It was with great sadness that I read of the passing of Buck Buchanan, a longtime voice of reason for West Maui. He combined his knowledge of the law with common sense, respect for the local culture and an understanding of the importance of a healthy environment.
Like many people who move here, Buck could have spent his years simply enjoying life in Lahaina, but he chose to become an engaged citizen, speaking up for the place he adopted as home. He put in countless hours of volunteering for committees, researching issues and sitting through long meetings.
When I was a reporter at The Maui News, Buck was a welcome sight at public hearings because I knew I would get at least one meaningful quote for my story. He offered opinions in a way that made you want to listen and, even while taking a strong stand, he could usually keep the dialogue going with those who disagreed. But if that didn't work, he wasn't afraid to join in legal action to protect Maui's precious resources and open spaces that were under threat from development.
Mahalo, Buck. You are already missed. Maui is better because you were here and we can only hope there will be more like you to follow.