Seeking The Good And Positive

Kia Kaha: ho ho ho. Photo courtesy Jeanette Huttger

Focusing on the same approach as MidWeek highlighting all that’s good I was heartened to learn of an upcoming benefit concert intended to spotlight the positive. It’s a fundraiser for Mary MacDermott, a local singer and actor battling Parkinson’s disease. The concert, titled “Accentuate the Positive,” will feature local musicians and Howard Arlen‘s songs, including Over the Rainbow and Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home.

MacDermott, who serves on the board of directors of Women in Theatre, said in a prepared statement that her intention is to celebrate New Year’s with a spirit of light, hope and fun. Performers will include Arnold Meister, Dolly Kanekuni, Thomas Newman, Sharon West, Melissa Mojo, Randy Leonard‘s Kane of Kaua’i Voices and Sandi O’Shaughnessy, Marty Leonard, Kirk Smart, Will Lydgate, Steve Dubey and MacDermott’s son, Sean Evans. The concert is slated for Jan. 4, 7 p.m., at St. Michael’s Church in Lihu’e. Tickets cost $20 and are available at Vicky’s Fabrics, St. Michael’s Church, Grande’s Gems (downstairs) at Kilohana, and H.S. Ferreira Hair Salon …

With the positive (and pleasant) in mind, I’d like to remind readers that we’re here to help spread your good news. So Merry First Christmas to little Kia Kaha, whose birth we announced earlier this year and whose proud grandmother Jeanette Huttger submitted the cutest picture of him surfing at Nawiliwili while impersonating Santa Claus just like I predicted, as his parents are both water people: Jackie Lopez and county lifeguard Kaleo Lopez

Kaua‘i and Waimea athletic programs really scored from the Times/Kraft program. Photo from Kraft Foods Hawaii

I was happy to learn that in these trying economic times, Kaua’i and Waimea high school students were given a boost in funds for athletic uniforms, thanks to Kraft Foods and Times Supermarkets, which awarded the schools $250,000 in Adidas equipment through the annual Shop and Score program. Both schools were among the top 10 points-earning schools statewide. Other participating Kaua’i high schools included Kapa’a High and Island School. The program is designed to involve the community, which helped raise the funds by earning points when shopping at Times and designating a school to support …

Students were having a blast, literally blasting off rockets into a blue morning sky Dec. 17 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility during the ninth annual December Launch Day model rocket event. Kudos to Waimea High math teacher Jerry Nishihira for finding an uplifting (pun intended) way to demonstrate the relevance of math and science skills to students …

Engineer Alan Chun gives rockets a final check. Photo from Tom Clements

Congratulations to new Kaua’i Police Department Deputy Chief of Police Michael M. Contrades, who was named to the post earlier this month by Chief Darryl Perry. Perry said in a prepared statement that Contrades has worked tirelessly for residents and to earn the respect of his peers, adding, “I look forward to working with him in our continued efforts in keeping our community safe.”

Contrades joined KPD in July 1994 and since served as an officer patrolling the Kawaihau, Lihu’e and Koloa districts, until he was promoted to sergeant, where he served as a supervisor in the Patrol Services Bureau in both the Waimea and Lihu’e districts. A former property crimes detective, the Kamehameha graduate is perhaps most notably known for his work with the Kaua’i Police Activities League, which helps our local youths (he was named Humanitarian of the Year in 2009).He also served as a lieutenant in vice, during which time he helped quash two of the largest drug operations in the history of KPD through Operation Green Stream and Operation Garden Ice, in partnership with federal, state and local agencies.

New KPD Assistant Chief Michael Contrades

Contrades was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in August 2007, and was assigned to the Hanalei station as Hanalei district commander. He’s also a former KPD officer of the year (1998) as well as statewide officer of the year. And last year he worked with MidWeek editor Don Chapman to set up the paper’s monthly CrimeStoppers feature. Contrades says he is honored and grateful for the post. Contrades and his wife of 20 years, Darlene, have two children, Micah and Courtney

Speaking of KPD, congratulations also to three officers recognized during this month’s December Police Commission meeting: Lt. Richard Rosa, commander of the Waimea District, recognized for his commitment to traffic safety, and Officers Anthony Abalos and Colin Nesbitt, both of whom were awarded the Police Drug Enforcement Star Medal. Thanks to the work of Rosa, Waimea District officers recently issued 1,064 citations, 654 of which were moving violations.

Chief Perry with (from left) Officers Colin Nesbitt and Anthony Abalos and Lt. Richard Rosa. Photos from County of Kauaʻi

Rosa personally issued a total of 35 citations, 25 of which were moving violations. The efforts of Abalos and Nesbitt included initiating 28 search warrants, 21 seizures of drugs and paraphernalia and 15 indictments. Noting Rosa’s “leadership and guidance,” and Abalos and Nesbitt’s “commitment to proactive enforcement,” Perry lauded the officers’ efforts …

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stephanie J. Castillo, will teach digital storytelling at Kaua’i Community College next semester. Castillo wrote and produced documentaries as an independent filmmaker for 30 years on Oahu before moving to Kaua’i in 2010. She won her Emmy in 1993 for her first documentary, Simple Courage. The story is about Father Damien‘s work with Hawaii’s leprosy epidemic. To learn more, go to …