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THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA
Going Home (1920-1933)

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, Going Home (1920-1933)

 

This six-part documentary series directed by Ken Burns is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.

 

While visiting the parks was once predominantly the domain of Americans wealthy enough to afford the high-priced train tours, the advent of the automobile allows more people than ever before to visit the parks. Mather embraces this opportunity and works to build more roads in the parks. Some park enthusiasts, such as Margaret and Edward Gehrke of Nebraska, begin “collecting” parks, making a point to visit as many as they can. In North Carolina, Horace Kephart, a reclusive writer, and George Masa, a Japanese immigrant, launch a campaign to protect the last strands of virgin forest in the Smoky Mountains by establishing it as a park. In Wyoming, John D. Rockefeller Jr. begins quietly buying up land in the Teton Mountain Range and valley in a secret plan to donate it to the government as a park.

 

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA
Great Nature (1933-1945)

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, Great Nature (1933-1945)

 

This six-part documentary series directed by Ken Burns is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.

 

To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a “golden age” for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking study, a young NPS biologist named George Melendez Wright discovers widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushes the service to reform its wildlife policies. Congress narrowly passes a bill to protect the Everglades in Florida as a national park – the first time a park has been created solely to preserve an ecosystem, as opposed to scenic beauty. As America becomes entrenched in World War II, Roosevelt is pressured to open the parks to mining, grazing and lumbering. The president also is subjected to a storm of criticism for expanding the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming by accepting a gift of land secretly purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr.

 

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA
The Morning of Creation (1946-1980)

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, The Morning of Creation (1946-1980)

 

This six-part documentary series directed by Ken Burns is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.

 

Following World War II, the parks are overwhelmed as visitation reaches 62 million people a year. A new billion-dollar campaign – Mission 66 – is created to build facilities and infrastructure that can accommodate the flood of visitors. A biologist named Adolph Murie introduces the revolutionary notion that predatory animals, which are still hunted, deserve the same protection as other wildlife. In Florida, Lancelot Jones, the grandson of a slave, refuses to sell to developers his family’s property on a string of unspoiled islands in Biscayne Bay and instead sells it to the federal government to be protected as a national monument. In the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter creates an uproar in Alaska when he sets aside 56 million acres of land for preservation – the largest expansion of protected land in history. In 1995, wolves are re-established in Yellowstone, making the world’s first national park a little more like it once was.

 

Taking Our Cue from the Kukui Tree

 

Architect Sheryl Seaman created these kukui designs for our NEW HOME. The designs are featured on PBS Hawaii's new t-shirt.

Architect Sheryl Seaman created these kukui designs for our NEW HOME. The designs are featured on PBS Hawai‘i’s new t-shirt

 

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiIf you pluck just one nut from a kukui tree, you will have oil to illuminate the dark for more than three minutes. That’s one of many reasons that Polynesian voyagers brought kukui saplings aboard their canoes to this new land more than 1,500 years ago. Almost every part of the kukui tree was useful in the settlers’ everyday lives. Today the kukui tree is our state tree.

 

Our PBS Hawai‘i team looks forward to seeing the kukui represented on our soon-to-be NEW HOME on Nimitz Highway. Group 70 International architect Sheryl Seaman has designed an artful metal screen to enfold the building, depicting historically important Hawaiian plants of the area.

 

The kukui is a particular favorite of ours because it does what we try to do in our own way – be useful every day and illuminate.

 

At last month’s meeting of PBS Hawai‘i’s statewide Community Advisory Board, Maui member Kainoa Horcajo called out a recent illuminating Insights on PBS Hawai‘i program. Three individuals who’ve been diagnosed with stage-four (advanced) cancer spoke candidly on live television about what they think about and what their lives are like as they face the prospect of death.

 

“What is more shrouded in darkness and needs more illumination than death?” Horcajo asked. “(Hawaiian) sovereignty and death – those are the elephants in the room in Hawai‘i.”

 

Lei Kihoi Dunne of Hawai‘i Island spoke of activists in her rural county. A Kona attorney, Dunne said, “They need to know how to access and participate and properly conduct themselves in advocacy that truly advances their cause.”

 

“Right now, people feel outside the process,” Dunne said. “They can be empowered to make a difference and bring, for example, a contested-case hearing to protect natural resources and culture.”

 

Horcajo agreed that knowledge of procedure counts: “Knocking on the wrong doors engenders apathy – a feeling that nothing will change…You don’t go to a shave ice store to buy a loco moco.”

 

Oahu member Cheryl Ka‘uhane Lupenui said that civics education is important for good citizenship: “It’s wayfinding.”

 

Long ago, Polynesian voyagers brought the means to create light. The kukui tree design on our new building will be a constant reminder to shed light on things that matter.

 

Aloha a hui hou,

Leslie signature

 

PBS HAWAII PRESENTS
Fishing Pono

 

Native Hawaiians on the island of Molokai are using ancient conservation methods to restore local fisheries. Featuring lifelong fisherman Kelson “Mac” Poepoe, whose fishing conservation program is based on historical practices, this story shows how a community turned the tide on a seemingly doomed resource.

 

NOVA
Nuclear Meltdown Disaster

 

Four years ago, a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But at the same time, just seven miles away, the heroic efforts of plant operators under the leadership of Naohiro Masuda saved a second plant, Fukushima Daini. Now Masuda faces the daunting challenge of cleaning up Daiichi, where radioactive groundwater leaks into the Pacific every day, and three melted cores remain steaming hot and lethally unapproachable. Now, with unprecedented access, NOVA reveals the little-known story of how Masuda and his team averted disaster at Daini and how workers are struggling to clean up the mess at Daiichi. With billions of dollars and the future of the nuclear energy industry on the line, can Japan ever recover from disaster? The world is watching the fight for Fukushima.

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
How Can We Best Help the Homeless?

 

Efforts to deal with Oahu’s homeless population, such as moving them out of parks
and off sidewalks, have only shifted them away from businesses, leading to more
sidewalk tents in Kaka‘ako and Kapalama. Now City Council members want the Mayor
to consider using the former Hilo Hattie site on Nimitz Highway as a homeless shelter.
What could the State and counties do to help? How can we best help the homeless?

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I is a live public affairs show that is also live streamed on PBSHawaii.org. Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email, Twitter or live blogging. You may also email your questions ahead of time toinsights@pbshawaii.org.

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

Phone Lines:
973-1000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 

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