It’s Electric: Cast Your KIUC Vote

Baby Pa‘a and father Kalawa‘ia Lee. Photo courtesy O.F.F Organic Functional Fitness

The election season is in the air and sometimes that means change. Of course, change isn’t possible without discourse and communication, and that’s why I’d like to remind readers out there to get out to the polls, especially for the upcoming Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative election next month. (A mere 25 percent of voters participated last year). The staff at KIUC is doing its job, but residents need to do a better job of getting out there to vote. Whether you think we need a new board majority at KIUC, are intrigued by the board’s role, are OK with the status quo or just want to learn more, please keep yourself in the loop. Malama Kaua’i will host a few chances for folks to meet the nine candidates beginning next week: in Kilauea Tuesday, Feb. 7 (time and place TBA); in Hanalei Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Hanalei School cafeteria; in Kapa’a Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. at Kapa’a Library …

Speaking of KIUC, congrats to Carey Koide, who was recently promoted to transmission and distribution manager, reporting to chief of operations Mike Yamane. Koide assumes the position from John “Jack” Leavitt, who is retiring after 23 years with Kaua’i Electric (KE) and KIUC. Koide has been with KE and the cooperative for nearly 20 years, and is a graduate of Kaua’i High School. He earned his BS in electrical engineering at UH-Manoa, and has been a professional engineer since 1996. David Bissell, president & CEO at KIUC, said the grid will experience new technological challenges because of our aggressive transition to renewable energy solutions, noting “Carey’s background makes him uniquely qualified to work in that ever-changing environment.” …

Family Summit volunteers. Photo courtesy Bridget Arume

If any community can rally to support and help out its ohana, it’s Kaua’i. I hope readers will join in an effort to help Pa’akamana’o Matiu Lee, a baby born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic right heart syndrome. I actually worked with Lee’s father Kalawa’ia a while back, and his wife and I were pregnant at the same time. Young Pa’a’s condition was undetected before birth, and they learned of it some 14 hours later. With two heart chambers instead of four, he requires continuous medication sent to his heart to keep a valve open to stay alive. He also has malrotated intestines, his stomach and other organs are misplaced in his torso, and he was born without a spleen. Obviously treatments are expensive, and little Pa’a was recently sent to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where he underwent several operations, including openheart surgery. The Lees stayed at Ronald McDonald House and have had to take time off without pay. It’s hard to imagine a little angelic creature facing such issues. You can support the family in the form of donations online at prayforpaa.com, or by participating in the Run for Pa’a, Feb. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Po’ipu. The event is a 5K (3.1 miles up Ala Kalanikaumaka bypass to Koloa Road and back) and participants can run, jog, walk or even push a stroller (which I’ll be doing). The event will include a raffle for those purchasing Run for Pa’a T-shirts. For more information, contact Sundey Dilberg at offkauai@gmail.com … And thanks, Sundey, for organizing this …

Kudos to Kaua’i Film Commission‘s Art Umezu, who is asking (in jest) for folks to pray for The Descendants at the Academy Awards Feb. 26. Filmed in part on Kaua’i, it’s been nominated for three Oscars. The movie won two 2011 Golden Globe awards for Best Dramatic Film and Best Dramatic Actor, George Clooney. Says Umezu: “I think it’ll be the first Kaua’i-made movie to do so.” Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also shot on Kaua’i in 2010, is up for several Oscars as well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, Art …

It’s time for the ninth annual East Side Family Summit, which serves more than 1,000 free meals and focuses on having a positive family-friendly day Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. at Kapa’a High School.

Aimed at strengthening families, the free event was developed thanks to the East Kaua’i Drug Prevention Education Team, which works together to pull in resources from the North Shore to Wailua to provide free food, social service information and entertainment for nearly 1,200 people, and keiki activities including bouncy houses, interactive art and crafts projects, face painting, dance and entertainment by Kapa’a High School Choral & Polynesian Club, Kapa’a Middle School Ukulele Band and speeches by Kaua’i schools superintendent Bill Arakaki and Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., who will share thoughts on this year’s theme, “Enjoying Life’s Transitions.” Thanks to Kapa’a Rotary, 20 tents will house more than 60 family service information tables, with music and performance stages, a food-service area, and a dozen activities. To volunteer or to host an information table, call Bridget Arume at 821-6972 ext. 116 …

It’s time for the sixth annual All Angels Jazz Festival, Kaua’i’s oldest and largest jazz festival, Feb. 3 through 5 at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 4364 Hardy St. in Lihu’e. The concerts are at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 and 4, followed by two morning jazz masses Feb. 5 at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Friday evening’s entertainment includes Horace Alexander Young on saxophone and flute, and the Divas of Gospel Music including Barbara Johnson Tucker, Joan Hubert, April Hubert and Karen Dickinson, and Saturday evening’s concert features bassist and vocalist Bruce Hamada with pianist Jim Howard and the gypsy jazz swing of The Hot Club of Hulaville. The Sunday Jazz Masses offer a gospel-themed tribute to vocalist Jo Carol Moffett, and feature a 24voice choir and Kaua’i All Star Jazz Band directed by Henry Adam Curtis and Randy Leonard. Tickets for Friday and Saturday concerts cost $30 advance and $35 door, and can be purchased online at stmichaels-kauai.org or at St. Michael’s church office. The jazz masses are free and open to the public. For more information, call 245-3796 …

The Makaha Sons and kumu hula Leilani Rivera Low are coming to the Garden Isle for a Hula Ho’ike Saturday, 7 p.m. at Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall. Low, based in Reno, has been performing with the Makaha Sons since 1995, and the show will include 75 dancers. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $10 for keiki 4 to 14, and $25-$15 at the door. For more information, call Leilani at 808651-0864 or email darryl.leilani@hawaiiantel.net …

Kaua’i County Council is seeking applications to fill a vacancy on the Kaua’i Historic Preservation Review Commission (archeology appointment).

It’s a voluntary position and calls for an applicant who is a professional in archeology. Meetings are held monthly and usually entail project reviews of historic resources and infill development, as well as discussions on issues relating to the promotion of historic preservation on Kaua’i. Applications are available at the Office of the County Clerk-Council Services Division at the Historic County Building, 4396 Rice St., Suite 209 in Lihu’e. Application deadline is Feb. 29. For more information, call County Council Chairman Jay Furfaro at 241-4188, Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. …

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