Slow Going In Kapaa; Marta Moves

Two words: Kapaa traffic. That’s enough to make any resident cringe. And it’s getting worse. The more visitors grace the island with their presence, the more time kamaaina must endure in their vehicles. It makes me thankful I live and work in Lihue and rarely need to pass through Kapaa anymore because I know I’d have to tack on another 45 minutes to my commute each way. It’s been asked time and time again why an additional lane can’t be added through town, especially when the overwhelming number of cars continues to climb. Long overdue, Department of Transportation, long overdue …

Now that I’ve got that off my chest …

Kudos and best wishes to longtime Kauai Midweek colleague Marta Lane, who last week moved to The Garden Island. You can check out her “Tastes of Kauai” Wednesdays in TGI, and her farmers market column Sundays. And as of this issue, her husband Dan Lane‘s fabulous “Eye On Kauai” photos are back in Midweek

Hawaiian Telcom recently donated nearly $6,000 to Kauai United Way. The money was raised by local employees in 2013. The company raised more than $150,000 statewide for the charity. The money was gathered across the Islands by various methods, such as individual pledges, team fundraising events, a car wash and silent auctions …

In other charitable news, Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay‘s iPals4iPads program at Kilauea Elementary School successfully raised $50,000 to purchase 100 iPad minis for students. This will supplement the 30 already purchased, primarily by Hale Uluwehi Charitable Fund

Kauai certainly has its share of talented artists. Grant Pecoff opens an exhibit Friday (Feb. 28), which is on view through March 7 at Bright Side Gallery in Hanapepe (a few doors down from Little Fish Coffee). Pecoff’s work is known for capturing the beauty of Kauai in brightly colored paintings. If you’re interested in meeting him, Pecoff plans a “meet the artist” reception Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Kate Enoka at kate@thebrightsidegallery.com …

Another artistic endeavor is National Tropical Botanical Garden‘s first-ever exhibition of 30 rare plant prints collected from Captain Cook‘s voyage from 1768 to 1771. They will be on display at NTBG’s Kalaheo headquarters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. most weekdays from March 3 to April 30. I’ve seen these myself, and qualms about Captain Cook aside, they are fascinating and beautiful, and rarely make a public appearance. It is humbling to see so many beautiful and rare native plants that once existed on the Islands before meeting their demise in recent decades. Visit ntbg.org/art or call 332-7324 for more information …

Good environmental news always gives me warm fuzzies. The county recently received a prestigious nod when it was recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council in achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification for Kaiakea Fire Station. In order to gain this certification, the county had to score a certain number of points in categories such as water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and innovation in operations. The building’s photovoltaic system alone has generated more than 95,000 kilowatts of production. It’s estimated that the PV system saves roughly 58,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from polluting the air annually. Keep up the good work …

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