Plenty To Praise In Kaua‘i Teens

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Christopher Gregg motivates Kauai Aloha chapter Cub Scouts in a tug-of-war at CJM Stables in Po'ipu. Photo courtesy Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh

What a job well done by Kaua’i County Anti-Drug coordinator Theresa koki and Communities Mobilizing for Change coordinator Brenda Jose, who took some deeply ingrained societal behaviors head on, attempting to improve the island’s underage drinking statistics (Kaua’i has the youngest first-users of alcohol among male minors, according to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Jose recently helped youths take the lead in removing pro-alcohol advertising from Kujo’s Mini Mart in Kalaheo, partnering with owner Sera Callejo. Youths involved in the project included Tobey aguano, Queara alao, Caitlyn Bukoski, kyara Bunao, Seana Date, Teyanni esaki, kaimana Jose, uakea Jose, Jade Cano and kawehi Tamashiro. Way to make a difference! …

Speaking of keiki doing great things, congratulations to Kaua’i Community Federal Credit Union’s Your Choice Scholarship program recipients kaitlyn Jarry, Christen Wilson and konakai Wilson from Kapa’a High School, ira Lapitan from Kaua’i High School and Charleen Miguel from Waimea High School. The students were awarded by the KCFCU in a ceremony at the Kukui Grove West office in Lihu’e. Jarry will attend Purdue University in Indiana, where she will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Wilson plans to attend Chapman University in California to pursue a degree in elementary education. Wilson and Miguel will attend the University of Hawai’iManoa, majoring in apparel product design and merchandising and animal science, respectively. Lapitan will attend Portland State University majoring in child and family studies. Congrats, grads! …

It’s also moving to hear about adults inspiring keiki. I’d like to laud Master-at-Arms 1st Class Christopher Gregg and Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Rob Leedham, who helped motivate some Aloha Chapter Kaua’i Cub Scouts during a tug-of-war June 11 with roughly a dozen sailors from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at their annual Cub Scout Day Camp at CJM Stables in Po’ipu. Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jay C. Pugh says the sailors’ efforts emphasized physical fitness and the importance of exercise to more than 60 Cub Scouts. Bravo zulu, boys! …

It wouldn’t be summer on Kaua’i without enjoying music, and a perfect chance is this year’s Red Clay Jazz Festival. The four-day event includes two nights of dinner jazz preceding the festival from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today (June 22) at 22 North with music by Michael Ruff, and at Joe’s on the Green in Po’ipu featuring the Southside Swing Quartet with David Braun; from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. this Thursday (June 23) at Kaua’i Marriot Beach Resort’s Aupaka Terrace featuring the Hailey Niswanger Quartet; and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort at Nanea Lanai featuring Treysara … But those gigs are just the preamble. The festival kicks off with a chance to meet the artists from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, at Oasis on the Beach in Kapa’a. It’s an opportunity to not only meet musicians and sip vintage wines, but also to listen to music by guitarist Kirk Smart. Finally, doors open at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, for the festival at Kaua’i Lagoons Resort, which will include headlining flutist Hubert Laws and his quintet, Nat Hentoff, the Hailey Niswanger Quartet and Hawaii favorites Phil and Angela Benoit and their combo from Maui, and Kaua’i’s Steve Dubey with Ne’ena Jazz. Also a highlight, throughout the concert June 25 a wide array of dishes made primarily with Kaua’i organic produce, meats, fish and poultry will be prepared by chefs from 22 North, Kaua’i Beach Marriott and Resort, the Hukilau Lanai and Reggie Berry’s Interactive Cafe. For tickets and more information, go to …

Hard to believe it’s been a decade since the inaugural Heiva I Kaua’i, a two-day all-out tribute to the Polynesian roots of the Garden Isle replete with Tahitian dance, drumming and crafts. The nonprofit competition (which annually includes more than 70 solo and multiple group competitors from throughout Hawaii and the Mainland) will feature award-winning Te Vai Ura Nui from Oahu, who will perform Otea, Aparima and Ahuroa dances. Coordinator Pat Finberg says in addition to the inspired entertainment, guests can once again look forward to ono local food and hands-on Polynesian cultural craft demonstrations, in addition to daily dance and drumming workshops, and a silent auction. The two-day event will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 (gates open at 9 a.m.), with solo categories, including Otea vahine and tane, for junior, senior and master (age 26-plus) divisions with group categories of Otea, Aparima, Ahuroa, and Tahitian drumming will follow that afternoon and continue into the next day beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, ending with solo, group and drumming award presentations. Cost is $5 a day (free for keiki age 6 and under). The event is ADA accessible, and those in need of an auxiliary aid to participate should call 822-9447 by Aug. 1 for arrangements. For more information, go to

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