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We have many reasons to be thankful in West Maui

By Staff | Dec 31, 2015

I love Lahaina.

Isolated from the rest of the island, we are not only the Capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, we are the Capital of Good: good weather, good surfing, good whale watching, good sports teams – you name it, we’re just plain good.

When it comes to people, however, we excel. The West Side is chock-full of community – The Salvation Army, Lahainaluna High School Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club, Save Honolua Coalition, Maui Cultural Lands, West Maui Improvement Foundation, Polanui Hiu, Na Kupuna O Maui, Na Aikane O Maui, Hui o Wa’a Kaulua and not one, but three, Rotary Clubs.

We are a miracle unto ourselves.

Look all around you; there IS hope in this world – our world especially. It’s the big and the small things that count, and we have five-star leaders in three categories: giving, caring and sharing.

Convenient recycling would have gone by the wayside in 2015 if not for the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset. During their first full year as a chapter, they jumped into the political scene to keep the West Side green, successfully lobbying the County of Maui for recycling in downtown Lahaina at Lahaina Cannery Mall the third Saturday of the month.

The West Maui Domestic Violence Task Force is a mostly behind-the-scenes powerhouse operation. In 2015, they raised the bar for keeping our families safe, spearheading an “Adopt A Room” campaign for the refurbishment of the Women Helping Women shelter on Maui.

Citizen scientists are our forte. Dana Reed is the champion of water quality, and Tamara Paltin is the hero of Honokahua Bay. With multiple muddy water events poisoning the waters and killing the reef off D.T. Fleming Beach, this dynamic duo didn’t just sit there and watch. They tested the waters so many times, the state Department of Health could not ignore them.

Dr. Mark Deakos is the protector of the “pristine” reef off Olowalu and the “Manta Ray of Hope.” He is the founder, president and executive director of HAMER, Hawaii Association of Marine Education and Research. There is nothing soft-spoken about Deakos. He doesn’t yell; his actions speak for him, and they are loud and clear: Save Olowalu at all costs.

Admit it West Maui; we are blessed, because we all know there are MANY more like them!