14th Drowning; KPD Rescue Boat

Sadly, Kaua’i’s powerful ocean currents recently claimed its 14th life this year. My condolences go out to the 54-year-old man’s family and friends. The drowning unfortunately serves as a reminder to everyone just how tumultuous the sea can get, and how important ocean-safety awareness volunteers such as Dr. Monty Downs and lifeguard Kalani Vierra are to this island. They both are with the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association and continue to do as much as they can to inform visitors of the ocean’s potential dangers. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the county to introduce a new rescue boat at its Kapaa fire station in recent weeks. The 19-foot Boston Whaler, Koholalele, will serve remote areas of Wailua River, which tend to attract kayakers and hikers …

Ben Sullivan, co-founder of Apollo Kaua’i, says the organization is holding a meeting Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., with guest speaker Dr. Eric Woychik, regarding Kaua’i’s renewable energy future. Woychik has extensive knowledge within the evolving energy sector and has advised more than 120 utility companies. He will address questions such as whether the island feasibly can obtain 100 percent energy sustainability. The meeting will be held at Kaua’i Community College OCET Room 106 …

Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative has managed to make renewable energy progress by continuing to head toward its goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2023. Greenhouse emissions are expected to decrease to below 1990 levels by 2020, if all renewable energy goals are achieved. So what does this mean for consumers? It means utility bills will decrease in coming years as more sustainable resources such as solar are installed. According to the cooperative, the number of photovoltaic systems on Kaua’i has increased from 311 in 2010 to some 1,800 in 2013 thus far …

Aspiring artists are invited to a workshop held by National Tropical Botanical Garden this weekend. According to Jon Letman, the nonprofit will host two watercolor classes Sunday from 10:30 am. to 1:30 p.m. at its South Shore Visitor’s Center in Poipu. Participants can learn either how to paint exotic tropical flowers with Marionette or landscapes with Patrice Pendarvis. To pre-register, call Marionette at 631-9173 or Pendarvis at 635-2930 …

Congrats to 19-year-old Malia Manuel, who won the Association of Surfing Professionals 6-Star Ford Supergirl Pro at Oceanside, Calif. The Garden Isle resident won the title over New Zealand’s 23-year-old Paige Hareb with a score of 17.24 to 3.37 in 3- to 5-foot waves at Oceanside Pier …

I can’t believe public school keiki were already back in school last week. Doesn’t it seem like summer only just began? “We anticipate a great 2013-2014 school year with many successes and wonderful experiences,” says Bill Arakaki, the Department of Education’s Kaua’i Complex Area superintendent …

Do you have any interest in assisting the Save Our Shearwaters program this year? It’s almost time for Newell’s Shearwaters to leave their nests in the interior mountains of the island and head to the sea for the first time. The babies are confused by bright lights and other unnatural elements as they make their inaugural flight to the ocean. The SOS program helps rehabilitate downed birds. A volunteer orientation will be held Wednesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m. …

Drummer Ron Margolis will play with the Amit Heri Group Saturday featuring Indian musician Amit Heri. The fundraising concert will be at Birdies on the Green and proceeds will go toward Rotary Club of Kapaa Foundation’s Adopt-a-Classroom program at Kapaa Elementary School. Food will be prepared by Kaua’i Indian Chef (kauaiindianchef.info). Visit buildacrowd.com/event/324 for more information …

The first RumFest will be held Friday at RumFire restaurant at Sheraton Kaua’i Resort in celebration of National Rum Day. Enjoy Hawaii-made rum cocktails and pupus while listening to the music of LT Smooth. A silent auction also will be held to support Kaua’i Humane Society. Visit kauaimusicscene.com/e/1st-annual-rumfest-w-lt-smooth-4703 for more information …

Hawaii Meth Project recently announced two new teen advisory council members for the 2013-2014 school year from Kaua’i – Kapaa High School senior John Ortega and Kaua’i High School sophomore Erica Owan. The students voluntarily are dedicating their time to lead outreach activities at their school and within their community to help raise awareness about the serious risks of using methamphetamine. The council members provide a teen perspective to the campaign.

“It is such an honor to have been selected to serve on the Teen Advisory Council and to follow in my sister’s footsteps,” says Ortega. “My sister Mae was on the Teen Advisory Council last year, and I’m excited to continue her work with the Hawaii Meth Project this year doing peer-to-peer outreach. It’s so important that young people today understand the risks of meth use and feel empowered to make positive decisions to stay away from meth.” … cocomidweek@gmail.com

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