Today’s KO

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“Ruby Tuesday” Coming To Hilo

It sucks blogging or thinking about food right now as my mouth is all lockjaw from today’s periodontal appointment.

ruby…Ruby Tuesday has no plans to close its four Hawaii restaurants, and local franchise owners are moving forward to open in Kapolei and Hilo

…and the Hilo location at Prince Kuhio Plaza has a target opening date of 2012

More Here

Media Day on Mauna Kea With NASA Developers and the Moon Rover

Today (originally posted 11/13/08) I had the privilege of taking part in the “Media Day” up top Mauna Kea.

I mentioned the SCARAB tests that would be happening on my blog here.

…NASA’s In Situ Resource Utilization project focuses on developing methods for astronauts to take advantage of lunar resources at landing sites on the moon. During two weeks of field tests, NASA will demonstrate prototype systems that could enable a sustainable and affordable lunar outpost by minimizing the amount of water and oxygen that must be supplied from Earth. The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, or PISCES, headquartered at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, will host the tests.

Reporters will be able to observe and photograph various tests of a prototype moon rover designed to prospect for ice in lunar craters, and two systems to manufacture oxygen from the lunar soil. Engineers involved in the development of these systems will be available for interviews…

There was about 30 – 40 people from the general media there.  People from Japan, Canada, the Mainland, as well as Hawaii.

NASA workers were from all over the place.

I arrived at the staging area about 8:30 and we all got debriefed.

We moved our cars to just below the staging area and then boarded 4X4’s to take us up the mountain to where the demonstrations were taking place.

About 2 miles off the main access road we finally descended into this valley on Mauna Kea:valley

It was really kind of a weird sensation.  I felt like I was in the movie “Close Encounters” at the end of the movie when they discovered the hidden military base.

valley2

It was very interesting, and VERY COLD.

I happened to be in the carpool with AP Writer Karin Stanton so it was kind of cool being able to feed off each others questions.  The person that was driving us… was one of the Big Wigs of the project and he was telling us the reasons behind Mauna Kea being selected as the test site.

The primary reasons were, the soil on Mauna Kea is similar to that of the Moon, the location and proximity of the site to other experiments being done, and the fact that the conditions over all on Mauna Kea were similar to that of the Moon.

There were official looking people that had Red Jump Suits on that were standing around ready to answer questions that anyone had:

red-suits

There are three things that are being field tested up there right now:

1. The Scarab:

scarab1

Look real close at the tires

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There was a  gentlemen that was from Michelin tires on hand to answer questions.  Michelin is providing the tires for the Moon Rover.  He actually told me that these tires were more then a Million Dollars!

scarabtire

Close up of tire:

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2. We then got to look at a piece of the equipment that the SCARAB will carry on the moon.  This was known as RESOLVE: Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction, which basically can create water from Soil… or Moon dust:

revolve

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3. They also had on hand their “CRATOS” which is a robotic excavator that will collect soil, however, this was not working at the time:

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In total, we spent about 2 hours up there.  My wife was fortunate enough to be able to take vacation pay today so she was able to join me on this excursion.  Besides that, she’s the smart one in the family.

We got back into a Harpers 4×4 Rental Van.  William Ing and Peter Sur from the Hawaii Tribune Herald rode back to the staging area with us.  They informed me that it did not appear that the West Hawaii Today had sent anyone.

I’m sure the Tribune Herald will have more on this in the next day or two.

There will be a public demonstration on Saturday at the Imiloa Center in Hilo.

But the real footage that you are going to want to catch… Is Big Island Video News Footage of the story as soon as Mr. Corrigan is through Digitizing his footage and adding it to his site… that is where you are gonna see the action as well as video responses from those that were actually giving the tour.

A great day at the mountain… although it was stormy in Puna… it was a beautiful day up top Mauna Kea.

* I see Karin wrote up her piece for the Honolulu Advertiser here.

** More on these tires that the rover had here.

***UPDATE – Photo Gallery Added (Click Picture for Larger Picture)

Disability Insurance Benefits to Increase

…In Hawaii, the maximum weekly benefit will increase from $489 to $510.  The maximum weekly cost of 0.5% of weekly wages will be applied to a higher wage base in 2009.  The wage base will increase from $842.56 to $877.69, which means the maximum weekly deduction will go from $4.21 to $4.39…

Disability Management Employer Coalition

County Memo on Disabled Parking Stalls (Revised)

Be aware of the law about disabled parking stalls

Motorists are advised that it is illegal to occupy a parking stall for disabled persons unless the vehicle has a valid, visible disabled parking placard.

Motorists are also advised that the disabled person who is assigned the placard must be an occupant of the vehicle. If the disabled person is not in the vehicle when parked, the placard does not allow the vehicle to be parked in a parking stall for disabled persons.

Violations of the disabled parking law may face a fine of between $250 and $500 per offense (HRS 291-57).

It is important that everyone observe all traffic regulations so that all drivers may avail themselves of opportunities available to them under the law.

Anyone seeing someone parking in a stall for the disabled without a valid placard should call the Police Department’s central dispatch number, 935-3311, so that an officer may be dispatched and the vehicle cited.

The County of Hawaii wishes to thank all residents and motorists for their cooperation in abiding by the law for the benefit of disabled persons.

Toy & Trinket Store Closing… Native Hawaiian Health Care Center Relocating?

Pahoa Market Place (I call it Malama Market Shopping Center for some reason) has been a blessing for many folks in Puna who do not wish to drive all the way in to town.

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Many of us in Puna have turned to Trish’s Toys & Trinkets in the Market Place for those last second childrens gifts that we don’t want to drive all the way in to town for.

Sunday will be the final day for Trish’s business that has been at the corner of the Malama Market Shopping Center.

Front Entrance to Trish's Toy's & Trinkets

Front Entrance to Trish's Toy's & Trinkets

Most of the items inside the store are 20% off and more, although the shelves are a bit bare now, as there is no need for more inventory.

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They still had a decent stock of Christmas goodies to be found… so if your looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, there are still some to be found.

Trisha in Background

Trish in Background

I had read other places that Trish has been trying to sell her store for quite some time now.  However, with the economy the way it is right now… No ones is looking for any risky investments at this time.

I asked Trish if she knew what would become of the space after the store closed, and she said with a disappointed look on her face that it would become office space and that the Native Hawaiian Health Care System would take over the space.

Small Office Next to the New L&L Restaraunt

Small Office Next to the New L&L Restaraunt

I went over to Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi squeezed in between Sirius Coffee and L&L restaraunt and asked if they were moving over to the Malama Market Shopping center… And they said that they are ONLY IN NEGOTIATIONS still and that nothing has been finalized.

If Trish or Don read my blog, I wish you the best in your move back to the mainland.