A Tragic Reminder Of Safety Seats

Michael Pagelsdorf | KPD photo

Michael Pagelsdorf | KPD photo

Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said it best when he described the tragedy that ended the life of a 14-month-old as “completely avoidable.” Kollar was speaking at the recent sentencing of Michael Pagelsdorf, who will serve 10 years on the charge of first-degree negligent homicide for putting a baby girl on his lap rather than in her car seat. Blood tests revealed Pagelsdorf was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana when he crashed Feb. 20, 2011. According to the report, he looked down, and when he looked up, he crashed. The airbag deployed and caused fatal injuries to the baby. He also was driving with a suspended license.

Kaua’i Police Sgt. Jason Overmyer of the depart-ment’s Traffic Safety division reminded the public of the importance of properly securing children in child safety seats. The law requires car seats and the proper use of seat belts. “We urge the public to follow the law and use the correct seats and seat-belts in the proper manner so that this never happens again in our community.”

So beyond sad …

Be cautious swimming out there, as Kaua’i already is way ahead of last year’s total number of drownings.

The recent sixth drowning also was reported by officials as the first freshwater drowning of the year. By comparison, there were two ocean drownings and two fresh-water drownings reported in 2012.

KPD has identified 64-year-old Richard Proczka of Kilauea as the man who drowned in waters off Hanalei Bay. Kaua’i’s north- and west-facing shores were in a high-surf warning at the time. Rescue officials continue to urge beachgoers to check for updates on ocean conditions at kauaiexplorer.com …

(from left) Sue Kanoho, David Pratt, Gina Kaulukukui and Maile Bryan at Kilohana Plantation | Caser Riemer photo

(from left) Sue Kanoho, David Pratt, Gina Kaulukukui and Maile Bryan at Kilohana Plantation | Caser Riemer photo

Travel + Leisure recently announced the top 37 Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. Congratulations to Beach House Restaurant, the only eatery in the state to make the list. The criteria included ambiance, great food and wine and excellent service. General manager Tim Obert says he’s thrilled. Beach House Restaurant features Pacific Rim cuisine, and it also recently won the Hale Aina Gold Award for the Best Kaua’i Restaurant the 13th year in a row. For more information, go to the-beach-house.com, or call 742-1424 …

Congratulations also to Kaua’i winners of the 2013 SBA Small Business Awards named by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Top Small Business person category winner for Kaua’i was Beatrice Allen of Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant, Fish Market and Sushi Lounge. Export business winner was Robert Gunter, president of Koloa Rum in Kalaheo. Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Kaua’i went to Colby Lopaka Ayonon, owner of Kaua’i Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. in Kapa’a. Minority Small Business Champion title for Kaua’i went to George Costa, the county’s director of economic development, for his solid support of business and economic development on the Garden Isle. These exceptional small-business owners, advocates and leaders from across the islands will be honored Feb. 28 at the 26th Annual Statewide SBA Small Business Awards Lunch-eon at Hilton Hawaiian Village. This gala event is hosted by Hawaii Business and many local sponsors …

It has been an eventful February so far, including Mahiko Lounge at Gaylord’s roaring ’20s Great Gatsby-themed grand opening Feb. 9, which raised funds for Kaua’i United Way and was one of the year’s most indulgent of events that boasted more than 600 in attendance; and Zonta Club of Kaua’i Foundation‘s 20th annual fundraiser “Eat Dessert First” Feb. 8. A major portion of the funds raised at the latter event will go toward scholarships for high school seniors and women re-entering the workforce at Kaua’i Community College. Applications are now available for pick up at all Kaua’i high schools and at KCC. More than 200 items were bid on and won at the silent auction, and a few lucky people went home with prizes, including the $1,800 grand prize, stays donated by Sheraton Kaua’i, golf rounds from Po’ipu Bay Golf and gift certificate from Yum Cha Restaurant

Cake for the Zonta dessert event prepared by Grand Hyatt Chef Orly. Photo from Melimda Uohara

Cake for the Zonta dessert event prepared by Grand Hyatt Chef Orly. Photo from Melimda Uohara

To coincide with the Centennial of the Hawaii State Library, Friends of the Library of Hawaii has partnered with Kraft Foods in Hawaii and Longs Drugs to conduct the “Help Literacy in Hawaii Shine” fundraiser through Saturday, March 2. Kraft and Longs Drugs will donate 10 cents per participating Kraft product purchased up to a maximum of $10,000 to Friends of the Library of Hawaii. To learn more, go to friend-softhelibraryofhawaii.org and click on the “Help Literacy in Hawaii Shine” logo on the right column to see a list of Kraft products to purchase at any Longs Drugs store in Hawaii. FLH provides generous grants, donations and funding for year-round programs at Hawaii’s 50 public libraries. For more information on the fundraiser, visit the aforementioned website or call 536-4174 …

Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr.‘s upcoming outreach meetings are Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Hanapepe Neighborhood Center; Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Kapaa Neighborhood Center; and Thursday, Feb. 28, at Koloa Neighborhood Center. All meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include a report of islandwide and regional projects of interest. Topics will include the new landfill location, customer service online surveys, the status of Coco Palms, and an update on the islandwide road resurfacing project. Carvalho and his team will follow up with a series of community outreach meetings at Kilauea, Lihu’e, Kalaheo and Waimea neighborhood centers in August.

Special accommodations, sign language interpreters and interpreters for non-English speaking individuals are available upon request seven days prior to the meeting date. Call 241-4900 or email sblane@kauai.gov …

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