Kurtistown, who has organized protests of PTA, said the monitoring plan and past surveys have been insufficient or faulty. He said the depleted uranium fragments should be cleaned up.

“How much DU was used we don’t know,” Albertini said in an email.

Hamilton said there is unexploded ordnance in the impact area, so it’s not safe to send people.

It’s not known how many spotting rounds were used at PTA versus Schofield.

A 2011 report commissioned by the Army Corps of Engineers looked at the possibility of depleted uranium becoming aerosolized due to use of high explosives in the training area. It stated that under the worst-case conditions, airborne concentrations at PTA boundaries would be well below health guidelines.

The report also notes 714 spotting rounds were confirmed to have been shipped to Hawaii but, 2,050 would have been needed to meet training requirements during the six-year program. The report said it modeled both scenarios and assumed all the rounds were used at PTA.

The plan doesn’t involve additional air monitoring, a point noted by petitioners.

“The current proposed 1 site sediment sample miles northwest of the impact area, taken every several months, weather permitting, is completely unsatisfactory,” Albertini said in his petition.

Albertini said the whole training area should be surveyed, and PTA, which includes federal and some state land, should be returned to the “Hawaiian people, and the restored nation of Hawaii.”

Past air sampling was done by a consultant for the Army at three locations along Saddle Road and the state health department in Waikoloa Village.

Samples taken near Saddle Road in 2009 and 2010 were well below health guidelines, according to the reports. That included periods where live-fire training occurred.

Air sampling in Waikoloa from February 2009 to May 2009 found normal background levels of natural uranium, according to the Health Department.

Eckerd said he doesn’t think additional air sampling would find anything based on the past samples.

“I haven’t seen anything in any of our surveys that would indicate anything other than naturally occurring radiation,” he said. “… The question becomes: How much is enough?”

Other reports include a consultation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That agency said no adverse effects for the public were expected.

Other petitioners are Cory Harden and Ruth Aloua.

Harden said in her petition that the radiation monitoring plan assumes depleted uranium fragments are only within the radiological control areas, which consist of firing ranges the Army says were used for the spotting rounds.

“It does not take into account fire tornadoes, dust storms, and other high-wind events that may carry dust long distances,” she wrote.

The Health Department continues radiation surveys outside PTA on a periodic basis, even though readings have not found elevated radiation levels, Eckerd said. Those involve use of hand-held detectors, rather than collecting air samples.

“What we’re really looking for in the ambient surveys if there’s any dispersal on the ground,” he said. “If something came off site and is there now.”

“Everything has been within ambient, what we would deem to be normal radiation levels,” Eckerd said.

Since depleted uranium is weakly radioactive, the main health concerns comes from its toxicity, he said. The risk is generally the same for ingesting naturally occurring uranium, also weakly radioactive, Eckerd said.

“It’s more of a chemical hazard (through ingestion) than a radiation hazard,” he said. “Heavy metal poisoning would be more of an issue before you had long-term chronic health effects from the radiation. I would be more concerned with it as a heavy metal toxin or poison.”

Eckerd said he hasn’t seen evidence of depleted uranium migrating offsite from PTA. He said residents shouldn’t be concerned with driving on Saddle Road.

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

 

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Jim Albertini

We have lost a great activist –Moanikeala Akaka

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

We have lost a great activist –Moanikeala Akaka

     I just saw a post from Melissa Leina’ala Haa Moniz that Moanikeala Akaka died this morning  Sat. April 15, 2017 at 1:46 AM after a several month battle with cancer. We have lost a great activist and champion for justice, peace and the earth.  My sympathy goes out to her partner Tomas and family.  I last saw Moani only a couple weeks ago.  Her spirit was very strong but physically she was weak.  I had just come from a protest at Pohakuloa.  Moani was glad to hear about it and that the movement to protect both Mauna Kea and Pohakuloa continued to gain strength.  I was honored to be arrested with Moani and others on April 2, 2015 Protecting Mauna Kea.   We road the same paddy wagon to the Hilo jail after blocking TMT construction equipment from proceeding up the Mauna to desecrate the Sacred temple.  I first met Moani in 1970-71 in the Kalama Valley land struggle on Oahu.  Her vision and spirit for justice was a gift we all need to carry on.  Solidarity forever Moani.  You will be with us always.  Mahalo nui loa.

Jim Albertini

U.S. Military secretly tested Sarin Nerve gas in Hawaii

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Press Release April 12, 2017

Re: Sarin gas claimed used in Syrian attack also used by U.S. military in secret 1960s testing in Hilo’s watershed

Malu 'Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489
Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
email ja@malu-aina.org

  further contact Jim Albertini 966-7622, email ja@malu-aina.org

Sarin gas claimed used in Syrian attack also used by U.S. military in secret 1960s testing in Hilo’s watershed

Below is a link to an Associated Press story on the April 4, 2017 gas attack in Syria that killed nearly 90 people.    Autopsies done in Turkey report that sarin gas was used in the attack. Whether the gas was used, or a stockpile intentionally or accidentally bombed by the Syrain government, terrorist rebels, or others has not been determined.  An independent investigation is needed.

Turkey: Autopsies show sarin gas used against Syrian town | World …

Turkey: Autopsies show sarin gas used against Syrian town. By Bassem Mroue and Philip Issa (Associated Press) | Updated April 12, 2017 – 8:00am. googleplus.

Below is a cover page Fact Sheet code named “Green Mist” on Sarin nerve gas agent (GB) tested by the U.S. military March 25- April 24, 1967 in the Ola’a Forest.  The tests detonated M139 sarin nerve agent filled bomblets at several heights below the forest canopy.  The fact sheet was released by the U.S. Defense Dept. on Oct. 9, 2002. Many other chemical biological tests were secretly conducted over several years in the forests south of Hilo during the 1960s:  Code names “Yellow Leaf” Pine Ridge” “Blue Tango” “Tall Timber” “Red Oak” etc.
Whether there were harmful health effects on Hawaii island residents is unknown.    The military obtained a lease from the State of Hawaii to do what it said was “Weather testing.” The military lied.  They were secretly testing deadly chemical/biological agents some of which can kill in minutes at dosages of 1/50 of a drop according to Chemical and Biological Warfare author Seymour M. Hersh, Hersh says Sarin GB gas is an odorless, colorless volatile gas.  Seymour Hersh was the investigative reporter who disclosed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam where U.S. troops slaughtered hundreds of unarmed  children, women and elderly at the village of My Lai.

Hunters and DLNR staff have said there are wide areas where nothing grows in what use to be rainforest  where these chemical/biological tests took place.  Lots of barrels remain there.  Lots of the stuff was mixed at KMC and excess was dumped across the hwy in the lava crack by Volcano golf course.  The point is the military lied to the state about leasing land for “weather testing.”  Shinichi Kimura who was Mayor when Patsy Mink broke the story said “CANCEL THE LEASE.  THE MILITARY LIED.”  The lease was cancelled.  The same should be done at Pohakuloa.  The military said for years they never used DU.  Then peace groups on Oahu found documents confirming DU use.  The military lied again.  Cancel the Pohakuloa lease.

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Jim Albertini
Malu 'Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489
Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
email ja@malu-aina.org
visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org
sign up on our website to automatically receive our posts

Challenge to NRC License to Bomb Depleted Uranium at Pohakuloa

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

“The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is allowing the U.S. military to use high explosives in areas known to be contaminated with Depleted uranium (DU).  In effect it is allowing the military to bomb a known nuclear waste dump.  This should be declared criminal by the citizens of Hawaii and the world.” 

Jim Albertini

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

contact information listed below

 

DEPLETED URANIUM CHALLENGE

 

Hilo, Hawai’i, April 11, 2017— Four Hawai’i Island residents are challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval of Army monitoring plans for depleted uranium (DU) spotting rounds at Pohakuloa.

 

Jim Albertini, Ruth Aloua, Cory Harden, and Hawane Rios formally requested a hearing from NRC.

 

Albertini says the NRC is failing “to deal with the dangers of DU oxide inhalation.” He calls for cleanup of the DU, independent “comprehensive testing”, and a halt to live-fire and “activities that create dust” at Pohakuloa. He says DU from sources besides the spotting rounds may have been used at Pohakuloa. He calls Army studies inadequate and cites elevated readings from citizen radiation monitors near Pohakuloa.

 

Aloua, who lives and does organic farming five miles from Pohakuloa at Waiki’i Ranch, says her “genealogical relationship to the ‘aina (land)… teaches me to honor Papahanaumoku (Earth Mother) by ensuring that the places that nourish me spiritually, emotionally and physically are protected and unharmed.” She says the “presence of DU and potential harm this poses to humans, plants, animals and elements require me to step forward as a petitioner”.

 

Harden echoes many of Albertini’s concerns. She also says that studies underestimate the number of spotting rounds used at Pohakuloa and that DU aerosols can travel for miles. She calls for studies to clarify what form of DU is being studied—metal or oxide, says the amount of DU found in a Waiki’i Ranch study could actually be twice the measured value, and describes specific “shortcomings” in Army studies.

 

Rios also lives at Waiki’i, and cites health issues since moving there. She says she is linked “to a lineage of indigenous peoples  who passed down a sacred all-encompassing transcendental interconnected relationship to each other, the elements, land, ocean, waterways, and all living beings.” She says she was taught “that Pohakuloa is the energetic piko (center) of our island.” She says she is “deeply concerned by the potential contamination of our air, fresh water resources, and food sources.”

 

Contacts:

Jim Albertini, (808) 966-7622, ja@malu-aina.org

Ruth Aloua, ruthaloua@gmail.com

Cory Harden, (808) 959-7747, 333cory@gmail.com

Hawane Rios, hawanemusic@gmail.com

 
— Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 email ja@malu-aina.org visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org sign up on our website to automatically receive our posts