About forty guys showed up after being invited to “Conversation and Coffee” by the now non-profit on line news organization.

3/25/16 #kihei Yesterday afternoon we found ourselves sitting between old friend Nikhilananda of Huelo and newer one Tim Lara of Kihei at the Laulima building at UHMC to hear from and talk to a team from the on-line news site, Honolulu Civil Beat. (SEE http://www.civilbeat.org/civil-beat/)

Five members of the very friendly and personable team participated, initiated by membership and events manager Mariko Chang posted outside the building to welcome and check in the 40-50 participants. Next director of philanthropy Ben Nishimoto offered a brief introduction, before turning over duties to editor and GM Patti Epler. Also participating were environmental writer Nathan Eagle and Hana resident and former Associated Press (AP) writer Tad Bartimous (somehow we missed her photo here) whose focus is Maui.

Patti informed us the organization is doing much better as a non-profit: people seem to be much more willing to donate to independent journalism than to subscribe to it, with all the free news sources on the Internet!

The audience was appreciative that Civil Beat is so interested in Maui, and many expressed suggestions for important Maui topics to cover. Civil Beat intends to produce investigative reports, not news articles (which one can find in MauiWatch, Maui News, and Maui Now).