No end-of-year issue showcasing a select group of Maui heroes, volunteers and "communitarians" would be complete without including the contributors and staff of the Maui Weekly.
Working at a newspaper, even a weekly publication, can be grueling. Like the postmen, our skeleton staff and fleet of freelancers must persevere through rain, sleet, snow, hail, floods, power outages, high winds, earthquakes, tsunami warnings, sickness, computer failure and accelerated holiday schedules--like we are doing now. It takes a dedicated group of people to make that happen each and every week.
Frederick Koenig, a German inventor best known for his high-speed printing press, (coincidental reference? I think not) said that happiness comes not from getting something we lack, but from the recognition and appreciation of what we have. I want to take this opportunity to document my gratitude.
Behind the scenes for the last 11 years, Art Director Lawrence Pascua adheres to the Maui Weekly's official company motto, "Git R Done," without fail on a weekly basis. He is a gifted designer who embraces deadlines and always comes through with the highest quality work.
The efficient and tech-savvy team of Sharon Shough and Helen Milne, who assist with paper production and ad creation, are living proof that a sense of humor and a heaping helping of patience can get you through anything.
Freelance writers Sarah Ruppenthal and Trisha Smith have reported the hard news and have written entertaining feature stories for the paper for the last several years. Both of these past editorial assistants deserve a medal for valor under fire, but all I can offer them is a simple thank you for their dedication and service.
A special thanks also goes out to Tom Blackburn-Rodriquez, an intrepid reporter who is always willing--and even eager--to tackle the tough topics. He turns in quality stories by deadline--no matter what.
My appreciation knows no bounds for mother and daughter team Melanie and Ariel Stephens, who have turned the keel of the paper toward the sunny side of sustainability. They have led Maui Weekly readers to graze in the "greener" pastures--from renewable energy to food safety and beyond.
Cindy Schumacher's "uplifting" reports range from space science to spirituality. God has blessed her with talent and us with her interesting and inspiring stories. Barry Sultanoff approaches his topics with amazing sensitivity and a beautiful, creative writing style, and another frequent writer, Mary Lawrence, approaches stories with enthusiasm and humor.
The heart and soul of the team is our sales staff, Miranda Kawaiola and our newest team member, Cynthia Clark. Without them there would be no newspaper, as they generate the revenue that maintains us. Their commitment to their clients, Maui Weekly's advertisers, is heartfelt, as is their dedication to the community.
Thank you to my mystery proofreader, who helps me cross my "i's" and dot my "t's" (with the exception of this editorial). He's an essential piece of this crazy weekly puzzle.
Mahalo to occasional contributors and columnists Joseph Bean, Norm Bezane, Crissa Hiranaga, Eve Hogan, Paul Janes-Brown, Rob Parsons, Sherry Remez, Dr. Robert Santry, Tricia Morris, Josh Jerman, Harriet Witt, Shakti Navran, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Councilman Don Couch, Sen. Roz Baker and Rep. George Fontaine; photographers Larry and Denise Ankrum, Sean Lester and Jessica Pearl; and Maui Weekly distributors Noe and Moses Kauha'aha'a.
Appreciation may go unexpressed too often, but the efforts of these Maui Weekly contributors certainly don't go unnoticed. Amidst the madness, I may set the course of our weekly journeys, but they help keep me on track. I can't imagine producing this paper every week without each and every one of them.
And to our advertising clients, your testimonials as satisfied customers are very important to us, and we really appreciate them.
It is an honor to serve the Maui community. And for that, we thank you all.