Vegas Night in Kona – January 31st

Kudos to Guavabee for posting on the upcoming Vegas Night in Kona on January 31st.

Play casino games to win lots of great prizes while you help support the non-profit Kona Aerials Gymnastics Booster Club. The Booster Club is raising funds to help their athletes travel to Oahu and the mainland by organizing

  • VEGAS NIGHT
  • Saturday, January 31
  • 4pm to 7pm @ Hale Halawai
  • $25 pre-sale tickets
  • $30 at the door
  • 100 chips to start the night for all ticket holders

Tickets are available at the Kona Aerials Gym, 73-5563 Olowalu Street (Kaloko Light Industrial) and at Seapics.com, 77-6425 Kuakini Hwy., Kailua-Kona (next to Kona Yoga).

Call 329-4313 for more info.

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Montessori Kids Get to Lift Off Weather Balloon

Part of today’s science field trip included a trip to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Data Collection Center at the Hilo Airport.
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Everyday around 1:00 a large weather balloon is released into the air with instruments attached to it that take pictures back at the earth.

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As it gets closer to lift off time, the technician calls the Airport Control tower to make sure that there are no planes in the area or scheduled to take off or arrive.

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The kids gathered around as the countdown got closer to lift-off.

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A few brave kids volunteered to be the releasers and right on time, the kids released the balloon into the atmosphere.

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Unfortunately, today’s wind took the balloon right into the path of the sun and I was not able to take pictures of it as it lifted into the atmosphere.

Once the balloon reaches the right altitude, it takes pictures of the earth and the data is sent back to an office on the ground.  That data is then sent to the mainland where the data is collected with other balloons that were lofted today.

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Here is a quick youtube clip of one of the technicians explaining what goes on with the data as the balloon is rising.

Of course I had to ask what happens with the balloon and the data box once the balloon pops.  The technician then informed me that there were parachutes attached to the data boxes so that they would land softly where ever they land.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jObfuR804nA&hl=en&fs=1]

I enjoyed the learning experience and this was the first time I had ever seen one of these balloons lofted into the atmosphere.

Montessori Country Schools Imiloa Field Trip

The kids of Montessori Country School got a special field trip today to visit the Imiloa Astronomy Center today.

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Upon entering the center, the kids were greeted and told a little about the center.

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The kids are learning about the solar system in their classes now and the planetarium was the perfect place to take the kids to learn even more about the solar system.

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Once the kids finished watching the planetarium show, they had lunch and then were free to roam the astronomy center.  Inside, the kids had a great time playing with the many experiments and gadgets the center had to offer, many took part in a another movie.

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It was a great time had by all.  I’m the glad that the kids are able to have these field trips.  Because of the rising costs of many things these days, field trips are often one of the first things cut from budgets, yet they provide such great learning experiences!

The kids I were watching told me they were “holding up the world” before we left.

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Click on picture below for larger version:

Civil Defense Plans Island-Wide Tsunami Warning Exercise

Media Release

Civil Defense plans island-wide tsunami warning exercise

Tuesday, January 27, won’t be an ordinary day in Hawaii County. Residents along the coastal areas that are vulnerable to the devastating effects of tsunamis will be witnessing an island-wide exercise designed to help County agencies be better prepared for a tsunami.

This will be the first full-scale tsunami response exercise conducted on the Big Island in many years, said Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Quince Mento.

The training exercise will be highly visible to residents in or near tsunami inundation zones beginning shortly after 8 a.m., when County police, fire fighters and County crews will be mobilizing according to their existing tsunami response plans.

Earthquakes that occur on the Pacific Rim can give Hawaii as little as four hours to prepare for a tsunami.

“We’ve been very lucky in recent years in Hawaii County,” said Mento. The last significant tsunami generated on the Pacific Rim hit the Big Island in 1960, yet the island remains highly vulnerable to tsunamis generated by seismic activity that can occur any time, anywhere in the Pacific Ocean, Mento said.

County Civil Defense officials work closely with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to predict the size and estimated time of arrival in Hawaii when tsunamis are generated. The January 27th exercise will simulate a tsunami generated by an earthquake in Alaska, which would provide four hours of warning before it actually hit Hawaii.

The exercise is designed to test how well the County’s communications systems work in the event that a real tsunami is coming. Civil Defense notification procedures will be activated for the public, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations such as public utility companies and the American Red Cross.

County Police officers will be assigned to key intersections where traffic would be turned back in the event of an actual tsunami warning. Police officers will be issuing fliers to motorists providing information about what would happen if the real warning were in effect. Roads will not be barricaded but motorists may experience minor delays. Barricades will be delivered to the intersections as part of the exercise but they will not be erected.

Residents may see lots of vehicle movement exercise, including county trucks, police cars and helicopters on the ground and in the air, and crews with the banners and barricades at their assigned intersections.

“I am confident that Quince Mento and the Hawaii County Civil Defense team are well prepared in the event of an island-wide disaster and that this will demonstrate their effectiveness,” said Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “This kind of an exercise also demonstrates their dedication to bringing all of the different agencies involved, public and private, together to be ready do the best possible job of protecting our residents and property in times of emergency.”

The 8 a.m. starting time for the exercise is when various agencies will be notified to begin deploying banners and barricades at key intersections. The time was chosen so that it would not conflict with morning school traffic.

“Real world” emergencies, should they occur during the exercise, will take precedence for police officers, fire fighters and Civil Defense officials, Mento said.

The exercise will be over after police report that all simulated road block locations are secure. That is expected to occur by 10 a.m.

The impact on residents is expected to be minimal. Motorists in coastal areas however should drive carefully and be aware that police officers assigned to intersections in tsunami inundation zones may be distributing information about the tsunami exercise.

All County departments will conduct internal reviews of their procedures following the exercise to evaluate their effectiveness and make changes where necessary, said Mento, who is planning to make the tsunami exercise an annual event.

Civil Defense also will use its new electronic mass emergency notification system, City Watch, in conjunction with the exercise. The automated telephone system allows quick notification of large numbers of county personnel to respond to emergencies.

For more information about the exercise, call Hawaii County Civil  Defense, 961-8229.

For more information about tsunamis, visit the web sites of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/, and the Pacific Tsunami Museum, http://www.tsunami.org/.