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Hawaii House considers adopting state microbe

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:40 p.m. HST, Feb 19, 2013

Hawaii has several official state symbols, including a flower, a song and a flag, but some say that's not enough.

"Missing from this group of symbols is an official state microbe," wrote Rep. James Tokioka in a bill proposing to add a microbe to the list.

The measure gained the approval of the House committee on culture last week.House representatives considered the bill today, but they agreed to bring it up again later this session.

University of Hawaii professor Stuart Donachie says Hawaii could be the first state in the nation to adopt an official microbe.

"Hawaii can lead the way," he wrote in his testimony supporting the bill.

The microscopic organism in question was discovered in Donachie's lab by Iris Kuo, a student from Iolani High School, with help from Donachie and several other scientists.

The microbe is called Flavobacterium akiainvivens and can be found on a Hawaiian shrub called akia.

Advocates of the proposal say an official state microbe will promote scientific research in the islands and celebrate the uniqueness of Hawaii.

Several educators testified in favor of the bill, saying that an official state microbe would be a helpful tool to get kids interested in science and biology at a young age.

Donachie says embracing a microbe as a state symbol could help diffuse misperceptions that associate the organisms only with disease.

No one has yet submitted testimony opposing the bill.

Tokioka says Hawaii has a total of 16 state symbols. When county symbols are included, the total goes up to 31.

If the House approves the bill, it will go to the Senate for consideration.

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primo1 wrote:
Our tax dollars hard at work. Those of you who voted for Tokioka take note...
on February 19,2013 | 01:32PM
entrkn wrote:
Don't worry, Donna Kim is all over it...
on February 19,2013 | 04:01PM
Masami wrote:
"University of Hawaii professor Stuart Donachie says Hawaii could be the first state in the nation to adopt an official microbe." And WHY don't other states have "official microbes"? Because its STUPID. There's bigger issues at hand (e.g.-ERS fund shortfall, out of control government spending, etc....) and you constituents in this representative's district should feel ashamed.
on February 19,2013 | 01:54PM
jakwa wrote:
You've got to be KIDDING me!
on February 19,2013 | 02:11PM
mreduardo wrote:
Meanwhile, equality and justice for families can not even get a hearing. The HI House and members including Say, Rhodes, Souki, Luke and others are the most uninspiring bunch. Pathetic...
on February 19,2013 | 03:28PM
false wrote:
This is so stupid and a waste of time. Isn't there anything else happening of worth up there?
on February 19,2013 | 03:31PM
pauliboy wrote:
Good luck in your reelection campaign.
on February 19,2013 | 03:49PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
This bill should become the official state example of the biggest waste of time for a bill.
on February 19,2013 | 03:54PM
tiki886 wrote:
Tokioka is another Rod Tam. An ego maniacal narcissistic buffoon! He should study the microbes in his belly button!
on February 19,2013 | 05:27PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
on February 19,2013 | 07:10PM
false wrote:
Long live the paramecium
on February 19,2013 | 07:06PM
Masami wrote:
And just to be clear, I believe all the posters have the utmost respect for Iris Kuo and her discovery. Its just that where does one draw the line with respect to an official "State" thing. These elected officials should address the "BIG PROBLEMS" affecting the majority of the State's citizens. Much success to you Iris in your future endeavours.
on February 19,2013 | 07:49PM
oldmom wrote:
Academic egos.....
on February 19,2013 | 08:26PM
NDN wrote:
I was just thinking this morning that what this State needs is a State Microbe. Inevitably this will provide more jobs, solidify our educational system, jump start our economy. It will promote Amoeba tourism to Hawaii which everyone knows is a growing industry. Its a brilliant idea. Thank you Rep Tokioka. Good job...no Great job!!!
on February 19,2013 | 08:59PM
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