Keep An Eye On This Young Band

Tone II: Kai, Wyatt and Noa Harrison and Eli Smart. Amanda C. Gregg photo

I was so taken aback recently by a group of musicians that took an event by storm: Tone II, made up of four adolescents (three of whom are brothers), Kai, Wyatt and Noa Harrison and Eli Smart, had people moving and shaking at the Feb. 4 Family Summit in Kapa’a, playing The Police‘s Message in a Bottle and Jet‘s Are You Gonna Be My Girl with a hint of skater-punk talent thrown into the mix. Though I felt certain their skills must have been honed since they were in diapers, I was wrong. In fact, shocker No. 2 was the youths have only been playing instruments for two years. Keep an eye out for these youngsters.

All they need is an agent and there’s no stopping them …

Andrea Brower of Malama Kaua’i, which is helping out with the publicity of several Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative candidate meetings, says residents should mark the following dates and times if they want information before the upcoming election: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m., Kapa’a Library, hosted by the Wailua-Kapa’a Neighborhood Association; Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 a.m. Kaua’i Community College (location TBA), hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Lihue Business Association; and Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Neighborhood Center, hosted by Kilauea Neighborhood Association …

I was talking story with state Sen. Ron Kouchi the other day (look to the Feb. 22 issue for the article) about the challenges the island is facing, especially when there is a budget deficit. Kouchi pointed out there’s no such thing as a program in human services worth cutting, whether it supports our kupuna, young parents and families or teaches people how to have healthier lives. So I’d like to remind readers about an upcoming Kaua’i United Way fundraiser that will begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Oasis on the Beach in Waipouli. Proceeds will go toward ensuring critical social services continue to make life better for every single person on Kaua’i, and, of course, it also will feature some killer food and entertainment, including songwriter Malani Bilyeu. Cost is $70, which includes a four-course meal and a no-host bar. For an additional $30, wines will be paired with each course. For reservations, call 822-9332. To learn more, go to kauaiunitedway.org …

Another organization worthy of support is offering some entertainment this weekend: YWCA Kaua’i has brought a little bit of Eve Ensler to the island with the upcoming Vagina Monologues, directed by Leah Tamara. Locally known names in the show include Frances Dinnan, Sabra Kauka, Laurel Loo and Nadine Nakamura. The main shows start at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, at Kaua’i Community College Performing Arts Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. and a preshow will feature music by Becka Smith. Tickets are available at Hanalei Music, Larry’s Music, Scotty’s Music, Papaya’s, Talk Story Bookstore, Super Duper Two Ice Cream Shop and the YWCA. For more information, call: 245-5959 or go to ywcakauai.org. There is a $20 suggested donation for tickets, and all proceeds benefit the expansion of YWCA services …

Women In Theatre, an organization dedicated to creating quality theatrical experiences on Kaua’i, continues to put on A. R. Gurney‘s New York-based comedy Sylvia, about a dog who changes the lives of characters Greg and Kate. The play is directed by Sandi O’Shaughnessy, and features an ensemble cast of Rebecca Hanson, Bard Widmer, Deborah Cecil and Brady Solis. The play will run Feb. 24, 25 and 26 at Coconut Marketplace in Kapa’a, and March 2 and 3 at Community College Performing Arts Center. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7 p.m.; Sunday shows begin at 5. Tickets cost $20 and are available online at brownpapertickets.com/event/222220. For more information, go to womenintheatre.org or call 635-3727 …

Diann Hartman of Grand Hyatt Kaua’i asked that we acknowledge resort staff recently honored at its annual awards banquet. Congratulations to Gerry Ballesteros and Nick Hermann, named employee and manager of the year, respectively. Competing for the honors with other outstanding coworkers of the resort’s 900plus associates, the top honorees were recognized with lei and koa bowls. Doug Sears, the resort’s general manager, says though Hermann and Ballesteros don’t work in the “front of house,” their work behind the scenes has been “crucial to keeping the resort running smoothly for guests.” Ballesteros, a grandfather of five, has worked at the resort for 21 years, and has helped ensure catered group events and restaurants operate smoothly. Hermann began in the Hyatt Corporate Management Trainee program in Chicago before beginning his tenure at the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i three years ago. As the assistant director of engineering, Hermann oversees the many systems from air-conditioning to pool water pumps that keep the resort up and running. In addition to the recognition, Ballesteros and Hermann will get an extra five days paid vacation, airfare for two, six complimentary nights at a Hyatt hotel and spending money. Ballesteros says he plans to go to San Francisco to visit relatives, and Hermann says he will take his wife, Corie, and 1-year-old daughter Noelle to Florida. Wow. Enjoy! …

Speaking of the Grand Hyatt, now that it’s the official headquarters for this year’s fourth annual Kaua’i Marathon, which will begin at 6 a.m. Sept. 2, I feel like I have another reason to train. Complimentary shuttles from the resort to the start of the marathon in front of Poipu Shopping Village will be available, as well as shuttles back to the resort from the Sheraton Kaua’i, the site of the finish line and after-race party. If a full marathon isn’t your cup of tea, other options include the four-person marathon relay and half marathon, both certified by USATF and AIMS. The race was just acknowledged by Bob Anderson, founder of Runner’s World magazine, on his website bestroadraces.com, where it is featured on the Top 100 list. The only other Hawaii race listed is the Honolulu Marathon, which just celebrated its 38th year. For a complete list of the Top 100 by location, go to bestroadraces.com/brr100.p hp/location. For special marathon room rates, go to thekauaimarathon.com

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