Samantha S. Campos

Freelance writer from Palm Springs, Maui, and Marin, now firmly planted in Oakland, California. I've written about everything from dive bars to edible schoolyards, and Shrinky Dink art made by Russian royalty, to the daily life of a coroner. I enjoy road trips and living room dance parties.

How the Maui Cannabis Conference bridges education with entrepreneurship

A dozen or so years ago, it was rumored that pakalolo-seeking tourists on Front Street were being sold bags of oregano. Meanwhile, locals knew how to get the stickiest bud–-usually from a friend of a friend in Paia. Although Operation Green Harvest was winding down, the whir of any helicopter blades flying overhead would instill fear and secrecy in the island’s best weed purveyors. I’ll admit it: I, too, drank the Prohibition Kool-Aid. I didn’t think pot was bad, I just didn’t necessarily think it did any good either. I thought marijuana was a pastime for hippies, a gateway to Cheetos for lazy people, a dopey supplement to the surfing lifestyle. When I left Maui in 2007, I swore I would never date a “stoner” again. Cut to 10 years later: I’m now living with a man whose family runs, arguably, the largest cannabis dispensary on the planet. Funny how life plays out like that.

The Grass is Greener in Sonoma County

Sonoma County is perhaps best known for its wine. But it also has a deep history of cannabis cultivation. Generations of farmers, forced underground by prohibition, have nurtured and harvested cannabis gardens for decades. As California ushers in a new era of legalization, those master growers and their protected genetics may finally get the recognition they deserve: Like its wine, Sonoma produces some of the best cannabis on the market today.

Piero Resta: Illuminatus

We talk to the late Maui artist's son Enzo about a lifetime of artistic expression and influence. Piero Resta wasn’t just an artist. He was a man who lived his life as a work of art; the two were interchangeable. He infused his love of life and beauty, passion and curiosity into all manners of creative expression. He was a dynamic visionary, an integral part of the artistic community of Maui, and he’s missed dearly. A retrospective of his work is now on display at the Schaefer International Gallery.

Solving Big Problems with Little Houses

Just over a year and a half ago, Jane Ingalls retired as an Earth Sciences Librarian at Stanford University. Now on a fixed income, Ingalls knew she wouldn’t be able to afford to continue living in the Bay Area. But she did have land in Mendocino County. And she had known Stephen Marshall for years. Marshall owns and operates Little House on the Trailer, a Petaluma-based business that has designed and manufactured secondary units for the past nine years. Also known as accessory dwelling units, these homes range from 400 to 800 square feet, are fully customizable and delivered with utility hookups, generally within two months.

Maui Film Festival: Maui spearfishing champ Kimi Werner featured in 'Fishpeople'

During her TEDxMaui talk in 2014, champion freediver and spearfisher Kimi Werner explained her key to survival in the deep sea–and in life. “When you feel the need to speed up, slow down,” she said. Born and raised on Maui, Werner spoke of how the ocean provided food for her family, how she tagged along as a young girl when her father spearfished and, later, how she longed to be back in that underwater world “where I could fly.” Able to hold her breath for four minutes and 45 seconds, and swim to depths reaching 159 feet, Werner earned top titles in the U.S. National Spearfishing Championships off the murky coast of Rhode Island. An artist, teacher and chef, Werner is now a vocal proponent of marine conservation and sustainable hunting. She’s featured as one of six water lovers in the new documentary "Fishpeople."

Special Bonus 'Wonder Woman' Review

[Editor’s note: Because of the importance the new movie "Wonder Woman" holds for women, we decided to publish a second review of the movie, this time written from the female perspective (you can read MauiTime movie critic Barry Wurst II’s original review at] During the Oscars earlier this year, GE ran an ad that imagined what the world would be like if we treated great female scientists like they were celebrities. The ad highlights Millie Dresselhaus, the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering: kids dress up like her for Halloween, babies are named after her, she’s a popular guest on talk shows and has 147.3 million followers on Twitter. I saw the ad again during the previews to a recent 3D screening of "Wonder Woman," along with a slew of upcoming features mostly starring men.

Samantha Campos reflects on MauiTime's 20th anniversary

By the time summer rolled around in 1997, Bill Clinton was President–again. Madeleine Albright had become the first female Secretary of State. Scottish scientists announced the successful cloning of a sheep named Dolly. The English Patient won “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards, J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was published, and Teletubbies debuted. Bruddah Iz passed away. And two intrepid young men from California launched Maui Time Weekly.

Thriving After Cancer

Cynthia Bailey had just returned from vacation in 2013 when she discovered a lump in her breast. A health-conscious, 55-year-old dermatologist from Sebastopol, Dr. Bailey received annual mammograms and conducted monthly self-exams like clockwork. But because she and her husband celebrated their 30th anniversary with a European cruise, she was a few weeks behind her usual routine. Then one night, back at home in her bath, Dr. Bailey found a tiny, tender, hard bump in her breast...

School of Plant Magic

The transformation begins on the verdant, tree-canopied dirt road to the California School of Herbal Studies (CSHS), just off Highway 116, two miles west of Forestville. A sign alerts drivers to the 5 miles per hour speed limit, and goats graze quietly on the left, before the land dips into a woodland ravine. I roll the window down to take in the fresh air and my usual mind chatter ceases. I’m here for a weekend class, but I already feel like I’ve entered a kind of magical sanctuary.