Biomass Plant Set To Rise Soon

Sir Ghillean Prance | Photo from Juliana Wichman

Sir Ghillean Prance | Photo from Juliana Wichman

One exciting step toward a more sustainable life for us all here on Kaua’i was the recent groundbreaking and blessing of the biomass-to-energy plant at Knudsen Gap. Last month, Kumu Sabra Kauka conducted the ceremony with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. and state Rep. Dee Morikawa, who shared their thoughts on a seven-minute video viewed through this link: youtube/MhMHSVicUr0. The plant will be built on the northern side of Kaumuali’i Highway, just before the tunnel of trees. The project leaders would like to notify the affected communities, in particular Koloa, that the next step for the project – erection of the steel frame – is slated to begin in April and be completed in June. Eric Knutzen of Green Energy Hawaii says the project offers lower electric cost than fossil fuel, cleaner air than the current Port Allen diesel electric production and 39 direct jobs. “It’s one of the key sustainability actions we’ll see this decade,” he says …

Renowned botanist, explorer and professor Sir Ghillean Prance will talk about the ethnobotany of the Guarani Indians March 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at a National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kaua’i Community College-sponsored lecture in the KCC cafeteria. The free lecture is part of the “Around the World of Plants” series. Prance has spent much of his life exploring and collecting plants in the tropical rain forests of Amazonia. His career has focused on the relationship between plants and people around the world …

It was so much fun last year to journey back to the ’80s for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kaua’i‘s annual Bowl For Kids Sake benefit, and this year promises to be just as fun. Slated for Saturday, March 2, 3-5:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Kaua’i Bowl, 4303 Rice St. in Lihu’e with a ’60s and ’70s theme, it’s time to bust out those bell bottoms and peace signs in a venue for families and local businesses to come out and show support for the children and mentors involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. To register, call Kaulana Finn at 855-2905 or visit …

Congratulations to 2012 Kaua’i Marathon female champion Brett Ely, who just won her first international race at the Iwaki City Sunshine Marathon in Japan. For the past four years, the Kaua’i Marathon has partnered with the Iwaki City Sunshine Marathon by hosting the winner of their respective races. Ely was greeted with moderate conditions and 4,865 race participants on the course, which led runners from Iwaki Civic Track and Field Grounds to Onohama Port, a route that still shows the devastation of the 2011 tsunami. The exciting race ended with a female course record for Ely, at 2:49:04. The fifth annual Kaua’i Marathon is scheduled for Sept.1. For more information, visit …

Brett Ely represented Kaua‘i in Japan | Photo from Robin Jumper

Brett Ely represented Kaua‘i in Japan | Photo from Robin Jumper

Kaua’i Fire Department and Kaua’i Civil Defense Agency are sponsoring a disaster and emergency preparedness course tailored to citizens and taught by firefighters. The CERT program is free to full-and part-time residents. “During a massive disaster, such as a hurricane, assistance from a first responder is not immediately guaranteed,” KFD Chief Bob Westerman said. “The CERT program allows us to be proactive and train residents in basic disaster response so they become equipped to assist family members and neighbors until help arrives.”

During the training, with topics such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and medical operations, participants learn about different types of disasters and how to prepare and respond. Lihu’e classes will be held ongoing Thursdays, Feb. 21 through March 28, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at KFD headquarters in the Piikoi Building, Ste. 315, at Lihu’e Civic Center. Trainings also will be held Tuesdays, March 5 through April 9, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at Hanalei Community Center. Participants are required to complete all six courses in order to become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. Missed classes can be made up during a later session.

Additional courses will be offered throughout the year around the island with the goal of having CERT members in every neighborhood across Kaua’i. For more information on the CERT program, go to or call 645-0661. To request an ASL interpreter, materials in an alternate format or other auxiliary aid support, contact CERT coordinator John Cornell at 645-0661 or email at least seven days prior to the course …

A reminder that the deadline to nominate candidates for Leadership Kaua’i‘s Ho’okanaka Awards is 5 p.m. March 4. The awards honor and celebrate exceptional leaders in the Kaua’i community who demonstrate the following practices: model the way (sets the example), inspires a shared vision (forward-thinker), challenges the process (experiments and takes risks), enables others to act (fosters collaboration), or encourages the heart (recognizes contributions). Send submissions and supplemental materials via mail, fax or email by deadline. To download the form, go to: To mail, send to: Leadership Kaua’i, ATTN: Ho’okanaka Awards Nomination 2013, P.O. Box 1567, Lihu’e, HI 96766. To fax: (808)246-8726. To email: For more information, call the Leadership Kaua’i office at 246-8727; or executive director Sherri Patrick at 651-5744. From the nominations, Leadership Kaua’i’s board of directors will select outstanding adult and youth leaders to be honored and celebrated at an awards ceremony Saturday, May 4, starting at 6 p.m. at Kaua’i Beach Resort. Cost is $75 for adults, $50 for youths 18 and under, or $700 for a table of 10. To learn more, go to …

The deadline for comments on the Department of Water‘s water system development fee has been extended to Friday, March 8. The fee covers the cost of adding new capacity such as a new development or home expansion, and is applied to building permit and subdivision applications. For complete details and to view all the options the DOW Board is considering, go to Written comments can be sent to David Craddick, Department of Water, 4398 Pua Loke St., Lihu’e, HI 96766. Input also can be provided by email to dcraddick@kauaiwater.or g or during a scheduled meeting with a DOW official by deadline. To schedule a meeting, contact Mary Jane Garasi at 245-5408.

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