DIALOGUE BY Karleen Chinen

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.

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