Preparing For Japan’s Floating Junk

The Island School Alaka‘i Chorus is heading to Honolulu. Photo courtesy Philip Steinbacher

A few months ago, when a 6-year-old message in a bottle from Japan was found washed up during a beach cleanup at Pacific Missile Range Facility, I wondered what else we could expect on our shores following the March 11 tsunami and earthquake. For any MidWeek Kaua’i readers wondering the same thing, the Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup program and its new volunteer program to monitor Japanese tsunami debris and its radioactivity is hosting a meeting from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 10 in the Kaua’i Community College cafeteria along with the County of Kaua’i and state Department of Health. The Japanese Tsunami Debris Mini-Conference will address ocean currents and the arrival of potentially radioactive debris in Hawai’i, including where it might be and how to safely respond, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine plan for its monitoring and removal. Invited speakers include Nikolai Maximenko and Henrieta Dulaiova from the University of Hawaii, Carey Morishige of the NOAA Debris Program and Carl Berg of Surfrider Kaua’i …

Two free events will be held Dec. 7 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Kaua’i Community College to introduce the public to a new state-of-the-art technology for backyard food production. Aquaponics combines fish farming with the production of vegetables in a system that can be installed in your backyard or on your lanai. Larger systems also are available for commercial production.

The system is praised by food experts as a method of production that is superior to traditional agriculture because it produces more than eight times more food, is substantially less labor-intensive and even produces food that is more nutritious. After meeting in the Trade Technology Building, Room 114, the group will be led on a tour of the two systems: world-class small- scale commercial system and a mini-scale home system. For more information, contact Bernie Tsao at bernie.tsao@gmail.com or call 245-9323 …

It was lovely to see (and smell) the Christmas trees that “Coach O” (Orlando Anaya) of Mokihana Aquatics was helping tie on cars this past weekend at the Two Frogs Hugging parking lot in Lihu’e as part of the program’s annual fundraiser. Boasting about his process that makes his trees the best – and for a good cause, to boot – Anaya keeps the 6- to 8-foot trees in a 35-degree refrigerated container and even does a fresh cut with his saw before loading. Trees, including noble and Douglas firs, are for sale every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until they’re all gone. Tickets are available from Mokihana Aquatics swimmers and parents, and a portion of the cost is tax deductible. For more information, call 651-4216 or go to mokihanaaquatics.com …

Chief Perry with Det. James Miller. Cyndi Ayonon photo

Remember when that ATM was stolen from Anchor Cove Shopping Center? Kudos to Det. James Miller, whose work led to two arrests in the case and the recovery of stolen property. Kaua’i Police Chief Darryl Perry and the Kaua’i Police Commission named Miller Officer of the Month for November in honor of his crime-solving acumen. Perry lauded Miller as one of “Kaua’i’s finest,” acknowledging his positive attitude and teamwork. Well done …

Speaking of police, so far this year Kaua’i has had six driving fatalities, and KPD has been issuing tickets left and right, ranging from speeding violations to using a cell phone while driving and failure to use child restraints. Please remember to keep your- selves and your keiki safe out there on the roads. It’s the time of year when holiday parties mean alcohol and, unfortunately, increased drinking and driving. Assistant Chief Ale Quibilan says designating a driver or getting a taxi is a must. Sobriety check- points will be set up at various locations around the island. The holiday season also means more people on the road, as well as busier grocery stores and shopping center parking lots. While the hustle and bustle can contribute to an increased risk of accidents and arguments, Quibilan says the name of the game is planning ahead. When running errands this season, he suggests adding about 20 minutes to travel time. When people are running late, they have a higher tendency to cut off other drivers, make fastlane changes or tailgate. Quibilan also says in order to stay safe, be aware of surroundings, pay attention to others (rather than your cell phone) and keep valuables and packages in the trunk. Oh, and keep handicapped parking stalls available for those who need them – not only out of courtesy, but because the fine is steep: $260. To learn more about our traffic laws, go to capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol05_Ch02610319/HRS0291/ …

Congratulations to the Alaka’i Chorus of Island School, which will head to Oahu next month for the second annual Ho’olokahi Festival All- High School Mass Chorus music festival Jan. 22. Island School choral director Philip Steinbacher says his 44 students will join singers from Iolani School, Punahou School, Island Pacific Academy and Hawai’i Youth Opera Chorus, among others.

The concert will be conducted by Karen Kennedy, former chorus director for the Honolulu Symphony, artistic director for the Hawai’i International Choral Festival, and director of choral activities at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Kennedy is currently director of choral studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

“It’s beyond thrilling that my students will have the opportunity to learn from her as well as perform in a venue as amazing as the Central Union Church,” he says. Good luck, Island School! Way to represent. Of course, students from all four of Island School’s choral ensembles – including the ‘Opio Chorus, Keiki Chorus and Island School Singers will perform Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Kaua’i Community College Performing Arts Center for “Christmas Old and New.”

The concert will feature 100 students in grades 4- 12, who have been rehearsing since August for this evening of holiday music. Tickets cost $5 for keiki and $10 for adults (free for keiki in grade 3 and under) and are on sale at Island School and at the KCC box office …

Thanks to a computer programming error, the state is not only allowing, but encouraging residents to ignore the first mailing of December vehicle registration renewal forms. At least for now. A contracted company hired by the City and County of Honolulu mailed out the notices that don’t reflect the increase in the state motor vehicle weight tax and registration fee approved by the 2011 state Legislature. Corrected renewal notices will be mailed with the words “Corrected Motor Vehicle Renewal” appearing above the mailing address. Residents are asked to wait for the corrected mailing, or pay in person at the Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) office, or to renew online at https://mvr.ehawaii.gov/renewals. The correct amount due is reflected online and at the MVR office, and payment is still due Dec. 31. For more information, call the Motor Vehicle Registration office: 241- 4256 …

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