Tag Archives: President Obama

President Obama Announces Kamaaina Observatory Experience at Mauna Kea

It’s an honor for the best telescope in the world to be sited on our Maunakea. And it’s very appropriate for the President of the United States, a local boy, to highlight the great contributions of our astronomy sector. It’s also very appropriate that some of our voyaging people from the Hokule‘a were present when he acknowledged those contributions.

This is the spirit of “Not, no can. Can!!”

These are the things that Hawaiians are noted for!

“This is an extremely exciting time, with President Obama’s announcement underscoring the significance of Maunakea and Hawaii to astronomy,” said Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT International Observatory Board. “TMT is honored to be a part of Hawaii’s astronomy community. We remain committed to integrating science and culture, providing the best possible stewardship of the mountain, and enriching the local community through education and outreach programs.”

Free Monthly Community Event to Welcome Hawaii Residents to the Maunakea Observatories

The Maunakea Observatories and Imiloa Astronomy Center announced the Kamaaina Observatory Experience, a monthly community event that welcomes Hawaii residents to the science reserve atop Maunakea to see world-class telescopes and learn about the cultural and environmental importance of the mountain.Hamakua Springs

The Kamaaina Observatory Experience was introduced yesterday in a speech by President Barack Obama at the White House Astronomy Night in Washington, D.C. The event, held on the South Lawn of the White House, brought together scientists, engineers and visionaries from astronomy and the space industry, including guests from Hawaii’s Imiloa Astronomy Center, Gemini Observatory and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, who shared an evening of stargazing and learning with students and teachers.

“We were honored to represent Hawaii’s tremendous contributions to the world of astronomy, education and culture on the White House lawn tonight,” said Kaiu Kimura, executive director of Imiloa Astronomy Center. “As part of Imiloa’s partnership with the Maunakea Observatories, we look forward to sharing these contributions with even more of our friends and ohana at home in Hawaii through the Kamaaina Observatory Experience.”

Hamakua Springs The new program will occur once a month and will include transportation to and from the summit and the Visitor Information Station, a cultural briefing, a one-hour safety and environmental briefing at Hale Pohaku, and a one-and-a-half hour visit to two of the Maunakea Observatories-the most scientifically productive collection of telescopes on earth. Participation will be free of charge and open to all Hawaii residents.

“The Kamaaina Observatory Experience will be the first program of its kind in the 50-year history of astronomy on Maunakea,” said Doug Simons, executive director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). “The Maunakea Observatories make Hawaii one of the most respected sites on earth for astronomical discovery. It is our sincere hope that this program will inspire a passion among kamaaina for astronomy and an appreciation for the cultural and environmental future of Maunakea.”

Participating Maunakea Observatories in the program will include the CFHT, Gemini Observatory, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (EAO), NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Subaru Telescope,
Submillimeter Array, the W.M. Keck Observatory, and in the future, the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The Kamaaina Observatory Experience will launch in early 2016 and will be open once a month to individuals 16 and older with a valid Hawai’i ID. Registration is required and will be available online on a first come, first served basis.

For more information about the Kamaaina Observatory Experience and to reserve a spot for an upcoming tour, visit www.kamaainaobservatoryexperience.org.

White House photo CC BY-SA 3.0 


First Tomatoes

Richard Ha writes:

When I went to pick up Professor Charles A.S. Hall and his wife Myrna at the airport Wednesday, I noticed a plane that looked like Air Force One. It reminded me that President Obama and his family are on O‘ahu for vacation.

Barack and Michelle Obama ate at Alan Wong’s, with friends, on Wednesday.

From the blog Obama Foodorama:

A long day of Hawaiian golf on Wednesday gave President Obama an appetite for dinner at what is regarded as his favorite island fine dining establishment: Alan Wong’s Restaurant in Honolulu. The chef himself told Obama Foodorama last month that he was expecting a visit from the President and First Lady Obama during their Christmas vacation.

“They’re adventurous eaters,” Wong said of the Obamas. The acclaimed chef, who sources locally and sustainably for his modern Hawaiian cuisine, cooked the special APEC Leaders Dinner the President and Mrs. Obama hosted in late November at the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu….

 Read the rest

Here’s a fun look at when Alan Wong and his chefs visited the farm and cooked for us one time.

Last Friday, the Obamas dined at Morimoto restaurant in Honolulu.

Before opening his Waikiki Restaurant, “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto had visited us at Hamakua Springs.

Tomatoes from Hamakua Springs are on the menu at both Alan Wong’s and Morimoto. Tomatoes fit for a president!


Anaheim, the Wonderful World of Produce

Richard Ha writes:

My daughter Tracy and I went to the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) trade show recently. Tracy is in charge of the farm’s Food Safety and Marketing program.

There were 21,000 people at this event, in Anaheim for the trade show from 60 countries.

It’s a great place to meet people and keep up with new trends in the produce business.

Ca tomato farmers

Are you familiar with the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? It’s the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, and was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure that our U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to, instead, preventing it.

Ca tomato farmers

We have always taken food safety very seriously. We scored the highest Food Safety inspection scores ever this year – 100 percent for banana and tomato field operations, and 98 percent for our banana and tomato packing operations. But still, we are always looking for ways to learn more and improve. So PMA 2012 was timely.

Ca tomato farmers

Tracy commented on how fast technology is moving. QR (Quick Reader) codes are something with great marketing potential. They can hold thousands of times more data than traditional barcodes. Any customer with a cell phone camera and a QR app can instantly visit your website, hear an audio or see videos. Download a QR code app and you can get right down to the farm level. We are intrigued by the possibilities.

QR reader

At PMA we saw there is a marketing push toward children, in order to get them eating more healthfully. There were hundreds of different combinations of products and packaging that were kid-oriented.

For kids

We came away with all kinds of ideas. It’s very exciting.

Ca tomato farmers

And a short video of the action: