The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, April 24, 2017, Page 3A, Image 3

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    3A
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017
Advocates fan out in global show of support for science
A small group
marched in
Astoria Saturday
By SETH BORENSTEIN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The
world saw brain power take a
different form Saturday.
From the Washington Mon-
ument to Germany’s Branden-
burg Gate and even to Green-
land, scientists, students and
research advocates rallied on an
often soggy Earth Day, convey-
ing a global message about sci-
entific freedom without polit-
ical interference, the need for
adequate spending for future
breakthroughs and just the gen-
eral value of scientific pursuits.
They came in numbers that
were mammoth if not quite
astronomical.
“We didn’t choose to be
in this battle, but it has come
to the point where we have to
fight because the stakes are too
great,” said Pennsylvania State
University climate scientist
Michael Mann, who regularly
clashes with politicians.
President Donald Trump, in
an Earth Day statement hours
after the marches kicked off,
said that “rigorous science
depends not on ideology, but
on a spirit of honest inquiry and
robust debate.”
Denis Hayes, who co-or-
ganized the first Earth Day 47
years ago, said the crowd he
saw from the speaker’s plat-
form down the street from the
White House was energized
and “magical” in a rare way,
similar to what he saw in the
first Earth Day.
“For this kind of weather,
this is an amazing crowd.
You’re not out there today
unless you really care. This is
not a walk in the park event,”
Hayes said of the event in the
park.
Rather be in lab
Mann said that like other
scientists, he would rather be
in his lab, the field or teaching
students. But driving his advo-
cacy are officials who deny
his research that shows ris-
Doug Strickland/Chattanooga
Times Free Press
Anne Herdman Royal wears
a brain hat during the March
for Science on Saturday in
Chattanooga, Tenn.
lectures were given in tents
and hands-on science tables
for kids. University of Min-
nesota physicist James Kaka-
lios explained the science
behind Superman, Spider-man,
the Fantastic Four and other
superheroes.
Carol Newman/For The Daily Astorian
About 50 people held a March for Science demonstration in Astoria.
ing global temperatures. When
he went on stage, he got the
biggest applause for his sim-
ple opening: “I am a climate
scientist.”
In Los Angeles, Danny
Leserman, the 26-year-old
director of digital media for the
county’s Democratic party, said
“We used to look up to intelli-
gence and aspire to learn more
and do more with that intellec-
tual curiosity. And we’ve gone
from there to a society where
… our officials and represen-
tatives belittle science and they
belittle intelligence. And we
really need a culture change.”
The rallies in more than 600
cities put scientists, who gener-
ally shy away from advocacy
and whose work depends on
objective experimentation, into
a more public position.
Scientists said they were
anxious about political and
public rejection of established
science such as climate change
and the safety of vaccine
immunizations.
“Scientists find it appalling
that evidence has been crowded
out by ideological assertions,”
said Rush Holt, a former phys-
icist and Democratic congress-
man who runs the American
Association for the Advance-
ment of Science. “It is not just
After years of work,
Cowlitz Tribe opens
casino this week
Associated Press
SEATTLE — The Cowlitz
Indian Tribe is opening its new
$510 million casino this week,
an effort years in the making.
While Cowlitz officials
hope the Ilani Casino Resort
will draw about 4.5 million
visitors a year, providing an
economic boon to the tribe and
the region, others are not so
optimistic.
The Confederated Tribes
of the Grand Ronde own the
Spirit Mountain Casino in Ore-
gon’s Coast Range, and they
fear Spirit Mountain could
lose 41 percent of its reve-
nue when the Cowlitz casino
opens Monday near La Center,
Washington.
Cowlitz Tribal Chairman
William Iyall told the Seat-
tle Times that opening day
is a victory for the Cowlitz
Indian Tribe. “This is a trium-
phant moment for The Cowlitz
Indian Tribe because it marks
the end of a 160-year journey
back to our homeland, and the
beginning of a new journey,”
Iyall said.
In 1855, Cowlitz tribal
leaders refused to sign a treaty
and move into a proposed res-
ervation site. Over time, mem-
bers of the tribe scattered, and
it took decades of campaign-
ing to persuade the federal
Interior Department in 2000 to
grant the Cowlitz legal status
as a tribe.
Five years ago, opponents
of the proposed casino chal-
lenged an Interior Department
decision to designate 152 acres
west of La Center as a tribal
reservation. That reservation
designation cleared the way
for gambling to take place.
Clark County was one of
the opponents, raising several
concerns in court including
worries that the casino would
harm an area set aside for
agriculture. Card-room own-
ers in La Center and the Con-
federated Tribes of the Grand
Ronde also initially opposed
the project over concerns
about competition.
But last summer the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Dis-
trict of Columbia rejected their
arguments, finding that the
Interior Department had rea-
sonably interpreted federal
law in recognizing the Cowlitz
tribe and designating the prop-
erty as a reservation. The U.S.
Supreme Court declined to take
up the case earlier this month.
The casino complex is
expected to employ about
1,500 people. The gam-
bling operation will take up
about 100,000 square feet of
the building, with 2,500 slot
machines and 75 table games.
The complex also includes 15
shops, restaurants and bars,
and later this year a 2,500-seat
concert hall and convention
center is scheduled to open.
Plans call for a hotel to be built
in coming years.
“We have had a lot of
engagement from Seattle resi-
dents who seem to be excited
about our opening, so we are
interested to see who comes,”
said Kara Fox-LaRose, presi-
dent of Ilani.
about Donald Trump, but there
is also no question that march-
ers are saying ‘when the shoe
fits.’”
Inspired by Women’s
March
Despite saying the march
was not partisan, Holt acknowl-
edged it was only dreamed up at
the Women’s March on Wash-
ington, a day after Trump’s Jan.
20 inauguration.
But the rallies were also
about what science does for the
world.
“Most people don’t know
how much funding for the sci-
ences supports them in their
lives every day. Every medi-
cal breakthrough, their food,
clothing, our cellphones, our
computers, all that is sci-
ence-based,” said Pati Vitt, a
plant scientist at the Chicago
Botanic Garden. “So if we stop
funding scientific discoveries
now, in 10 years, whatever we
might have had won’t be; we
just won’t have it.”
In Washington, the sign
that 9-year-old Sam Klimas
of Parkersburg, West Virginia,
held was red, handmade and
personal: “Science saved my
life.” He had a form of brain
cancer and has been healthy for
eight years now.
Signs around the globe
ranged from political ones
— “Make America think
again,” — to the somewhat
nerdy “What Do Want? Evi-
dence. When do want it? After
peer review” to the downright
obscure Star Trek and Star
Wars references.
In Washington there was
also a science fair feel, where
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‘Relentless attacks’
In London, physicists,
astronomers, biologists and
celebrities gathered for a march
past the city’s most celebrated
research institutions. In Spain,
hundreds assembled in Madrid,
Barcelona and Seville.
In Santa Fe, New Mexico,
Kathryn Oakes Hall pinned a
sign to the back of her T-shirt as
she made her way to the march
in Santa Fe: “Nine months
pregnant, so mad I’m here.”
But she marched anyway
because she worried about
her baby’s future in a world
that seems to consider sci-
ence disposable. Her husband
is an engineer at Los Alamos
National Laboratory, she stud-
ied anthropology, she even has
a dog named Rocket.
Organizers portrayed the
march as political but not par-
tisan, promoting the under-
standing of science as well
as defending it from various
attacks, including proposed
U.S. government budget cuts
under Trump, such as a 20 per-
cent slice of the National Insti-
tute of Health.
“It’s not about the current
administration. The truth is we
should have been marching for
science 30 years ago, 20 years,
10 years ago,” said co-organizer
and public health researcher
Caroline Weinberg. “The cur-
rent (political) situation took us
from kind of ignoring science to
blatantly attacking it. And that
seems to be galvanizing people
in a way it never has before. …
It’s just sort of relentless attacks
on science.”
Ice photographer and film-
maker James Balog, who says
he has watched trillions of tons
of ice melt, told the Washington
crowd: “We shall never, ever
surrender.”
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