Planning For A Better Kauai

Kauai’s population is growing, and it’s become quite obvious that the infrastructure can’t withstand the accelerated rise in people and vehicles. I won’t even compare it to the days I used to visit the island as a child, when rarely a car would pass you by on the highway. It’s changed dramatically just in the past handful of years. Not only do I avoid Kapaa at most costs now, but I also skip out on my regular visits to Hanalei because it no longer resembles the quaint small town I remember. With the world population climbing toward 8 billion, it’s no surprise there doesn’t appear to be enough room for all of us. Nonetheless, I applaud groups such as Citizen Advisory Committee for the Lihue Town Core Urban Design Plan that are attempting to create more sustainable communities, which are beneficial for residents and help keep cars off the road. I don’t think I’m alone, however, in wishing things would progress just a wee bit faster on that project …

The growing Garden Isle population has made the lives of Kauai Police Department dispatchers busier, that’s for sure. Accidents and emergencies, such as the more than 100 stranded hikers at Hanakapiai Beach (I don’t ever remember passing that many people on the trail going both ways!), have been keeping them on their toes. They were recognized during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (April 13-19). Though the news is a little late, it doesn’t hurt to say thanks anyway. They certainly deserve our gratitude…

Another group we may need to rely on should some sort of emergency strike the island is Kauai Amateur Radio Club. During Hurricane Iniki, Ham radio (amateur radio) was a means of communication on the island, and was useful in requesting help from outside. It also linked people from one end of the island to the other. The club continues to keep its equipment ready for such possibilities, and it also help people become licensed radio operators. There will be a study session and test May 3 for anyone interested in becoming an operator. Visit kauaiarc.org or contact John Montalbano at kh6jmm@hawaii.rr.com for more information …

Congrats to Paul Togioka, whose new CD Aikane Kuikawa was nominated for a Na Hoku Hanohano Award under the Slack Key Album of the Year category…

Another shout out goes to author Jo Ann Lordahl, who recently released A Secret Kept in Hawaii, a sequel to her Princess Ruth. The story is set on Kauai, where the main character Samantha commences a spiritual quest while facing her struggles with fidelity, militarism and caring for the aina. Lordahl will sign copies of her new book May 9 at Talk Story in Hanapepe during Art Night. Visit joannlordahl.com for more information…

Hawaii Children’s Theatre has announced its new season lineup. To start things off this summer, keiki are slated to perform a one-act production of The Wizard of Oz. The program begins mid-June and performances will be held July 10-13. “HCT After Dark” this summer – intended for young adult actors, and the show is PG15 and separate from Summer Stars – will be the musical Avenue Q. The fall play will be Shrek The Musical. Auditions for actors of all ages begin June 19. Visit hawaiichildrenstheatre.com or call 246-8985 for more information …

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