‘Today’ Visits; Sandy G Memorial

So proud to see the Today show segment last week, which included the filming here on Kaua’i at Allerton Gardens at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, as well as filming Auntie Kapu Alquiza‘s halau performance. The world is abuzz about the beauty and rich culture of the oldest island in the archipelago …

In the wake of the arrest for the murder of yet another woman on Kaua’i, it was heartening to celebrate the memory of one who lost her life seven years ago, Sandra Mendonca Galas. The dedication was May 15, which was Galas’ birthday.

Her kumu hula Keala Senkas (who taught her hula from the time she was 6 years old) danced in her honor during one of several chickenskin moments. The second was the blessing of light rain that began just at the end of the dedication. Now fronting the entrance are the words: “Let Sandy’s life be a catalyst for our Kaua’i ohana to demand an end to violence against women and justice for all victims. In Sandy’s memory, starting today, let us all live in peace with each other.” Never forget Sandy G. …

Speaking of murders on Kaua’i, mahalo to officer of the month Det. James Miller, who recently was honored for his work as the lead investigator in the Vicente Hilario trial for first-degree murder. Hilario was convicted in March of the execution-style shooting of 34-year-old Aureo Eric Moore at Anahola Beach Park. Kaua’i Police Chief Darryl Perry and the County of Kaua’i Police Commission recognized Miller for “pushing through many long days and nights” and being “determined to seek the truth. … He then feverishly prepared for court testimony and his hard work and perseverance ultimately paid off.” Hilario also was found guilty last week on gunand drug-related charges. Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar praised law enforcement for its team-work: “Without the partnerships existing between the dedicated attorneys, detectives and patrol officers involved in complex cases like these, we would not see these types of verdicts. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Aureo Moore.” …

National Tropical Botanical Gardens is once again offering a work-study internship designed for college- and university-level students and other adults interested in expanding their knowledge of horticulture for career purposes. Deadline for applications for the 2013 Horticultural Internship Program on Kaua’i is June 15. This year’s course will run Sept. 9 through Oct. 30 and includes a stipend for participants. Interns will work side-by-side with staff caring for and learning about the plant collections at NTBG’s three Kaua’i gardens. Schedule includes on-the-ground introduction and training, lectures or workshops by NTBG staff faculty on plant propagation, plant records/mapping, botany, ethnobotany, restoration ecology, conservation and other plant-related topics. Applicants must be college-level students or have relevant experience or education, and show an aptitude and strong interest in tropical horticulture, botany, conservation, ethnobotany or science-related fields with mature career goals in this direction. For more information, go to courses.ntbg.org, or email education@ntbg.org …

The Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission is hoping to hear from the public before drafting its biennial recommendations to the County Council on which sites should be acquired using the Open Space Fund. To qualify for purchase or acquisition using the fund, sites suggested must have at least one of the following purposes: outdoor recreation/education, including access to beaches and mountains; preservation of historically or culturally important lands and sites; protection of significant habitats or ecosystems, including buffer zones; preservation of forests, beaches, coastal areas and agricultural lands; protection of water-shed lands to preserve water quality and supply; conservation of land in order to reduce erosion, floods, landslides and runoff; improve public access to, and enjoyment of, public land; acquire public access to public land and open space, and conserving land for open space and scenic values.

The meetings will be held Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the following locations: May 29 at Koloa Neighborhood Center, old courthouse annex; June 12, Lihu’e Civic Center, Mo’ikeha Building, meeting room 2A/B; June 26, Kapa’a Neighborhood Center, and June 24, Princeville Community Center

The public also can participate in the Open Space Commission’s annual survey, which can be accessed and completed online at kauai.gov/OpenSpaceSurvey. Ideas expressed in the survey will be taken into consideration and may be incorporated in the commission’s biennial recommendations to the County Council. Paper copies of the survey are available at any public library or neighborhood center or at the Planning Department.

For more information , call 241-4050 or email openspace@kauai.gov at least seven days before the meeting …

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