Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sustainabability on Maui Featured on Akaku and with the SustainableGirl

I just came from the AKAKU studios where the President of the Nonprofit Maui Aloha Aina Association, a 501c3 nonprofit Organization was on the Show Christi Anna Christensen, also known just as Tia has a show on Akaku and her website Also on the show was Maui County Councilman Sol Kahoohalahala.

Unfortunately, the TV in the lobby of the studio has to have the volume kept down low because they are taping the show in the next room and the audio can carry into the studio, but they did bring up the volume enough to allow me to hear most of it.

The show will be available online, I believe on Akaku or on Sustainablegirls website for rebroadcast and can be watched on a computer at a later date.

The discussions were about a number of topics about health and sustainability of our islands and especially Maui county.

Vincent Mina of Ma'a spoke about his up coming Kipahulu Farm Tour going around the back-side direction through Kula and Ulupalakua to visit four Organic Farms on October 24, 2009 and also the upcoming annual Body and Soil Conference held on Maui in January and then it moves over to the Big Island of Hawaii and for the firtst time it will also be held for the first time on the Island of Kauai. The info on all these events is on the website at

With the results of the Tsunami in Samoa, then Indonesia tonight and how similar a situation we have in Hawaii where we are lucky to have 10 days worth of food available in the event of a disaster, self sustainability of our islands is even more critical.

Living in Hawaii and trying to "sell" the culture of Hawaii to visitors, only to have them come and feel like they never left home with all the fast food joints and big box stores, just makes it that much more important that we develop and create the niche that Maui really can be.

A good friend of ours stopped in to talk story towards the end, Corey Rider is with Earth Foundation and had a lot to add to the conversation on making our islands sustainable through jobs that can support the local people in helping to move towards being sustainable and having jobs that aren't just centered around the tourism and development end of things. There are a lot of ways that people can be employed and make decent money when the model for sustainability is done right.

Well it's another early work day tomorrow and barring any Tsunamis, we have plans for camping at the beach this weekend, or at least my daughter and grand kids do. I'll probably make at least one night.
Well I was just reminded how late it;s getting and although I had another subject I wanted to write on, it will have to be for a later post.

Mahalo & Aloha from Maui


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tensions as high as a Samoan Tsunami or not

Today I was working on Maui about a mile above the Grand Wailea Resort on some electrical substation equipment and roasting in the relentless and windless heat.

Then it started, apparently Samoa had a large earthquake out at sea and my Tsunami Alerts started coming in to my phone.
Living on an island where Tsunamis, also known by some as tidal waves, is something to pay attention to, tsunamis wrap around an island like Maui and not just the side they come from. Most of the alerts don't amount to much. Quite a few have come out of the Malaysia to Japan region and seem to be in the area of at least a 7 on the Richter Scale, but again, at least for Hawaii, they don't amount to much.

About the time I got the 1st alert, I started getting a text from my daughter's Mom about my daughter thinking she should leave work and pick up my grand children from school.
Her Mom asked me "What was my Tsunami plan." My response was that "I would head for the Grand Wailea, order their most expensive drink and meal and hang out by the pool and hope it wasn't a false alarm and end up having to pay for it."

As the alerts continued to come in, it was apparent that Hawaii was not in any danger, but as a precaution the State and County closed the beaches until the next morning. I guess they weren't to confident in their forecasting.

Once again, the alerts turned out to be no threat to Hawaii and judging from all the tourist still at the beach, no one was too worried about it.

Hawaii has had a few Tsunamis over the last 100 years and some, including one on April Fools Day, did do quite a bit of damage.

The threat of a Tsunami in Hawaii is not something to take lightly, but with the technology and warning systems we have in place, we do generally have time to react if it looks like it will hit. In General, it seems like the ones that come from the Alaskan area are most feared.

Unfortunately, most of Maui's power generation, tourist resorts and commercial zones do fall within the range of a big Tsunami. So if one were to hit, the results could be pretty disastrous and being so far in the middle of the pacific makes moving towards a more Sustainable Maui even more important.

So in my opinion it's not so much an if, but when scenario and so our moving in the direction of becoming self Sustainable is an important issue we can't drop let the ball drop on.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's All About Me!

It seems like everywhere I looked, on bumper stickers, window stickers and T Shirts,
you would see the words "It's all about me."

I used to think it was a pretty self centered and a selfish thought to be projecting to others.

Now that I'm 52 and having raised 3 kids to adulthood, helped them all financially, the best I could, the 30 year old is married and moved to Australia, my daughter gave me a 2 and 6 year old to help her raise, since their dads are only part-time and I'm starting to take the "It's all about me" saying to heart.

At my age and giving so much to others, I am realizing now that making it "all about me" is more of a statement of self responsibility than a selfish act. If more people took responsibility for their own choices, this world could be a much different place.

Instead of us compiling a list of why everyone's problems are the result of someone else or something out of our own control and accepted that every action in our lives involves a number of choices. Choices that we made at that particular moment, we can then accept the responsibility for the situations our choices led us to.

I know that in looking back at my life, I have always had a choice in every situation, whether I wanted to believe it or not. How I made my choices were usually based on guilt, worrying over other peoples expectations of me and sometimes my own gut feelings, just to name a few.

I have found that the choices I made based on my own gut feelings, although not always easy choices, were usually the ones that turned out the best in the long run.

In many cases learning to say NO put the responsibility back on the other person and allowed them an
opportunity to grow or develop in some way.

My Parents had a big family of 7 kids and me being the middle child often put me into positions that my siblings didn't have to deal with.

So here I am with grown children and grand children and finally learning to quit trying to help or fix everyone else's problems.This realization of making it about me has finally led me to a new understanding of what I want in life.

I always had this gut feeling that I was being led through life by some sort of forces or universal path, but never understood it. Learning what it is I want out of life for myself has been a tough journey and it's still far from over, but each day I wake up and remind myself that I will have choices to make and that if I spend too much time trying to analyze them I end up doing nothing at all. Just making the best choice we can based on our gut feeling or instincts is at least doing something.

Regardless off the choices we make, we always have more choices that follow and allow us to fine tune the last ones.

Without getting too spiritual, if we have a soul, it doesn't care so much how we live our lives, but rather that it's our lives we are living.

Listening to poets such as David Whyte recite poems from the likes of Mary Oliver (some of my favorites) have helped me feel comfortable in living the life that is mine.

Today I had a number of things to accomplish and by prioritizing them and making choices that felt like they were coming directly from me. I am now sitting in my front yard on the Island of Maui, knowing most of what I set out to do from online work, errands to painting half of a bedroom are done.
I've even had time to write this up on my Blackberry.

I know I didn't finish everything I had on my list and tomorrow I go back to work a 10 hour day, but what I did I feel good about and what I didn't do, there's always another day.
If that day doesn't come, it won't really matter to me anymore.

When I go to bed tonight, I will be doing it with the feeling that tomorrow may just be the best one of my life.
I think that making it "All about me" just means that if we do our very best and take care of ourselves first,we will be much better examples to those around us.

That's my Manao (thoughts or advice in Hawaiian)

Monday, September 21, 2009

KIPAHULU "Back-Side Farm Tour"

The Maui Aloha Aina Association a 501c3 Organization on Maui, Hawaii. Is holding their KIPAHULU "Back-Side Farm Tour".

This tour involves riding in air-conditioned mini buses with no driving to worry about and traveling the very little seen back way to Kipahulu, close to Hana on Maui. Bring your cameras, there will be great scenery and photo opportunities.

The four Farms being visited will include Organic growing of Taro, Exotic Fruits, Vegetables and even some edible and construction grade Bamboo.

It will be a full day with Bob Schaffer a local Hawaii Farmer and Soil Expert along to help give everyone including the farmers some insight on how well their soils are doing.

Part way through the day will be a Gourmet Lunch including Vincent Mina's home brewed Ginger Kombucha and Exotic locally Grown Fruit.

There is a great discount if registering before October 5th.

In addition Bob will be sticking around to give a Free talk and discussion in Kahului at the Maui Electric Auditorium, along with Vincent Mina's Kombucha Making Workshop.

For more info on this and upcoming events go to or

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maui Energy Expo and Conservation tips

There is really some enthusiasm moving Maui towards a Sustainable Future and away from the dependence on oil that it has become addicted to.

As usual, there is a pessimistic side of things when it comes to how are we going to to this, but there are plenty of steps that every individual can take towards conserving.

The statistics are showing that the efforts being made and of course the bad

economy, is working towards lowering our use of electricity and oil, but we have to be vigilant every day and become very aware of our personal surroundings.

Turn off that light, open some windows or close them, depending on the weather. Turn off that TV. Unplug unused devices and add plug strips to make it easier to shut off multiple electronic devices.

Conserve first, then look at how you can work on improving your electric usage and lastly add some alternate energy while the tax incentives are there.

Conservation costs the least and can give back the most returns.

For more info and tips visit

Maui County Energy Expo

The first day of the Maui County Energy Expo was energizing in it's own right. With a host of people representing the future Sustainability of Maui, Hawaii.

The opening address by Mayor Charmaine Tavares of Maui County brought on a new sense of direction and feeling that Maui, as a whole, is heading in the right direction.

Mayor Tavares Rededicated her efforts, despite the bad economic times, to continue on a path of Sustainability and to find the money to continue. She pointed out our responsibilities individually and collectively, government, business and individuals to work towards a goal of a Sustainable Energy Future.

Representing the State of Hawaii, Mr. Theodore Liu, Director of Hawai'i State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism mirrored many of Mayor Tavares's statements and feelings. As a State Representative to the Energy Expo, Mr. Liu brought with him Governor Linda Lingle's and Lt. Governor Duke Aiona's commitment towards seeing Hawaii become Sustainable.

For more detail visit my website at and please sign in using the blue button so we can update you when more is available after today's second day and we can post some video and make it available to you.