‘MidWeek’ Sponsors Free Concert

Dawn Wooten and Amanda Skelton volunteer at the Arbor Day plant giveaway. Amanda C. Gregg photo

I’d like to give a little plug here to an upcoming event that promises to be one for the books and for which MidWeek Kaua’i is the official presenting sponsor: The 19th annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, which will be from noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Aqua Kaua’i Beach Resort & Spa (the old Hilton). Thanks to MidWeek‘s sponsorship, admission is free, though a $10 donation is suggested. Coordinator Milton Lau says the donation will go toward helping his mission of perpetuating the art of slack key guitar.

Food booths featuring some of Hawaii’s favorite local foods, island crafters, exhibits, festival merchandise and informational booths by different community groups will also abound, as well as musicians including Makana, Ledward Kaapana, LT Smooth and Dennis Kamakahi, to name a few…

I don’t pretend to have a green thumb, but I do love adding to my little garden and researching ways to ensure it will blossom, fruit and thrive. That’s why I was particularly inspired by the method coordinators of this year’s Kaua’i Arbor Tree Giveaway used for residents to earn free plants and trees last weekend.

Aspiring free-plant recipients moseyed through tents for mini-educational briefings sponsored by local conservation groups, including the Koke’e Resource Conservation Program, and earned stamps at each for free plantings. You had to get there early to score any maile, but as one volunteer put it, “come early to get the most coveted plants, come later and get a few extra.” The more than 2,000 native plants given away included an ali`i, koai`a, koki`o, loulu, maiapilo, maile, naio, `ohi`a lehua and pohinahina. There also was Hawaiian `awa, cacao seedlings, papaya trees, green ti plants, dwarf plumeria, hala, and pua kenikeni.

Dustin Moises with wife Kristi and daughter Shealee. Mary Daubert photo

Mahalo to the Garden Island Resource Conservation and Development, Kaua’i Landscaping Industry Council, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee, The Kaua’i Outdoor Circle, Kaua’i Nursery and Landscaping, Alaka’i Landscaping, the Grand Hyatt, Garden Island Growers, the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program and the County of Kaua’i for putting the event together …

I’m hesitant to admit one of my guilty pleasures is watching a select few reality TV shows. (Yes, I’m using the term “select” loosely). While that indulgence doesn’t include shows featuring New Jersey as a punch line or the vapid monologues of a particular bridezilla who remained married a mere 72 days, it does include vicariously watching those lucky judges who sample some of the world’s most delicious food.

It’s that type of show that Food Network had in mind with its upcoming Chef Hunter, in which promising out-of-work chefs compete to audition for a chance to be titled Executive Chef for several top restaurants around the globe. Culinary recruiter Carrie McCully was onisland as part of the docureality series in September.

Food Network producers say the show gives an inside look at the stress, drama and creativity involved in overseeing the daily operations of top kitchens across the U.S., including Merriman’s Fish House in Koloa. The restaurant’s own Peter Merriman helped in determining the fate of two chefs in a faceoff to become the restaurant’s Executive Chef. The first of several episodes aired Sunday (it was a “sneak peek”). But not to worry, we will be getting an interview with Kaua’i’s winning chef. Stay tuned …

A homegrown book for keiki

Small kine entrepreneurialism seems all the rage in this economy, with people putting to use their skills in creative ways. That seems to be the case for children’s book authors Rick and Susan Dierker, and illustrator Melinda Sandler, who created Knuckles the Hound of Hanalei. The children’s book is about a dog who finds happiness and a home on Kaua’i’s North Shore. The Dierkers included Hawaiian words and a glossary and pronunciation guide. They will be donating books to the Kaua’i Rescue Reserve Ranch, the Kaua’i Humane Society and Toys for Tots, and are also looking to early learning centers on-island so for those interested in the book for their holiday needs. Contact is: admin@ofilmfest.com. For more information, go to www.EverybodyKnowsKn uckles.com …

Congratulations to Dustin Moises, recently named Department of Water Employee of the Quarter. Moises is the Waterworks project manager and acting special projects division head, credited with working tirelessly to keep the County’s Water Plan 2020 moving at a steady flow toward completion.

Moises is also credited with having a work ethic that was the key to getting $43 million in projects completed, including a waterline along Kaumuali’i Highway in Waimea, Piwai storage tank and connecting pipeline, Waipouli main replacement, and the Maka Ridge renovation. The funding sources for these projects include the $60 million Build America Bond issued in 2010, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, State Revolving Fund loans and grants. Moises joined the Department of Water in 2005 after graduating from the University of Hawai’iMa noa where he received his bachelor’s of science degree in civil and environmental engineering. He and his wife Kristi have a daughter Shealee

Those wanting to chime in and participate in how the county is taking shape won’t want to miss its second round of public meetings for the Parks Master Plan, which will continue this week at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15 at the Lihu’e Neighborhood Center, Tuesday, Nov. 16 at the Kapa’a Neighborhood Center, Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the Waimea Neighborhood Center.

The public is asked to participate, Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. says, as the input will help to guide future programs and improvements throughout our system of parks. During the meetings, the county’s consultant,

Kimura International, will discuss the facility improvement proposals that came from participants who attended the first round of meetings in March. In addition, the consultant will present findings from a user survey and current data from the 2010 U.S. Census, according to a prepared statement.

Following the final round of community meetings, a draft of the revised Parks Master Plan will be developed and reviewed, and the final version will eventually be incorporated into the County’s General Plan. To learn more, go to: www.kauaiparks.com