They knew they shouldn’t go. But Timothy Yeun and his wife Susan, both asthmatic, went to L.A. to see their son, whom they hadn’t seen since the pandemic broke out. The air in L.A., seen from the skies, was brownish red. But the drive before them was clear.
Three days later, they both grew ill. Less than a week later, Susan was dead.
“It didn’t need to happen,” said Yeun. “We both thought that covid cases were declining and that we were in the clear.” What they could not see was the air itself.
Whether it’s outside or inside the home — smog-induced air pollution continues to pose a major threat to health throughout the globe, according to the World Health Organization.
Forty years ago, there came warnings.
Love Canal, an upstate New York community, built above abandoned landfills, became the first widely reported environmental disaster affecting a significant population. Memphis, Tennessee, became the second.
In 1979, then Tennessee Congressman Albert Gore Jr. presided over the House Oversight Committee that launched hearings into what was causing significant cancers in 75 percent of homes in the poorer sections of Memphis’ Frayser and Hollywood communities, bracketed by major chemical and insecticide producing companies like Dupont and Velsicol. In addition to cancers, something was causing significant skin and respiratory conditions in families living there. At first, the issue of toxic dumping, like Love Canal, was thought to be the cause. Later, because of the investigative reporting of a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar, the E.P.A. concluded that the problem was in the air and the conduit acid rain. Gore ordered a massive health study, Johns Hopkins University responded with a $2.8 million proposal and tests were about to begin when Ronald Reagan took office in 1980 and a year later gutted the Environmental Protection Agency.
A recent report says that while Memphis air quality has made significant progress since then, by the year 2000, it still received a failing grade. The Hollywood section of Memphis had by then been sealed off by a chain fence and Frayser declared uninhabitable.
Forty years after witnessing an airborne environmental catastrophe, we are still talking about the air. Whether it’s smog over cities or air inside the home, according to the World Health Organization, air pollution poses a major threat to health throughout the globe, killing almost seven million people worldwide — three times the death toll racked up by covid in two and a half years.
Ambient air pollution accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year worldwide. According to the W.H.O., “air pollution poses a major threat to health and climate… largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.”
Around 91 percent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed W.H.O. limits.
MOVING FORWARD BY LOOKING BACK
Neil Amrstrong accompanied his first two steps on the moon with these words: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” While we have been beating the drum for years to take that giant step of banning fossil fools, downsizing the oil industry and focusing on alternate energy resources, i.e. electric cars, this may be the time to take a step backward so we can move forward.
We propose a pilot project that will combine youthful enthusiasm with cloud technology to produce the most cost-efficient way to detect and clean up ambiant pollutants in the classroom and eventually surrounding communities. If successful, we believe a cost-effective scaleable way of removing 90 percent of all pollutants, including airborne viruses, is possible.
A corollary of this project will make the younger generation of middle and high school students more aware of the purpose and mission of AWS and build potential partners for the future.
THE VEHICLE: BOOSTEM
BOOSTEM is an acronym for Business, Opportunity, global Outreach, Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship for Middle school and Mentorship, which dissects the American formula for success, from immigrant entrepreneurs and scientists ranging from Andrew Carnegie to Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal, who linked HIV to AIDS, quantified and applied to five major categories using the technique of modeling. Students also hear how real-life female mentors, including a scientist, jet pilot, entrepreneur and world-famous entertainer to achieve their own individual successes.
In the second phase of the program, students see exciting developments in the fields of robotics, aerial unmanned vehicles (drones,) nanotechnology and virtual reality that will inspire them to create their own innovative ideas and test if they are 1. Achievable and 2.Marketable. Those who contribute the five best achievable ideas are presented scholarships or comparable stipends at the annual Asian Heritage Awards and their works displayed.
Our proposal is a partnership between AHS and AWS that challenges BOOSTEM participants to find a workable model to severe air pollution problem throughout the globe. (See attached for more on BOOSTEM)
Financial support will go to…
1/ Supporting infrastructure, including office, uploading and downloading tutorials, in-house instruction
2/ Director and assistant director to aid in guiding the project (6 months)
3/ Data collection
4/ Computer network buildup
5/ AWS developer engineer(s)
6/ Acquisition of components and parts from Amazon partners
7/ Acquisition of distribution partners
8/ Mentors from AWS
/SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR
/RENT & EQUIPMENT
/SCALEABLE ITEMS , I.E. SENSORS AND FILTERS TO EXPERIMENT WITH
/ABILITY TO UPLOAD AND DOWNLOAD TUTORIALS FOR STUDY IN CLASSROOM SETTING
/AWS REP TO DISCUSS IMPORTANCE OF CLOUD COMPUTING
GOAL: Produce one thousand units of Air Health Action units in the first year.
Measurability to be determined.
1. Incorporate local and regional participants and recruit donors/funders drawn primarily to environmental projects while enrolling the Coalition for Clean Air of California as a partner and potential overall sponsor of the project.
2. Recruit major producers of sensing and filtering equipment already partnering with AWS to donate equipment used in the study and to work with students to produce an economy of scale.
3. Use Sales Force to secure government organizations, local to federal, for access to funding and expertise while tapping into AWS’ vast network of technological resources.
4. Announce periodic progress via social media and the Times of San Diego, which will serve as the media link to all organizations, including participants, partners and funders.
5. Launch a contest amid select private and public schools to serve as test centers to:
5a. Partner with AWS staff to screen and select top 10-20 recommendations to be reviewed for efficacy.
5b. Screen for finalists who will be awarded with scholarships and recognition
6. Publicize the outcome via social media and Times of San Diego
7. Announce three to six best student proposals and schools via social media and media partner
8. Hold annual Asian Heritage awards at prestigious University of San Diego, in which
9. Award plaques and scholarships to those individual school projects judged best by panel of AWS professionals. Plaques will be awarded in the name of AWS and AHA to leading funders/partners/grantors.
(The annual Asian Heritage Awards will be held in the fall 2022 at the prestigious University of San Diego, where plaques and scholarships will be presented to project finalists, and partners and funders will be duly celebrated. A leader in the field of science and/or environment will be invited to be guest speaker.)
WHO WE ARE
The Asian Heritage Society’s mission is to celebrate Asian American tapestry and achievement while providing this generation a road map to the future.
We do this mainly through two programs:
1. The annual Asian Heritage Awards
2. BOOSTEM, a program focusing on exposing students to available and developing technology and entrepreneurship
1. The Asian Heritage Awards
“We honor their work and integrity, their embrace of cultural differences, their accomplishments and achievements and their inspiration to others,” states the mission of this annual recognition ceremony, in its seventeenth year. From generals and admirals to academic, business and government leaders, this is the Asian Heritage Society™ pipeline of mentors for young people and proof that anything is possible in this country.
Globalization takes an appreciation of new ideas because preparing our youngsters for the rapidly changing future is tough and unmet by most of our school systems. By combining an understanding of Business, recognizing Opportuniity and understanding the importance of linking global Outreach, Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Methodology in securing a safer environment is our model for the future.
Additional Programs include:
Renoo’s Ranch – Globalization also means recognizing the increased health threats that come with it. AIDS has killed twice as many people as the influenza pandemic of 1919. Victims are more and more female and younger. Renoo’s Ranch is a place they can go to reclaim their lives and rebuild their hopes and dreams.
Seniors First – As our elderly population succumbed increasingly to the covid virus, the Asian Heritage Society stepped forward to organize ways of accumulating product and resources to help those in need through auctions and donations to individuals, homes and the homeless.
The Asian Heritage Society has…
1. Created the first Asian American publication in California (ASIA, The Journal of Culture and Commerce) to reach the entire Asian Pacific Islander community in English, making it easier to communicate across different cultures.
2. Created the ONLY annual Asian Heritage Awards IN THE U.S. honoring notable Asian Americans for their achievement
3. Partnered with other Asian Pacific Islander organizations to fight racial injustice
4. Organized “Seniors First” as a tool to help elderly citizens deal With the covid virus during the pandemic. to elderly during corona virus pandemic.
RECOGNITION, AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS
The Asian Heritage Society has received sixteen congressional commendations, four proclamations declaring Asian Heritage Day in the City and County of San Diego County on behalf of the Asian Heritage Society and is the only Asian American undertaking in San Diego to be honored by the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission for its overall work with the community.
In addition, Mr. Novarro and MsCarmen have been honored by the San Diego Press Club for their public service efforts and their former publication honored for their editorial and photographic work.
Partial List includes
- CITY OF SAN DIEGO
- COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
- U.S. NAVY
- TIME WARNER
- VIEJAS CASINO
- WONG AVERY FOUNDATION
- CHINESE SCHO0L OF SAN DIEGO
- SAN DIEGO FOUNDATION
- U.S. COAST GUARD
- AVERY-TSUI FOUNDATION
- U.S. CONGRESSMAN SCOTT PETERS
- SAN DIEGO COUNTY SUPERVISOR DAVE ROBERTS
- SAN DIEGO COUNTY SUPERVISOR RON ROBERTS
- CONNECT OF SAN DIEGO
- SAN DIEGO REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
- DR. HELEN CHEN, RESEARCHER AND CORPORATE LEADER
- JULIA CHENG, FINANCIAL ADVISER
- DR. LILLY CHENG, SDSU PROFESSOR, CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE
- DR. SHU CHIEN, BIOENGINEERING PROFESSOR UCSD
- ALEX CHUANG, HISTORIAN
- KATHY DAVID, IT PROFESSIONAL
- JULIO DEGUZMAN, SAN DIEGO CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
- DR. ROBERT GISH, HEPATITIS B EXPERT
- ERIKA HIRAMATSU, ATTORNEY
- TOM HOM, FORMER CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLYMAN
- DR. PATRICIA HSIEH, PRESIDENT MIRAMAR COLLEGE
- DR. LOC LE, PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT
- MURRAY LEE, HISTORIAN
- PETER NAVARRO, PROFESSOR AND ASIA EXPERT
- ANHLAN NGUYEN, VIETNAMESE EDUCATION FOUNDATION
- TONY OLAES, ODM FOUNDER AND ENTREPRENEUR
- EDWARD PARK, BARNARD MANDARIN MAGNET PRINCIPAL
- BERNIE RHINERSON, SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT
- ANTONIO TAGUBA, ARMY MAJOR GENERAL (RET.)
- NAVY LCDR ANTHONY TRAN
- DR. BINH TRAN, HEPATITIS B EXPERT
- DR. WILL TSENG, KAISER PERMANENTE DIRECTOR
- SALLY WONG-AVERY, CHINESE SCHOOL AND SOCIAL SERVICES
- DR. FLOSSIE WONG-STAHL, AIDS, CANCER RESEARCHE