Kudos For Climate Leadership Award

Congratulations to Kaua’i Community College, which recently was selected to receive a 2013 Climate Leadership Award by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just and sustainable society by transforming higher education.

Honored for their sustainability efforts were Eric Knutzen, director of Ho’ouluwehi, the Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua’i; Imaikalani Aiu, special assistant to the housing director for the County of Kaua’i (and, full disclosure, my husband), and KCC chancellor Helen Cox. “Kaua’i imports approximately 90 percent of its food and produces 91 percent of its energy with off-island fossil fuel, of which 85 percent is imported from foreign countries,” Knutzen says. “What is so inspiring is the positive attitude of our students, faculty and administrators, who believe that we can make a difference together – now.” The award recognizes the work ahead as well as accomplishments made so far toward sustainability. Those sustainability efforts have included recycling and repurposing 40-foot shipping containers by carpentry students and converting them to affordable housing.

“For Hawaiians, I believe sustainability is in our blood. It was taught to all of us by one of our kupuna who reminded us to malama aina,” Aiu says. “It was bred into us as people who crossed thousands of miles of ocean to find tiny new lands and knew how precious they were. It was born into us as the younger siblings of Haloa, our roots and our life are in the soil and water …”

For more information, go to secondnature.org/acupcc-progress

What a fabulous floral procession the Kamehameha Parade turned out to be this year, with traditional pa’u riders representing each island, Hawaiian organizations in full regalia, and the Kamehameha Court led by Ali’i Nui Louis Hoomanawanui, Pa’u Marshal Norman Ho’okano, Grand Marshal Sam Mahuiki Sr. and Pa’u Queen Nalani Palama Soares. Especially fitting was this year’s theme, E Ola Mau Na Hawaii a me ka Mo’omeheu Hawaii- “May Hawaiians and their Culture Live Forever!” …

Even though school’s out for summer, you won’t want to miss viewing Kaua’i students in the season finale of Kaua’i Shining Stars in Education, which recently was released. The episode features Kekaha Elementary School students communicating what they are learning to their families, and offers a closer look at the school’s Career Day, as well as an appearance by Trysen Kuneshige from Kaua’i High School and PSAs by Waimea Canyon Middle School students. The show airs on Hoike local television, Channel 54, Sundays at 8 p.m., Mondays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m. The Web channel link allowing worldwide access 24/7 on any computer or smartphone device: https://vimeo.com/channels/kauaishiningstars

There’s nothing like heavenly Hanalei, especially in the summer. And now it’s almost time for the seventh annual Hanalei Bay Swim Challenge, the perfect venue for four races for different ages and abilities, which will take place July 27, 7 a.m. to noon.

This year the race promises to be a little more interesting as Namolokama Canoe Club, which hosts the race, has challenged other outrigger canoe clubs to send teams of six to the to see which club has the best swimmers. Each six-person team will compete for the title of fastest canoe club swimmers. In order to qualify for this competition, all six swimmers must be members of the same canoe club and must all swim in the 1,000-meter race.

Other categories for the race range from children 8-and-under to veteran champions of the sport. Sign up by July 12 and pay $10 for the Pier Keiki races and $30 for older competitors in the 1,000- and 3,000-meter races. Each swimmer will receive an original commemorative T-shirt and a colorful swim cap. For more information, call Gregg Kravitz at (805) 657-9454 or go to hanaleibayswimchallenge.com

The Institute for Museum and Library Services recently awarded a grant of $1.17 million to the Hawaii State Public Library System. HSPLS will use the grant money to fund IT infrastructure, network and other technology, annual subscriptions to online databases, Microsoft IT Academy, PowerSpeak Languages and our newest eResource, Ed2Go. The grant also pays for some eBook/eAudio/eMusic and Internet access costs. The public is invited to explore all the state’s library collections, as well as information on HSPLS programs and services at librarieshawaii.org.

Speaking of the state’s libraries, they’re seeking feedback through July 31. The survey will help identify areas for improvement. The customer satisfaction survey also will gather responses concerning our online databases, e-Learning resources, eBooks/eAudio/eMusic collection and Internet scheduling self-service system, which we need for our annual Federal Library Services and Technology Act report. The survey can be found online at librarieshawaii.org and in paper version at all 50 libraries statewide … agregg@midweekkauai.com