The planting of native trees, a return from the seas and the arrival of Santa at Honolulu Hale are some of the featured photos.

A change in the sailing plan brought Hokule’a home at a time when voyagers said “home is hurting,” while earlier in the week there was an experiment in tree planting in Wahiawa. The opening of a new integrated learning center in Waipahu will allow students to engage in studies that build skills for potential future employment.

Tom Lenchanko, left, with the Civic Club of Wahiawa shares the history of the Kukaniloko Birthstones to tree-planting volunteers Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at the State Monument Kukaniloko Birthstones in Wahiawa. Carbon Neutrality Challenge co-founder Asryelle Mora Rollo used this tree-planting event to time how long it would take volunteers to plant 200 native Hawaiian trees. It took 14 volunteers 40 minutes to plant the 200 koa and wiliwili saplings. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Tom Lenchanko, left, with the Hawaiian Civic Club of Wahiawa shares the history of the Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument with tree-planting volunteers Saturday in Wahiawa. Carbon Neutrality Challenge co-founder Asryelle Mora Rollo used this event to time how long it would take volunteers to plant 200 native trees. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Civic Club of Wahiawa’s Tom Lenchanko, kneeling near center frame, talks story to tree-planing volunteers Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at the State Monument Kukaniloko Birthstones in Wahiawa. Carbon Neutrality Challenge volunteers used this tree-planting event to time how long it would take volunteers to plant 200 native Hawaiian trees. It took 14 volunteers 40 minutes to plant the 200 koa and wiliwili saplings. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Carbon Neutrality Challenge volunteers were granted an up-close and personal tour of the Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument in Wahiawa by the Hawaiian Civic Club of Wahiawa’s Tom Lenchanko Saturday. The goal of the day was to time how long it would take to plant 200 native Hawaiian trees with a new planting method. University of Hawaii professor Camilo Mora and co-founder, Punahou student Asryelle Mora Rollo, pre-dug optimal depth and size holes the previous week. Previous to planting, the saplings were contained in wrapping to hold their root structure and soil. It took 14 volunteers 40 minutes to plant 200 koa and wiliwili saplings. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Kahu Kordell Kekoa, at right, speaks highly of the four Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center students Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and skills. Paul Ibous, from left, Tiare Keaunui-Akana, Meilin Baldonado and Stephanie Arellano face the audience and the mountains. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Kahu Kordell Kekoa, right, speaks highly of four Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center students on Friday in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and job skills. From left to right, Paul Ibous, Tiare Keaunui-Akana, Meilin Baldonado and Stephanie Arellano face the audience and the mountains. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The microphone is a little too high for student Tiare Keaunui-Akana as she welcomes attendants to the blessing of the Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and skills. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The microphone is a little too high for student Tiare Keaunui-Akana as she welcomes people to the blessing of the Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center Friday in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and skills. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Academy of Professional and Public Services of the Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center made fried tofu pupus for the Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, ceremonial blessing in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and skills. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
Staff at the Integrated Academy Learning Center made fried tofu pupus for the Friday ceremonial blessing in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and skills relevant to future employment. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The Hula 2 and 3 class performs during the blessing of the Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center  Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Waipahu. The center offers students the opportunity to learn trades and skills. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The Hula 2 and 3 class performs during the blessing of the Waipahu High School Integrated Academy Learning Center. it is the first facility of its kind in the state according to the Department of Education. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The Skyline train heads toward Aloha Stadium Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, as seen from Waipahu High School. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The Skyline Rail heads toward Aloha Stadium Friday as seen from Waipahu High School. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
West Side town hall meeting attendees look toward a woman speaking out of turn Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Waianae. This woman was angry about halfway houses so close to her home. Recent acts of violence, halfway houses and illegal game rooms highlighted concerns of West Oahu citizens. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
West Side town hall meeting attendees look toward a woman speaking out of turn Tuesday in Waianae. She was angry about halfway houses so close to her home. Recent acts of violence, halfway houses and illegal game rooms highlighted concerns of West Oahu citizens. (Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023)
The remains of the Aug. 8 fires are still evident in Kula, signs that there is still much work to be done to restore the community. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)
Joe Imhoff of Ukiu Farms holds a new sprout of the invasive black wattle trees that have begun growing in the area of the fire in Kula. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)
Weeks after the fire, Mike Cicchino and his wife and daughter returned to Lahaina and looked down over their fire-scorched neighborhood from Lahaina Bypass Road. It would take more than three months for the government to allow residents to return to their neighborhood to scour the rubble for keepsakes and try to find a measure of closure. The family is part of reporter Brittany Lyte’s Long Road Home project. Civil Beat continues to share stories of perseverance after the devastating fires on Maui. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023) 
Santa arrived Wednesday to distribute small gifts to those children who wanted to stop by Honolulu Hale to survey the trees decorated by city departments. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)
Most people were happy to see Santa, but some weren’t too happy about the prospect of being separated from mom and dad, even for a few moments. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)
Mayor Rick Blangiardi lit the Christmas tree outside Honolulu Hale for a monthlong holiday celebration with a varied assortment of displays along King Street between Punchbowl and Alawai. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)
The Hokule’a is blessed Thursday during a short cultural ceremony after returning to its home port at Sand Island early, due to a, “desire to bring Hokuleʻa home at a time when her home is hurting,” voyagers said. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)
The Hokule’a is blessed by pouring ceremonial kava on the wa’a during a short cultural ceremony. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2023)

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