Friday | November 24, 2017
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Of pizza, students and astronomical discoveries

Back by popular demand! It’s going to be another Dough Raising Night in Waimea and Honokaa on Tuesday

Everyone is invited to help support Honokaa Elementary School by ordering a pizza from Domino’s Pizza in Waimea on the second Tuesday of every month. Domino’s donates 10 percent of all orders placed that day to the school.

And you can arrange for free pizza delivery to Honokaa Elementary School. Just order and prepay with a credit card before 4 p.m. that afternoon, and Domino’s will deliver your pizza to the school office at 5:30 p.m. Call Domino’s Pizza Waimea at 885-4400.

If you have any questions, please call Hilda Yagong at 775-8820, ext. 225. Help the school to “raise some dough.” Best deal of the night: a two-topping, large pizza for only $7.99. Thank-you, Domino’s, for giving us this opportunity to raise much-needed dollars. And, thank you to our community and parents for all your support.


Recent cosmic discoveries from right here in Waimea’s backyard and a glimpse of what lies ahead in the new year for astronomers at the Canada-France-Hawaii and the William Keck observatories will top the Waimea Community Association Town Meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, in the W.M. Keck Observatory headquarters conference room. (Note: WCA Town Meetings are usually the first Thursday of every month, but are moved to the second Thursday to avoid major holidays such as New Year’s, and the Jan. 10 meeting also is being relocated to the Keck conference room to facilitate sharing visuals of recent astronomical discoveries.)

Also on the agenda will be a brief update on North Hawaii Community Hospital by board Chair Bob Momsen, along with a farewell report by former North and South Kohala County Councilman Pete Hoffmann, who has concluded his service on the Council due to term limits. Joining him will be newly seated Council members Margaret Wille (District 9 – Waimea-Waikoloa-Puako-Kawaihae-North Kohala) and Val Poindexter (District 1 – Waimea-Hamakua).

Presenting on behalf of the Keck observatory scientific community will be Gregory Wirth, a support astronomer at Keck since 1998, where he currently serves as the instrument master for the DEIMOS Spectrograph and imager, and also supports observers on all of Keck’s optical instruments.

He also coordinates requests for remote use of the telescopes from our mainland observing sites in California. Wirth’s special interests include early-type galaxies and distant galaxy clusters. Presenting on behalf of CFHT will be Karun Thanjavur, who has been with this observatory for the past three years as a resident astronomer from Canada. In his role as part of the astronomy group and the Queued Service Observing (QSO) team, his principal responsibilities include being the instrument scientist for WIRCam, the wide field infrared imager and the project scientist for SPIRou, the near infrared, high resolution spectrograph being designed as the next generation exo-earth planet finder, with first light in 2016.

With a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Victoria in Canada, as well as a master’s in robotics, his research interests range from astronomical instrumentation, to the build up of large scale structure in the Universe, the astrophysics of galaxies in the early universe, the internal dynamics of globular clusters, the characteristics of exo-planetary systems, amongst others.

In this presentation, he will focus mainly on the history of CFHT, current status and the exciting plans for this 32-year-old observatory through the decades to come. Together, the astronomy presentation will share the international headline grabbing research occurring right here on Hawaii Island and its impact and meaning to the world of science and to our view of the universe.

As always with WCA January meetings, the program will begin with electing officers. All who attend WCA monthly Town Meetings are asked to continue the association’s commitment to help Waimea’s food pantries by bringing a donation — preferably cash or a check, or non-perishable food items.

Cash or checks are given to the Waimea pantries to purchase foods or gift certificates from local grocery stores and farmers markets so that recipients are able to buy fresh items such as vegetables, fruit and milk as well as diapers and other essentials. Checks may be payable directly to a food pantry so the donation is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

As usual, Starbucks-Waimea will again contribute hot coffee for the meeting, and those enjoying it are urged to express their gratitude by making a donation on the spot to the food pantry collection drive.

For information, call WCA President Sherman Warner at 885-1725, or visit


Hamakua Youth Center is calling you to eat out on Jan. 14 and Feb. 11 at the Waimea Domino’s Pizza located in the Parker Ranch Food Court. It’s Hamakua Youth Center night, where a portion of your purchase will go to the Hamakua Youth Foundation fund. Domino’s Pizza has very generously offered to donate “dollars” to the youth fund. Hamakua Youth Center is open after school, with many programs and activities for the young folks to enjoy. Please say you’re purchasing on behalf of the Hamakua Youth Center.

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1240 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail


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