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Mahalo to people and groups working to make life on Maui better

By Staff | Feb 12, 2015

WAILUKU – While skimming through my copy of ‘Olelo No’eau earlier this week, I came across this Hawaiian proverb: Mahola I ka wai ka maka o ka pua. Unfolded by the water are the faces of the flowers.

“Flowers thrive where there is water, as a thriving people are found where living conditions are good.”

It reminded me of the many different and varied groups and organizations that work so tirelessly here on Maui to ensure that “living conditions are good,” so that we as a people may thrive.

This week, I would like to take a moment to thank these groups for all of their hard work and dedication to causes that affect our quality of life here in Maui Nei. Without their diligence, our community and environment would surely suffer.

These groups are working hard by taking the initiative to get involved and do something about the issues that face our beautiful island home. Issues that affect us all; issues like recycling, clean water, coral reef recovery, protecting our marine resources, as well as preserving and protecting our open spaces.

Last week, I met with three of these groups in one day! First I met with leaders from the Coral Recovery Plan, who are working tirelessly to mitigate the adverse effects that industrialization is having on our precious coral reefs. Next, I met with the Maui Meadows Neighborhood Association, who is fighting to keep their curbside recycling plan, a pilot project started in 2012 that is now being shut down by the administration. Lastly I met with the co-presidents of the Lahaina Rotary Club, who are dedicating themselves to opening and funding recycling drop boxes for the West Side.

You see, change comes from many places and can occur at any moment. Change is the only constant in the universe. As a council member, I try to effect change every day. However, I have witnessed much change coming from these small, industrious groups of citizens; citizens who have identified problems and taken the initiative to do something about these issues instead of waiting for a solution to come from elsewhere.

These groups have created plans, drafted proposals, held meetings, received input from specialists, experts and community members, put up funds (often times their own), and implemented these plans so that we all may benefit from good living conditions.

We all owe much to these groups and should follow in their footsteps by taking it upon ourselves to do whatever we can to conscientiously create change in our community.

So, I conclude by saying Mahalo Nui Loa to Maui’s community organizations, coalitions, councils and clubs for being persistent and doing what it takes to effect change. You are shining examples of what we all can accomplish when we work together as a team.

As always, I have an open door policy, and I want to hear from the public. My office number is 270-5504, or e-mail elle.cochran@mauicounty.us.