The County’s Holly Jolly Christmas

County Council members and Council Services along with Kaua'i activist Ken Taylor (in shorts) dance and sing a revised '12 Days Of Christmas' in Holly Jolly Christmas. Amanda C. Gregg photo

It was heartening (and laugh-out-loud funny) to see the holiday spirit take on the form of inclusiveness at Holly Jolly Christmas Dec. 12 at the Mo’ikeha rotunda. The annual County Employment Council show, in which departments present skits and carols, was especially entertaining this year as it brought out council members Dickie Chang, JoAnn Yukimura, Tim Bynum and KipuKai Kuali’i, as well as a few of the island’s serial “nitpickers,” including Glen Mickens and Ken Taylor, who are well-known for lambasting government at public meetings. Mickens and Taylor were not only written into a tongue-incheek localized version of 12 Days of Christmas that enumerated a series of contentious local issues (“… four shearwaters, three Ken Taylors, two monk seals and one renovated County Building …”), but conspired in rehearsing with county employees for a surprise performance center stage. Event coordinators Max Klutke, Nalani Brun, Theresa Koki, Donna Gabriel, Jade Battad, Kris Nakamura and Soncy Tamashiro all did a great job …

Speaking of getting in the holiday spirit, I’m looking forward to seeing Santa arrive via canoe at 3 p.m. Dec. 24 at Kalapaki, fronting Marriott Beach Resort. Elves and volunteers including Arthur Chow, Beth Kauwe and Greg Davis are to be lauded for helping Santa adjust to the warm climate and make a splash for all the local keiki who have been good this year. Mahalo nui! …

I’d like to give a nod to students from Leadership Kaua’i’s Pi’ina Hoku class and students from Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha for making the effort to help remove Verbesina, an invasive plant, along with Pacific Missile Range Facility personnel and 30 volunteers. According to Petty Officer Jay C. Pugh, more than an acre of the plant was eradicated thanks to all the collaborative work. Well done! …

Tori Pezario, a member of Leadership Kaua'i's Pi'ina Hoku class, and Kaleiui Kanahele, a student at Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha, remove Verbesina, an invasive plant, from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. Photo courtesy Tom Clements

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust wants to thank private landowners, affiliate conservation organizations and community groups from across the state for helping protect land and exceeding its expectations this year. The entity placed more than 2,000 additional acres into conservation during the past year, and worked to build its board of directors and conservation councils. It also completed its threeyear strategic plan and is working to further protect public shoreline accesses on both Maui and Kaua’i, and to collaborate with willing landowners on the North Shore to increase critical seabird habitat. The trust also is working to protect active kalo lo’i (taro ponds), a working farm on the Big Island, an O’ahu heiau under restoration by a committed cultural group and native rain forest and wetland/riparian habitats. Because that’s a lot to handle, it is seeking donations and reaching out to people with the philanthropic spirit. All donations are tax-deductible and can be made online at www.hilt.org, or call 244-5263 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. …

Kaua’i Police Department is reminding residents of and visitors to the Garden Isle to follow construction zone speed limits at all times and not only during construction hours. Lt. Mark Scribner of the Traffic Safety Unit says it is important that drivers observe the reduced speed limits at all hours of

the day and night, and that not only are accidents a possible outcome for not following the rules, but citations and fines of $297.

“For your safety and the safety of those around you, please obey the posted speed limit and exercise caution when driving through construction areas,” Scribner adds. Speed limits at each construction zone are set by the state Department of Transportation Highways Division based on the project and location …

Kaua’i Veteran Memorial Hospital Charitable Foundation will host a benefit dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. today (Dec. 21) at Port Allen Sunset Grill, a quaint little stop known for its sunset views. Musical entertainment features Doc Rock, with several other doctors also donating their time. The goal is to raise $7,500 for additional state-of-the-art equipment for the hospital’s birthing center, and programs for expectant and nursing mothers. An anonymous donor pledged to match the first $2,500 raised. Tickets cost $50 in advance, which covers the $25 dinner and a $25 tax-deductible donation to KVMH-CF. Cost at the door is $60. Additional donations are appreciated. Checks can be made payable to KVMHCF. A no-host bar will be available. Seating is limited. To reserve tickets, call Port Allen Sunset Grill at 3353188 …

What would Christmas be without a Hip-Hop Santa and keiki elves? Traditional. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room this holiday season for a youth-centric jam session that includes complimentary Christmas cookies and beverages along with Kaua’i’s top young talent. That’s what’s in store during this year’s “Shiver This Winter” Christmas Jam Concert from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday (Dec. 23) at The Jam Room at Kukui Grove Center. It promises to be a safe alternative way for youths to be entertained, and is produced by Butters Leopold and hosted by Daphne Sanchez and The Jam Crew. Free and open to the public, the show will feature more than 20 musicians, singers and dancers including Karren DeFabian and Daniel Sagucio, Chazton Sasil, John Medeiros, Annalisa Hartsell, Rachel Umetsu, Michelle Domingo, Nicole Morris, Ashleyann Palacio, John Quisel, Elisa Delgado, Jessi Patillo, Cameron Williamson and Jon Jon Obiano, Mark Domingo and Russell Cubangbang, along with hula by Raevyn Ibia and magic by Rheme Ragasa. The Jam Room opened in June 2009 and is sponsored by Kukui Grove Center and Musique International. On Friday, Dec. 30, The Jam Room also will host “Party Rock 2011: The Final Jam” at the mall’s exhibition area …

Speaking of music, Jim “Kimo” West has released his fifth CD, Na Lani O Maui, featuring his slack key compositions, played in the nahenahe style. West has been playing slack-key guitar for more than 25 years and is the recipient of a Hawaii Music Award. He also is a Na Hoku Hanohano nominee and a two-time winner of the L.A. Treasures Award, thanks to his contributions to keeping the ki ho’alu tradition alive. West’s original compositions have been featured in films, documentaries and Disney Channel movies. The CD is for sale on Mele.com, Amazon and at CD baby though it appears most affordable on iTunes ($9.95). For more information, email jim@jimkimowest.com or go to jimkimowest.com …

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