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Community Articles

Celebrating Judge Bowers

Celebrating Judge Bowers

Black History Month honors the achievements, triumphs, and contributions of African- Americans to U.S. history and culture. As we recognize and reflect on influential voices, past and present, and also enter Women in History month in March, Maui Economic Development...

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Aloha Quilts For Wildfire Survivors

Aloha Quilts For Wildfire Survivors

The Maui Quilt Shop on Central Avenue in Wailuku is packed full of fabrics, quilt patterns, and quilt kits with a contemporary Hawaiian style, besides patterns and kits for basic quilting. In this distinctive Maui store, a haven for any quilter and fabric lover, a...

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Horses Heal Hearts

Horses Heal Hearts

The Spirit Horse Ranch (TSHR) Inc., a 501(c)(3) Maui nonprofit, helps adolescent and other survivors of abuse and trauma through the healing energy of equine-assisted learning, organic gardening, creative expression, and the healing energy of the Haleakala setting....

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Kung Hee Fat Choy & Happy New Year!

Kung Hee Fat Choy & Happy New Year!

Dr. Busaba Yip, cultural director and docent of the Wo Hing Museum, Society Hall and Cookhouse is slowly recovering from the August 8th wildfires. Losing everything—home, business, personal possessions—she could only weep the first few days. Yet, while the Lahaina...

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Julia Allisson’s Wonderland

Julia Allisson’s Wonderland

Julia Allisson Cost is from a family of well-known artists. Her father, Curtis Wilson Cost, is one of the most acclaimed artists on Maui and her mom, Jill, is a multi-talented sewist, fabric and fashion designer and business manager. Julia, with a double BA in Studio...

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Coffee With A Cop

Coffee With A Cop

In December, a Coffee with a Cop event was held at the Dairy Road Starbucks. Police officers in green Starbucks aprons surprised customers with free coffee and conversation. “Coffee with a Cop brings officers and the community members they serve together,” said Jun...

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Bringing in the New Year

Bringing in the New Year

January’s namesake, Janus – Roman god of beginnings, had two faces that allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. With the New Year upon us, it is time to look back and reflect on a year dominated by heartache, tragedy and loss on Maui, and...

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Maui Santa Brings Joy And Singing

Christmas, celebrated in numerous ways all over the world, is a joyful time. While many people on Maui have endured grief and suffering caused by the devastation of the August 7 wildfires, the Christmas season brings hope and faith for a better future. Maui resident...

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A Time To Heal

A Time To Heal

During a Day of Healing Workshop in Upcountry Maui, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Maui, Dr. Bridget Bongaard set out to help those who are experiencing grief and PTSD because of the Maui wildfires, or any kind of trauma. Bongaard, a board-certified internal medicine...

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

As the holiday season begins, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) would like to offer special thanks to all those in the Maui community, statewide, nationally and internationally, who volunteered their skills immediately after the devastating wildfires in August....

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A Pillar In The Community

A Pillar In The Community

Known by many as a pillar in the community, Brian Moto was born and raised on Maui. He attended Makawao School, Maui High School (Kahului campus), UH Manoa, the University of Michigan Law School, and Yale Divinity School. He is a member of both the Hawaii and New York...

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Maui Hale Match

Maui Hale Match

Native Hawaiian and raised on Maui, Matt Jachowski, is a proud Maui High School graduate. When the August fires happened, he and his wife Veronica immediately knew they wanted to house fire survivors. However, finding a family proved more difficult than they expected....

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O’o Farm: A Real Find!

O’o Farm: A Real Find!

For the past 30 years, Maui resident Louis Coulombe has built a reputation for Lahaina’s beachfront restaurant, Pacific’o on the Beach. While there are no words for the amount of loss and tragedy that continues to unfold in Lahaina, few people on island are aware of...

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Maui Relief and Volunteer Center

The County of Maui Volunteer Center joins with over 100 nonprofits to mobilize volunteers for those affected by the Maui wildfires. Many people are searching for ways to assist the community right now. Below is a short list of some of the current opportunities within...

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E Hana Kākou – Let’s Work Together 

E Hana Kākou – Let’s Work Together 

MEDB stands with our community in shock and profound grief at the enormity of the catastrophe on Maui’s West Side and Upcountry. Like so many on our island, we have been personally touched with loss and trauma that too many others have shared.  The eyes of the...

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4-H @ Maui AgFest

4-H @ Maui AgFest

Providing everything the community has come to expect from it, the popular Maui County Farm Bureau Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair was held in June 2023. The event, to raise awareness about Maui agriculture, brought together ag industry and supporters to share...

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What’s New in Merwin’s Garden?

What’s New in Merwin’s Garden?

“Poetry,” as the late Maui resident W.S. Merwin said, “is a way of looking at the world for the first time.” These oft-quoted words have come alive again for Sonnet Kekilia Coggins, Executive Director of The Merwin Conservancy. In recent days she has come to think of...

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Sean Na’auao Benefits Hospice Maui

Sean Na’auao Benefits Hospice Maui

Sean Na’auao, multiple time winner of the prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award, is the concert headliner on Friday, June 30 at The Shops at Wailea. The live performance will take place from 5:30-7pm to benefit Hospice Maui, a nonprofit organization dedicated to...

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Maui Piano Stars

Maui Piano Stars

Maui piano students Henley Anthony, 7, and Ailis Nguyen, 10, took first place in Levels I and II, respectively, at the Hawaii Music Teachers Association’s 2023 Hawaii State Music Competition. They both competed with approximately 16 students in each category. The...

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Grit of Love: A Memoir

Grit of Love: A Memoir

Longtime Maui resident Carol Adyeeri Adams is a global activist, philanthropist and founder of Youth Encouragement Services (YES) Uganda in Fort Portal. Today, she is also an author. In her first and inspiring book, Grit of Love: A Memoir, the lifelong humanitarian...

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Conquer Change and Cultivate Results!

Conquer Change and Cultivate Results!

In March, MEDB's Women in Business Seminar Series celebrated Women’s History Month with guest speaker Angela Garmon, an award-winning business owner and philanthropist. The founder and CEO of ARG Coaching & Consulting Group LLC, a strategic change management...

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Celebrating Sissy Lake-Farm

Celebrating Sissy Lake-Farm

Women’s History Month, a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society, has been observed annually in March in the United States since 1987. The 2023 theme, ‘Celebrating Women Who Tell Stories’, recognizes women, past and present, who have used,...

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Maui Resident Wears Many Hats

Maui Resident Wears Many Hats

Michael A. Lilly (Captain, U.S. Navy, ret.), lawyer and writer, is an honor graduate of the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. He served as Hawaii’s Attorney General and First Deputy Attorney General (1981-85), and was a partner in the Honolulu law...

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Quilting In Paradise

Quilting In Paradise

Maui resident Cindy Walter is an author, television host, and international master teacher of traditional and contemporary quilt techniques. She has authored 10 books, and also designed a fabric line and patterns. “Two of the books I co-authored, Fine Hand-Quilting...

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Black History Month – Speak Out & Up

Black History Month – Speak Out & Up

On Maui, Black History Month began with the reading and presentation of a proclamation by County Managing Director Kekuhaupio Akana on behalf of Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr., declaring January 16th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Meeting at the Stone of Hope monument...

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Restoring Sandalwood Mountain

Restoring Sandalwood Mountain

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Maui and the Kwock Hing Society in Kula, the annual effort to re-establish the fragrant sandalwood trees in Kula has become an earnest community project for this team. Their tree-planting project was a huge success this year. During the...

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A Shaka Love Story

A Shaka Love Story

Shaka, A Story of Aloha is a full-length documentary about the origin and meanings of the Shaka gesture, currently recognized in Hawaii and around the world. The film features an award-winning team of production artists including Henry Kapono as Music Director and...

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A Memoir

A Memoir

Invited by the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (NVMC), two respected leaders of Hawaii’s government came to Maui to share experiences of their time at the helm of the Aloha State between 2010 and 2014. Former Attorney General (AG) David Louie was interviewed by special...

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Find Your Happy

Find Your Happy

Maui resident and author Trish Michael wrote a children’s book, Find Your Happy, that enlightens, inspires and uplifts. The book playfully, yet powerfully, reminds us that finding happiness is possible, regardless of our circumstances. It puts the power of choice into...

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Go Slow, Whales Below

Go Slow, Whales Below

November marked Ho‘i Koholā, ‘welcome back whales month’, and the traditional start of the 2022-2023 whale season in Hawaii. Humpback whales are generally seen in Maui waters from November into May each year, with the peak season running from January through March....

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New Year, New Hope

New Year, New Hope

A new year can bring renewed optimism and hope – a time for a clean slate and to put the cares of the past year aside. It can be a time to set resolutions, intentions or goals for the year ahead. Did you know that people who write down their goals are 42 percent more...

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The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift

Rev. Dr. Cindy Paulos is a Maui radio personality, minister, artist, composer, lyricist, and author. Her CD, Practicing Aloha won the Hawaii Music Award in the Inspirational Category, and was nominated for a Hoku (her 6th nomination) by the Hawaii Academy of Recording...

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Junior Rodeo, Ballet and The Nutcracker

Junior Rodeo, Ballet and The Nutcracker

Ten-year-old Moorea Winter Feliciano is both a dancer and an Upcountry junior rodeo participant. Dancing ballet since she was three years old with the Alexander Academy of Performing Arts (AAPA), she is also a member of the nonprofit Maui Youth Rodeo Organization...

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Feeding Hope One Meal at a Time

Feeding Hope One Meal at a Time

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the grassroots community project started to reduce hunger during Covid-19 and beyond. Co-founded by Brad Kukral and Steven Calkins, the Hungry Homeless Heroes Hawaii (HHHH) uses quality excess food to fill...

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Congratulations Dr. Sakai!

Congratulations Dr. Sakai!

Dr. Leonard Sakai of Kula was recently honored by the Maui Non-Profit Directors Association. Nominated by Habitat for Humanity, Sakai was named 2022 Humanitarian of the Year. The citation reads, “Dr. Sakai earned this award for his volunteerism and dedication to give...

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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Nationwide and on Maui, October is observed as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This health campaign, organized by major breast cancer charities and non-profits, was developed to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research on its cause,...

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Art From The Heart

Art From The Heart

World-renowned Maui artist Philip B. Sabado, formerly of Sabado Art Studios in Wailuku, has a new location. Still in Wailuku, he recently moved into a more spacious location on Market Street called Sabado Galleries, where his commitment to creating art that is...

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Helping Hands

Helping Hands

Linda Vincent of Kula has spearheaded the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) project on Maui to honor her son who died on August 12, 2019, of an accidental opioid overdose. The IOAD is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose. It is a day to...

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Bamboo Ridge Press

Bamboo Ridge Press

During a recent Nisei Veterans Memorial Center virtual event, Bamboo Ridge Press (BRP) co-founders Eric Chock and Darrell Lum discussed the significance of publishing literature by, for, and about Hawaii’s people. Founded in 1978, and celebrating their 45th...

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Visit Maui Fruit Jewels at the Kula Festival

Visit Maui Fruit Jewels at the Kula Festival

Maui resident Lin ter Horst, a former investment banker, fell in love with the art of pastry and confection-making after she completed a pastry diploma program at Le Cordon Bleu London. Prior to receiving her pastry training, Lin, with degrees from Wesleyan University...

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Artful Celebration

Artful Celebration

Renowned Maui artist Sherri Reeve is celebrating a 25-year anniversary in her Makawao gallery. Reeve, who supports numerous Maui-based nonprofit organizations, also captures the spirit of aloha in her artwork with watercolors that shimmer and shine. Offered in a wide...

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Mana’o @ Home

Mana’o @ Home

Trish ‘da Dish’ Smith is living her dreams on Maui. An award-winning community journalist,  wordsmith and event producer, Smith currently hosts MANA’O@HOME, a talk-story and live music experience celebrating Maui’s finest musicians. The live show, presented on...

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The Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center

The Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center

In November 2021, The Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center (HWDC), a much anticipated 5,000-square-foot space, opened at Whalers Village in Kaanapali. With contributions from several partners, HWDC features more than 30 exhibits about Hawaii’s undersea life, whaling era,...

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Maui’s Famous Luthier

Maui’s Famous Luthier

Steve Grimes, Maui musician and songwriter, is a world-renowned luthier, a builder of stringed instruments. He is known as a master of transforming wood into extraordinary guitars, ukuleles, acoustic basses, flat top guitars, electric guitars, and mandolins that have...

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Movie Magic On Maui!

Movie Magic On Maui!

Under the Stars, Lit by the Moon, Powered by the Sun! Known as Hawaii’s answer to Sundance, the 2022 Maui Film Festival, an annual event except during the pandemic, is being presented Wednesday, July 6 thru Sunday July 10 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center....

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Hawaii Celebrates Juneteenth – Sunday June 19th

Hawaii Celebrates Juneteenth – Sunday June 19th

Last year, Juneteenth, short for June 19th, was designated a national, Federal holiday for the first time to commemorate the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African-Americans in Texas were freed. Hawaii was the 49th state to officially recognize Juneteenth...

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Emily, Happy 100th Birthday!

Emily, Happy 100th Birthday!

Maui journalist and community volunteer Emily O’Neil Bott recently celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends. Recalling Bott’s many contributions to island life, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino proclaimed April 2, 2022, as Emily Bott Day. “Emily’s life...

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A Tribute to the Late Pono Shim

A Tribute to the Late Pono Shim

MEDB and Hawaii have lost a dear friend and inspiring leader with the passing of Pono Shim. The President and CEO of our sister organization, Oahu Economic Development Board, Pono was a gifted and respected visionary and storyteller. We were honored to share his...

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Juicing For Health

Maui residents Stephen Reyes and Savannah Forbeck started Tartaria Juice Company during the pandemic to stay healthy, share their knowledge of wholesome juicing, and grow their business. Once the community opened up again they were eager to get out and offer...

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Viewpoints Gallery Celebrates Hawaii Artists

Viewpoints Gallery Celebrates Hawaii Artists

Through April 16th, Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao is presenting Celebration of Hawaii 2022, an annual invitational exhibit featuring work from more than 60 artists. “The entire Viewpoints Gallery is redesigned around this presentation,” said Oliver and Joelle...

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Title IX: Milestone in Women’s History

Title IX: Milestone in Women’s History

This year, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Surviving many challenges through the decades, it is arguably one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in America’s history. Maui Economic Development...

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MFTC Creates A Sense Of Place

MFTC Creates A Sense Of Place

Presented by the Maui Food Technology Center (MFTC), the Maui Sunday Market is an expanded island ‘ohana. At the core of the MFTC strategy is the goal of encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship among Hawaii’s local residents. The Market, supported by the County of...

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Black History Month

Black History Month

February has been a month dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the past and current achievements of African Americans. Black History Month is an annual observance originated in the United States by Dr. Carter J. Woodson in 1926. Since 1976, every U.S. President...

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Shooting The Big Waves

Shooting The Big Waves

Maui big-wave photographer Martin Caprile has a great passion for the sea. With a degree in  communication and media he traveled the world to land the perfect photos capturing some of the world’s biggest waves. With a truly unique perspective on surf and sea,...

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Maui Musician and Educator

Maui Musician and Educator

It’s never too late to make music! Just ask Maui violist, violinist and music educator Teresa Skinner who began playing professionally and teaching in her native Southern California. On Maui since 1986, Skinner has become a celebrated local violinist. In 2015, she was...

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Rooted In Aloha

Rooted In Aloha

In celebration of their 30th anniversary in 2021, the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea launched Rooted in Aloha, a reforestation initiative in partnership with Skyline Conservation. Their goal, to plant native trees along the slopes of Haleakala, will help educate locals...

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International Underwater Explorations

International Underwater Explorations

Maui resident Joe Breman, Director and CEO of International Underwater Explorations (IUE), is an oceanographer and information technology integrator, as well as a longtime Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB)...

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A Compassionate Couple at Work

A Compassionate Couple at Work

One of the newest nonprofits on Maui, Clean Living Environment (CLE) has organized exclusively to help recovering addicts return to a happy, fulfilling, and drug-free life. CLE founders, Marcie and Maui Fernandez explain Clean Living’s purpose as providing life-skill...

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Makahiki: Celebrating the New Year

Makahiki: Celebrating the New Year

The New Year celebration in Hawaii, also known as Makahiki season, covers the lunar months from October/November through February/March. The focus of the season, influenced by the Hawaiian moon calendar, was and is a celebration of the bounty of the land. In the...

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A Christmas Classic Came to Maui

A Christmas Classic Came to Maui

The Nutcracker, a perennial holiday production, was performed on Maui this year by The Alexander Academy of Performing Arts (AAPA). Debuted in 1892, the two-act ballet was originally adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The famous...

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Welcome to Christmas!

Welcome to Christmas!

Santa Claus came to town and what an entrance! Leaving Rudolph and his reindeer at an undisclosed Upcountry location, Santa was escorted down South Kihei Road in a vintage 1944 fire truck by the Maui Classic Cruisers. Upon his arrival at The Shops at Wailea, hula...

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Maui Search and Rescue: Work from the Heart

Maui Search and Rescue: Work from the Heart

Serving Maui and the people of Hawaii since 2014, Maui Search and Rescue (MSAR) is an all-  volunteer organization dedicated to providing expert search and rescue assistance, plus community outreach education. They respond to calls from police and fire...

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Giving Thanks for Aloha

Giving Thanks for Aloha

Ramsay Taum, a speaker at numerous Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) events, talks about the importance of integrating Native Hawaiian cultural values in every aspect of our lives, including business and educational programs. Mentored and trained by respected...

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Meet An Astronaut!

Meet An Astronaut!

Student Space Day went virtual at the 22nd Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference (AMOS) with guest speaker NASA Astronaut United States Space Force Col. Michael Hopkins. Presented by the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) STEMworks™...

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Peter Baldwin–Community Leader, 1938-2021

Peter Baldwin–Community Leader, 1938-2021

Maui lost one of its true characters and treasures this last June with the passing away of Peter Damon Baldwin. A scion of the longtime Maui Baldwin family, Peter was the fourth generation to head Haleakala Ranch and Dairy, and was actively involved in community and...

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Aloha Blessings

Aloha Blessings

A pair of Maui musicians, five-time Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku Jr. and KAOI radio host Cindy Paulos, a UNESCO Cross-Cultural and Peace Crafters Award winner, teamed with musician and filmmaker Rupam Sarmah to produce a special CD release titled Aum─Aloha...

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An Aha! Moment

An Aha! Moment

Maui resident Rinko Jeffers, a recipient of the Nihon Bunka Award in 2019, is a gifted haiku master poet. The Award recognizes individuals for their excellence and contributions to the Japanese arts and culture and for their unselfish willingness to share their...

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Love Local Coffee!

Love Local Coffee!

With beans grown on Maui, the owners of Akamai Coffee Company, Kimberly and Byron Brown, have perfected the cup of coffee from start to finish. In business since 2007, with a drive-thru in Kahului adjacent to Home Depot, the Browns have also opened fashionable Kihei...

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Let’s Paint!

Let’s Paint!

Born and raised in Wailuku, local artist Malorie Arisumi loves to share her talent and passion for painting. Her enthusiasm for art began at a young age, when an elementary school art project sparked something magical for her. She was further inspired by various media...

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Saori Weaving on Maui

Saori Weaving on Maui

This past March, Lokelani ‘Ohana re-opened their Saori weaving class to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Located in Wailuku, the nonprofit organization partnered with local artist Melissa Hagerty to bring therapeutic arts to the Maui community....

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Investing Respectfully in Hawaii

Investing Respectfully in Hawaii

The 8th Hawaii Energy Conference (HEC) explored the energy transition in Hawaii with a focus on investment in people and projects. Presented by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and supported by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, the annual...

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Huli the Hawaiian Chicken

Huli the Hawaiian Chicken

David and Ululani Yamashiro of Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, a participant in Maui Economic Development Board’s Maui Business Connect program, collaborated with Maui moms Jenny Coon and Nicki Barsamian to launch their second children’s book, Huli the Hawaiian Chicken...

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Maui Bees

Maui Bees

In 2008, Mark and Leah Damon, owners of Maui Bees Incorporated in Kula, combined their shared passion for bees and wholesome organically grown food to create a joint farming venture,  including a farm stand to offer their grown-on-Maui products. The Damons’...

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Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature

Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature

Brandy Nālani McDougall recently took part in the W.S. Merwin Maui Conservancy Green Room Series. Led by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and six other Pacific Islander poets, the event celebrated National Poetry Month. McDougall is now an established author who has deep...

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Maui Hero Project

Maui Hero Project

Loren Lapow, founder and director of the Maui Hero Project (MHP), Inc., believes that everyone has a hero or heroine within. With a master’s degree in social work, Lapow founded MHP in 2000 and has been coaching adults, youth, families, and communities ever since....

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Resilient Rainbow Jo

Resilient Rainbow Jo

Rainbow Jo, a dynamic upcountry clothing company, offers original artwork on clothing by Maui resident and designer Michele Joy Thornton. Since 1986, Thornton has served wholesale and retail customers throughout Hawaii and beyond with innovative and updated resort...

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Maui CARES at Work

Maui CARES at Work

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council (MNMRC), a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, is recognized for working with the local community to create culturally appropriate and effective science-based solutions to serious threats facing Maui County’s reefs and environment....

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Remembering U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink

Remembering U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink

As we celebrate Women’s History Month across the nation, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) pays tribute to the late Maui-born Patsy Takemoto Mink, whose extraordinary achievements brought gender equality and other social justice issues to the forefront. Women’s...

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Kimberly Svetin, Molokai Entrepreneur

Kimberly Svetin, Molokai Entrepreneur

As for many businesses during the worldwide pandemic, it has been a challenging time for small community pharmacies. Kimberly Mikami Svetin, the third president of family-run Molokai Drugs, Inc., is worried about what is happening state-wide in her industry and across...

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MNHCoC Talk Story: Hālau Perseverance

MNHCoC Talk Story: Hālau Perseverance

The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (MNHCoC) presented a virtual talk-story session about Hālau Perseverance. MNHCoC’s mission is to promote and sustain Hawaiian culture, nurture a strong community of Hawaiian values, and enhance opportunities for success in...

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Hawaiˊi’s Renaissance Man

Hawaiˊi’s Renaissance Man

George Kahumoku, Jr., known as Uncle George, is a multi-Grammy and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning Hawaiian slack key guitar master, songwriter, touring performer, teacher, artist, storyteller, author, and entrepreneur. The Maui slack key legend is currently also a...

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Time-Honored Values

Time-Honored Values

Beginning a new year often involves core values worthy of preservation. During her talk for the Nisei Veterans Ta-Ke Leadership Series, Sharon Suzuki, President of Maui County and Hawaii Island Utilities, shared some of the values she grew up with. “My father, a Nisei...

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Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year 2021

With the advent of the Julian calendar in 46BC, the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, honoring the month’s namesake, Janus – Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into...

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Toys for Tots on Maui

Toys for Tots on Maui

Street Bikers United Maui Chapter (SBU MC) helps collect and distribute Christmas toys in support of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. SBU, Maui County’s largest toy collector, accepts unwrapped toys and monetary donations for the nonprofit, and this year they did...

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Growing Beauty, Love and Peace

Growing Beauty, Love and Peace

The Sacred Garden, an upcountry Maui treasure, is an extraordinarily peaceful experience. Operated by the nonprofit Divine Nature Alliance and free to the public, the Garden serves as a place of rejuvenation, education, and inspiration for the community. Upon...

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O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree!

Located on the slopes of Haleakala, the Kula Botanical Garden encompasses ten acres with thousands of distinctive Christmas trees in different sizes and varieties. The Garden also showcases colorful and unique plants, rock formations, a covered bridge, waterfalls, a...

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Thankful For Dance

Thankful For Dance

Thanksgiving, the kick-off to the holiday season, might look a little different this year because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, it still remains a time to give thanks for all things good and beautiful. Danelle Watson, director of Alexander Academy of Performing Arts,...

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Native Intelligence: Culture and Community

Native Intelligence: Culture and Community

Kumu Hula Kapono’ai Molitau and his wife Jennifer are the owners of the Wailuku-based store Native Intelligence (NI). Together, they are at the helm of a resource center that offers inspirational teachings and goods about Hawai’i’s land and culture. “Our mission is...

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Maui Resident Receives UNESCO Peace Award

Maui Resident Receives UNESCO Peace Award

Rev. Dr. Cindy Paulos, a Maui music producer, author, poet, lyricist, composer, artist, and announcer on multiple stations for KAOI radio, was named a UNESCO Cross-Cultural & Peace Crafters Award Laureate by the United Nations (UN). UNESCO, a specialized agency of...

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Chinese Moon Festival: A Mid-Autumn Celebration

Chinese Moon Festival: A Mid-Autumn Celebration

During this time of many health challenges in our life, family, community and the world, it is worthwhile to explore ways to live healthier and happier at home. For example, while we cannot get together for safety reasons, we can still honor seasonal changes and...

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Our Kūpuna

Our Kūpuna

Gabe Amey, founder and director of Our Kūpuna, is concerned about Hawaii’s elderly. “During the deadliest global pandemic our generation has ever seen, I asked myself, how can I help?” said Amey. “This service is that answer. Our Kūpuna was developed to serve a need...

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EVohana Members, THANK YOU!

EVohana Members, THANK YOU!

On August 1, 2020 Hawaiian Electric Company moved forward with the ownership and operation of the existing EVohana network on Maui, which has been temporarily owned and operated by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB). The EVohana charging sites were initially...

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PBS Hawai’i Presents the World Premiere of Hawaiiana

PBS Hawai’i Presents the World Premiere of Hawaiiana

On Thursday August 27 at 9:00 pm, PBS Hawai'i will present the world premiere of Hawaiiana, a new documentary about the late Winona Kapuailohiamanonokalani Desha Beamer, or Aunty Nona as she was fondly called. Credited with coining the term Hawaiiana as early as 1949,...

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Kihei Company Awarded Best Place to Work

Kihei Company Awarded Best Place to Work

Exciting projects, industry-best benefits and flexible working arrangements are a few of the reasons that Kihei-based Centauri was recently named a 2020 Hawai’i Best Place to Work by Hawaii Business Magazine. Centauri is a technology company providing high-end,...

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Locals Supporting Locals!

Locals Supporting Locals!

Kama’aina First, an exciting program supported by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development (OED), brings our local community together, to kokua one another, during these unprecedented times of COVID-19. This is an opportunity for Maui County businesses to...

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ACCW Continues Mission to the Homeless

ACCW Continues Mission to the Homeless

A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW), a shared outreach ministry of the Episcopal Churches of Maui and Friends, is looking to restart operations and begin with weekly mission runs on Wednesdays in the Central Maui area. ACCW’s roving care van will serve the areas of Central...

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MEDB Statement on Recent Events in our Nation

Like other communities across the country, Maui County and its residents have been affected by the anger, grief and hurt caused by recent events in Minneapolis, Georgia, Louisville and elsewhere, and the resulting civil unrest. ‘The knee on the neck” is an apt...

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Hawaiian Electric Helping Hawaii Food Bank and United Way

Hawaiian Electric Helping Hawaii Food Bank and United Way

More than 33,000 pounds of food are being distributed by the Maui Food Bank to Moloka‘i residents in need through a $20,000 contribution from the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation (HEICF). HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, which supplies...

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Be a Hero, Wear a Mask!

Be a Hero, Wear a Mask!

Volunteers with the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (NVMC) and Maui United Way handed out 8,000 face masks during their GivingTuesday "Be a Hero, Wear a Mask" campaign. GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement, launched GivingTuesdayNow in response to the COVID-19...

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KHAKO on Maui

KHAKO on Maui

Monique Yamashita, Executive Director of Ka Hale A Ke Ola (KHAKO) Homeless Resource Centers, Inc., has over 15 years of social service experience in Maui County. Currently, as executive director of two homeless shelters, one in Wailuku and one in Lahaina, she has...

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Front-Line Heroes!

Front-Line Heroes!

The essential community workers that we see every day have become our lifelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They are our heroes. Possibly those working in supermarkets and other large retail corporations are the only other people we might talk to in person all...

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Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

Kyle Kawakami, Maui-born 2019 Chef of the Year, is continuously thinking of ways to help his Maui community. His philanthropy is endless. He is well known for placing an Aloha tip jar on the counter of his Maui Fresh Streatery Food Truck to help raise funds for those...

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Life in the Time of COVID-19

Life in the Time of COVID-19

All of us at MEDB wish good health to everyone in our community in these difficult times. We would like to reinforce the new rules announced by the Mayor to keep residents safe and healthy during the fight against the spread of COVID-19, starting with staying at home...

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A Lei of Aloha

A Lei of Aloha

As we celebrate Women in History month across the nation, we are truly blessed that Lei’ohu Ryder continues to bring the spirit of aloha to Maui and to the world. A beacon of light in the community, Ryder’s music and albums have touched the hearts of locals and...

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Hale Hō’ike’ike “House of Display”

Hale Hō’ike’ike “House of Display”

The Bailey House Museum, one of Maui’s oldest surviving structures, now known as Hale Hō’ike’ike, is a jewel in the community. Located in historic Wailuku and operated by the Maui Historical Society, Hale Hō’ike’ike was dedicated as a museum on July 6th, 1957 and...

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Acts of Love

Acts of Love

Love is in the air! Assistance Dogs of Hawaii (ADH) is celebrating their 20th anniversary — graduating over 100 service dogs to serve in the community — individually and in community outreach programs such as hospitals, courthouses, and child advocacy agencies across...

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No One Fights Alone

No One Fights Alone

Recently, the Maui Cancer Wellness Retreat (MCWR) for cancer survivors from Maui and Molokai was held at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. Following the Hawaiian opening ceremony officiated by Rev. John Hau’oli Tomoso, the three days focused on the retreat theme, ‘Healing...

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Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year 2020!

January 1 will mark not just a new year but will be the first day of the 20’s. Most consider the new decade will actually start in 2021 -- the first year A.D was 1 and therefore any year ending in one marks the beginning of a decade.  However, it seems much easier to...

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Christmas Wonder: The Overview Effect

Christmas Wonder: The Overview Effect

It began 51 years ago. On Christmas Eve, 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts, Air Force Col. Frank Borman, Navy Capt. James A. Lovell Jr., and Air Force Major William A. Anders, became the first humans to see the far side of the moon and the first to enter lunar orbit. They...

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Yes, There is a Santa Paws!

Yes, There is a Santa Paws!

Santa Paws brightened the spirits of the Maui community during the Maui Humane Society’s (MHS) second annual Holiday Pet Adoption and Wellness Fair. “I love being at the MHS at this time of year, taking photos with all the animals and their families!” Santa Paws...

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Making a Difference, Together

Making a Difference, Together

Each day of the week the Hale Kau Kau (House of Meals) program serves a hot meal to the hungry and the needy from their kitchen located at St. Theresa’s Church, 25 West Lipoa Street in Kihei. “During this season of Thanksgiving, I would like to share my gratitude to...

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Aloha Around the World

Aloha Around the World

Keola and Moana Beamer, Hawaii’s First Music Couple, tour the world to present their unique vision of Hawaii’s cultural arts and to share aloha. Keola, a master musician and slack key artist, who earned a place on Billboard’s Top World Music Albums Chart, and Moana,...

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Help When You Need It

Help When You Need It

On Maui since 1972, Mental Health America (MHA) of Hawaii has been a leading mental health education and advocacy organization. Dedicated to promoting wellness, MHA’s prevention programs are designed to improve the care and treatment of people living with mental...

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Aloha is Everything!

Aloha is Everything!

Rachael Ray, a successful Maui artist, was invited for the first time as a guest speaker at Maui Economic Development Board’s 3rd annual Hawaii Small Business Conference (HSBC). “I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to make a lasting impression on the HSBC...

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Pono Shim Explains True Aloha

Pono Shim Explains True Aloha

Pono Shim, President and CEO of Oahu Economic Development Board and a notable speaker at Maui Economic Development Board’s 3rd annual Hawaii Small Business Conference (HSBC), is a gifted storyteller and speaker in Hawaii and internationally. He is well-known for his...

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Summer Adventures in Healthcare

Summer Adventures in Healthcare

In June, students from Maui, Moloka’i and Lana’i took part in Summer Adventures in Healthcare. The three-day event was presented by the Maui County Healthcare Partnership (MCHP) and Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) STEMworks™. MCHP, originally launched in...

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Affordable Housing Survey to Evaluate Demand

Affordable Housing Survey to Evaluate Demand

An affordable housing survey focusing on the West Maui community has just begun circulation to help define the extent of the need for affordable workforce housing upon which the West Maui economy depends. The initiative for the survey came from the community itself,...

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MEDB Invites You…

MEDB Invites You…

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend while investing in STEM education. MEDB invites you to our annual fundraising dinner, “Pathways To Our Future.” Where:  Wailea Beach Resort–Marriott, Maui When:   Saturday, August 31, 2019 4:30 pm:   Reception and Silent Auction 6:00 pm:  ...

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A Place Called Hope

A Place Called Hope

Maui County cancer patients and their families have a place of “Hope” on Oahu. The Clarence T.C. Ching Hope Lodge Hawaii, funded through the American Cancer Society (ACS), provides extended stay facilities to those involved in cancer treatments and their caregivers....

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Remembering Heroes

Remembering Heroes

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center recently hosted a book-signing and talk by “The Go For Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage” photographer Shane Sato. Over 18 years in the making, Sato’s coffee-table book is the second in a collection of poignant images of the Nisei...

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Harp Therapy

Harp Therapy

In 2014, Maui musician Irene Ryding graduated from the International Harp Therapy Program (IHTP). She took up the harp in 1998 after a series of surgeries to correct a congenital disorder in her spine. “Hearing about harp therapy, I was determined to learn more as a...

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Happy New Year 2019!

Happy New Year 2019!

The New Year can be a time for reflection as well as a time for looking ahead to what will come, and what good fortunes the future can bring. As you reflect on 2018, you may look back at the highlights and feel appreciation for having those experiences. You can look...

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True Grit

True Grit

Paula Baldwin is the new president of A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW), the community care-van outreach program on Maui− distributing food, hygiene items and clothing to the needy in the community. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has grown from its Episcopal Church...

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Illustrating Lahaina’s History

Illustrating Lahaina’s History

Lahaina resident Chutima Intarapanich, a cartoonist, comic artist, graphic novel artist, colorist, inker, illustrator, storyboard artist, and graphic designer, came to Maui for her master’s thesis in 2016. She undertook a project illustrating the background for a...

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

In December, Santa and his wife have a hectic schedule. Maui residents John and Lori Hughes, portraying Santa and Mrs. Claus, have been working for many years, directly under instructions from the North Pole. John Hughes, born and raised on Oahu, used to make...

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ICEBUDDY™ Saves Lives

ICEBUDDY™ Saves Lives

Pamela Norris, a Maui resident and entrepreneur, has participated in numerous High Tech Maui business development programs offered by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB). Norris, winner of the Small Business Administration’s 2016 InnovateHer Challenge locally...

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A Healthy Harvest!

A Healthy Harvest!

In this season of thanksgiving, we can gain inspiration from Matteo Musso, a frequent visitor to Maui, is a 14-year-old author, speaker, yet mostly non-verbal autistic young man. After almost 12 years of silence, Musso found his voice by spelling his thoughts, one...

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Visit Maui Sugar Mamas at the MIMCF

Visit Maui Sugar Mamas at the MIMCF

The 5th Annual Made in Maui County Festival (MIMCF), set for November 2-3, 2018 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, is considered Maui County’s largest product show. This major event, featuring hundreds of Made in Maui County products, helps to grow the islands’...

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The Pinks!

The Pinks!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On Maui, the Mana’olana (“Hope”) Pink Paddlers, a group of cancer survivors and their supporters, bring cancer awareness through the art, the sport, and most importantly, the mana of Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe paddling....

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Saddle Up for St. Jude

Saddle Up for St. Jude

On September 29, Maui’s 25th annual “Saddle Up” St. Jude Trail Ride will take place. The spirited 10-mile ride begins at 9 a.m. It goes from Thompson Road to the Fleming Arboretum in the Pu’u Mahoe cinder cone, through private lands of Ulupalakua and OW Ranch. Horse...

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“It’s for the Kids!”

“It’s for the Kids!”

Principal Chris Bachaus of Kula Elementary School had a vision. He began working on a project to help students that were struggling with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) classes in the Kula community. “Many of our students weren’t getting the basic...

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Maui Chefs for Healthy Hearts

Maui Chefs for Healthy Hearts

Teens Cook with Heart, a six-week school program initiated by the American Heart Association (AHA), teaches students how to prepare nutritional meals to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Mentored by volunteer chefs, the program culminates with a teen Iron Chef cooking...

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Maui Filmmakers Honored at Taos Film Festival

Maui Filmmakers Honored at Taos Film Festival

Maui residents Dr. Tom Vendetti, Robert Stone, and Keola and Moana Beamer recently received an award for “Environmental Activism in Film” at the 2018 Taos Film Festival in New Mexico. The award, inspired by the power of films to make positive changes for humanity,...

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Be Aloha!

Be Aloha!

Ramsay Taum, a speaker at the 2nd Annual Hawaii Small Business Conference, wowed the audience with his talk on the integration of Native Hawaiian cultural values and principles as a key to effective service in business. Taum, an internationally recognized cultural...

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HSBC Impacts the Community

HSBC Impacts the Community

Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), in collaboration with Maui County’s Office of Economic Development, presented the 2nd Annual Hawaii Small Business Conference (HSBC) at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in May. The conference attracted over 200 people who...

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Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Project the Future

Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Project the Future

Founded on the values and priorities for Maui County’s future as articulated by Maui County’s residents through the Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui visioning processes, Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows is a year-long program dedicated to preparing community-nominated young...

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AYSO

AYSO

The world of American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), celebrated 53 years of soccer in 2017. Today, AYSO is a successful national and international organization, and is thriving in Hawaii. “The league is committed to the safe development and nurturing of all...

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Maui’s Jason Baum: Grammy Award Winner!

Maui’s Jason Baum: Grammy Award Winner!

Maui Economic Development Board applauds Maui High School (MHS) 2003 graduate and video producer, Jason Baum, for winning his first Grammy Award. His work on Kendrik Lamar’s music video, Humble, was recently honored at the 60th Grammy Award show in New York City. A...

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Mindful Happiness

Mindful Happiness

Maui resident, author and speaker Steven Snyder is one of the world’s foremost experts on Accelerated Learning and Personal Development. He has made several thousand presentations in more than 90 countries. Throughout his career, Snyder taught empowerment through...

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Gardening Love

Gardening Love

Grow Some Good (GSG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating hands-on, outdoor learning experiences, establishes food gardens and living science laboratories in Maui schools. “We are cultivating curiosity about natural life cycles, strengthening local...

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Left at Hiva Oa

Left at Hiva Oa

Maui author Malia Bohlin recently released her first novel, Left at Hiva Oa. Bohlin tells the dramatic story of her father, Ken Bohlin, who followed his dream of sailing around the world on the 40-foot schooner, the Gracias. Bohlin, a US Marine Merchant Academy...

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Maui’s Future Farmers

Maui’s Future Farmers

M’Chelle Aguinaldo, a senior at Lahainaluna High School, was elected and is serving as Secretary of the Hawai’i Chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA) for 2017-2018. A student-led national organization, FFA is committed to fostering projects that increase...

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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year 2018!

With the countdown to 2018, Hawaii will be one of the last places on earth to celebrate the New Year, a full 24 hours after the Republic of Kiribati, and one hour ahead of American Samoa. Around the world, fireworks are a common celebration with spectacular shows...

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Feed My Sheep Sustains Body, Mind & Spirit

Feed My Sheep Sustains Body, Mind & Spirit

Maui Economic Development Board applauds the community service of Feed My Sheep (FMS). Serving with integrity and sincerity, this nonprofit makes an immediate impact on the lives of the less fortunate. Bringing positive hope, the many FMS volunteers lift the morale of...

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A Maui Swimming Legacy

A Maui Swimming Legacy

The community came out in droves for a November Barnes & Noble-Maui book signing to meet Julie Checkoway, author of The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory. The book, detailing the story of how Maui...

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IEI Equipment Lending Libraries

IEI Equipment Lending Libraries

STEMworks™ Island Energy Inquiry™ (IEI), developed by Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology (WIT) Project, is the first clean-energy STEMworks™ (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum designed for Hawaii educators. It combines...

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Kids Grow, Clothes Don’t!

Kids Grow, Clothes Don’t!

As the season of Thanksgiving approaches, it seems fitting that we highlight an all-volunteer community project that benefits keiki and their families. About a year ago, Ali Dauler, founder and manager of the Keiki Klothing Exchange-Kihei (KKEK), instigated the free...

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2017 Made on Maui – Keep it Spicy!

2017 Made on Maui – Keep it Spicy!

Maui County’s largest products show, the annual Made in Maui County Festival (MIMCF), returns on November 3 and 4th, 2017. Now in its fourth year, this popular event, presented by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of...

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Keiki Cupboard Assists Students in Need

Keiki Cupboard Assists Students in Need

Keiki Cupboard, a nonprofit organization presently assisting 21 Maui schools, is dedicated to providing necessary school supplies and shoes to children who need them. There are many disadvantaged children with financially strapped parents who cannot provide the...

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MEDB Celebrates 35 Years, Bestows Highest Honors

MEDB Celebrates 35 Years, Bestows Highest Honors

Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Ke Alahele Education Fund Benefit Dinner & Auction, held at the Fairmont Kea Lani Wailea, showcased an evening of nostalgia—a chance to look back at MEDB and their organization’s impact over the last 35 years, along with a...

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The Maui Book Giver

The Maui Book Giver

Jonathan Kamehanaokala Merchant, a 9th grader at Seabury Hall, has loved to read for as long as he can remember. For his 11th birthday party, he decided he didn’t really need any presents. “My parents and I talked about how my bookshelf was overflowing,” said...

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MEDB Opens Doors of Opportunity

MEDB Opens Doors of Opportunity

On Saturday, August 26, 2017, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) will hold their annual fundraiser dinner and auction Pathways to Our Future at the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea. Guests will celebrate MEDB’s 35th Anniversary and the achievements of students in...

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Celebrate, empower, and inspire!

Celebrate, empower, and inspire!

Now celebrating 35 years, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) invites you to join us for Pathways to our Future to benefit MEDB and the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund. Saturday, August 26, 2017 Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui 4:30 pm Reception/Silent Auction 6:00 pm...

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Maui High School Science Teacher at the South Pole

Maui High School Science Teacher at the South Pole

Bill Giebink, Maui High physical science teacher and the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA) Project Coordinator for their South Pole Project, recently visited the South Pole Solar Observatory (SPSO) in Antarctica. Giebink, one of a team of four,...

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Best Friends Win High Science Honors

Best Friends Win High Science Honors

Maui students and best friends, Erica Sawczynec, Kihei Charter School 12th grade, and Celeste Jongeneelen, home-school 11th grade, have received high honors and recognition in astronomy and physics. The girls attended the 2017 Pacific Symposium for Science and...

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Maui’s Flower Power

Maui’s Flower Power

The fourth annual Maui Energy Conference, held in March, broadened its focus this year to become a timely and innovative forum as Hawaii continues its transition to a 100-percent clean-energy economy by 2045. Presented by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and the...

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Maui Waena Needs Your Vote!

Maui Waena Needs Your Vote!

Text the Word CFCONNECT to 22333 Maui Waena Intermediate School, a participant in the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) Women in Technology (WIT) STEMworks™ AFTERschool program, recently won Best in State in the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge. This...

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Happenings in the School Garden

Happenings in the School Garden

Kahului Elementary School’s 1st grade Grow Some Good (GSG) garden classes recently held Garden Scavenger Hunts as a fun way to review the lessons they have learned so far in the 2016-2017 school year. “Our students learn STEM (science, technology, engineering,...

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Caring for the ‘aina

Caring for the ‘aina

Makahiki is an ancient Hawai’ian celebration of the bounty of the ‘aina (land). It punctuated the yearly farming cycle of ancient Hawaii when the ‘aina was considered a living entity. People really care for it and still do. Noho’ana Farm celebrates this natural way of...

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Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year – 2017

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year – 2017

The Makahiki season, the ancient New Year festival to honor Lono, is still celebrated and practiced by Native Hawaiians, with games, sports and religious ceremonies. Our culturally diverse population also celebrates with fireworks, parties, and special New Year foods,...

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Fairmont Kea Lani Resort Helps “Clean the World”

Fairmont Kea Lani Resort Helps “Clean the World”

The Fairmont Kea Lani Resort, venue for Maui Economic Development Board’s annual Ke Alahele Fundraiser, is committed to responsible tourism practices and sustainable hotel management. “Our Sustainability Team, created in 2001, is comprised of leaders and colleagues...

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Family Inspires Alo(ha) Creations

Family Inspires Alo(ha) Creations

Alo(ha) Creations is a new family-run business on Maui. Their goal is to create unique products made with aloha you can take with you. “The meaning of our company name Alo(ha) is comprised of two parts,” explained Micah Alo, founder of Alo(ha) Creations. “Our family...

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

One of the central values surfaced by MEDB’s countywide community engagement of our residents, Focus Maui Nui, was the “addressing of human needs.” Na Hoaloha is a Maui organization that lives and breathes that value. It is a grass roots organization that promotes...

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Made in Maui County Festival

Made in Maui County Festival

The 2016 Annual Made In Maui County Festival (MIMCF) on Friday and Saturday, November 4th and 5th, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, will be one of the Festival’s largest shows to date. Now in its third year, the event showcases hundreds of...

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Paddle for Life

Paddle for Life

On October 8-9, over 200 cancer survivors and supporters will paddle six-person outrigger canoes across the ‘Au‘au Channel from Lahaina to Lanai. The Pacific Cancer Foundation’s (PCF) 8th Annual Paddle for Life fundraiser, a 34-mile round trip journey to raise funds...

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VFW Auxiliary: “Partner in Service”

VFW Auxiliary: “Partner in Service”

For more than 100 years, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary has been fulfilling its original objectives to serve veterans of this country within our communities. The Auxiliary is the VFW’s highly regarded support organization and is considered its “Partner...

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REAP-ing What You Sow

REAP-ing What You Sow

As part of their Innovation Series, Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) workshop Rural Energy for America Program: REAP-ing What You Sow, drew a packed audience. The seminar, led by presenter John Antonio, State Energy Coordinator at the U. S. Department of...

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A 54-Hour Entrepreneurial Adrenaline Rush

A 54-Hour Entrepreneurial Adrenaline Rush

Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) presented this year’s 2016 Startup Weekend Maui on May 13-15. The event offered entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn in 54 hours how to launch a company. “Startup Weekend Maui is about learning by doing,” says Frank De Rego,...

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For the love of cookies!

For the love of cookies!

The Maui Cookie Lady, Mitzi Toro, has been in business for three extraordinary years. The first year started with baking cookies as a fundraiser for the ICU nurses who cared for her father before he passed away. The second year, making them became a favorite hobby. It...

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Maui Autism Center: Little gains become big accomplishments

Maui Autism Center: Little gains become big accomplishments

Still shrouded in mystery, autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities in the United States. Recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder. The term “spectrum” refers to the wide...

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2016 Happy New Year!

2016 Happy New Year!

The Hawaiian Islands, home to a culturally and ethnically diverse population, are about to celebrate one of the most fun-filled festivals of the year. Many are laying elaborate plans to usher in the New Year with different customs and foods from different cultures....

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Holiday greetings from MEDB

Holiday greetings from MEDB

The holiday season marks the time of year when we take stock and look ahead, often through making resolutions. Five notable holiday resolutions to live by have been compiled by poet and writer Julie-Anne Ford. Among her recommendations: Learn to Laugh Celebrate the...

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Angels on wheels

Angels on wheels

Recently, A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW) Community Care-Van held its 2nd annual gathering to give thanks for the success of its outreach ministry. In October 2013, the four Episcopal churches on Maui, Good Shepherd, Holy Innocents, St. John’s and Trinity-by-the-Sea, moved...

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Maui team wins 2015 DevLeague/Uber Hawaii Hackathon

Maui team wins 2015 DevLeague/Uber Hawaii Hackathon

Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and High Technology Development Corporation sponsored Maui County’s participation in the first statewide, 36-hour, 2015 DevLeague/Uber Hawaii Hackathon. The free event, held October 23rd to 25th, was partnered with Livecoding.tv,...

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Kamehameha soccer player scores in Bolivia

Kamehameha soccer player scores in Bolivia

Maui student Keola Paz Paredes, son of a Bolivian immigrant to the United States, has initiated an outstanding mission to help children in Bolivia who play soccer. Paredes, a senior on the Kamehameha High School soccer team in Pukalani, has been playing soccer since...

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Mama’s Fish House funds sustainable food source

Mama’s Fish House funds sustainable food source

Mama’s Fish House, family-owned by Floyd and “Mama” Doris Christenson, has been buying fish directly from Maui fisherman for over 40 years. These local fishermen, representing a way of life, culture and tradition in Hawai’i, consistently deliver the freshest and...

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Haleakala: A Trek for Dignity

Haleakala: A Trek for Dignity

On Saturday, September 19th, Mental Health Kokua (MHK) presents ARISE, a film and music benefit generating mental health awareness, at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. The program includes the world premiere screening of Haleakala: A Trek for Dignity...

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Maui students help make arrest!

Maui students help make arrest!

Sponsored by Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology (WIT) Project, the Maui County 4-H Youth Development Program and the Maui Police Department (MPD) Forensic Team recently held this year’s 4-H Tech Connect event. This event challenged over 65...

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Maui leading in renewable energy solutions

Maui leading in renewable energy solutions

More than 30 percent of Maui’s energy needs, on average, are being met by renewable energy sources such as wind and rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, and the trend continues to rise, making Maui a national and global leader in the adoption of renewable energy. This...

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WordCamp debut draws a sold out Maui crowd

WordCamp debut draws a sold out Maui crowd

A first-time event called WordCamp sold out with 175 people attending and participants giving “exceptionally positive” feedback for the two-day workshops held recently on the University of Hawaii Maui College campus. “The primary motivation for bringing WordCamp to...

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MEDB seeking community input on Maui’s energy future

MEDB seeking community input on Maui’s energy future

Join the conversation! Share your priorities and values about energy on Maui – today and in the future – as part of a project called “MPowerMaui: An Energy Conversation”. Sign up and participate in small group sessions during the month of February. These 90-minute...

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Mochi pounding tradition brings family together

The descendants of the late Rev. Sokyo Ueoka and his wife, Tomiyo Waki Ueoka, have marked the New Year season on Maui for nearly 100 years with the Japanese tradition of mochi pounding. In the year 2014, the tradition continued with more than 100 relatives gathering...

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This Christmas, Give to Maui Nui

This Christmas, Give to Maui Nui

As we prepare for the arrival of 2015, Focus Maui Nui takes a detour from featuring local people, students, teachers and businesses. Today we revisit its roots by urging everyone to recommit to Focus Maui Nui’s five key strategies for action - Improve Education;...

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Artist debuts wedding designs at Made in Maui Festival

Artist debuts wedding designs at Made in Maui Festival

Sarai Stricklin, an artist, teacher and fashion designer, is “honored and excited” about her first wedding dress designs debuting at the first Made in Maui County Festival. Held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the first-time event will be held from 8 a.m. to...

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Pilot project volunteers learn to be energy efficient

Maui Smart Grid volunteers wrapped up their participation in a pilot project that led many to become more energy efficient. “I really wanted to get a good handle on my family’s energy use and bring down, if possible, our electricity bills. I got that by participating...

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Artwork needed to jump-start charging station designs

Artwork needed to jump-start charging station designs

Maui County students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit art designs to beautify the island’s JUMPSmartMaui Fast-Charger stations. “This is a chance for Maui’s talented students to shine and jump-start their creative juices by coming up with some...

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Come See Us at the Maui Fair!

Come See Us at the Maui Fair!

Focus Maui Nui returns to the Maui Fair to begin a community conversation about energy. Maui residents know first-hand how fast the energy landscape changes, and how complicated it is. We hope that a community conversation about energy will capture Maui’s core values...

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Couple sets native tree planting roots on Maui

Couple sets native tree planting roots on Maui

After planting trees in every state across the country, Joe Imhoff and Sara Tekula returned to their roots on Maui, giving life to a newborn son, and their fledgling nonprofit, Plant a Wish. The husband-and-wife team was first featured in Focus Maui Nui three years...

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Entrepreneur follows trends, creates strategies

At Bump Networks, founder Arben Kryeziu says his staff operates on the premise that work is not all about them. “All my team members are non-ego centric,” he said as he explained why the business has been sustainable for almost 10 years now. “To me it’s about the...

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Maui Brewing Co. manufactures, builds locally

Maui Brewing Co. manufactures, builds locally

A new brewery is nearing completion in Kihei. Owned and operated by husband and wife, Garrett and Melanie Marrero, Maui Brewing Co.’s newest venture represents a response to their business’ growing demand. The Marreros founded their company almost 10 years ago and...

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Haiku chef concocts locally sourced pies, hummus

Haiku chef concocts locally sourced pies, hummus

Haiku resident John Cadman’s career as a hotel sous chef, a school cafeteria manager and now the owner of a locally sourced food business has always focused on healthy alternatives. “I just felt like it was my destiny,” Cadman said, referring to his newest venture as...

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Auxiliary supports Maui Memorial Medical Center’s mission

Auxiliary supports Maui Memorial Medical Center’s mission

For more than four decades now, Maui Memorial Medical Center Auxiliary members have poured time and energy into supporting the hospital’s mission to provide high quality medical services. The 62 active volunteers, according to President Amy Hanlon, give approximately...

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Youth Alliance tours Wailuku Police Station

Youth Alliance tours Wailuku Police Station

Lanai High School sophomore Jayde Fernandez got a taste of a career in law enforcement recently during a tour of the Wailuku Police Station through an event organized by the Maui Economic Development Board’s Youth Alliance. “I learned what it takes to become an...

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Focus Maui Nui showcases community values

Focus Maui Nui showcases community values

The new year is an opportune time to embrace the potential for shining a light on our community, a business, a nonprofit or individuals who showcase the values of Focus Maui Nui. Our Maui community is a model of innovation, always striving for sustainable island...

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Pine Isle Market strives to satisfy Lanai community

Pine Isle Market strives to satisfy Lanai community

In six decades of business, the Lanai family operating Pine Isle Market has learned it must constantly strive to meet and satisfy its customers. “We found it necessary to stock the basic needs of the town,” owner/operator Kerry Honda said. That has meant providing...

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Donated gifts may be the only ones children receive

Donated gifts may be the only ones children receive

Every year beginning in October, the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui opens a toy drive to benefit abused and neglected children in Maui County. “For a lot of them, it’s the only gift they’ll get for Christmas,” said Realtor Donna Hansen, a toy drive...

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Mauians reach out to help typhoon recovery

Mauians reach out to help typhoon recovery

When Korlleen Puou learned of the havoc Typhoon Haiyan caused in the Philippines, she was compelled to help. “I just have a passion for people with any losses,” the West Maui resident said. “I have to help.” Management at Lahaina Ace Hardware where Puou works...

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Bead artist creates one-of-a-kind key rings

Bead artist Rona Smith thought she was going blind in her work with miniature beads when an opportunity to re-invent her business surfaced. She bought Zebewa (pronounced Zeebeewah), a jewelry design and manufacturing company, which allowed her to change her focus from...

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Lanai Animal Rescue Center attracts attention, visitors

Lanai Animal Rescue Center attracts attention, visitors

The Lanai Animal Rescue Center consistently ranks as No. 1 or No. 2 for Lanai City attractions on Trip Advisor. It’s not a reputation the cat sanctuary founders Kathy Carroll and Loretta Hellrung were seeking, but they do enjoy a consistent stream of visitors and...

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Handicrafts designer turns to family, creativity to thrive

Handicrafts designer turns to family, creativity to thrive

Kim Weaver says she maintains a thriving business by partnering with family and paying attention to the handcrafted soap and jewelry she designs and sells. “I make everything myself because I’m so particular about the quality and detail of each product. I don’t want...

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County Fair gives community a creative venue

County Fair gives community a creative venue

Unwilling to let a tradition die, former 4-H Club leaders Mae Omuro and Lydia Furomoto agreed to co-chair the Hobbies & Crafts Exhibit at this year’s Maui County Fair. “We always thought it was part of the fair. People have come to expect it,” Furomoto said. Once...

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Obon season honors dead, unites community

Obon season honors dead, unites community

The Obon season is under way on Maui where Buddhists and non-Buddhists are gathering for nights of dancing, eating and making friends. Rev. Sol Kalu at Makawao Hongwanji Mission calls it the “happiest” of all festivals celebrated by the Buddhists. “It is deeply...

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JUMPSmartMaui marks energy milestone

JUMPSmartMaui marks energy milestone

JUMPSmartMaui took off this month as residents joined the Project’s partners in launching a collaborative demonstration project between Japan and Hawaii. The program incorporates Smart Grid, renewable energy and all-electric vehicle solutions to achieve a cleaner,...

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Contest seeks positively charged art design

Contest seeks positively charged art design

Young artists are being asked to add some pizazz to the front and back panels of new electric vehicle quick-charging stations being installed at Queen Kaahumanu Center. Sponsored by Hitachi and with assistance from Maui Economic Development Board, the art contest is...

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Employee attitudes affect work environment

When news broke that Hawaii ranked as best for work environments in the country, Human Resources Manager Mandy Woulfe expressed excitement. “It all goes back to doing the work you enjoy doing,” Woulfe said about why our state may have scored an overall 71.1 in a...

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Goodfellow Bros builds pride in giving back

Goodfellow Bros builds pride in giving back

Whether it’s building communities or battling fires, Goodfellow Bros has maintained an ongoing commitment to social responsibility, according to President Chad Goodfellow. “Our mission is to be the contractor of choice by our clients, employees and the communities in...

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Home cooking draws customers to Waikapu on 30

Home cooking draws customers to Waikapu on 30

“Keep it hot and fresh” could be the motto for Waikapu on 30 owner Barbara Kikuchi, who runs the popular plate lunch stop on Honoapiilani Highway in Waikapu. “We’re kind of like a truck stop,” said the former hotel sales and marketing executive. Kikuchi also worked...

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AARP volunteers help prepare tax returns

AARP volunteers help prepare tax returns

Volunteers with the American Association of Retired Persons Tax Aide Foundation are once again providing free tax preparation assistance. The group on Maui has been providing help for more than 30 years now. “In the early days, we did it by hand. Now we’ve got...

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Garden Grows on Kihei Elementary’s Keiki

Garden Grows on Kihei Elementary’s Keiki

Kihei Elementary School gives students opportunities to grow – not just academically, emotionally and physically, but also in the campus garden. The lessons for the 850 students participating stems from the nonprofit, Grow Some Good, founded by Kathy Becklin. Garden...

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Find a Friend at The Pet Shop

Find a Friend at The Pet Shop

Since opening in November 1973, Maui pet lovers have found a friend at The Pet Shop. In fact, the relationship of being a friend is the motto of the nearly 40-year-old business, said John Guard, president and founder. “Our primary selling proposition is ‘where you’ve...

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Couple Fosters Healthy Attitudes in Youth Soccer

Husband and wife Alexs and Rebecca Filipovic are sharing their love for soccer with youngsters across the island. They established the Valley Isle Academy this past year with the help of a sponsor who believed in their coaching methods. Aleks, a college soccer...

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Wailea Beach Marriott Promotes Pineapples

Wailea Beach Marriott Promotes Pineapples

The pineapple industry once provided thousands of jobs on Maui. Now, the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is involved in reinvigorating the pineapple market and consumption of locally grown fruit. Wailea Beach Marriott’s General Manager Bill Countryman initiated...

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Maui Youth Promise to do Better in the New Year

Maui Youth Promise to do Better in the New Year

From Makawao to Wailuku, Haiku to Lahaina, youth across the island are vowing to do their part to do better in school, show appreciation for family and contribute to their community’s welfare. Noa, 13, of Haiku, vows in 2013 to: “Do my homework earlier in the...

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Youth Share Ideas for a Better Maui in 2013

With Christmas presents unwrapped, Maui’s youth turned toward sharing the gifts they’d like to see unfold in their community in 2013. On education: “We should pay our teachers more, much more. Teachers are the key to the future for all of us,” said Duncan, 15, of...

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Single Mom Fosters a Sense of Family for Children

Single Mom Fosters a Sense of Family for Children

Karen Wong has been welcoming foster children into her home for the last decade. “Fostering allows me to give the children something they’re missing,” said Wong, a community relations police officer at the Maui Police Department. This month, Wong adopted her fifth...

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Youth Alliance Takes the Stage at Iao Theater

Youth Alliance Takes the Stage at Iao Theater

Freshman Amelia Imada and senior King Duke visited with Maui OnStage and toured the Iao Theater for the first time this month. Their visit was part of this year’s events for the Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance, a group coordinated by Maui Economic Development Board to...

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Interior Designer Succeeds by Elevating People

Teamwork, fairness and the motivation to serve its clients are all factors in the success of Swan Interiors, which has been in business for more than nearly 30 years, according to owner Kristin Holmes. “The driving force of our success is to have clients appreciate a...

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Votes, Volunteers Needed at Election Polling Places

Votes, Volunteers Needed at Election Polling Places

On November 6, General Election day, Stacey Moniz will show up at a Maui polling place, just as she has been for the last two decades. Not to vote, but to serve as a volunteer precinct official. “For me it’s the one civic thing I can do besides voting,” she said. As...

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Performers Perpetuate Culture through Dance

Performers Perpetuate Culture through Dance

Madelyne Pascua founded Dance International Production with the intention of perpetuating the Filipino culture on Maui. She continues to do that today, sixteen years after forming her dance troupe. The group’s repertoire also includes Hawaiian and Tahitian dances....

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OHA Seats Up for Grabs in November Election

OHA Seats Up for Grabs in November Election

Four of the nine seats on the Board of Trustees for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs will go before voters during the Nov. 6 general election. A fifth seat, representing Moloka‘i and Lana‘i, is uncontested, so the incumbent, OHA Chairwoman Collette Machado, has no...

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Nonprofit Works to Silence Coqui Frogs

Nonprofit Works to Silence Coqui Frogs

With public help and government support, Maui Invasive Species Committee has made inroads in its work to eradicate annoying coqui frogs. Since 2006, 11 of the 17 Maui populations of coqui frogs have been silenced, according to Lissa Strohecker, MISC outreach and...

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Youth Alliance Inspires Community Involvement

Youth Alliance Inspires Community Involvement

Maui High School senior Cyndi Segundo leaves home for college this fall, but sustains a strong desire to come back one day. “The Youth Alliance inspired me to return to Maui and give back to the community that has nurtured me since I was a small child,” said Segundo,...

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Health Care Professionals Offer Free Screenings

Health Care Professionals Offer Free Screenings

The island’s indigent and uninsured are amongst those being encouraged to take advantage of free health screenings being offered by a group of medical professionals. “Early detection of medical issues can make the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Marcus...

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Portuguese Club Spruces Up Kepaniwai Park

Portuguese Club Spruces Up Kepaniwai Park

As a young girl growing up on Maui, Laura Souza Paresa remembers her grandma reciting the rosary in Portuguese. “I asked her to teach me but she said, ‘You’re American, you speak English.’” Now as an adult, Paresa and 14 other active members of the Maui Portuguese...

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Youth Alliance Finds Beauty in Hana

Youth Alliance Finds Beauty in Hana

Maui High School graduate Marie Alexie Sijalbo visited Hana for the first time this summer. Sijalbo said she liked what she saw as she traveled for the first time to the remote part of East Maui as a member of the Youth Alliance. “I have never gone camping before and...

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Principal Retires to Care for His Parents

Principal Retires to Care for His Parents

Principal Randy Yamanuha retired in June after 30 years of service with the State Department of Education. At age 56, he leaves his post to serve as caregiver for his aging parents, Yoshio and Sadae Yamanuha. “I’ve always told my staff, family comes first and so I...

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Uncle Joe Rides As Rodeo Grand Marshal

Uncle Joe Rides As Rodeo Grand Marshal

Following his late grandpa’s footsteps, Otto “Uncle Joe” Thompson will serve as the 2012 Makawao Rodeo Grand Marshal. “I’m not nervous. Nothing can faze me at this stage,” the 75-year-old said. “I’m just going to have fun.” As an Upcountry youngster, Thompson...

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Youth Alliance Visits Honokowai Valley

Members of the Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance planted native species and uprooted invasive ones in an effort to contribute to the reforestation of Honokowai Valley. The project, completed in May and prior to the summer break, was an opportunity to learn about and...

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Flatbread Pizza Rises for Non-Profit Causes

Flatbread Pizza Rises for Non-Profit Causes

On any given Tuesday night, Flatbread Pizza in Paia is packed with hungry, appreciative diners while funds are being raised for charitable causes. “The benefit nights are hugely profitable for the recipients,” explains Josh Stone, a former professional windsurfer and...

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Funds Help Reveal Media World Outside Maui

Funds Help Reveal Media World Outside Maui

Maui High School teacher Clint Gima has built a digital media lab, exposing students to the field of video journalism through the high-tech world. With the support of the Maui Economic Development Board Ke Alahele Education Fund, Gima and his students have traveled to...

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Lāna‘i’s Phyllis McOmber Carries On With Faith

Lāna‘i’s Phyllis McOmber Carries On With Faith

Phyllis McOmber fights cancer with the same zeal she initiates community projects -- fearlessly. Through it all, the 74-year-old organ player at the Lāna‘i Baptist Church says her faith in God sustains her. McOmber has been at the forefront of numerous Lāna‘i...

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Blood Donor Draws Others to Donate

Wailuku attorney Bill Kinaka donated his first pint of blood more than 20 years ago. He did so by brushing aside his fear of blood and sharp needles. He said he focused on the appeal that he was supporting: a blood drive for a young child with leukemia. “I was so...

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Canoe Paddling Linked with Hawaiian Culture

Canoe Paddling Linked with Hawaiian Culture

High school graduating seniors Allyssa Ferrer and Roselyn Domingo had never paddled a canoe until a recent outing with the Kihei Canoe Club. “I thought it was a good workout,” Ferrer said. “It was really fun and it was a good experience to go out in the water and get...

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Aquarium Greeter Shows Aloha

Aquarium Greeter Shows Aloha

A retired optometric physician, Bernard Brown, now eyes guests at the Maui Ocean Center with smiles and warm embraces as he greets them to the island’s only aquarium. “The visitors who come to Maui are very interested in what the island has to offer, and I’m happy to...

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Store Strives for Better Family Value

Store Strives for Better Family Value

In a time when businesses are struggling, VIP Cash N’ Carry continues to increase sales according to Store Manager, Leila Maddela. The store in Kahului recently updated its digs, expanded its space, increased staff to 30 employees and added more retail to serve the...

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Youth Alliance Shares its Vision for Wailuku

Youth Alliance Shares its Vision for Wailuku

Youth Alliance members impressed an expert Maui County planner with ideas about how Wailuku could become a more thriving community. As the supervising planner for the County’s Long Range Planning Division, David Yamashita is charged with overseeing a project called...

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Carpenter Builds Confidence in Students

Carpenter Builds Confidence in Students

Carpenter Rick Rutiz has developed an award-winning program that boosts self-esteem in Hana’s youth, while building much needed facilities in their community. The Hana School Building Program “Ma Ka Hana Ke ‘Ike” (“in working, one learns”) started 12 years ago with...

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Delivering Food and Fellowship

Delivering Food and Fellowship

Husband and wife Bob and Barbara Spaulding deliver hot meals every Sunday, nine months out of the year, to South Maui’s homebound, frail, elderly and disabled. The Spauldings are amongst 28 volunteers who regularly transport cooked meals-to-go from Hale Kau Kau, a...

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Fire Chief Fulfills Lifelong Dream

Fire Chief Fulfills Lifelong Dream

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. The son of a retired corrections officer and preschool teacher, Maui County Fire Chief Jeff Murray is living a lifelong...

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Youth Alliance Bonds with Animals

Youth Alliance Bonds with Animals

The Maui Humane Society’s mission to forge lifelong bonds between people and animals through education, community outreach and the prevention of cruelty, resonated recently with members of the Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance. Lahainaluna High School freshman Kaile...

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Community Volunteers Serving the Environment

Community Volunteers Serving the Environment

A community service project on Kaho‘olawe turned into a renewed appreciation for the Hawaiian culture and the value of giving back. That’s what Kevin Gavagan of the Four Seasons Wailea said happened to some 35 hotel employees and their families when they volunteered...

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Meet Maui County Police Chief Gary Yabuta

Continuing our series on County Department leadership, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. While residents enjoy the peace of living on an island with a relatively low crime rate, the job of maintaining public safety falls to...

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Looking Ahead to 2012 – And Beyond

Looking Ahead to 2012 – And Beyond

The New Year brings with it a sense of optimism as we look forward and prepare for exciting challenges ahead. Having been exposed to the Focus Maui Nui vision, Youth Alliance members shared a positive outlook on the county’s future and their role in it. “I want to be...

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Youth Alliance: Raising Awareness About Hunger on Maui

Hunger and the holidays were on the minds of Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance members as they sorted hundreds of donated canned goods at the Maui Food Bank. With Christmas only a few days away, about 15 high school students volunteered their time to learn about hunger in...

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Meeting Needs in the Holiday Season

Meeting Needs in the Holiday Season

Major Brian West and his wife, Iva, are celebrating their first Christmas on island as the Salvation Army Maui County Coordinators. This holiday season, the Wests are spearheading a group of volunteers who are seeking pennies and presents to help those most in need on...

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Youth Alliance Learn Environmental Lessons

Youth Alliance Learn Environmental Lessons

Members of the Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance kicked off the 2011 program year by carrying out a key strategy in protecting the island’s natural environment. With the help of adult environmental experts and volunteers, the high school students combed Kamaole III Beach...

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Meet the Director of Finance

Meet the Director of Finance

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. Maui County Finance Director Danny Agsalog left his native home of the Philippines in 1979 to establish a new life on...

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Making First Friday a Successful Community Event

Making First Friday a Successful Community Event

At age 25, Ashley Takitani says First Friday in Wailuku has given her the encouragement and affirmation to establish a career in her homegrown community. Takitani works as the marketing director for Maui Thing, the retail store, while also serving as a volunteer on...

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Meet Transportation Director, Jo Anne Johnson

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. Former County Council Member Jo Anne Johnson says she uses her knowledge of the governmental budgetary process and...

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See You at the 89th Annual Maui Fair

See You at the 89th Annual Maui Fair

Roy Silva has accepted the role of Maui Fair Director for the first time this year. “I’ve always loved the fair. I think it’s the greatest tradition Maui has,” he says. A former county employee, Silva served for nine years as its Parade Committee chairman. As Fair...

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Hale Kau Kau: 20 Years of Serving the Community

Every day of the year, volunteers dish out food at Hale Kau Kau, the island’s only daily soup kitchen. The volunteer force is an integral part of the nonprofit’s mission to feed the hungry and the homeless, according to its Executive Director, Monsignor Terry...

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“Study Buddies” – A New Program Supporting Our Students

“Study Buddies” – A New Program Supporting Our Students

Parents at Kamali’i Elementary School in Kihei know that teachers don’t educate alone, and that’s why a group of them are launching a new tutoring program this month. It’s called “Study Buddies,” and instead of getting assistance with homework after school, students...

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Meet the Director of the Department of Water Supply

Meet the Director of the Department of Water Supply

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. Department of Water Supply Director Dave Taylor approaches his job by taking cues from the community he serves. “The...

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Youth Alliance Enrollment Now Open

Youth Alliance Enrollment Now Open

Guided by the Focus Maui Nui vision, values and key strategies for action, Youth Alliance members are empowered with the skills and experiences to become leaders for change. For the third consecutive year, 16-year-old Adam Skelton has signed up to be a part of the...

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Volunteering Health Care for Those in Need

Volunteering Health Care for Those in Need

Health care is one of the most important needs in the community, and the Kihei Wailea Medical Center is contributing its time and talent toward helping the island’s uninsured. The staff and its physicians, Dr. Marcus Griffin and Dr. Gayland Yee, have held free health...

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Meet the Director of Parks & Recreation

Meet the Director of Parks & Recreation

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. Maui County Parks and Recreation Director Glenn Correa returned from retirement to serve a second-term for a department...

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Tradition of Success at Pukalani Superette

As one of Maui’s last surviving mom-and-pop stores, Pukalani Superette contributes to the island’s economic sustainability by providing a local alternative to supermarkets and chain stores, buying from island suppliers and providing jobs to Upcountry residents....

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Youth Alliance Year Culminates on Lāna‘i

Youth Alliance Year Culminates on Lāna‘i

Armed with a sense of adventure, students from the Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance mixed fun and education on Lāna‘i as part of their 2010-2011 capstone event. Alberta de Jetley of the Coalition for a Drug Free Lāna‘i “played” tour guide, using her nonprofit’s van to...

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It’s “Curtain Up” for the Maui Film Festival

It’s “Curtain Up” for the Maui Film Festival

This week, as the Maui Film Festival begins, movies will pay tribute to people who take effective action for a better world. It’s what the Film Festival Founder and Co- Director Barry Rivers said has been always been the focus of the annual event that entertains and...

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Meet the County’s Planning Director

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. “As an avid photographer, I truly appreciate the breathtaking landscapes of Maui. Protecting them, preserving view...

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Youth Alliance: Making News from the Inside Out

On a recent weekend in May, the Focus Maui Nui Youth Alliance spent an unforgettable few hours at the offices of The Maui News, where they learned what it takes to interview, write, edit, photograph and produce stories for media publication. The visit was in keeping...

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Volunteering For the Arts

“Choral performance, like other forms of music, really nourishes the soul when done right,” observes choirmaster Bob Wills, the founder and volunteer director of Maui’s Summer Masterworks Festival. This August, the second annual Festival will be held at Kihei Baptist...

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Meet the County’s Managing Director

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs. Keith Regan holds the “No. 2” position in the County administration, a role he also filled in Mayor Arakawa’s...

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Scottie Zucco: Volunteer for Community Sports

The ancient Romans had a phrase for it: Mens sana in corpore sano – “a healthy mind in a healthy body”, referring to the ideal balance for living a productive life. Thanks to coaches and community volunteers like Scottie Zucco, our keiki in Maui County are able to...

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Perpetuating Cultural Heritage

Ten Things Your Family Can Do To Perpetuate Your Cultural Heritage: Trace your family tree Attend cultural events, festivals and gatherings Collect the memories of your grandparents and elders in your cultural community Share old family photographs Maintain your...

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Ke Alahele: Fund The Journey!

Ke Alahele: Fund The Journey!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 27, 2011 for the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund! Held at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, featuring Distinguished Educators U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, his wife Ms. Irene Hirano, and Mayor Alan Arakawa and his wife...

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Making a Difference in Hana

Lehua Park Cosma is one community volunteer dedicated to meeting human needs, a priority value expressed by our community through the Focus Maui Nui process. Through her tireless efforts and leadership, the Hana community benefited from the nation’s first communal...

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Brian Moto: A Volunteer with Many Missions

Meeting human needs is a priority value expressed by our community through the Focus Maui Nui process, and in the case of Brian Moto, this applies to helping the victims of the recent Japan disasters as well as those in need on Maui. Moto, volunteer Board President of...

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Meet County of Maui Budget Director: Sandy Baz

The Focus Maui Nui process identified the key role of government in responding to community values and needs, and the importance of open, ongoing communication. To promote this dialogue, we continue a series of profiles of newly appointed County Department Directors....

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An Exemplary Steward of the Environment

All volunteers who make a difference in the community by improving the environment deserve recognition, but volunteering every day for ten years and transforming an unkempt coastline into a thriving native ecosystem represents an extraordinary achievement. Mike Perry,...

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Meet the Department Director: David Goode, Public Works

The Focus Maui Nui process identified the key role of government and public officials in responding to community values and needs, and the importance of open, ongoing communication. To promote the dialogue, we present the first in a series of profiles of the newly...

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A Helping Hand for the Maui Food Bank

When it comes to meeting human needs–a priority value expressed by our community through the Focus Maui Nui process–Harlan Hughes is one volunteer whose outstanding example has benefitted the Maui Food Bank and the thousands who receive its help each month. Harlan...

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Giving Back to the Community – A Family Tradition

Leslie-Ann Yokouchi’s motto for her real estate business, Windermere Valley Isle Properties, runs: “If home is where the heart is, then community is where you’ll find our souls.” Leslie credits her father, Pundy, for instilling in her the importance of taking action,...

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Community Involvement—A Key to Educational Success

If you have ever wondered what might happen if you mix together bright young minds, committed teachers and parents, and energetic community volunteers, then look no further than Molokai. Over the last few years, a transformation has been taking place on the island as...

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Maui’s Bus System: A Home-Grown Success Story

Maui’s Bus System: A Home-Grown Success Story

For many of Maui’s residents, it’s hard now to remember what life was like before the current public bus system got off the ground in 2004. That was shortly after the initial Focus Maui Nui civic engagement process had identified addressing infrastructure challenges...

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Year of the Rabbit – A Symbol of Hope

The Chinese astrological symbol of the coming new year is appropriate for Maui County, Hawaii and the nation: 2011 will be the Year of the Rabbit, to be celebrated on the new moon on February 3rd. Chinese tradition holds the rabbit as a symbol of hope, an amiable,...

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Putting Smiles on Keiki’s Faces This Christmas

Putting Smiles on Keiki’s Faces This Christmas

Meeting human needs is a core Focus Maui Nui community value, and providing our less fortunate keiki with presents at Christmas time certainly meets this priority. We can take pride that our community has already proved more generous than ever this year. One of the...

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Perpetuating Hawaiian Culture Through Language

Perpetuating Hawaiian Culture Through Language

“Our public schools have been a mainstay for maintaining the consciousness of Hawaiian traditions without the community knowing it,” reflects Pūlama Collier, State Resource Teacher with the Department of Education for Hawaiian Language Immersion Program at King...

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Congratulations To All Candidates!

Congratulations To All Candidates!

Elections represent the will of citizens and election year 2010 was no different. Congratulations are due to candidates who will be sworn in to offices in Maui County, the Hawaii State Legislature, the 5th floor of the State Capitol and in Congress, but also to the...

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Changing Lives and Leading By Example

Changing Lives and Leading By Example

Meeting human needs and preserving local culture are twin core values espoused by our community through the Focus Maui Nui process. Sharon Balidoy, a social worker at Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center (QLCC) in Wailuku, is a prime example of a practitioner active...

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Don’t Forget To Cast Your Vote

Just a reminder to everyone to cast your vote, either at your polling place or by absentee. Voting is an essential part of our democratic process, by which you choose the representatives in your government who make decisions that affect you, your family and your...

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Make Your Voice Heard—The Vote Early Option

Make Your Voice Heard—The Vote Early Option

Hawaii voters increasingly are taking advantage of early voting by mail or at absentee voting sites. In the 2008 General Election, 35 percent of all Maui voters were early voters—18,229 absentees to 33,810 at the polls. Statewide, 38.5 percent of voters turned in...

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Arriving by Air

Arriving by Air

In the 1920s a select few well-heeled visitors came to vacation in the two or three grand hotels at Waikiki Beach. Some flew in small amphibian airplanes to see the volcanoes on the Big Island, but Maui was seldom on their itinerary. Inter-Island Airways, Ltd., (which...

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Out Migration

Out Migration

A telling indicator of economic duress is local residents leaving Hawaii for good. At the airport, departing family members or friends look no different than other people. There is no way of knowing their reasons for pulling up stakes and leaving Hawaii. The census...

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Makahiki – Hawaiian Thanksgiving

Na Huihui o Makali'i is a cluster of stars also known as the Pleaides or the Seven Sisters and is much revered in Hawaiian tradition as the place from where the first Hawaiian people came to Earth. In November the appearance of the Makali'i cluster signifies the...

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Being Coastal

Being Coastal

There are 3,140 counties in the United States. 21% (673) are classified as coastal. More than half of the U.S. population lives in a coastal county. The entire state of Hawaii is now included in the coastal zone (previously state forest reserve lands were exempt)....

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Maui County General Plan

The General Plan is a term for a series of planning documents that will guide future growth and policy creation in the County. The Countywide Policy Plan acts as an overarching values statement and is an umbrella policy document for the Island and Community Plans. The...

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Hanafura~Sakura

Hanafura~Sakura

In the 18th year of Tenmon (A.D. 1549) when Francisco Xavier landed in Japan from Europe the crew of his ship had carried a set of Hombre, 48-card Portuguese playing cards, which became extremely popular with the Japanese. Through a colorful history of being banned...

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A Community Conversation About Water

Water questions everywhere... Water resources and water usage are critical issues for Maui County. FOCUS MAUI NUI is a voice and a vision for Maui Nui’s future created for and by the people who live here. People like you. FOCUS MAUI NUI continues a series of...

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