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Shining stars we will always remember

By Staff | Jun 15, 2017


1999 was a uniquely historic year. Sadly for many, Pioneer Mill closed down after 139 years, marking the end of sugar for West Maui.

Shortly after, a large group of West Maui citizens who were concerned about the future of their community met with the managers of Pioneer Mill’s sister company, Kaanapali Land Management Corp. (KLMC). As a result of these discussions, KLMC invited community members to actively participate in the planning process for their Ka`anapali 2020 project located on lands mauka of Kaanapali Beach Resort. Today, these Kaanapali Community Planning Committee meetings continue on a bi-monthly basis.

Through the years, their collaborative vision has helped to shape Ka`anapali 2020, a 913-acre master planned community where residents of varying lifestyles and incomes can live, work and play in West Maui.

Sadly, a number of those who greatly contributed over the years are no longer with us. People like May Fujiwara. May served on many public boards and commissions in the past and was a Police Commissioner when she passed. She always looked elegant in her long muumuu and shell lei and could be seen at just about every public hearing standing up for West Maui. May was also a dedicated member of the Kaanapali Community Planning Committee.

Other residents who contributed towards shaping the vision for West Maui and who are no longer with us were:

Jim Wriston, VP for KLMC, made the decision to involve the community in the planning of Kaanapali 2020, the first time any development was extensively planned by residents. Jim was also an advocate for preserving West Maui’s agricultural roots.

David Chenoweth was passionate about preserving open space, protecting marine life and promoting environmental stewardship of the land and ocean.

Buck Buchanan was an advocate for the environment and also spoke for the welfare of our future generations.

Ed Lindsey advocated for the preservation and restoration of Hawaiian cultural lands. He was the founder of Maui Cultural Lands and led the effort to restore the cultural resources in Honokowai Valley. His wife Puanani and son Ekolu continue to do the work that Ed had started.

Eve Clute was a talented writer who shared her concerns about the need for smart growth in West Maui.

Starr Medeiros was a strong advocate for affordable housing for West Maui workers.

These shining stars unselfishly gave their time and manao to help our community. In addition to their contributions to the Kaanapali 2020 community, they also contributed towards the vision for Pu`ukoli`i Village, which provides for affordable and senior housing as well as a major school. They were also strong advocates for a hospital to provide critical care needs for West Maui’s residents and visitors.

Today, we celebrate their legacy. We can imagine these shining stars looking down on the construction of the new hospital and nodding their heads in approval. Their light brighter than ever seeing their vision being realized one project at a time. A job well done!