Kaua‘i Honors An Island Legend

It was a lovely turnout Dec. 28 bidding aloha to U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye on Kaua’i, which many described as full of chick-enskin moments. The family of the late senator requests no flowers. Those wishing to make a contribution are instead asked to donate to the Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund with Hawai’i Community Foundation, created to help organizations and causes that Senator Inouye supported …

Now that a grand jury has indicted Justin Wynn Klein, perhaps we can get further momentum on capturing him and hopefully getting some justice for the poor woman he allegedly tossed from a cliff last month. A warrant is set at $1 million for the 37-year old homeless suspect in the Dec. 16 attempted murder of the Japanese national, who was camping in Kalalau Valley. Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar thanked the investigators, translators, Kaua’i Visitors Bureau and victim witness support counselors who helped bring the case to court. Klein remains the subject of a multi-agency manhunt and is believed to be dangerous. Leads should be called in to Kaua’i Police Department immediately at 241-1711, or via CrimeStoppers, 241-1887. Film commissioner Art Umezu says the victim has thanked many on Kaua’i for the outpouring of well wishes and support. Amen to that, at least …

Congratulations to Realtor Ramona J. Biho, who was honored recently as Certified Residential Specialist of the Year for Hawaii by the Hawaii Aloha Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists. Biho founded her Poipu-based company in 2002 and has been a licensed Realtor since 1994. She earned her CRS designation in 2005 and has served as CRS area vice president for Kaua’i. She also was recognized for her years of volunteerism, coordinating and organizing chapter events, courses and promoting membership on Kaua’i.

She notes that Kaua’i CRS membership has now surpassed the national average of 4 percent of all Realtors islandwide holding the designation. She also has served on the Kaua’i Board of Education and nomination committees, and on the CRS nominating and budget committees, and volunteers as an instructor for Hawaii Home Ownership Center seminars on Kaua’i. The Council of Residential Specialists is a not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors comprised of more than 34,000 members. It awards the CRS designation to experienced Realtors who have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. Well done, Ramona! …

National Tropical Botanical Garden will have its ‘Ohana Day Event Jan. 20, Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Local crafters Ku’ulei and William will be on hand for a free coconut frond weaving demonstration at the NTBG South Shore Visitors Center. Expert weavers, they fashion baskets, fish, flowers, toys and other creations using the iconic coconut frond. This free family event is part of NTBG’s monthly ‘Ohana Day Event series held at the South Shore Visitors Center in Po’ipu, across from Spouting Horn, the third Sunday of each month. For more information, call 742-2433. Learn more about the nonprofit NTBG at ntbg.org …

Construction on Wailua portion of Ke Ala Hele Makalae, particularly along the Wailua portion of the path that runs by the sea, will continue as scheduled this month. County and state officials asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct a study, and the results were released last week indicating the coastal path between Kuamo’o and Papalina roads will not significantly alter shoreline erosion in the area. The report noted that the Wailua shoreline has an annual accretion rate of approximately 3.5 inches, according to a Kaua’i County press release. After reviewing photographs taken in early November, the USACE Civil Works Technical Branch concluded that “the oceanside edge of the path alignment is located at a sufficient distance away from the existing shoreline.” The report also pointed out that the minimal vertical extent and horizontal footprint of the concrete slabs proposed for the bike path do not present the same potential impacts to coastal processes as typical shore-protection structures.

“The latest report from the Corps of Engineers reinforces our belief that we have planned appropriately for the short- and long-term shoreline trends in Wailua,” Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. said. The Department of Public Works, the state Department of Transportation and the Office of the County Attorney have been working to ensure the coastal path is being built in an environmentally sound and culturally sensitive manner, the mayor added. Work on the Wailua portion of the coastal path is expected to last a little more than three months. Traffic will be impacted during this large-scale project, as Kuhio Highway along Wailua Beach will be periodically reduced from three lanes to two.

Construction is scheduled as follows, weather permitting: temporary restriping and installation of safety barriers on Kuhio Highway through Jan. 11; installation of the multiuse path Jan. 11 to March 29; permanent restriping of Kuhio Highway April 1-5.

Plans for the Wailua portion of the path were revised in 2009, which moved the path from its original location on the beach to the makai edge of the DOT’s right-of-way along Kuhio Highway. Recent episodic erosion in the area led to further design modifications that allow for the path to be removed if necessary. Planning for phase five, from Kuna Bay to Anahola, has resumed, and a consultant has been contracted for the project. …

Kaua’i Police Department could use your kokua in recent copper thefts in Kekaha and Hanapepe. The incidents occurred sometime between 3:30 p.m. Dec. 26 and 8:30 a.m. Dec. 27 at a storage facility on Kekaha Road, across from the old Kekaha Sugar Mill. Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact Police Dispatch at 241-1711 or Det. Bryson Ponce, 241-1681 …

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