A Sustainable Lifestyle On Kaua‘i

KIUC Charitable Foundation board member Steve M. Rapozo, KEO administration officer Lynn Kua and KIUC Charitable Foundation president Allan Smith

The County of Kaua’i is slated to begin updating the general plan this year, and with most development frozen, perhaps it’s time to retrain ourselves on how we look at things. Tourism is slowly recovering, families are still struggling with overextended mortgages and fuel prices, and an ever-broadening realization that we all need to lead more sustainable lives seems to make this an ideal time to find new direction. In an interview for the cover story this week, green economist and Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative candidate Ken Stokes posed a problem that isn’t an impossibility, and if it occurred, would certainly cause a host of other issues: What if that barge didn’t arrive in Nawiliwili Harbor? What would we do? We’re so dependent on items being shipped to us that, without it, we’d be forced into an immediate life change. Perhaps our kupuna and farmers are closest to remembering and knowing, alongside people such as Stokes, what do to in the face of such an event.

There’s no time like the present in terms of retraining ourselves in what is already proving itself to be the challenge of the 21st century: Sustainability. I wanted to lend this word some meaning beyond its buzzworthiness, as it seems to be one of those “bandwagon” terms lumped with a loose collection of imperatives like switching to CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) and driving a hybrid. There have been quite a few mantras put out by the leading gurus on the subject, such as “live off the interest, don’t touch the capital” or “we don’t inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.” These maxims (whether deemed wise or trite) point to one question: “Can we sustain the lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed?” Stokes seems to think we can’t, so we must begin to make a change. Of course, anyone wanting to have a say in starting that change can do so through March 19 online for the KIUC elections at: alohavote.com/KIUC/Aloha Vote.html …

Miss Island Mokihana 2011 Daphne Sanchez's 'Angel on my Shoulder'

Every industry has its voice. Though the term “capacity” seems to be a somewhat simple measurement of ability, grant writers (and seekers) out there probably know the term “capacity building” as one of those daunting requisite efforts critical when it comes to getting funding (and re-funding) as well as gauging potential change. That’s why recognition is due to the county’s Anti-Drug Program Office, which, without so much as a blip in media elsewhere, has announced not only awards totaling some $536,761 for funding-starved keiki programs such as Alu Like Inc., Boys and Girls Club of Hawai’i, Circles of Light, Hale Kipa, Kaua’i Economic Opportunity and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Kaua’i, but for offering free grant-writing training to help augment the abilities of those on island serving similar programs. The idea is, get enough people trained in this area and they can turn over every rock when it comes to finding funding for financially bereft entities. Those interested should mark their calendars for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 30 and 31 at Kaua’i Beach Resort. To register, e-mail tkoki@kauai.gov…

Of course, the Anti-Drug Program Office isn’t the only charitable entity. As it turns out, KIUC Charitable Foundation released some $30,000 to KEO to help qualified low-income residents with their utility bills. Interested residents can call KEO at 245-4077 ext. 240 to see if they qualify. …

A couple years ago at Small Town Coffee I met Daphne Sanchez. A few months later, she sang, alongside Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., the campy Together We Can. By now I’m going to hazard the guess that many of the island’s residents are associating Sanchez (who also happens to be Miss Island Mokihana 2011) with a new tune, and have the melodic, siren-esque song, I Won’t Let You Break My Heart Again, stuck in their heads, and are downloading it along with the rest of her album, Angel on my Shoulder, in droves. In fact, moments before I sat down to write, a neighbor was blaring it from her kitchen, and that was my cue that indeed, it wasn’t just in my head. All of the tracks on the album save two were arranged by Bryan Kessler of the Na Hoku Award-winning group Hawaiian Style Band, while the track, Mokihana, is a raw live cut from the studio with recording engineer Berto Genovia. And while the Broadway-ish tune, What Is Love was arranged by pianist Dan Del Negro, who, originally from Chicago, now plays jazz in Honolulu, perhaps the most interesting item of note is that Kaua’i’s own film commissioner Art Umezu wrote every single tune on the CD. Well done, to say the least, Art. You keep doing Kaua’i proud …

Kaua'i film commissioner Art Umezu

And kudos to the outrigger canoe clubs that participated in Kaiola Canoe Club Long Distance relay race. It was a hot day and flat with mostly Kona winds – not the ideal conditions on the East Side course where paddlers usually rely on steady, tradewind-driven “bumps” or swells to speed up the canoes. Top race accolades go to the Na Molokama Open Men crew, who made it first to the Nawiliwili jetty from Wailua, with a full crew change at Hanamaulu Beach, in 1:24. That crew was followed by the Na Molokama Senior Master Men crew, who came in at 1:26; and next by the Kuku’iula Open Mixed crew, coming in at 1:27. The first women’s club in was the Niumalu Open crew at 1:35. Top individual kudos go to Kenny Denton, racing in the Senior Master Men’s Division, who paddled in the first one-man outrigger canoe (OC-1) with a time of 1:11. Not far behind him was Joseph “Joe Boy” Rapozo, winning the Master Men’s Division 1:10 and Keone Miyake winning the Open Men’s Division at 1:11. The top Women’s Division finisher was Lauren Denton, reaching the finish at 1:19.

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