About Town 12-15-13

Seniors plan trip to view Christmas trees

Kailua-Kona Seniors will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Hale Halawai. The group will then travel to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel to view the annual Charity Trees on display. A $1 donation is required to vote for a favorite tree.

The group will have lunch at Queens’ MarketPlace afterward. Seating is available in the food court.

For more information call Bev at 325-6993 or Claire at 756-5352.

West Hawaii Bar Association elects officers

The West Hawaii Bar Association recently elected officers for the 2014 year.

The officers were elected during the association’s regular monthly membership meeting held Nov. 26. The officers are: Robert D. S. Kim, president; Andrew M. Kennedy, first vice president; Peter S. R. Olson, second vice president; Donna V. Payesko, treasurer; Margaret Masunaga, assistant treasurer; Rebecca Colvin, secretary; and Jennifer Shimada Heimgartner, recording secretary.

“The No. 1 priority for West Hawaii is the funding and completion of a new courthouse in Kona. This is a $90 million construction project that will provide needed consolidation, security and services for our citizens. The WHBA has been working in close consultation with Chief Justice Recktenwald in moving this important project forward. During the selection process, the current Makalapua site on property owned by the Queen Liliuokalani Trust was one of the top choices of our bar members. This input was directly presented to the Judiciary,” Kim said.

“We will be lobbying extensively in the upcoming legislative session for the funds to complete this important project. Nine million dollars has already been appropriated, and we will be seeking the balance of the funds, approximately $81 million,” he added.

For more information, call Kim at 936-6108.

Maunakea Skies presentation Friday

University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy researcher Christoph Baranec will present “Rise of the Machines with Robo-AO” at the Maunakea Skies program slated for 7 p.m. Friday at Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Robo-AO is the first autonomous laser adaptive optics system and will be used on the UH 2.2-meter telescope.

NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered thousands of planet candidates and is revolutionizing the understanding of the planetary population in our galaxy. Baranec’s team has imaged two-thirds of the Kepler candidates and should finish the entire survey by next summer.

Imiloa’s planetarium manager Christopher Phillips will provide observational highlights of the night sky over Hawaii. Admission is $10 for nonmembers; members pay a reduced rate. Purchase tickets at the Imiloa front desk or by calling 969-9703.

For more information, visit imiloahawaii.org.