Pop Go The Frozen Island Treats

These 16 performers were with the old luau and are now with Luau Kalamaku, 15 years in all: (front, from left) Kalia Mayer, Brianne Pa, Malia Cremer; (middle) Kainoa Woodward, Katie Barker, Rizalyn Ogata, Kala Oshira, Tehane Perry; (back) Preston Lingaton, Alberto Genovia, Manu Dizon, Lokelani Sasil, Jacob Punzal, Butter DeFries, Kathleen Woodward, Alani Woodward

Following a recent trip with my family to Honolulu to enjoy a little holoholo with everything from a canoe race to strolling through Ala Moana Center, I was pleased to return to the Garden Isle with an inbox chock-full of innovation from people on Kaua’i. It just goes to show that getting off the island is good fun, but there’s plenty of creativity on-island to keep us busy and inspired …

It was with a passion for all things delicious and refreshing that inspired local attorney Gregory Meyers

to start moonlighting as an OnoPop entrepreneur. The University of Michigan business school graduate says this is his first business endeavor since selling Charms Blow Pops in grade school. For those who don’t know what an OnoPop is (which Meyers debuted at the recent Kaua’i Farm Bureau Garden Fair), it’s a frozen treat with arguably some of the most unique combinations a frozen pop has ever seen. One resident even called trying the Mauna Kea Green Tea a life-changing event. Flavors include Mango Habanero Lime, Ume Thai Basil, Pineapple Lihing, Dark Chocolate Chinese Five Spice, Kona Latte, Papaya Lime Vanilla, Guava Tamarind, Mexican Milk Chocolate, Gingatanical Green, Orange Cinnamon, Banana Cream Pie, Pink Lemon Creme, Strawberry Goat Cheese, Lilikoi 50-50, Kalamansi Coriander, Caramel Shoyu and my personal favorite, P to the O to the G (yes, POG) with local lilikoi, Kona orange, guava and cane juice. But don’t take my word for it, try any one of them at canoe regattas, farmers’ markets, the Friday Night Art Walk in Hanapepe, and the upcoming Relay for Life event at Hanapepe Stadium April 30 …

Congratulations to koah Vierkoetter, whose father Jim says he couldn’t be prouder of his daughter.

Koah, born and raised on Kaua’i, attended Hanalei Elementary, Kapaa High School, University of Hawaii at Manoa and will soon graduate as an M.D. from the John A. Burns School of Medicine. She was matched for an OB/GYN residency program in Honolulu …

Coinciding with Military Appreciation Month on the West side, the boutique-y Waimea Plantation Cottages presents the third annual Chamber of Commerce Taste of Waimea from 5 to 7 p.m. May 12 to honor our military men and women from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, National Guard stationed in Hanapepe, and Kaua’i veterans for their selfless dedication and service. Ono food will be accompanied by entertainment by the Makaha Sons. A not-to-miss celebration …

And here’s to the fourth anniversary Luau Kalamaku celebration. Created originally by Norwegian Cruise Lines as a cruise-guest only show, it’s now open to non-cruise ship guests Tuesdays and Fridays. And it’s not just visitors who will be there, as the line’s rep says it has roughly 100 Kaua’i employees working the event, including creative director Nani Marston and Kumu Hula Kathleen Woodward and husband Alani, who plays guitar. The company held its anniversary celebration April 14 at the historic Kilohana Plantation in Lihu’e with dinner and a voyaging show based on how Hawaiians traveled back in the day …

And the Kaua’i Academy of Creative Arts Summer Program will introduce several new artist-instructors for its program beginning June 20, slated to end July 15 with an open house. New to the staff this summer is Natalie Fryman, whose students in her theater arts class will learn “The Art of Storytelling” through theatrical exercises and games that aim to build the tools needed to create a character and tell a story. Returning educators include Colleen Ogino, Sheri Majewski and Deyna Mielke. Donia Lilly joins the group from Raratonga, Cook Islands. Other classes include piano, taiko drumming and hip-hop with Jennifer Bell Grey, and foam board 3-D koa sculpture and illustrative drawing with Derek Glaskin. Director Mary Nakamura says she wants to give a mahalo to the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, which helps the program with funding. For brochure and registration information, contact Mary at 346-7586 or email admin@kauaicreativearts.org …

Nick Vujicic from LifeWithoutLimbs.org will speak at 10:30 a.m Friday, April 22, at Kaua’i Marriot Ballroom (music begins at 10:15). Vujicic, 28, is the author of Life Without Limbs who describes being born without limbs as something “God has given me the strength to surmount.” Arrive early as space is first-come, first-served. For more information, call Kelly Braun at 346-8903, or Pastor Roy Sasak of Kaua’i Island Ministries at 652-1829 …

A few years back I first interviewed drug-use expert Gary Shimabukuro of Laulima Hawaii regarding the ongoing, burgeoning drug problem facing Kaua’i youths. (He was talking about the drug salvia years before others had even heard of it). One of the most compelling interviews I’ve had, Shimabukuro is well-versed (to say the least) in the most recent and current trends regarding drugs on this island. He will be part of a free drug-awareness presentation at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 2, at Waimea Theater. The presentation will focus on the latest in what parents, educators and community members should know about illegal drug use and over-the-counter drugs that have led to overdoses in Hawaii.

Shimabukuro has been providing drug education to businesses, schools, apprenticeship programs, labor organizations, management groups, law enforcement agencies, military personnel and other organizations since 1978. For more information or to request special assistance or an auxiliary aid (five days in advance, please) contact Lt. Richard Rosa at 338-1831 …

A gentle reminder to those wanting to get events into MidWeek, please email us 20 days in advance of your event to ensure its inclusion. We want to help spread your message.

And don’t forget to send your photos for Focus On Kaua’i …

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