Big Improvement For Rice Street

Is anyone else as excited as I am to learn that the county is doing away with the “parking spaces” fronting Kaua’i Museum? I’ve never understood the strategy of on-again, off-again parking spots on a busy road. Quite frankly, I’m not sure why they haven’t been done away with entirely on Rice Street, but one step at a time, I guess …

Speaking of public projects: Kimo Rosen sends this photo of reconstruction work at the Kapaa swimming pool, which will be closed for six weeks. Kimo, a regular at the pool, laments, “What’s a boy to do?” …

I’d say the most exciting event to happen this week is, of course, the Kaua’i County Farm Bureau Fair at Vidinha Stadium. Don’t miss out on the rides, food, exhibits and games the annual festivity has to offer. This year, the event will feature a song contest with the winners to be selected Friday evening. Visit kauaifarmfair.org/song-contest-entries.php to vote for your favorite local musician …

University of Hawaii student Francesca Koethe recently conducted several meetings across the island gathering input from the community in regard to the Kaua’i Coastal Resource Inventory. Several volunteers are compiling information about the type of activities occurring within coastal areas in order to help evaluate the current environmental standing of marine resources and habitats. If you missed any of the meetings, correspondence can still be sent to Koethe at fskoethe@hawaii.edu …

Beach House Restaurant is hosting a Kaua’i Products Craft Fair Saturday with all proceeds to benefit Kaua’i public high schools. More than 20 local crafters will have their products available for purchase including Talisiu Huni‘s carved tiki turtles, Donna Lee Cockett‘s Tahitian Pearl jewelry and Judy Mahon‘s Hawaiian wish boxes. Admission is free and it will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the lawn adjacent to the Poipu eatery. Call 742-1424 for more information …

Adopt-A-Classroom founder Ric Cox says the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay is seeking volunteers to serve as iPals (reading pals or tutors) in Kilauea and Hanalei. The organization is looking for volunteers to spend one hour each week with students at the North Shore elementary schools. Another initiative it recently announced is iPals4iPads, and the club is looking for individuals or businesses to donate $103 to help purchase mini iPads to be shared by second- to fifth-graders. To participate in either of these initiatives, contact Cox at ric14@aol.com …

The Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture and Kaua’i Community College will host a workshop Friday to discuss the cultivation of fish and vegetables through aquaponics. The workshop, titled, “Aquaponics on Kaua’i: Logistics and Economics of Small and Large-Scale Production,” will be conducted by Cheng-Sheng Lee, the center’s executive director, and Harry Ako, University of Hawaii aqua-culture researcher. Other presenters include Clyde Tamaru and Bernie Tsao. Email ocet@-hawaii.edu for more information and to register for the workshop …

A public facility funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is in the beginning stages of construction on Hawaiian Home Lands in Kekaha. The facility will be used as an enterprise center – an economic and business training ground.

“This is one of my favorite projects because it really came from the community, from leaders and elders who saw a need and worked with us to make it happen,” says Lilia Kapuniai of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “I know it’s going to be the foundation for so many great things to come for the people in West Kaua’i.” …

Congrats to Elayna Ah Puck, Tracie Fujioka and Christine Yotsuda for making the academic Dean’s List at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian university in California. The students were honored for achieving a grade-point average of 3.5 of higher …

Hawaii BioEnergy recently was awarded a $5 million grant to create a photosynthetic open-pond system in order to produce algal oil at its facility on Kaua’i. The money was part of $22 million invested by the U.S. Department of Energy to help create algae fuels and initiate advanced biofuels across the country. Though the use of biofuels is still widely debated as far as whether it is indeed an environmentally friendly option, Kaua’i Rep. Dee Morikawa believes it is a step in the right alternative energy direction.

“Hawaii has long been at the forefront of developing alternative energies, and I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy has recognized our efforts in pursing energy security,” she says. “As an island state, we are extremely dependent and vulnerable to the availability of imported oil. We must continue to foster growth in renewable energy technologies to strengthen our local economy and, most importantly, to continue a positive transition toward clean and efficient energy. This project adds to a number of other alternative energy initiatives on Kaua’i, including solar farms and biomass production.” …

Kaua’i Community College has announced open enrollment for its Professional Massage Therapy Program, with a new class that appeals to all levels of massage therapy. The course boasts being first of its kind to be offered in the evenings, so that even experienced working therapists can enhance their education. The program also welcomes Berna Akiona, who will serve as massage coordinator and instructor.

“As a graduate of the Kaua’i Community College Professional Massage Program in 2004, under the direction of Virginia Dunas, an incredible and inspiring individual and mentor, I am very excited to join KCC as the new massage coordinator and instructor, and hope to enhance and grow the program,” she says. “Having been a part of the KCC family for more than eight years, I hope to enhance and introduce new offerings to grow the Massage Therapy School as a whole and position KCC as a leader in massage therapy education.” …

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