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Posts Tagged ‘Hilo’

Big Island getting some Obama Love. Okay, it’s actually the Democratic “Grand Rally” where Barack Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng will be making an appearance on behalf of her bro. That’ll be this Friday, September 19, 2008 from 4-7pm.

Where’s it at? In Hilo at Mooheau Park, 231 Kamehameha Avenue. Supposedly there is only space for 300 (at the park?) – so, click here to RSVP ASAP! More info: Hilo Bay Oceanfront Contact Al Beeman (808.895.1813). Did someone say free hot dogs and chili?

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Straight outta Hilo, Hawai’i, with movements blossoming across the U.S., REVO is up as a big contender in the My Space Impact Awards (“honoring MySpace members for the positive impact they’ve had on our culture” – this month’s category, International Development). You can help them bring more attention to the cause (and bring them a lump sum of mula to keep them running) by simply casting your vote. What is REVO? It’s about one’s ability to start a REVOlution…

REVO thrives on the idea that one person can trigger positive change in the world. REVO provides a framework for anyone to take creative steps toward bringing relief, restoration, and lasting hope in a needful world. So many people want to make a difference but don’t know where to begin– our goal is to inspire MySpace users to use their vocation, passion or talent to START A REVO.

Learn more (get involved) – check REVO out at StartARevo or their MySpace page RevoOfLove.

One person can trigger positive change in the world – and you can start with one vote. Simply click here, log into your MySpace account, and vote once a day (’til voting ends June 20th). Mahalo!

UPDATE: Congratulations to my sista Nina and crew at REVO – winners of the My Space Impact Awards for International Development!!! (and thanks to everyone who took the time to cast their vote!

more about "MySpaceTV Videos: REVO by Chris Potts", posted with vodpod

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tsunami surge hawaii island

Every so often, when a tsunami warning or incident occurs, talk ensues about the history and potential calamities of the next tsunami to hit the Hawai’i Islands. One of the quandries debated among the surfing community is what one should do if a tsunami takes place while out in the water (only people who do not surf -and usually into superhero fantasies- imagine the “wave” as potentially “surfable”). While the impetus generating these natural disasters often occurs at a great enough distance to where there is a few hours warning time (and at least here sirens around the islands would give proper notice), some tsunami that are generated locally could hit within a matter of minutes, leaving little time to react.

While working on an article for another “publication”, I decided to slide the question in to Dr. Stuart Weinstein, Asst. Director at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center located on Oahu:

If a surfer is out in the water and the tide starts sucking out, should they paddle out to sea, or inland and hope to make it to high ground in time?

Dr. Stuart’s reply: “I don’t know if there is an expert answer to this, and the question hasn’t been put to me before. For a destructive tsunami that produces a strong draw-down, you might well exhaust yourself paddling against the draw-down to get back to “dry” land. Even if you were successful in getting out of the water, you would then have to traverse the newly expose muddy sea-floor as quickly as possible. You have maybe 20 minutes to complete this, sometimes more, sometimes less. The alternative, going out to sea, isn’t more attractive in my opinion. If you don’t get out to sea far enough, the tsunami that comes following the draw down will simply carry you with it; in this case your chances are not very good either. If you’re fairly close to the coast when the draw-down starts your best bet is to head to shore. Other than that, it seems there are no good options here.”

Well, I always imagined paddling towards deep water was the best bet (besides incited chompin’ sharks occasionally invading the imagery). At least it seemed the more romantic option — perhaps influenced by my fave tsunami story, of the school teacher from Laupahoehoe who got carried out to sea by that 1960 tsunami and was rescued via boat by her future husband… but there you go.

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revo orphanage

{photo by Nina Brav}

When you live in Small Town, Big Island, Hawai’i, sometimes it’s a stretch to look beyond your local environment…let alone decide to start a revolution that might have an impact on the world. But it seems easier when you have the advantage of being naively unconcerned with challenging undertakings or succumbing to the easy road by limiting your aspirations. Sometimes when you look outside yourself, you find the strength. That’s what a group of Hilo youth are doing in their quest to make a difference and create positive change in the lives of those less fortunate.

Of course, despite one’s best intentions, it can be a long road, to discovering where you are needed and what exactly you can do to help others. In this case, some inspiration and focus was generated when a local girl named Kristie Campbell went to Africa and became involved with the Grace of God Orphanage. Her schoolmates didn’t simply listen to Kristie’s stories of her experience with admiration, but took it as an open invitation to become involved.

They decided to start Revo: an aesthetically designed humanitarian project based on fighting social injustice; a movement based on the concept of love, with an ideology of thinking beyond oneself and redefining our modern conception of necessity. Revo Hilo would raise money for Grace of God and their first fund-raising event held last spring was an overwhelming success. This was because of the many like-minded people who jumped on the opportunity to participate: from event organizers, artists, designers, local businesses as well as the 700 people who attended.

One of the artists involved was quite surprised by the local interest. “I had no idea of how huge the event was going to be, or how much funds we were actually able to raise,” admitted Lisa Franklin. “I think it was great how Revo brought the whole Big Island community together. We are fortunate to have such a creative artist collective and such an abundance of volunteers. It just feels really good to help these kids out.”

revo in africa

{remember Johnny, who used to work downtown Hilo Starbucks – here he is, transported to Malawi, in front of one of the new buildings the people of Hilo built, as well as some of the kid’s clothes and school supplies}

Little did any of the participants realize how profound the affects of their efforts would be for the recipients. When a group of seven of the Revo organizers went to Malawi this summer to hand deliver the $10,000 they raised ($6,000 at the event, and another $4,000 through mailed-in donations) the reality that this money would have such an impact it would actually save the children’s lives became tangibly apparent.

“For me, it was pretty incredible. How much everything we did in Hilo affected and changed [the children's] lives forever. It was a humbling experience to see how they live; how little they have,” said Nina Brav, the founder of Revo. During the time in which their first Revo event took place, a little girl named Samantha died of malaria. “While in Africa, I found the malaria pills cost just $4 U.S. but they couldn’t even afford that. So our goal,” Brav declares, “is for them to always have enough money that they don’t have to die because of something as simple as that.”

Before this energetic group of Revo supporters got involved, the Grace of God Orphanage was financed solely by Campbell. “Kristie’s paycheck is what has helped them survive the last three years,” said Brav. “She’s a full time student and makes $600 a month babysitting. She lives with parents and they pay for her food and gas. They don’t care, they’re stoked.”

revo event hiloBecause of Hawai’i support and monies raised at the Hilo event, they were able to not only afford doctor’s visits, medication and a three month’s supply of food, but had enough left over to build two buildings including dormitory housing, as well as mosquito nets and school supplies for each of the 114 orphans.

Now Revo is extending the invitation to anyone who wants to be involved. Utilizing the marketing potential of MySpace friends and bulletins, they have created a massive network of young people from around the U.S. who care enough to get involved.

HOW DO THE GROUPS GET STARTED?

First they pick a cause: Clean Water, Hunger, Woman’s Rights, HIV/AIDS, War and Peace, Child Slavery, Torture, the Environment, Human Trafficking and brothels, Poverty and Homelessness, etc. They then chose an under-funded, underdog activist organization in their area and hold local events to raise money. Currently there are Revo groups in 10 states, including Baton Rouge, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. Some of the projects include: Blood Water Mission, Invisible Children, Stop the Traffik, Care, The Mocha Club, and the African Orphanage Project. The current goal? To get cities in all 50 states participating in the project by 2010.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Campbell has started a program for people in Hawai’i to choose and sponsor one of the orphans. Interested sponsors can email Campbell at sheenaca@hawaii.edu or refer to her MySpace at www.myspace.com/graceofgodorphanage to view individual photos of the orphans.
  • Start a Revo of your own or find one in your area: get involved.
  • Attend and participate in Revo events.

Elevate Church in Hilo has graciously donated their large building for the upcoming Revo art show December 28th! It promises to not only be a fundraiser but the place to be: featuring artists Jacob Medina, Roy Ruiz, Lisa Franklin; photographers Nina Brav, Willie Branlund; designers Leah Evans, LaPistol; DJ Storm, among many others.

revo flyer hilo eventIf you’re out of town for the holidays and unable to attend, check out the web site startarevo.org; support the cause. If you are interested in making a donation, checks can be made out to Revo and sent to PO Box 4250, Hilo, HI 96720. Remember, it’s not the amount, since every little bit helps but -as this socially active group has proven- it’s more about having an open heart and making an effort to start a revolution; no matter how impossible it may seem!

——-

Revo 2.0, Social Justice Fight Art Show, @ the Elevate Church Building, 21 Kalanianaole Ave. (just past Verna’s). Fine art, photography, film, fashion. $5 entry fee. All proceeds go to the Grace of God Orphanage, Malawi, Africa.

For more information contact Nina Brav at www.myspace.com/revooflove or nina@startarevo.org

——-

Hey, even mega-famous YouTuber and local Hilo boy “nigahiga” had something to say about the matter… and with over 23,000 views in just over 20 hours might make one reconsider the potential power of da kine small town, eh?!



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Sea Turtle Sex CartoonAs a magazine writer (publishing my own magazines where I could -and would- add pages and shrink type size to barely legible as needed), I’ve grown accustomed to the zealous and verbose. Hey, when we wrote freelance back then we got two dollars for every drawn-out word (ah, the good old dayz). Anyway, I like curling up for a long read, and yes, I’ve even curled up with my Mac”Book” on occasion. But I can also appreciate the blurbs… er… blogs. Short and sweet. My sort of “articles” that appear in CGW typically originally stem from random thoughts and brain farts – that I might have intended on keeping simple… no, really. My intentions are good. I’m not trying to hurt anyone. And I know fully well, that 95% stop reading after the first paragraph…or first picture. Unfortunately, in that way that keeps me consciously success-stunted, I only care about the 5%. I only yearn for the attention of the strange soul who would sit through one of my unedited, parenthesis laden, adjective abusing, quote stealing, grammar-hating prose. And then the 1% that can relate – I will marry them.

REFOLDING THE ORIGAMI OF MY MIND (which way did it go?)origami sea turtle

So for those who want more than two supa-sized posts a month (hey, I do the surf report every day!), even though you won’t donate a penny (oh you didn’t notice that PayPal button – maybe it comes in fuzzy on your monitor), and despite varying degrees of suicidal inclinations, insecurities and inabilities to complete… I will do my best to write more often. Because, even if I make up a large portion of the 1%, I do not love myself enough to marry myself, and for some reason writing has a need and desire beyond sheer ego to be read (and keeping it all in my mind is making me a little weird and socially unacceptable). I’ll let this piece flow artlessly, unabridged, like an unreserved schizo diary entry for the one-minute-or-less crowd and (because of my heart-wrenching devotion to you dear readers) my only restriction will simply be…to try for once to keep it under 5,000 words.

So, my blog post for today is as follows….

The turtles here are attacking. No, seriously. The sea turtles. It’s like the birds. I mean The Birds, the movie. Actually, at this very moment, not very very moment, I’m writing this piece about sharks (Sharks, Swells and Stinky Smells – the original post intended to be a couple paragraphs long -actually it started off about ocean smells really- but, see what happens is, the topic starts opening itself up like origami and I can’t stop it and it opens and opens and… I fall in). So I’m kinda thinking about shark attacks, even though the piece is more about no shark attacks, when coincidentally people out surfing in Hilo start getting attacked. No, not by sharks, but by the Honu!

Hawaii Sea Turtle

purty turtle pict by Mila Zinkova check her link for more.

NO MORE TURTLE SOUP

Okay, attacked is a strong word. Most people are just getting hit by them. But see, here in Hawai’i they’re all over the place. Endangered list and no more turtle soup and (minus some questionable tumors [fibropapillona]) they’re thriving. And usually we don’t have a problem. One of a few reasons why we prefer Futures to FCS is ’cause the fin’ll pop out instead of pulling out the whole plug  with it when we hit the turtles with our skegs…we hit them and then we keep going, flying through the air, kinda Wile E. Coyote style – super funny. Luckily the turtle’s shells are tough enough to get pounded on rocks and cliffs – so they don’t mind so much. We grab the shell and go for rides (totally illegal people!) or pet the shell, which supposedly removes some protective algae coating and is bad for them but I don’t understand how…. (and I don’t dare look it up right now ’cause that’s often how my personal origami torture begins. Curiosity and all that. We don’t need to know everything….. Okay, maybe later… but I did notice this cool link… on instructions for an origami turtle and this freakish geekish YouTube vid that is short and to the point…besides being ridiculously impossible to follow… unless you’re Dungeons and Dragons-kine fanatic about folding pieces of paper.)

Anyway, before today the only person I knew who got injured by a sea turtle was a body surfer at Pohoiki, who dove head first into a wave straight into a turtle and broke his nose. The whole top portion of his face was black and blue – those things are huge.

MY ATTACK STORY

So today, after riding a wave, I’m paddling back out and my hand brushes a turtle, but instead of it casually shwooing away UFO-style as it typically would, it grabs me. I felt either like something chomped my hand that had no teeth, or my hand was stuck in some portion of its body, caught under the shell. I have no idea, but it hurt. More like a shock kinda hurt. You know how there are variables to pain, like when surfing and you eat it hard but jump right back on the board and shake it off. But then, when someone, or something, does it to you (causes a comparable amount of pain), somehow it “hurts” i.e. annoys you more. Is this still too train-of-thought…hmmm?

Thing is, after the odd turtle grabbing incident, and once I got over my hand kinda hurting, I had this weird vibe. Like that turtle told the other turtles something about me. Or like they were ganging up on me (I’m very sensitive). And I caught another nice left, into the shallow area (the longboarders were all going right but the lefts were sick and some barreling) – and another one charged at me, splashing the water next to me. I tried not to go left anymore but goofy-foot couldn’t help herself and it happened again; suddenly I felt surrounded, there were turtles everywhere, and they all seemed agitated. I screamed to my friend, in kinda a joking way, but I really wanted her to watch me paddle back out ’cause I felt threatened. Hey, there are stranger horror movie concepts than this!

Sea Turtle Sex

SEX

So problem here is… that I’m missing the love triangle of the story. Okay, one aspect is in the shark piece (that’s almost completed by the way, did I mention) – and that is about sharks possibly being attracted to female smells. Yes, female humans. No, not in order to attack them…to…you know…sexually (okay, you’ll have to read it). It’s just a few juggled hypotheses. But, what are turtles attracted to or not attracted to… they’re just so damn quiet, they don’t let on. They never talk, never complain – they just cruise, nibble and piss.

Ahhh and make babies! See, I never witnessed it live. But when my girl dog was going to jump in at one of her favorite swimming spots the other day, she sniffed around, retreated, and took a wide turn to enter farther away. She smelt them, because she never actual caught the visual of them underwater, but there they were, two huge consenting alien sea creatures, embarking on a journey together. (Do they mate for life?; I wonder their age difference?; Is it pleasurable?… note again, more future research). So, back to embarking, it was more like an embargo. The male: sorta clumsy slow-mo extra large space ship (didn’t catch visual size of the…package). The woman:  Obviously thinking to herself “whatevers – if he can’t get it goin’ on I’m over it.” This male turtle failed, but I’m concluding she can do better.

Anyway, point being, me thinks it’s mating season. Is that why the turtles are all ornery? (Oh shit, now I know why she was being choosy – I just read once coupled, they can stay that way for 10 hours —- see what happens when you don’t have cable for National Geographic or Discovery Channel…or even a TV). But one of the reasons I brought up female smells, is the fact that many of the surfer girls here… seem to be bleeding at the same time. Got a lot of full moon bleeders. It’s like a gang. A hardcore surfer girl gang of full moon bleeders. So the past week – blood. Lots and lots of menstrual blood (which was the actual impetus of the shark piece – no, you’ll have to read it! Yes, all of it!). And these turtle attacks have been happening over the past week. Are they not having any luck with their women? Are they hoping to get lucky with us? Or are we making the women mad stealing their men? Hey, maybe I’ll leave those and my other fifty questions unanswered ’cause this piece could certainly get longer.

That’s it. That’s all I have to say about the matter. Now I’m sleepy. That felt good. Just to get the moment’s ramble out of my head. A lot more easy! I guess the post is more text than most blogs – I’ll work on it – but it’s a start! Maybe I’ll even sleep more than five hours tonight. Wow, this must be how real bloggers feel. Kinda raw grandiose purification – an ocean plunge of words. Yeah, perhaps I’ll cap it off with a nice warm sea salt bath.

*   *   *

Okay, I definitely need the bath. I was almost raped by a sea turtle. I kinda had to do a little more research before going to bed – couldn’t help myself. But listen, did you know there was a Marine Turtle Newsletter? With an article entitled “Sexual Harassment By A Male Green Turtle”, written by Brian W. Bowen of the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawai’i? Neither did I…

Male sea turtles (family Cheloniidae) are notoriously indiscriminate in mating behavior, facilitating hybridization among most of the species in this family (Karl et al. 1995)…. Male sea turtles occasionally attempt copulation with human swimmers, snorkelers, or scuba divers (W.N. Witzell, pers. comm.). The loggerhead (Caretta caretta) mating population in Southeast Florida lies adjacent to one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world, and every year a few people are approached or (more rarely) mounted by male loggerheads. NOAA diver Jack Javech of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service Miami Laboratory reports two copulation attempts by male loggerheads while scuba diving in the Florida Keys (J. Javech, pers. comm.). During a separate incident in the same area, a turtle mounted a male scuba diver and made good its mating attack on this luckless individual (Epstein 1989). A commonality in these events is that the male turtle attempts to pin the victim to the bottom. These are large powerful animals, with potential to inflict injury or even drown an unsuspecting swimmer.

…The green turtle described here did not raise fore-flippers in an attempt to grasp the target, as they do with conventional mating. Probably by the time that occurs, the interaction is inevitable. The only advanced warning was the deliberate approach of a male turtle, and the only acute signal was the ongoing attempt to approach my backside. Both behaviors are unusual and should be regarded as harbingers of a copulation attempt.

This is shocking. Yet another thing no one warned me about! Helllooo, I had to touch live coral (accidentally) to understand that it’s sharper than a razor; I had to see a lobster-sized hard-shelled centipede (clickity-clicking through the lava rocks of an outdoor shower) before I was ever informed such horrible things existed; and none of the guys I surfed with -when I was younger and so obviously desperate to learn- ever gave me a hint about the concept of turtle diving. Oh, cute, that led us right back to turtles.

Could only find a wiki-fact (it’s own breed of facts):

In the tropics, green turtles are known to nest throughout the year, with some subpopulations preferring particular times of the year.

WARNING: The sea turtles in Hawai’i are mating! And they don’t seem to care who they are mating with! The sweet docile omnivorous creatures have a dark side! Girls, watch yourselves. And guys, don’t assume you are safe – those species-swingers have been bumpin’ men too! Keep your legs closed at all times! Paddle lightly! Look before you pop-up (and let me have the lefts!) Beware of the Honu!

xo, sweet dreams…


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groundation tour flyer hawaiiOne of the most anticipated shows, Groundation returning to Hawai’i. Another great reggae band with some heavy…Jewish roots! One review on Bookmans with podcast interview link adds some insight to their background:

Dub+Reggae+Jazz! Black Uhuru meets Miles Davis! Groundation is a San Fran collective of college professor Harrison Stafford and Bay area musical heavies… SFGate has a great short two song intro podcast, where Harrison talks about his musical influences and of reconciling his Jewish heritage with Rastafarianism… The irresistible aspect is their grounded complexity. We Free Again is exceptionally mastered and recorded. The CD has roots reggae’s straightforward emotional beat and plaintive wail, dub’s relaxed floating space and jazz’s complexity and erudition. Still waters running deep. It works as background music, or delve as deeply as you care to.

Check out their my space or web site for more info (“We can’t wait to return to Hawaii!”)

See them sparks blazing in the nighttime
See them buying prospects in the moon
See them dancing upon them silver spoons yeah
See them who pay hardships upon him Lord
See them brighter than the morning star

groundation• Friday, December 7th (8pm) at the New Gymnasium, University of Hawaii (special guests Pressure Drop, DJ Damir and Downstar). Tickets @ UHH Campus Center Lava Landing, Big Island Surf, CD Wizard ($15 advance, students $5 discount.) The show is a benefit for University Radio Hilo to raise funds needed to start their FM broadcast!

• Saturday, December 8th at the Kona Bowl (special guests Humble Soul backed by T.H.C., I-Dren). Tickets @ Big Island Surf.

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Flossie August 14th 2007Somewhere in the Eastern quadrant of the satellite pict to the right is the home of Coconut Girl Wireless, where we are calmly passing the time with internet surfing instead of the real thing. Surf was actually nice this morning (see surf report) but considering the number of helicopter rescues needed after the last few flash-flood scenarios, the beaches have been closed, and there was no sneaking down the back path either as roads were barricaded by the lifeguards early morning. As well schools, libraries, parks – all shut down as Mayor Harry Kim called for a precautionary State of Emergency – and coastal South Point residents are being evacuated as Hurricane Flossie (see satellite video) brushes along the Big Island. From the meteor shower of two nights ago, Kilauea going off with new fissures flowing lava 100 feet wide and a mile long (potentially cutting off Puna from the rest of the Big Island – see video), and last night’s 5.3 earthquake centered in Puna’s Kalapana area -25 miles south of Hilo, it was just enough heavy energy bombardment to keep us up ‘n jittery late night as we’re already a little wired wondering about the weather heading our way (big rains and tins roofs don’t help either)….

The news reports are like a Wal-Mart ad -they’re even mentioned in the advisories because they’re staying open 24 hours during this storm- and they surely benefit from us all freaking out about the potential danger and lose of power and supplies (though by this morning their shelves where all but empty of essentials, and I got the last propane stove from Ace Hardware)…but we all know better than to be left totally unprepared. No matter how much satellite and radar imagery and forecasting that the storm should stay south and not directly hit (I’ve heard Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea helps protect the Big Island from such), we can never be too sure or take for granted the fickleness of the elements. The intense rains and winds that may engulf us in just a few hours are enough to contend with, and flash-flooding is highly likely. Considering that, we hope everyone stays safe, and that -once the water cleans up and the storm pases- the high pressure system that remains will keep those of us on the East side in waves for days…’til then, a hui ho.

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By feature contributor Ms. Reef Rashbreastfeed jesus

For the most part, I appreciated the article by Cecil Adams (“The Straight Dope”, May 5-18, which appeared in the Hawai’i Island Journal … and is published in many alternative weekly papers around the country) in favor of breastfeeding for healthier babies, but I couldn’t stop myself from focusing on how he (and we as a society) continue to reinforce the rationale of many in our country that formula feeding is acceptable. This will only change as we all become more informed and help to support breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers, and as our media stops making counter-productive statements.

Cecil’s statement that “newborns occasionally fed formula will survive,” is one case in point. The fact is that babies exclusively fed breast milk for the first six months of life have fewer illnesses and less severe illnesses. And yes, I’m not a breastfeeding Nazi… I can see that a baby who is fed formula on occasion will not die, but why take tgoddess isis nursing horushe risk of formula feeding at all which will increase the risk of SIDS, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, asthma, high cholesterol, allergy, vision deficits and more (nevermind the mother/child bond intrinsic to the process). For the very small percentage of women that are unable to or think they are unable to breastfeed, there is help for them in the form of medications and herbs to enable production of milk or to enhance production of milk, lactation consultants that can help women through the hard times, and the resource of milk banks which can ship breast milk to anyone, anywhere, with a doctor’s prescription. The WHO states that breastfeeding is best, the second choice is the mother’s own milk expressed and given to the infant in some way, the third is the milk of another human and the fourth and last choice is artificial baby milk.

If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers’ needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breast milk, since the beginning of human existence… –Gabrielle Palmer, in The Politics of Breastfeeding, London: Pandora Press, 1988

Cecil further reinforces formula-feeding by telling women “good luck trying to solely breastfeed and hold down a job.” While for some it may be harder to express milk and bring it home from the office, it is by no means impossible. I know a woman who works in the forest fencing out pigs in Pohakuloa Reserve that took her cooler and breast pump with her into the field and would stop during her hikes at the appropriate fullness and express her milk, bringing it home later just to make sure that her children had the best she could give them. It is not impossible, it just takes determination. There are many resources available on the internet if you need help along the way – a good one is my sister’s site at thebfclinic.com .internation breastfeeding logo

Formula feeding is the longest lasting uncontrolled experiment lacking informed consent in the history of medicine. — Frank Oski, M.D., retired editor, Journal of Pediatrics

Cecil failed to mention the reason that the rate of breastfeeding in the ’50s “had dropped to 20%” was due to the newly developing formula industry and the pressure put upon women through the physicians and hospitals in those times, which (despite a slight reintroduction to breastfeeding) are still prevalent today. Formula companies constantly push their products on doctors and hospitals in the form of freebies to be the first to market themselves to the parents. Formulas are made to be cost-effective for the formula industry and are full of hydrogenated/low-quality oils, poorly absorbed nutrients, intestinal irritants and micro-deficiencies, not to mention based on dairy and soy which are two of the most common allergens for children, but also the cheapest most available source. (As well there are legitimate concerns with hormones, estrogens, and other factors which render the substitutes improper replacements). Breast milk, however, is a dynamic fluid with over 1000 different nutrients (specific to human beings), and it changes in composition throughout the day and throughout the course of lactation. It provides for the baby the specific nutrients that are needed at each age and in each situation. Formula will never be able to compete with that!

Would you go to the bathroom to eat your lunch?…As a rule, if you have a right to be somewhere with your baby, you have a right to breastfeed,” says Elizabeth Baldwin, a Florida attorney and La Leche League leader who is a national expert on breastfeeding and the law.

breastfeeding baby talk cover

Cecil also says that “you risk society’s wrath if you publicly suckle your kid.” Wow…if that doesn’t help reinforce the fear of breastfeeding, I’m not sure what does. Potential mothers that haven’t yet been through this process, let me reassure you now. I breastfed both of my children (for three years each) in public as needed, without anyone ever even looking at me funny. Maybe I just never cared enough to notice other’s attitudes. Yes, there may be the few who are uniformed, uncomfortable, or those with problems with their own sexuality, that may look on in disgust or even make rude comments, but why emphasize fear that society is truly against breastfeeding mothers (“society’s wrath…”)? This perpetuates the promotion of the breast as sex object while downplaying it’s proper purpose as the method for our children’s healthiest start in life. If a woman has modesty issues due to our country’s fascination with breasts, then they have the option to make themselves more discreet and wear a shawl or remove themselves from public view – but mothers have the right to breastfeed anywhere and should stand up for themselves if anyone tells them otherwise and feel supported by society to do the right thing!

breastfeeding protest hilo libraryThis week, our nursing mothers in Hilo went to have a “nurse-in” at the Hilo Public Library, which recently got some press when a librarian told a mother to go somewhere else to nurse, as there were young boys nearby that may be distracted. Despite Hawaii Law stating one can not discriminate against nursing mothers, the library’s position prior to the nurse-in was that they allow mothers to breastfeed but only if they breastfeed discreetly (i.e. hide in a corner somewhere or go to the bathroom — like every breastfeeding mom is just dying to pop one out and show the world). But after public response to their public position starting filtering in, the library soon changed their tune and their policy. It’s interesting that in this day and age mothers around the country -from the YMCA to Starbucks- (and even around the Americanized world) still have to protest for such a simple right.breastfeeding ad only six months

It is high time that society changes its social attitudes and explains away breastfeeding myths. Why are kids distracted by a breast in the first place? As one Hilo mother put it, “It’s time to heal our breast-repressed, breast-obsessed culture.” Breast-feeding is the most healthy option for our children. It is also a self-sustainable action, with no bottles, containers, washing or waste (unless you pump and bottle feed which may increase the need for dental work in the future, but at least save in doctor’s expenses with healthier constitutions). It saves over $1000 per baby in just the first year in feeding costs. And it can be done anywhere, at any time, without any preparation. Let’s start to make things right by being informed when we speak and then saying the right things to help women instead of perpetuating the repression.

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