KFD Unveils New Truck Simulator

Mayor Carvalho gives KFD’s truck simulator a spin as Chief Bob Westerman looks on. Mary Daubert photo

While I realize they aren’t toys, I’m always intrigued by the technology our first responders over at Kaua’i Fire Department use in order to train for real-life situations. KFD recently debuted its new driver simulator, which uses virtual simulation and a three-panel screen that surrounds a bucket seat, steering wheel, brake and accelerator, and gives the driver the sense that he or she is operating a vehicle in less than ideal conditions. The equipment is intended to complement, not replace actual driving time, according to KFD Chief Bob Westerman. Intriguing equipment for inspiring folks …

It’s also impressive to me how every week there are so many examples of good work and accomplishments to report, thanks to the people who love Kaua’i and who live by example, without asking for attention for their good deeds. So, here goes:

Congratulations to Anaise Soltren of Kaua’i High School, who recently won a $1,000 Student Athlete of the Year award from Kalapaki Joe’s as Aston Hotels & Resorts, KONG Radio Group and GroveFarm presented its third annual Kaua’i Coaches Sports Appreciation event. In March, Soltren pitched the first no-hitter by the Red Raiders in decades. Thanking coaches, athletic directors and athletes for their contributions to the community, the event also lauded Kapa’a High School football player John Das (second place) and Waimea High School football player Keoni Ana (third place). Results for the athlete of the year were tabulated on Kalapaki Joe’s website over the past year. Proud papa Luis Soltren says the award has “shown my daughter what it is to believe in oneself, and that with the love of family and the help of good people, everything is possible and dreams can come true.” Awww …

Speaking of Kalapaki Joe’s, July 20 it will host Paniolo BBQ and Bull Riding Showdown at CJM Stables in Po’ipu, replete with keiki activities, s’mores, a beer garden, bull riding and, yes, barbecue. If it’s anything like its St. Patty’s Day party, it’s a must-do. Doors open at 4 p.m. …

Proud parents Josselin and Luis Soltren with Jody Valente of Kalapaki Joe’s as he presents their daughter Anaise with a scholarship check. Robin Jumper photo

Congratulations to the Kaua’i schools and students who were recently recognized at the 2012 HMSA Awards & Scholarship Program ceremony, in which Island School placed first, Kapa’a High School second and Waimea High School third for the KIF category, and scholarships were given to Kimberly V. Aguilar of Waimea High School and Garrett J. Beyer and Lauren Claypoole of Island School. More than 200 school principals, athletic directors and student athletes were honored as part of the program, which is sponsored by HMSA and administered by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. Way to represent Kaua’i! …

Turnout was big and island-glam July 16 at the Kaua’i Katwalk Red Carpet Runway Show in Hanalei, with hair and makeup by Epic Hair Design and Relish Salon, and local-girl chic touches by a.ell atelier, KaiKini Bikinis and Happy Earth Designs. Keep on the lookout for the work of these talented ladies at boutiques like Crush in Kapa’a and Kilohana, as not only does it mean you’re buying local, but buying cute! …

So glad to hear that Big Brothers Big Sisters has united statewide, something that was long in the making and took place June 29. Formerly independent, Big Brothers Big Sisters of O’ahu, Maui, Kaua’i and the Big Island will now be able to serve more children across the entire state, fostering meaningful, one-toone mentoring relationships for kids facing adversity in all island communities …

National Tropical Botanical Garden will host a BYO bag-lunch presentation in which people can learn about volunteering in an environment that aims to enrich life through discovery, scientific research, conservation and education by perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems and cultural knowledge of tropical regions. Volunteer coordinator Lee Paul and Linda Nuland-Ames with Elderly Affairs host the presentation from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 19 at the Education Center at NTBG Headquarters in Kalaheo (at the end of Papalina Road). For more information, call 332-7324, ext. 236 or email volunteer@ntbg.org. … NTBG also will have a free, keiki-friendly Ohana Day event from 9 a.m. to noon July 15 at the NTBG Southshore Visitors Center, which this year will feature five of Kaua’i’s children’s book authors: Susan Dierker, Mark Huff, Wendy Lewis, Monka Mira and Carol Peacock. The Ohana Day event will include book readings and book signing by the authors in a garden setting. For more information, call 742-2433…

HMSA VP Steve Van Ribbink with Lauren Claypoole and Garrett Beyer of Island School and Kimberly Aguilar of Waimea High. Photo courtesy HMSA

The Friends of the Kaua’i Children’s Justice Center, a nonprofit, will sponsor Treasure Our Children, Kaua’i Style fundraiser from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at Marriott Kaua’i Lagoons Tennis Courts. The fun-filled, local-style evening will include hula by Halau Mohala o ka Pua Hau Hele, music by Sean Carillo and Michael Barretto and The Kaua’i Strings Quartet, along with a silent auction.

Cost is $35 per person or $300 for a table of 10. No-host bar. Tickets can be purchased at Wine Shop in Koloa, Pictures Plus in Lihu’e and Island Soap and Candle Works in Kilauea. For more information, call 246-0923, email fcjcKauai@live.com or visit fcjckauai.org…

Niumalu Canoe Club

will host a Kalapaki Bay Open Water Swim and Stand Up Paddle race at 8 a.m. July 4 on the south end of the beach, in front of Duke’s restaurant. The keiki-friendly fundraiser is tax-deductible and costs $15 for youths, $25 for adults. Options include an open swim for ages 12 and under, as well as 750-meter and 1,500-meter swims and stand-up paddle options for 18 and under, adults and masters (55 and older).

Register until July 3 (hard deadline 11:59 p.m. July 2) online at active.com. Same-day registration is allowed at 7:15 a.m. at Kalapaki Beach, but the cost is $30 each or $50 for both activities …

Where are they now dept.: Todd Oldham, ex-GM of 22 Degrees North (Gaylord’s), has been named director of food and beverage at The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu. Oldham will oversee the resort’s four restaurants and lounges and the 24-hour in-room food service department. His first major project will be to oversee the remodeling and grand opening of the hotel”s newest Napolo-style Italian restaurant, Arancino.

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