Putting together a focused issue like this fourth annual Kaua‘i edition usually leaves me with a valuable takeaway. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time with the stories. In that process, they “speak to me” and leave me realizing something I hadn’t prior to getting to know them on my screen.
The takeaway for this issue can be summed up in four simple words: A sense of place.
Reading contributing writer Richard Borreca’s interview with former Kaua‘i County Mayor JoAnn Yukimura about Hurricane ‘‘Iniki’s wrath in 1992 reminded me of the surroundings we often take for granted. Bulldozers can change the face of a community, and so can Mother Nature. When the natural beauty of an area is erased within minutes, the pain is especially deep. Kaua‘i is referred to as “the Garden Island” because it is so lush and green and beautiful. So when Yukimura said the cliffs of the Näpali coast looked like they had “aged a hundred years” and turned grey because all of its foliage had been torn from the cliffs by ‘Iniki’s winds, you feel the loss.
A “sense of place” is also about preserving precious memories for future generations. Contributing writer Carolyn Morinishi and her mom understood this. Think of how much more profitable it would have been for them if they had just cashed in on the old house. But memories and lessons of struggle and perseverance connected them to this simple home that Carolyn hopes her own children will be inspired to preserve when their time comes.
This issue — and these valuable takeaways — were made possible because of the following individuals, businesses and organizations. We thank them sincerely and hope you will consider supporting them. Mahalo nui loa, Kaua‘i!
Bill Fernandez Books
Kauai Island Finance, Inc.
Kauai Japanese Cultural Society
Kauai Soto Zen Temple
State Sen. Ron Kouchi
Lihue Fishing Supply
State Rep. Dee Morikawa
State Rep. Nadine Nakamura
Tommy Oi Land Surveyor
Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura
Alan and Patsy (Nakayama) Iwasaki
Carolyn Morinishi and Marian Kubota