On October 16, the WV Gazette Mail's headline read Green Bank celebrates independence from National Radio Astronomy Observatory system, as everyone smiled for the camera. Good times.
On October 19, the National Science Foundation (NSF) filed notice in the Federal Register1 that it was initiating the public scoping process2 for a "Draft Environmental Impact Statement" regarding the Green Bank Observatory (GBO), as not reported until October 31 by the same reporter.
Dr. Karen O'Neil, Director of GBO, explained this to be a "standard part of the divestiture recommendation process,” and "…was not aware that [they] would need to go through this [process with the NSF].” None of us were.
The NSF may choose to close Green Bank, or even dismantle it and perform site restoration, effectively erasing much more than a treasured monument of historical significance. After all … it is still being useful and productive, even as I type today.
I was either almost too young to remember, or have become nearly too old to, but I'm sure the visit I was recently reminded of helped nurture my own fascinations with mathematics and science and space and architecture and … maybe they can put a price on that, but I most certainly cannot: The thought of seeing that taken away from anybody's kid, and thereby from the future of humanity, is actually causing me to cry.
You have until November 9 to get ready.
- There will be two Public Scoping Meetings,
both held on Wednesday, November 9:
3 to 5 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m., in the
Green Bank Observatory Science Center.
- Email your comments and concerns to:
- Deliver in writing by November 19:
re: Green Bank Observatory
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
Be there, please; if possible, at both meetings. Email them; ask everyone else you know to.
Link to this Web site, or this page:
Copy 'n paste, but spread the word! And, nothing beats hand-written, heart-felt words at compelling good folks to do the right thing (if allowed, I'll gladly pay for your stamp ~;-)
Members can comment below (you can join Slatyfork.US for free), and I will print 'em off and be sure they reach Ms. Pentecost in time.
Beyond this, we may Petition, assemble peaceful demonstrations, and exercise our other freedoms, so as to prevent a tragedy.
1 The Federal Register proved inaccessible to my browser/device (still happens far too often with government Web sites), but you may download the filing in .pdf format.
2 Click the following link to open the EIS Statement at the Green Bank Observatory's Web site in another window: «« click here »»
I've added additional Web sites to this cause:
I've also spoken with several folks at the Governor's Office 'n such, and submitted the following by both email and snailmail:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I ask that, beyond questions raised as to compliance with the intent and purpose of the public scoping process, you reconsider any thoughts to close the Green Bank Observatory, which is and has been of such importance to all.
"The purpose of the public scoping
process is to determine relevant issues
that will influence the scope of the
environmental analysis, including
identifying viable alternatives."
Insufficient time has been given for the public to even become aware that the NSF may close, or even dismantle, the GBO (i.e. the same reporter at the Charleston [WV] Gazette that covered the October 18 changes did not report of your October 19 filing until 10 days before these meetings were to take place).
Please do see:
(also attached .pdf copy of this page)
Beyond the direct benefit to science, the greater concern for society should be the inspiration of our children: Have you considered the GBO's impact upon them?
As to the unimaginable possibility that the National Science Foundation might actually erase this treasure from our world? The impact upon places of historical importance are obvious: Green Bank Observatory IS one, in and of itself.
Daniel A Keeney
In addition to …
I've also registered:
~20 domains (pick your poison ~;-)