Letters for Wednesday, June 6, 2012

‘A Tale of Three Winners’Kekaha carpetbaggers?

‘A Tale of Three Winners’

For the past three years, the Po‘ipu Beach Rotary has granted one scholarship each year to the Kaua‘i High School AVID Program- senior class. AVID is a program that helps underserved students go to college after high school.

This year was similar to previous years.  Out of the AVID senior class, eight students emerged as plausible candidates for the Distinguished Rotary Scholar award of $1,000. Those eight went through an application and interview process for the scholarship.

The scholarship interviewer panel consisted of community professionals who served as mentors for AVID seniors who were completing senior projects.

Out of the eight, there were three students who were selected as finalists.

According to mentor Allan Kessler, the three students were equal in all criteria for the scholarship; the panel couldn’t choose which student was more worthy than the next. He asked for time to determine who the winner would be.

A few hours later, Mr. Kessler contacted me and declared there would be three scholarships, one for each of the finalists. He worked with the Po‘ipu Beach Rotarians and together they raised funds for the two additional awards.  

These scholarships are giving the three students, Amanda Limpert, Kim Delos Santos and Shelby Banach, financial assistance to attend the schools they have been accepted to (Western Oregon University, Kaua‘i Community College and UH Manoa).

Thank you, Rotary of Po‘ipu Beach, for showing our students the importance of furthering their education.

Taharaa Stein



Kekaha carpetbaggers?

This is a response to Ms. Klein’s Letter to the Editor, published May 29, in which she derides the decision to award KHBC grant money to Kekaha Community Garden.

As supporters, volunteers, members, and neighbors of the garden we believe that this grant money is funding a true community resource.

The concept of communal gardening has been so successful that the garden is able to make weekly donations of 10-25 pounds of fresh, organic produce to Westside food banks, in addition to feeding members.

The garden is a satellite site for KCC’s food-growing courses in addition to coordinating other gardening and food prep/nutrition related workshops.

Kekaha residents would typically be required to drive to Lihu‘e and beyond for this type of hands-on instruction.

Residents also save themselves a drive to Lihu‘e to receive a free compost bin and training because the garden is a satellite site for the County of Kaua‘i’s Recycling Office Home Composting program.

The garden also exposes children to organic gardening and sustainability concepts by hosting field trips and also through the “Life Lab” program, which provides free ongoing basic garden training to youth in our community. Learn more at www.kekahacommunitygarden.org

 Ms. Klein’s letter also claims that KCG “never thought about the neighbors they were impacting.”

Prior to breaking ground, KCG actually went door-to-door and invited neighbors to attend a meeting intended to address any concerns.

Ms. Klein brought her aesthetic and safety concerns to this meeting, which have been and will continue to be addressed. For example, the shipping container Ms. Klein refers to, which was donated by a neighbor, was painted a garden theme by another neighbor local artist a year ago. Other neighbors have donated seedlings and cuttings, services, mulch, labor, etc.  

From those of us who have spent countless hours volunteering our time, money and goods to make this community project a success, it is hard to understand how Ms. Klein could refer to us as “carpetbaggers.”

The Garden Director, whose salary the grant money will support, has donated over 2000 hours and continues to donate 5-10 hours weekly without pay, along with the rest of us. Without this paid position, this project would be unsustainable unless someone was willing to spend up to 35-40 unpaid hours per week coordinating workshops, youth field trips, memberships, communications, writing grants, securing donations, etc.  

Jennifer Vaughn, John Jensen, Barb Childers, Karin Medigovich, Dawn Pondish, Lise Mathews, Maryanne and Joe Kemp, Tim Golden, Bob and Ronnie Wilkie, Richard and Myrna Bucasas, Blossom Young, Ricardo Davalos, Vivian Kutaka, Eleanor Synder, Cynthia Hubbard, Bob Tripp,  Teressa Casagram, Greg Ellsworth, Garrett Bradley, Tiani Kajiwara, Nicolai Barca, Gordon Labedz,  Karen Johnson, David Judd, Courtney and Justin Eiler, Tolly Boyd, Eddy Marks, Julia McGovern, Mary Obendorfer, Ron and Vivian Rose Osales Olen, Pauline Kupo, Kenneth Lindsey, Ross and Lynn Barker,  Micheal Seelely, Leonard and Cecelia Mahoe, Patti Valentine, Janet Goding, Rob and Fran Tyson-Marchino, Joie Luck, Nick and Laura Lynch, Rose Schweitzer and Erika Davidson



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