In 2008, a few weeks after I took the helm at MauiTime, I received an unsigned, handwritten note that read, simply: “Maui needs the Maui Times.” Setting aside the slightly grating—yet quite common—misspelling of our name, it was a message I took to heart. But there’s another, even bigger truth I’ve learned since: MauiTime needs Maui. We need your feedback, positive and negative. We need your support. And most of all, we need your stories.
I’ve had the pleasure of telling some of those stories over the past three years, or at least helping them find their way into these pages. From fights over solar telescopes, civil unions, the Superferry and Halloween in Lahaina to profiles of community activists, samurai masters, pro-pot cops and physicist surf-bums, I’ve reveled in unearthing the issues and people that make this island a singular, perplexing, astonishing place.
As we’ve worked to reflect Maui, we’ve also made an effort to innovate. We printed an 80-page issue in 3D, expanded our online presence through blogging and social media and hosted an election forum featuring live commentary submitted via Twitter. Through it all, I hope, we’ve entertained, infuriated and maybe even enlightened you. That was the goal, anyway.
As you’ve probably guessed from my sentimental tone, this is a goodbye—or at least a see you later. It was an impossibly difficult decision, but a new opportunity is pulling my family and me away from Maui. Fortunately, you’ll be in the capable hands of former editor Anthony Pignataro, who apparently realized editing a newspaper in paradise is a pretty sweet gig (a lesson I’m expecting to learn somewhere over the Pacific).
Before I exit, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my gratitude to a few people. First and foremost, to Tommy and Jen Russo for believing in me and giving me an incredible, life-changing opportunity. To art director Chris Skiles, for making the words that appear in the paper look far nicer than they have any right to. To our tireless, tattooed sales executive Brad Chambers for bringing home the bacon. To the unflappable Judy Toba, the irascible Jenn Brown, the keen-eyed Sean Michael Hower and Dina Wilson, our most loyal, patient reader. To all the contributors who have lent us their talents, but especially the always-game and ever-jocular Ynez Tongson. And finally, to my dear Anu Yagi—a warrior, a writer and a friend.
This job has been one of the true joys of my life. And though you may not need me anymore, you still need MauiTime—and MauiTime still needs you. ■