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KIUC to celebrate membership Saturday

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative will host its annual meeting and celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Vidinha Stadium Soccer fields.

This year marks the sixth such meeting since the utility became a cooperative, and is one of the ways KIUC reaches out to its membership.

The meeting and celebration is a tradition dating back to the years when electric cooperatives connected farmers and other rural residents to each other.

The theme of this year’s event will be “Thinking Beyond the Barrel,” a topic on the minds of many as oil prices continue to rise and strain the cost of living and doing business for Kaua‘i residents.

In that vein, KIUC has worked to make the event as “green” as possible, said spokeswoman Shelley Paik. Recycling stations will be set up around the event to collect the compostable plates and flatware as well as water bottles and other recyclable items.

“We’re hoping to keep (waste) at a minimum,” Paik said.

In addition, there will be a “renewable trailer” powered by a windmill on display, with staff and KIUC engineers available to answer questions.

The big issues expected to come up this year will be renewable energy as well as the price of oil, according to board of directors Chair Dennis Esaki.

“We’ll be prepared to discuss all of the things we’re all concerned about, together,” he said.

For the entire family there will be prizes and food, including Joe Grace roast pork bowls;

KIUC will give away items at the meeting to help Kaua‘i families, including bags of rice to the first 300 people; Co-op Connection cards with discounts for local businesses; and re-usable shopping bags.

There also will be a free health fair featuring exhibits, booths and information from Malama Pono, the American Cancer Society, chiropractor Dr. Zack Young, the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, Blue Jade Acupuncture and CPR training.

New and gently used books will be collected during the day by employees and members of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce for donation to libraries and schools in the Philippines as part of KIUC’s “Bring a Book, Build A Library” program.

Entertainment will be provided by the DeLima ‘Ohana, Frank DeLima, Papa‘a Bay Boys, Daphne Sanchez, Sunshine Express, kumu hula Maka Herrod and emcee Dickie Chang.

Keiki activities will include hula and water slides, so don’t forget the towels and sunscreen.

The formal meeting begins at noon with KIUC’s board of directors discussing the annual report and other business matters. A quorum of 5 percent of the membership, or about 1,200 members, is required to hold the meeting and to take action on items such as bylaw changes, According to Esaki, some of the past meetings have not reached a quorum. Nevertheless, the event has proven popular over the years.

“Many electric co-ops around the country do not have as good a participation as we have here,” Esaki said.

Copies of the report will be distributed to all attendees, and will be available at www.kiuc.coop

• Blake Jones, business writer/assistant editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or bjones@kauaipubco.com

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