Kaua‘i Artists Receive State Awards

The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts gave purchase awards at Art Kaua‘i 2012. Works by three Kaua‘i artists were selected for possible acquisition for the state Art in Public Places program. Award recipients and their works are: Michelle Dick for Na Pali Sunset and Moonrise (scratchboard), Francis DuBois for You and Me (oil on panel), and Licia McDonald for Gene Manipulation (clay).

Art Kaua‘i 2012 will run until Sept. 11 at the Kaua‘i Society of Artists space at Kukui Grove Center. Hours: Saturday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays until 8 p.m. Please come to enjoy works by all artists in the show. Visit art-ksa.com for more information about the show or how to submit works for future shows …

It was so heartening to learn recently from Renae Hamilton, executive director of YWCA Kaua‘i, that a memorial garden will be dedicated at the Y in memory of Sandra Galas. Galas’s is one of a handful of unsolved murders on the island over the past six years. She was only 27 and the mother of two little boys in January 2006 when she was found dead in her car. She was going through a divorce and custody struggle at the time of her death. Hamilton says the garden will serve as a memorial to Galas and as a symbol of hope and inspiration to the community. “Sandy was murdered just as she was making positive changes in her life. She had courage to make these changes and provide a better life for her two sons.” Cranes in the garden will represent the sons she loved so much and left behind. Others who have died also will be remembered at the site. “We are planning to utilize lighting in the garden to remember and recognize all victims of violence, such as when women are murdered as a result of domestic violence,” explains Hamilton. “We really want this garden to be the ‘place/symbol’ of the cost of violence directed against women and to find inspiration to end the violence in our community.” A bench will be covered with moss rock topped with granite, and the pedestal will tell Galas’s story. Let’s hope the story remains loud enough to get the case brought to court …

What an inspiring story Robin Jumper — who is helping promote this week’s Kaua‘i Marathon (6 a.m. start, Sept. 2) —shared with me.

It’s about our brave men and women like Capt. Varinka Ensminger, busy defending freedom in Afghanistan, and, therefore unable to be on Kaua‘i for the race. Instead, Ensminger, who also ran 26.2 miles on the day of the Boston Marathon to support The Hoyt Foundation, will join others in a satellite race abroad — same day, same time, different place. Ensminger has run Kaua‘i Marathon for the past two years, and conceived the idea of the parallel race. (She expects some 60 runners to participate!) How awesome is that? …

Speaking of the marathon, keep in mind that there also are events that aren’t just about running. The Sports and Fitness Expo opens its doors in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Grand Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, and Saturday, Sept. 1. Also on Saturday, veteran runner and Runner’s World ambassador Bart Yasso will be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to sign autographs, discuss race strategies and talk story with folks. Complimentary slide show presentations Saturday include “How to Avoid Four Common Running Injuries” by Meynard Enriquez MPT, Ryan Martin DPT, Melissa Jamerino DPT — physical therapists from Hawaii Sports and Balance Center — and “The Art of Race Walking” with coach Gary Westlund, founder and president of Charities Challenge Inc. at 12:30 p.m. Also that weekend (Sept. 1) is the Third Annual Fun Run, starting at 8 a.m. at the end of Po‘ipu Road, just past Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i. The pre-race fun-run is open to the public and provides an informal opportunity to soak in the marathon spirit. The 3to 5-mile run will be led by marathon hosts Dean Karnazes and Bart Yasso

I was so happy to recently stumble upon the new Sweet Marie’s in Lihu‘e. I stopped by to see how owner Marie Castle is doing with her new sprawling digs (much larger than her old Kapa‘a location) and her new savory treats. Castle specializes in gluten-free everything, from muffins to wedding cakes, and now offers warm and savory lunches such as lasagna, gluten-free pizza, turkey meatloaf and macadamia nut-encrusted chicken with house-made lilikoi-mustard sauce. “We’re totally dedicated to gluten-free everything,” Castle says when I ask her about the bread crumbs on the meatloaf. The Mama’s kitchen-style atmosphere is the perfect place to work and eat, and she even has toys for the little ones. Keep in mind she’s changed her days off to Sundays and Mondays, and Sweet Marie’s is now open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3-3204 Kuhio Hwy., Suite 101. For more information, call 823-0227 or go to sweetmarieskauai.com …

Coral Andrews, executive director of Hawaii Health Connector, recently paid a visit to Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. to discuss the new health exchange program. Connector’s services will be accessible via a Web portal “online marketplace” by October 2013 for the public to review and compare health plans. The opportunity is in part thanks to the state Legislature that in July passed a bill creating Hawaii Health Connector as a private, quasi-governmental nonprofit. (It will be funded entirely by federal dollars until 2015). For more information, go to hawaiihealthconnector.com to view documents and request to be added to the mailing list …

And please don’t forget to email me your wedding and birth announcements, promotions and hires …

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