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Saying Aloha, At Least For Now

It has been such a blessing writing for MidWeek Kaua’i over the past three years. I remember meeting with editor Don Chapman at Kukui’s at the Kaua’i Marriott when I was hired, weeks after delivering my baby boy. Here was an opportunity to do what I had trained for as a journalism student in graduate school, from home. It was kismet. During those first few months on the job, I fondly remember writing with my newborn asleep on my shoulder, or making phone calls or taking photos with him in the Bjorn. I felt so privileged to do what I truly love, write, without having to leave this little creature with whom I was madly in love. The sound of him breathing his sleepy milkiness into the ambient air combined with keyboard strokes was my heaven.

I was so blissful in the quiet company of my laptop and son. And I am forever grateful to MidWeek for that piece of good fortune.

Now as I prepare to deliver another baby, I write this farewell article from Boston.

And so I say “mahalo” to Midweek Kaua’i readers, the ones who got to know our publication and its brand over the past several years and said, “Oh, sure, I love MidWeek,” when I asked to take your photo. To the sources of my most memorable photos, which include a Pa’ina shoot I did of children at Kaua’i Pacific School recess, or the cover article on the plight of Lawrence and Toshie Mendonca, who are still awaiting some kind of semblance of justice for their murdered daughter, Sandra Galas, a 27-year-old mother of two small boys…

I’d also like to thank a wonderful staff, including publisher Ron Nagasawa, editors Don Chapman and Terri Hefner and colleagues Ron Kosen, Dan and Marta Lane and Coco Zickos. Please join me in saying “e komo mai” to Coco, who will be taking the reins of Kaua’i Kine. I know she will do so with cultural relevance and a voice that is all her own. Email her at cocomidweek@gmail.com.

Farewell for now, Kaua’i…

National attention has been gaining steam on the Kaua’i GMO debate, and it’s been interesting to see it play out in media, including social media. Kaua’i landowner and Honolulu-native Bette Midler recently joined the public battle to help Kaua’i fight GMO companies, commenting on the 196,000 pounds of toxic chemicals poisoning the island on her Twitter account, to which the Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition posted, “Meanwhile, no one comes forward to defend the war chemical companies, except if they are on the payroll.” True? False? Today (July 31) is the day to chime in regarding Bill No. 2491. The Kaua’i County Council will hold a public hearing related to pesticides and genetically modified organisms at Kaua’i Community College today at 1:30 p.m. at KCC’s Performing Arts Center in Puhi…

Congratulations to Kaua’i Police Department‘s largest recruit class to complete the first phase of the police officer training program. Graduation for the 19 members of KPD’s 83rd recruit class was held earlier this month at Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall. With the new officers added to its ranks, KPD now has 150 police officers and 57 civilians.

Those who were honored are Roldan Agbayani, Jonathan Anderson, Orlino Antolin Jr., Bill Burns, Michael Burton, Brad Candido, Jonathan Green, Eric Higa, Sky Johnston, Aaron Lester, Kalama Lingaton, Irwin Magayanes, Timothy Meenagh, AvelinoRuvalcaba, Joel Snyder, Creighton Tamagawa, Macy Telles, Bobby Thompson and Morris Unutoa.

Special awards were also presented to several of the new officers. Officer Green received two awards, the Physical Fitness Award for having shown the most improvement over the course of the training and the Top Shot Award for demonstrating his proficiency and technical abilities. Officer Meenagh was the recipient of the Academic Award for scoring the highest on all of the written exams. The Leadership Award was given to Officer Antolin for his ability to unite the group by providing direction and a sense of purpose. Acting Lt. Christopher Calio was also recognized for his efforts as the supervisor of the 83rd recruit class. “I would like to thank everyone involved in making this possible, especially Mayor Carvalho and the County Council,” said KPD Chief Darryl Perry. “By filling our ranks, we will be able to provide the best services possible toward keeping our community safe and free from the fear of crime.” Anyone interested in finding out about becoming a police officer can go to kauai.gov/police or call 241-1669…

It’s a big year for paddle sports on Kaua’i and it’s hard to believe it’s been six years already since the last time GICRA hosted states on the North Shore. If you’re not in a paddling crew for the upcoming 39-mile Na Pali Challenge, then maybe switch it up this year with the Na Pali Race, a standup paddle, OC-1 and OC-2 event Aug. 4. The two races are joining forces this year, and the Na Pali Challenge for six-man canoe teams will round out a mammoth weekend with the State Canoe Sprint Races scheduled the day prior, Aug. 3, at Hanalei Bay. Na Pali Challenge OC-6 race will start first, at 8 a.m. in Hanalei to finish in Waimea. All other classes of the Na Pali Race will follow, making staggered starts from Ha’ena County Beach Park, traveling 17 miles to Polihale State Beach Park.

Finishers are expected to arrive between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Na Pali Race will continue its support of the Na Pali Coast ‘Ohana, a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Na Pali Coast State Park. For more information, go to napalirace.com or gicra.com/Napali_Challenge.