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Why it has been a great month… almost

By Staff | Oct 16, 2014

Sam ‘Ohu Gon was among the enlightening speakers at TEDxMaui. PHOTO BY PETER LIU.

LAHAINA – At the recent TEDxMaui forum founded by highly talented Katie McMillan, the first speaker suggested that a good way to start each day after popping out of bed is to say, “It is going to be a great day!”

In retrospect, September was a great month – almost.

Returning from off-island, scanning three weeks of Maui newspapers revealed that we have been “treated” to fairly unfrequented events. The e-mail quay filled with dozens of SHAKA Movement GMO messages. And dozens of firemen and local men walking in high heels to support Women Helping Women.

And the mayor, departing from Hawaiian tradition, lashed out at County Councilman Mike White as being “paranoid” and “a liar,” apparently because he does not like White challenging some of his questionable actions. White claims the mayor wants “a compliant council.”

White has also been blasted by activists (who do not live in West Maui) for paying too much attention to running the Kaanapali Beach Hotel and not working enough on the council.

They do not know that Mike is rarely at the hotel, did not even attend the launch of a major new luau venture in August, and sometimes can be found there only on Saturday morning.

A masterful executive who knows how to delegate and evaluate a budget, he brings a sound business sense to council deliberations.

Ka’ala Buenconsejo has also been lambasted, because outside groups spent a lot of money sending out promotional cards urging his election. Frequent discussions with the man – in which he says he has no connection with groups sending the mailings – show that he will make up his own mind on development issues.

TEDXMAUI SCORES AGAIN – Privately organized by McMillan, the event has flourished over three years, attracting hundreds of people to 12 provocative 20-minute talks at the MACC at each day- long session.

In the morning, B.J. Fogg, who directs the behavior design lab at Stanford University, urged his audience to get up and shout, “It is going to be a great day,” adding “every day should be regarded as a gift.” The approach works, he says.

And on Maui, he added, “it is so easy to think it is going to be a great, awesome day.” One can change behavior, he emphasized. “Behavior change is a skill.”

The next day, your columnist began with his own version: “It is going to be a great day… SLOW DOWN (not try to do too many things in one day).

At TEDx, we learned of Hawaii’s uniqueness with 27 life zones, from deserts to tropical forests to the snowy slopes of Mauna Kea. More life zones than the giant country Brazil, which has 17.

From Daniel Anthony, who once earned $1,000,0000 a year and quit architecture to become a taro farmer, we learned that upon the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778, there were 20,000 acres of taro providing Hawaiians sustenance. Today there are less than 50 acres.

Anthony became a cultural entrepreneur, founding Mana Ai LLC, a company that produces, distributes and promotes fresh artisan poi made from local kalo plants.

Finally, we learned that aliens have to exist, considering that there are 250 billion galaxies each with 250 billion stars. Maybe somewhere there is another place like Hawaii, but don’t bet on it.