A Spring Shift In Government

The cast of Kalaheo School’s Beauty and the Beast

It’s spring, and change is in the air – especially in government. Former Rep. Mina Morita now heads the state Public Utilities Commission, this week’s cover subject former County Councilman Derek Kawakami heads off to the state lege (see the cover story) and former congressman Ed Case is running for Dan Akaka’s senate seat (again). No wonder it seems this spring is about a fresh slate, with everything potentially charged with new energy. Even the County Council has some fresh blood: Congrats, newly appointed Councilmember KipuKai Kuali’i. Also congratulations to Justin Kollar, the deputy county attorney assigned to the Kaua’i Police Department and Kaua’i Civil Defense Agency, who was recently appointed to the Hawaii Supreme Court Board of Examiners by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, for a three-year term starting June 1 …

And with that freshness comes renewal and appreciation of what we already have, too. So with that, Happy Earth Day, (Hauoli la ‘Aina) everyone!

There is so much happening on the Garden Isle centered around this week’s celebration of Earth Day that makes the events all the more worth mentioning.

Kaua’i Community College will be offering a 14-week Introduction to Sustainable Gardening and Farming class from 1 to 6 p.m. April 28 through July 28. The course, part of the Growing Food series at KCC, will focus on sustainable principles and practices of organic gardening and farming. It’s designed to prepare those interested in home and community gardens so the island can better reach a goal of food self-sufficiency. Not your average course, teachers include farmers, and the course caters to everyone from residents seeking to learn how to make a home garden to those seeking employment in agriculture. Cost for the class is $350. For more information, call the Office of Continuing Education and Training at 245-8318, or e-mail ocet@hawaii.edu…

KCC also will be helping teach about ways to compost food waste, grow food, support local farmers and reduce energy consumption. Its Earth-Day (which it has dubbed “Earth Day Sust ‘aina’ bility Celebration” (cute, eh) will take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 on the KCC lawn. It will feature booths that showcase sustainability practices and zero-waste initiatives, along with panel discussions, an alternative energy forum, local entertainment and a mini eco-fashion show, along with food booths and free drawings. In the evening, it will show several films, including Bag It, about plastic bags and their impact on the environment. To learn more, e-mail John Constantino at johncons@hawaii.edu…

Congratulations to Team Sustain, made up of swimmer Leigh Drachman, bicyclist Sony Coleman and runner Randy Ballard, who took first place in their division at the TriKauai triathlon April 9 with an overall time of 1:27:13 – with just six days to prepare, well done! This was the first triathlon for Ballard and Coleman, but not for Drachman, who said she continues to support the race because of director Brian Curll and Pu’uwai Canoe Club. Drachman, who traveled off island with several other wahine for the Diva Half Marathon in Honolulu last week (April 17), also said she plans to participate in this weekend’s Kaua’i Loves You Triathlon. Way to go!…

Speaking of which, the third annual Kaua’i Loves You Triathlon is set for April 30 at Kalapaki Bay. Early registration for the event ends Saturday. (After that, entry fees increase.) The Sprint and Olympic triathlon is hosted by Swim Kauai Aquatics and the YMCA. The Olympic-distance race starts with a 1500-meter swim in Kalapaki Bay, a 40-kilometer bike ride along the bypass road outside of Lihue, and a 10-kilometer run along the perimeter of the Kaua’i Marriott Resort; the sprint course is half those distances. Sponsored by the Kaua’i Marriott, Kaua’i Cycle, Kaua’i Springs, Dakine Images, Hammer Nutrition and Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa, race prizes include an engraved iPod shuffle, iPod nano and a one-night stay at the Grand Hyatt

Kaua’i. For more information, go to kauailovesyou.com…

And it’s that time of the year again for the Kalaheo School Drama Club’s primary fundraiser, the upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, directed by Marly Madayag. It runs April 29-30 and May 6-7. Tickets cost $5 ($1 for keiki) and are available at Kalaheo School, Kalaheo Chiropractic and Massage, Uncle’s Shave Ice in the Kukui’ula Village and at the door…

On that note, keiki learned some new tricks thanks to a Spring Break sports camp that provided 25 Westside youngsters the chance to do everything from badminton to vegetarian cooking at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. The badminton clinic was conducted by the center’s badminton club with Dr. Paul and Cyd Arrington, Rose Ceballos, Judy Emmett, Diane Landretti, Putu Mustika, Sylvia Oliver, Andrea and Walt Peeler, and Cheryl Ringler as the lead instructors.

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