Big Mahalo Hawaii Island Contractors Association and Individual Donors!

MAHALO!  We’ve had more donations come in than we expected and we ran out of t-shirts for the on-line orders!  Thanks to Hawaii Island Contractors Association for giving the first monetary donation to PUEO.   We have to apologize as we are trying to catchup to all the people who’ve pledged money or help.  Just because you haven’t heard back from us yet doesn’t mean we aren’t extremely grateful. We are in the process of forming our thank you letters and our receipts for those that have donated and more t-shirts are at the shop on order right now.  Those that ordered them hang in there!  They are coming! In the meantime we are working on developing our educational programs and getting our message out for everyone to share.  Expect to hear more on this in the upcoming weeks. Of course we are also working on our contribution to the TMT case that will take place in August and we wouldn’t even be here doing this if it wasn’t for the support of the very generous pro bono work from TORKILDSON, KATZ, MOORE, HETHERINGTON & HARRIS Attorneys At Law, A Law Corporation. We’re excited to move forward with Hawaii and we expect 2016 to be a great year thanks to everyone’s continued support! Every little bit helps....
Decommissioning plan questioned; Hawaiians, others oppose removal of UH-Hilo telescope

Decommissioning plan questioned; Hawaiians, others oppose removal of UH-Hilo telescope

By TOM CALLIS Hawaii Tribune-Herald Plans to remove Hoku Kea, the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s teaching telescope, from Mauna Kea are being delayed after a group of Native Hawaiians who support astronomy on the mountain and others urged officials to consider the impact to students. The university slated the tiny observatory for removal last year in order to meet Gov. David Ige’s decision to demolish three telescopes before the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope is completed. The move was part of Ige’s 10-point plan aimed at improving management of the mountain, the site of large protests against the TMT last year by the Native Hawaiian community. But members of Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities, a group of pro-TMT Hawaiians, and other individuals questioned the decision last month during an Office of Mauna Kea Management board meeting, citing the educational value of Hoku Kea for Hawaiians and other Hawaii Island residents if the broken 36-inch telescope is replaced as previously planned. In response, the board chose to defer approving the official notice of intent to decommission the observatory until it hears more public input and a report from a Governor’s Office representative. That effectively postpones decommissioning. “It’s like saying that our kids don’t deserve to have any kind of opportunities to access the technology that’s there,” said Patrick Kahawaiolaa, president of the Keaukaha Community Association and PUEO member, on Thursday. Reached by cellphone, UH-Hilo Chancellor Don Straney said the decision is up to the board. Hoku Kea is the only telescope owned by the Hilo campus. “I think if the board finds things it needs to discuss more, then that’s what...
Astronomers at CFHT in Hawaii discover giant young planet

Astronomers at CFHT in Hawaii discover giant young planet

Latest From the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) For the last 20 years the giant planets known as hot Jupiters have presented astronomers with a puzzle. How did they settle into orbits 100 times closer to their host stars than our own Jupiter is to the Sun? An international team of astronomers has announced this week1 the discovery of a newborn hot Jupiter, orbiting an infant sun — only 2 million years old, the stellar equivalent of a week-old human baby. The discovery that hot Jupiters can already be present at such an early stage of star-planet formation represents a major step forward in our understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve. Alternative artist view of V830 Tau and the newborn giant planet like the one recently discovered. Infant stars are very active making the detection of planets around them challenging. Image was created by student artist from Hawaii. (credit Michael Ho)   For this discovery, the team monitored a 2 million-year-old infant star called V830 Tau, located in the Taurus stellar nursery, some 430 light-years away. Over the 1.5 months of the campaign, a regular 4.9-day “wobble” in the velocity of the host star revealed a giant planet almost as massive as Jupiter, orbiting its host star at a distance of only one-twentieth that of the Sun to the Earth distance. “Our discovery demonstrates for the first time that such bodies can be generated at very early stages of planetary formation, and likely play a central role in shaping the overall architecture of planetary systems” explains Jean-François Donati, CNRS astronomer at IRAP / OMP2  and lead author of...
PUEO one of 14 Groups Approved to Participate in the TMT Hearings

PUEO one of 14 Groups Approved to Participate in the TMT Hearings

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) – By Ben Gutierrez, Reporter / Weather Anchor Retired Judge Riki May Amano on Friday approved requests by the Thirty Meter Telescope and the group Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities to be parties in the contested case hearing over the permit for the controversial telescope. Amano also approved 14 other groups and individuals who can file motions and call witnesses, and who are required to participate in any proceedings ahead of the hearing itself. Amano offered those who applied to be parties to be witnesses instead. Five applicants chose that option. There are now 24 parties involved in the hearing, including the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Mauna Kea Ainanahou, a group opposed to the $1.4 billion telescope and represented by attorney Richard Wurdeman. Those parties indicated that they would call upwards of 150 witnesses. Amano told the parties that with that number of witnesses, she expects the hearing to take three to four weeks. She said the hearings would be held on the Big Island. More than a hundred people jammed a small conference room at the Hilo State Office Building before Amani cleared the room because it was over capacity. Those who applied to be parties were then allowed back in. Any available seats left — about 40 — were then opened to the general public. The rest remained outside. Amano plans to have a pre-hearing conference to set dates for additional conferences and the hearing itself. Friday’s decision is another step toward the required repeat of the 2011 proceeding that was shot down in December by the Hawaii Supreme Court. The court ruled last...
Internship program relies on TMT: Loss of key contributor would impact aspiring scientists, engineers

Internship program relies on TMT: Loss of key contributor would impact aspiring scientists, engineers

By TOM CALLIS Hawaii Tribune-Herald University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Science and Technology Building was about as quiet as could be expected Wednesday given the summer break. That’s except for two rooms on the second floor where nearly 30 students were busy at work solving problems related to renewable energy and optics. And this was just the one-week preparatory course. The students from across Hawaii next will spend seven weeks at telescopes or technology businesses in the state working with mentors and gaining some valuable real-world experience. It’s all part of the Akamai Internship Program that for 14 years has acted as a launching pad for aspiring scientists and engineers in Hawaii. Akamai director Lisa Hunter estimates 81 percent of the 328 students who have come through the program have jobs in science and technology fields or are continuing their education. But despite its track record, Hunter said the program could face significant cutbacks. Since 2009, she said the program’s largest contributor has been the TMT International Observatory, the nonprofit organization behind the Thirty Meter Telescope, a controversial $1.4 billion project proposed for Mauna Kea. If the next-generation observatory, which has faced strong opposition from some Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred, moves elsewhere, the program stands to be one of the most impacted. “When TMT started contributing money, that pretty much rescued us from having almost no interns on the Big Island,” Hunter said. “That was a big relief for us.” The $150,000 a year that TMT contributes makes up a third of the program’s funding. Additional funding sources include the Hawaii Community Foundation, Air Force Office...