Local Briefs

James Simpliciano will speak about ulu (breadfruit).

Local food topic of talk

Lahaina chef/farmer James Simpliciano will speak about ulu (breadfruit), food forests and other local food topics at the 7 a.m. meeting of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise on Tuesday at the Pioneer Inn.

The public is invited and the $10 fee includes breakfast.

Formerly the head banquet chef at The Westin Maui Resort and Spa, Simpliciano developed his love for food and farming while growing up gardening on Oahu with his extended family.

A dedicated farm-to-fork advocate, Simpliciano mentors students to become future farmers, chefs and environmental engineers. He also facilitates and raises awareness for the new Ku’ia Agricultural Education Center located off Lahainaluna Road, which is funded by Kamehemeha Schools.


Banana Slug String Band to perform

In celebration of the 38th annual Maui Whale Festival and cetaceans everywhere, the renowned Banana Slug String Band will give a special performance from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at Kihei Public Library.

This award-winning band has been playing music for kids for more than 30 years. Doug Dirt, Airy Larry, Marine Mark and Solar Steve are environmental educators, impassioned musicians, songwriters, performers and eco-warriors.

This event is sponsored primarily by Pacific Whale Foundation with additional funding from the Kay A. Edwards Memorial Fund.


Year of the Dog celebration at mall

The Maui Chinese New Year Festival Committee will present the 20th annual Chinese New Year Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Maui Mall.

This celebration of the year of the Brown Earth Dog will include lion dancing, keiki Chinese attire contest, tai chi demonstration, martial arts demonstration, a presentation of the Narcissus queen and her court, and food and craft booths.

For more information on the festival, call Sarah Shim at 281-1681.


Masquerade gala to benefit cetaceans

A masquerade gala to benefit five marine animals at risk of extinction will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the King Kamehameha Golf Club’s Waikapu Ballroom.

This formal event sponsored by the Pacific Whale Foundation will include a red-carpet arrival, photo booth, sustainable seafood pupu, a hosted (open) bar and special entertainment, including live music by Grammy Award-winning and multiplatinum-selling pianist/composer Peter Kater. DJ Teddy Rux will end the night on the dance floor.

Proceeds will benefit global efforts to save five cetaceans — vaquita, Hawaiian false killer whale, Arabian Sea humpback whale, Chilean blue whale and Maui dolphin.

Tickets are $170. Pacific Whale Foundation members receive a 20 percent discount. Masquerade masks are encouraged and can be purchased through event registration. Tickets are on sale at mauiwhalefestival.org.


Massed band concert at MHS

The ninth annual Maui District Middle School Massed Band Concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Izumi “Shine” Matsui Athletic Center at Maui High School. Admission to the concert is free.

Participating bands are from Iao, Kalama, Lahaina, Lokelani and Maui Waena intermediate schools, and Lanai High and Elementary School.


Ross Stores’ benefit to help kids learn

During the month of February, customers at the Maui Ross Dress for Less locations in Kihei and Kahului can make a monetary contribution during checkout to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui. It is part of Ross Stores’ program with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America called “Help Local Kids Learn.”

All of the proceeds raised at each store will benefit local Boys & Girls Clubs. For example, every $3 donation helps provide one hour of homework help and $15 helps keep a child safe after school for one day, according to a news release.


Alzheimer’s topic of caregiver classes

The Alzheimer’s Association is presenting “Understanding Memory Loss,” a series of Maui family caregiver classes designed to provide answers to the questions that arise in the early, middle and late stages of the disease.

Topics include coping strategies, managing challenging behaviors and legal and financial planning.

Classes are being held from 5 to 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays through March 13 at Roselani Place, 88 S. Papa Ave. in Kahului. Another set of classes will be from May 1 through June 6.

To register, call (808) 591-8243 or email lcapone@alz.org.


AARP chapter to meet Monday in Kihei

The South Maui Chapter of AARP will hold its Monday meeting at 10 a.m. in the activities room of Kalama Heights at 101 Kanani Road in Kihei.

Guest speaker will be Kathleen Couch, the program coordinator for Maui Adult Day Care Centers. She will share information about taking over the care of an aging loved one, dementia early to late stage, and the challenges caregivers go through. She will also share programs for Maui Adult Day Care Centers.

For further information, contact South Maui AARP Coordinator Adele Rugg at 879-9964.


Rotarians will hear about Kalama Heights

The Kalama Heights independent living retirement community in Kihei will be discussed at the Wednesday’s noon meeting of the Kihei Wailea Rotary Club at Mulligan’s on the Blue in Wailea. Ryan Stephen of Kalama Heights will give a presentation on the facility.

The meeting is open to the public; lunch is $15.

For more information, send email to margief1202@yahoo. com.


Two harpists will perform at library

Harpists Lily Swan and Crissy Palmieri will give a musical performance from the Celtic and Medieval traditions at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kahului Public Library.


‘Picnic for Poki’ set for Thursday

Roselani Place and Ola Na Mele Productions are hosting a “Picnic for Poki” event at 11 a.m. Thursday at Ka’ahumanu Church in Wailuku.

Featured guest with live entertainment will be Ron Kuala’au, joined by Keoki Ruiz.

Attendees should bring a lunch; fresh-baked cookies from Roselani Place will be available.

“Picnic for Poki” is held every third Thursday on the month to continue bringing the spirit of aloha and Hawaiian music to the Maui community in honor of the late Allen “Braddah Poki” Pokipala, according to an announcement.

For more information, call 871-7720.


Contest to mark queen’s birthday

The deadline to enter the student coloring and essay contest to celebrate the 250th birthday of Queen Elisabeth Ka’ahumanu is Thursday.

Sponsored by the women of ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Chapter IV, Wailuku, the contest is open to students grades kindergarten through 12, with different criteria for various grades.

All entries will be displayed throughout Queen Ka’ahumanu Center from March 11 to 18. A monetary prize will be awarded to a winner from each category, a news release said.

For information and to turn in entries, students should check with their respective schools.

Questions may also be directed to chapter President Carol Lee Kamekona at 264-9385.


Restoration project seeking volunteers

Volunteers are being sought to assist with the Auwahi forest restoration project from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Ulupalakua Ranch.

Participants must be in reasonably good physical condition with no major medical issues.

Due to limited seating, a reservation confirmation is needed. Send email to volunteer@auwahi.org. Requests will be responded to by Monday.


Mardi Gras benefit tickets on sale

General admission tickets for the Mardi Gras Maui Afterparty are now available for $40 at www.mauiaids.org and at Maui AIDS Foundation, 1935 Main St., Suite 101, Wailuku. The afterparty takes place at 9 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, following the VIP event that begins at 6 p.m.

General admission tickets include admission to the DJ Afterparty and photo booth.

A limited number of VIP tickets at $140 are still available and include dinner with a menu designed by Four Seasons Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst, as well as entertainment by Shea Derrick & Full Flavor Band. Also included in VIP admission are a silent auction, the DJ Afterparty and photo booth. Event table sponsorships are also available; call 242-4900 for details.

Attendees must be age 21 or older.


Donation for free dental checkup

Wailuku Dentist Michael Miyamoto is offering a free dental exam and X-rays for those that donate $39 to the Maui Food Bank at his office at 1885 Main St. in Wailuku.

“This is an opportunity for our practice and the people in our local community to come together and enhance their dental health, while at the same time extending a helping hand to the less fortunate among us,” Miyamoto said.

He is partnering with the Maui Food Bank on the project.

Miyamoto has been practicing for more than 30 years, He notes that recent studies show that dental care that is overdue commonly leads to gum diseases that cause problems resulting from weakend immunity, leading to heart, lung and liver diseases.

For more information, see smarturl.it/mm-fooddrive.