Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, April 13, 2017

Keck Observatory attached the five-ton Cosmic Web Imager  on one of its telescopes on Maunakea.
Photo from W. M. Keck Observatory
W. M. KECK OBSERVATORY ACHIEVES FIRST LIGHT WITH ITS NEW FIVE-TON INSTRUMENT on Maunakea. Before dawn on Wednesday, Keck captured the very first successful science data from its newest, cutting-edge instrument. The Keck Cosmic Web Imager is extremely sensitive, specifically designed to capture high-resolution spectra of ultrafaint celestial bodies with unprecedented detail. It is able to differentiate even the slightest changes in spectral color with a great degree of accuracy.
Keck Observatory support astronomer Luca Rizzi
with the new Keck Cosmic Web Imager.
Photo from W.M. Keck Observatory
     "This powerful capability is key for astronomers because a highly-detailed spectral image allows them to identify a cosmic object’s characteristics, including its temperature, motion, density, mass, distance, chemical composition, and more," said a statement from the observatory.
     Keck Cosmic Web Imager "is designed to study the wispy currents of gas that connect galaxies. The ability to study this cosmic web is the driving principle behind the design. However, it will also be used to study many other astronomical phenomena including young stars, evolved stars, supernovae, star clusters, and galaxies," Keck reported.
      The new instrument captures three-dimensional data, as opposed to the traditional two-dimensional image or spectrum of conventional instruments. “I’m thrilled to see this new instrument,” said Keck Observatory Director Hilton Lewis. “It takes years to design and build these very sophisticated instruments. KCWI is a superb example of the application of the most advanced technology to enable the hardest science. I believe it has the potential to transform the science that we do, and continue to keep Keck Observatory right at the forefront of astronomical research.”
Keck scientists said the new addition to the
observatory is one of their crowning
achievements. Photo from W.M. Keck Observatory
     “I’m incredibly excited. These moments happen only a few times in one’s life as a scientist,” said Principal Investigator Christopher Martin, physics professor at Caltech who developed the concept of KCWI. “To take a powerful new instrument, a tool for looking at the universe in a completely novel way, and install it at the greatest observatory in the world is a dream for an astronomer. This is one of the best days of my life.”
     Martin flew in from California to join the Keck Observatory team as they worked to achieve the milestone moment. At 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Keck Cosmic Wave Imager successfully achieved first light, with a spectral image of an exquisitely dense core of an ancient astronomical relic showcasing the highest spectral resolving power and spatial resolution of the instrument.
     “I can easily say that this is a crowning achievement, the most important day of my career,” said Keck Observatory support astronomer Luca Rizzi. “This is an instrument that is breaking records in so many ways, and I’m really happy that we can now share this excitement with everyone who is passionate about astronomy.”
      Since January, Keck Observatory’s team has been working to install and test KCWI on Keck II, one of the twin 10-meter Keck Observatory telescopes on Maunakea.
     “KCWI will really raise the bar in terms of Keck Observatory’s capabilities,” said Anne Kinney, chief scientist at Keck Observatory. “I think it’ll become the most popular instrument we have because it will be able to do a great breadth of science, increasing our ability to understand and untangle the effects of dark matter in galaxy formation.”
      Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Maunakea feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, an integral-field spectrometer and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. The Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA.

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DEFENDING HEALTH CARE, HAWAI`I SEN BRIAN SCHATZ went on MSNBC on Thursday to talk about President Donald Trump's recent threats to insurance companies, hospitals and health care systems. Trump said he would hold back medical subsidies from federal coffers unless parties involved with health care reform negotiate with him.
      People showing up in Town Halls across the country are worried they are going to lose their health care, said the commentator Joy Reid who interviewed Schatz. Ka`u Hosipital is designated by the federal government as a Critical Care Hospital and receives some of the extra payment subsidies through insurers that Trump threatened to hold back.
     Concerning the bigger health care picture and the recent hold-off in legislation, Schatz said that those wanting to repeal Obamacare "spent so much time using Obama as a foil that they forgot to formulate a policy. So here they are in charge of both chambers, in charge of the executive branch and it all fell apart really quickly, actually without our intervention as Democrats. We didn't have the votes to intervene. They didn't approach us to intervene and yet it all collapsed within because they were lying for the last seven years."
     Said Schatz, "The truth is that what Donald Trump and many other Republicans said for many, many election cycles is that you could get rid of the bad stuff and keep all the good stuff. But the truth is to the extent that the bad stuff is revenue, you need that revenue for taking care of people with preexisting conditions, for community rating (which provides federal subsidies to insurance companies to pay for services for low income people and rural hospitals), for keeping people being able to stay on their parents' plans until they are 26 years old."

       According to Schatz, "All of the protections in the Affordable Care Act had to be arranged by virtue of revenue and by virtue of regulations. And now that they don't have President Obama as a foil, this thing fell apart and it fell apart quickly so you still have 20 or 30 members of the House who are so ideological that they're willing to inflict pain on their constituents, but the rest of them are running scared trying to fulfill a campaign promise that nobody wants them to fulfill anymore."
     About Republicans and Democrats negotiating on health care, Schatz said, "To the extent that
Donald Trump is threatening to withhold money from insurance companies which will harm individuals across the country, which will make hospitals and hospital systems fall apart; if his threat is essentially, 'I am going to inflict pain on people and destroy the American health care system, or I'll do it with you,' we're not going to negotiate under any circumstances like that." Schatz said, however, that "If they officially stop trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act," both parties could work together to improve health care.
     Concerning Trump's threat to stop making the federal health payments, Schatz said, "I think he's threatening the American people. I think he is also threatening the legislative branch. One thing he hasn't figured out is that legislators don't like to be bullied. He is not in real estate anymore. He is sort of trying to treat members of the United States Senate who are former governors, and admirals and astronauts and tv stars and people with substantial egos and substantial support in their home states. They can not be bullied. They will not be bullied. And this idea that you can sort of treat members of Congress, a co-equal branch of government, as though we'e sort of subcontractors in a real estate deal he wants to stiff - it's one of the reasons that he's been such a failure as president. It's that he doesn't understand that we have three co-equal branches of government and that the legislative branch is not going to be bullied around.           "We are not going to allow him to hold the American people, the American health care system, hostage and negotiate under those terms. Now, if he wants to improve the American Health Care Act, we're all in."

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EASTER FUN DAY for the public will be held Saturday, April 15 at Pahala Preschool on Hu`apala Street from 10 a.m. until pau. Games, music Easter Egg Hunts for keiki and seniors. lucky number drawings, food, music led by Calvin Ponce, games for everyone, prizes.

Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest will be Sunday, May 21.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST FOR 2017 has been announced for Sunday, May 21 at 11 a.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. There will be adult and student divisions and the categories to enter are Pupu, Entree and Dessert.
     Recipes must include Ka`u Coffee. Entries will be judged on creativity, taste and presentation.
     Each contestant is limited to one entry per category. Entry forms are at www.kaucoffeefestival.com, www.kaucoffeemill.com, Mizuno Market in Pahala and Ka`u Coffee Mill. Deadline to enter is May 12 and entries must be brought Ka`u Coffee Mill by 10 a.m. on May 21. For more information, call Nikki at 928-0550. Cash prizes will be awarded.

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Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, April 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku on Sat, April 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., is a moderately-difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on Kahuku Unit's newest trail, Pu'u Kahuku. Enter the Kahuku unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.

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