Collins Joins The ‘MidWeek’ Team

Kristen Joy Collins

Not that she’ll need an introduction for many MidWeek Kaua’i readers, but we are introducing Kristen Joy Collins in a new role as our new on-island advertising account executive. Most recently, the Kapa’a resident was assistant director of the Kaua’i Independent Food Bank, where she managed and directed all operations related to the warehouse, food distribution, grant writing, fund development and more. She has a fun and dynamic personality, and we’re pleased she’s joining the

MidWeek Kaua’i team. To talk with Kristen about joining the growing number of advertisers who are finding MWK the best way to reach 30,000 Kaua’i homes, call her at 346-8897 …

With one of the largest feast days upon us, it’s always fun to hear about the different traditions among households. For some, it’s watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and football, for others it’s cooking as guests arrive to enjoy the pride of the kitchen. For me, that means a golden turkey with apple-sage-sausage stuffing, mulled orange and cranberry sauce (not the kind from a can), paella-inspired saffron rice and pumpkin-bourbon cheesecake with black cookie crust.

Detroit’s Larry McCray performs Nov. 29. Photo courtesy Mardi Gras Entertainment

What I look forward to each year, however, is adding something new to those traditions that take me back to childhood. For Thanksgiving 2011, that will mean swapping out the pumpkin-bourbon for lilikoi cheesecake, and maybe even adding some Portuguese sausage to the stuffing and frying the rice. It may sound like a lot, but minimalism is not part of my Thanksgiving experience. I save that for New Year’s resolutions …

While on the topic of pride in the kitchen, it was lovely to hear of the good work Lanakila Kitchen Kaua’i is doing, offering a job-training program for local residents with disabilities. The kitchen had its grand opening and blessing Nov. 16, debuting its “good to go” menu at its Lawai locale, 2-3687 Kaumualii Hwy. Project manager Carol Horner, chef Frank Guillermo and Ed Okamoto hope to provide food prep work training, and they have three trainees participating already, helping to make homemade soup, stew, salads, wraps and really anything that is ono and mobile. A feel-good endeavor worth checking out …

The Nui,” as we call it (Tahiti Nui in Hanalei), will host a blues legend at 8 p.m. Nov. 29 (doors open at 7 p.m.) with music promoter and radio personality Kevin Swampdaddy Rogers. Bluesman Larry McCray leaves a blustery Detroit for his first trip to Kaua’i, so hopefully he will get a warm welcome. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or to reserve in advance, call 337-9234 …

Kids get free surf instruction at Kalapaki Beach. Photos from Robin Jumper

And congratulations to Hanalei Trading Company, which celebrates its ninth anniversary this month. The chic boutique also has a new Hanalei location, next to Postcards Restaurant. If you haven’t been in the boutique, it has uber-cute bikinis as well as workout clothes for those who might need to work out before wearing said bikinis. It’s also expanding, according to Andrea Weston-Webb, working with Snorkel Depot and Activities Wholesalers, and is offering kama’aina discounts for locals this month. For more information, call 826-1373 …

Kudos to Joe Valenti of Kalapaki Joe’s for launching a new six-month keiki sports program earlier this month that offers free jiujitsu classes and surf lessons to children ages 7-12. The program is a great way to keep keiki active. Pono Pananganan leads the jiujitsu program with classes at 6 p.m. Mondays at Kaua’i Technical Institute, 2955 Aukele St. in Lihu’e. Kama’aina Surf and Sport is offering surf lessons at 3 p.m. Wednesdays. To sign up, go to kalapakijoes.com/kids-zone/. Classes are limited to 25 students …

It’s breathtaking to see the work and design done by golf course architects, who get to work in some of the most naturally exquisite locations in the world. Greece, Sweden and, of course, Kaua’i top best course lists, with Princeville’s “Prince” Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 1990, among them. Prince, now under renovations, was consistently ranked as the No. 1 course in Hawaii and is slated to reopen March 1.

Or they can take free jiu-jitsu lessons

The course was originally scheduled to reopen Dec. 14 but the work fell behind. Perhaps golfers who planned a Christmas 2011 golf outing to the course can look at it like Christmas 2012 coming early when the project is complete. Heritage Links vice president of golf development Mark Scheibach said in a prepared statement that the delay means a more thorough renovation of the clubhouse, an ultimate driving range and additional staff training.

No doubt the project was extensive, as it included the complete reconstruction of putting greens, remodeling of bunkers to improve drainage, clearing stream edges, widening fairways and (here’s the best part) improvements to ensure the course will be maintained consistently in the future. The 13-acre driving range and practice facility also is undergoing a creative renovation and expansion, as is a refurbished 60,000square-foot clubhouse. For more information on the Prince Course, call 8265001, or go to princeville.com …

I had the pleasure of meeting author Susan Dierker the other day, and I don’t have enough lovely things to say about her and her new children’s book, Knuckles, the Hound of Hanalei. I had already announced the release of the book in a previous column, but I learned a bit more about the back story: It’s dedicated to Dierker’s late husband Rick, who died suddenly while Boogie boarding at Grandpa’s in 2010.

Rick wrote vignettes about their dog’s experiences before passing away. Dierker has created a whole world based on the funny idea of anthropomorphizing animals (and voicing what they must be thinking when they give us a certain look). The universe according to Knuckles can be found by following his blog at http://everybodyknowsknuckles.com/Everyb ody_Knows_Knuckles, or by emailing him directly at askknuckles@gmail.com …

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