Cheering Wahine Who Go The Distance

Stroker Leigh Drachman of Niumalu Canoe Club pounds over a wave during the Kendall Pacific Ocean Fest Sept. 10. Jason Phillips photo

With Na Wahine O Ke Kai the 38-mile women’s outrigger canoe trek from Molokai to Oahu this weekend, I’d like to give the wahine who will represent the Garden Isle a shout out: Good luck, ladies. It seems Kaua’i’s crews have been ramping up for the end of the six-man season rather than tapering off, using water-change races like the Kendall Pacific Ocean Fest as the perfect practice to prepare for this weekend’s upcoming mother lode of outrigger canoe races …

Congratulations to those who participated in the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association season finale Sept. 10, which included stand-up paddling and sixman outrigger canoe race participants, and to Capt. Donnie Jones and his crew from Kaua’i aboard the sailing canoe “Tui Tonga,” which won their category. Strong head winds and breaking surf made the race a challenge, according to participants. Coming in first place for the men was Na Molokama with a time of 3:51:10, followed by of Sacramento, Calif., I’m in awe of what the combination of the coconut wireless and our modern age of Internet and social media can accomplish. Hats off to Kaua’i Police Department for being a swift force to reckon with, as Williams was arrested at St. Regis Princeville Resort within two days of the alleged crime at American Savings Bank on Rice Street …

The Sept. 7-9 General Atomics Science Expo for KAUA’I IN-STEP (Science & Technology Education Partnership) demonstrated to keiki that dedicating time to learning math and science can lead to a thrilling career, including being a pilot and flying some of the most expensive aircraft in the world. The expo was part of an initiative designed to inspire students toward careers engineering and technology, according to Envisioneering Inc. …

The County of Kaua’i Housing Agency will host a public meeting on its Lima Ola project, a proposal to develop 75 acres in ‘Ele’ele into the county’s first green, sustainable affordable community, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Hanapepe Public Library. The purpose of the meeting is to receive public input on community needs regarding the proposed affordable housing plan. For more information, call the Housing Agency’s Development Division at 241-4440 …

Students mingle toward educational booths at the General Atomics Science Expo for KAUA‘I IN-STEP. Photo courtesy County of Kaua‘

I always admired the idea of putting a 44-cent First Class stamp on an envelope and sending it nearly 3,000 miles, and am a little sad to think that business model might be coming to an end. The United States Postal Service will host a series of community town hall meetings to discuss the proposed closing of the Hanama’ulu Post Office on Kaua’i as well as the uptown Honolulu and Kapolei post offices on Oahu, and the Kalaupapa Post Office on Molokai. The public meeting will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Hanamaulu Station, 3-4251 Kuhio Hwy. …

What an honor that Kaua’i is hosting the Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials annual conference at the Grand Hyatt this week. After taking a one-year break because of tight budgetary times, the conference is back with assistance from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association and thanks to the hard work of the County of Kaua’i Planning Department, Get Fit Kaua’i and grants from Communities Putting Prevention to Work. This year’s theme, “Planning for Healthy and Livable Communities,” brings national healthy communities experts such as Matthews M. Hamabata, executive director of the Kohala Center, and Jim Charlier of the transportation planning firm Charlier and Associates (who was just on-island for the Kaua’i Multimodal Land Transportation Plan, a county project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation). The conference’s keynote speaker, Dan Burden, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to create healthy, connected communities, will discuss planning for livable spaces. Burden, who’s been helping the “world get back on its feet” for the past 35 years, will tour Lihu’e to review its sidewalks, crosswalks and connectivity, and offer a block-by-block perspective, and then participate in Walkable and Livable Communities 101 in meeting rooms A&B at the Pi’ikoi Building in Lihu’e Civic Center. Burden was dubbed one of the six most important civic innovators in the world by TIME magazine. For more information, email patgriffin@hawaiiantel.net …

This week also brings the 2011 Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii MiniConference, provided by The Institute For Family Enrichment and funded by a grant through the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund. The conference is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Courtyard by Marriott Paddle Room. Cost is $10 and includes lunch and materials. To register, contact Bob Raasch at 7483082 or via email at Braasch@tiffe.org …

It’s time for the 2011 Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, with a hula video presentation, “Voices of Our Kupuna” at 5 p.m. at the Kaua’i Museum Wednesday, Sept. 21; a 6 p.m. Solo and Group Hula Kahiko Nei Competition Thursday, Sept. 22; a 6 p.m. Group Auana Competition Friday, Sept. 23; and a noon Solo Hula Auana Competition and Finale Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Kaua’i Beach Resort Jasmine Ballroom. Cost is $15 advance/$20 at door. For tickets, call Maka Herrod at 652-4497. For more information, go to maliefoundation.org …

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