Author Archives: Sean Aronson

Unprecedented

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Molokai athletic history is made with Girls State Basketball Title
By Sean Aronson


Long credits the entire team with the victory, saying their camaraderie and tightness was infectious.  During the season, the Farmers travelled considerably and played just three of their 22 games at home in “The Barn”.  That kind of schedule prepared the team well for rigors of a week-long tournament.  

Long says playing in two early season tournaments on Oahu was particularly beneficial, especially when the majority of MIL teams were not competitive with the Farmers this season.

“That was huge,” says Long.  

It may also explain how the girls remained so relaxed throughout the tournament. In fact, Long and Assistant Coach Mike Hooper were slightly concerned before the state title game because the girls were so loose the day of the championship game.  They said they worried about the focus of the team, but when the ball was tipped all worries disappeared.

“We became more relaxed as the week went along,” says point guard Hooper-Juario. “We learned to take the time to slow down the pace of the game to suit our needs.”

The team was so relaxed; it turns out, that they forgot to eat lunch and instead played their 5pm game without having eaten since breakfast at 10am.  Long says he was dying of starvation, but only realized it after all the excitement and hoopla dissipated.

“I think we were all just so caught up in the moment,” says Long.
Hooper-Juario, a junior, was the leading scorer on a team that included just one senior.  The starting five will all be returning next year, and several key players off the bench will also return to defend their state title.

Despite playing in Oahu, the Farmers enjoyed a lot of crowd support, thanks in part to Molokai being the underdog and that they were playing a private school, Kamehameha of Hawaii.

“Anytime we are playing a private school, the crowd seems to favor of us,” says Long.

With the score tied and a little more than two minutes to go, the Farmers defense clamped down big time.  As Kamehameha guards ran the clock down, the Molokai girls fought through screens and never let their player get out of sight, says Long.  Adolpho had two huge blocks during this sequence and after turnovers by both teams on subsequent possessions; the ball came back to Molokai with less than 30 seconds to go.  Adolpho, after two failed attempts, put back the game winner with 12 seconds to go.  When Kamehameha three-point attempt clanked off the rim, the Molokai girls stormed the court.

They were State Champions!

The last state high school team title for Molokai was when the baseball team won back to back championships in 1999 and 2000.

Players and coaches would like to thank the Molokai fans and the MHS athletic department for their support throughout the season.

As for next year, Long isn’t making any predictions, but he does have one change he’ll be sure to make on the coaching end.

“We need to allow some of the goofiness; it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt.”

Hard Work, High Expectations

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

MIL champs head to Honolulu with quiet confidence.
By Sean Aronson

,” says Rapanot. “We now need to prove we can advance at this level.”

Last year, the Farmers fell in their first game to Hawaii Baptist School.  

This year, because of restructuring to the divisions, there are many new teams contending.  Former powerhouses like Farrington and Aiea, both of Oahu, were bumped up to Division I, because of their size. Newcomers such as Castle High and Word of Life are unknowns.

The team has played through some hardships as well.  They have been without senior Micah Ritte-Manangan for most of the season.  Ritte-Manangan, an MIL selection last year, has been sidelined with a severe ankle injury.  In the past few weeks he has been shooting around a bit and was expected to get the green light to begin practicing this week.

Whether he will be available for Thursday’s game is a mystery, but at a recent practice he assured coaches and players that he was ready to go.

“We’ve been playing well without him, and that’s a testament to our players,” says DeRouin.  “But there is no doubt he would be huge spark for this team.”

All of the players agreed that having been to the states previously, helps take some of their nervousness away.  They are less inclined to be intimidated by the larger basketball courts and the hoopla that surrounds the state tourney.

It was also help that the boys started their season by playing Division I teams like Baldwin and Lahainaluna from Maui.  And even though they didn’t win those games, it introduced them to the high level they will have to play at to be successful in Honolulu.

“This team is much more balanced than last year – both physically and mentally,” says DeRouin.

To follow the progress of the boy’s team at States, visit our website – www.themolokaidispatch.com – where we’ll be posting daily updates of the team’s time in Oahu.








A Smoother Ride

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Molokai gets $18 million in highway improvements.
By Sean Aronson

By now, Molokai residents have surely noticed the improved roadways on the island.  From the east in Halawa to the west by the airport, there’s a whole lot of new pavement and reflective markers to marvel at.  But these improvements are not just cosmetic, they’re practical too.

“We are not only providing a necessary duty, but we are also increasing the safety of driving on Molokai,” said Brennon Morioka, Director of the Department of Transportation for Hawaii.

Morioka spoke on Molokai last week for a Highway blessing to commemorate the recent completion of three major improvements to island roads and bridges, totaling more than $18 million.  The road resurfacing was completed in February. The two projects were Waialua to Halawa and Kaunakakai to Hoolehua, together totaling 10 miles of road on Molokai. The third project was an emergency replacement of Kawaikapu Bridge on the east end.

Sen. Kalani English, who is chair of the Transportation Committee, also attended the blessing and said he was most proud of the fact that nearly 80 percent of the road work was done by Molokai residents.

“The roads are great, but getting this island some jobs is my top priority,” said English.

Many of those employees were trained on the job and will be employed by Maui Paving for future projects, says Ron Aroyan, lead manager for Maui Paving.

Many of the completed projects were in areas that had not seen major upgrades for decades.  For instance, the stretch of road into Halawa Valley had not been completely paved in nearly 40 years.  And the Kawaikapu Bridge had stood for nearly as long.

DOT. director Morioka said he believes Molokai has received a generous helping of transportation projects, but he also recognizes there are places that could still use help.

As for the future, there is one project slated to begin at the end of March. It will be a guardrail and shoulder improvement project along Kamehameha V Highway between Kapuokoolau and Kamalo.  The project will widen the shoulder to 4 feet on both sides and add new white edge lines and reflective pavement markers, similar to work done on other stretches of the highway.

The blessing was performed by Kahu Reynolds Ayau of Ierusalema Hou Church.

Another Closure

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Kaluakoi pool drained over easement dispute.
By Sean Aronson

part,” says George. “This will affect more than the home owners at Kaluakoi Villas. We will have fewer visitors at our condos which mean fewer dollars spent on Molokai.”

The ranch owns the land on which the pool and resort sit. Since the shutdown of operations in early 2008, the Kepuhi Beach Resort Association has operated the pool with little incident.  An easement, or right of way, was granted to the Association more than 30 years ago allowing residents the right to use the pool, even though MPL still has title to the land.

A few months ago, a resident inquired about the filtering mechanism of the pool, says Mike Jennings, maintenance manager for the Association.  When it was determined that upgrades were required to the filter system, MPL got wind of the situation and decided there could be health hazards, says Jennings.

Citing potential liability concerns, MPL decided the best course of action was to shut the pool down.  Lawyers for both sides are working on a compromise, says Jennings.  But that could take a few months or longer.

Association President Jeff Kent is confident the pool will reopen.  In a statement, he says, “We are very confident of winning this dispute because our rights to full access and use of the Kaluakoi Hotel common areas are so clearly and absolutely spelled out in binding legal contracts.”

In the meantime, residents are left with swimming in the winter surf as their only option.  Consequently, they will have a more difficult time getting tenants to rent according to residents.

Dale Matlock is a resident and sits on the board of the Association.  “Now we’ve got no golf course and no pool, not much of a resort,” says Matlock.

He says the issue is of ‘great concern’ and will be addressed at the board meeting on March 20.

Lawyers for MPL and the Association could not be reached for comment.

Farmers to Play for State Title Tonight!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The Molokai Girls Basketball team are one step away from State Champs.  They beat Kapaa in a semi-final match last night behind 25 rebounds and 16 points from Kalei Adolpho.

They will play Kamehameha-Hawaii in the Division II State Title Game at 5pm tonight at Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu.

The Farmers are the first-ever Maui Interscholastic League team to advance to a state final in girl's basketball.

 

Wahine Farmers Advance

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Girls Basketball to Play in Semi-Finals Tonight

The Molokai girls basketball was victouious in their first game of the 2009 Hawaii State Basketball Tournament in Honolulu.  Behind an outstanding performance from Danna-Lynn Hooper-Juario, the Farmers beat University High by a score of 35-30.  Hooper-Juario scored 20 points in the victory.  The girls will play Kapaa, winners of the Kauai League, this evening at Kalani High School.

Go Farmers!

Homecoming

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

New MGH Director of Nursing back where his career began
By Sean Aronson

, but at least it means we can step up our game,” says Fortes.

With the broad plan, Fortes recognizes he’s got to take gradual steps toward change. As a newcomer, he knows he must tread lightly at first, building up as he is more accepted among the community.  

He acknowledges that with a diverse staff, there can be competing interests.
“You have to be fair, but you also have to be consistent,” he says.

The best part of the job, he says, is that he finally gets to stay in one place.  

“I’m finally home.”

Memorializing The Past

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Bill would provide federal authorization for Kalaupapa Memorial.
By Sean Aronson

It’s been a long time coming, but Kalaupapa could soon have an official memorial to commemorate the more than 8000 people who lived on the peninsula over the more than one hundred years that Hansen’s disease patients were exiled there.

The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to approve the bill as part of an omnibus public lands package this week.  The bill does not include any money for the planned memorial, but it does give the legal authority for construction.

The idea for the memorial is to display the names of all patients sent to Kalaupapa, and originally Kalawao, from 1866-1969.  There were an estimated 8000 Hansen’s disease patients through the years.  Today, there are 24 living in Hawaii, with only 14 still residing in Kalaupapa.

Molokai Minute (January re-cap)

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Rockin’ The 70′s

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Molokai Ohana Surf Club hosts the second annual 70’s Surf Meet
By Molokai Dispatch Staff

Signature T-shirts were available for sale, and those who bought one enjoyed the bonus of sponsoring a youth to enter the contest at the same time. All proceeds from entry fees and T-shirts sales go toward the continuation of the annual meet. Organizers hope that someday the club will provide kids with an afterschool ride to the beach that includes surf practice, ocean safety classes, and a series of surf contests that span the winter surf season.

“The day brought everyone together, and it’s not all about competition,” says event organizer Clint Labrador. “It’s about style and getting together on the beach – back to what the 70’s was all about.”

Molokai Ohana Surf Club would like to thank its community sponsors: Ka Honua Momona, The Molokai Dispatch, Molokai Surf, Rawlins chevron, Kamoi Snack-N-Go.

Special thanks to friends of Molokai Ohana Surf Club for all of your kokua: Howard Selnick, Steve & Donna Morgan, Dan Bennett, Perry Buchalter, Butch Tabanao, Kolo Place, Freddy Reyes, Sheri Yamashita, Mervin Dudoit, Sasha Spiller-Reiff, Harmonee Williams, and Josh Pastrana.

Results:
Boy’s Bodyboard 1. Isaiah Alavazo, 2. Beau-Henry Paleka-Borden, 3. Josiah, 4. Moku Lindsey. Boy’s Longboard 1. Hoarai Pou. Girl’s 70’s shortboard 1. Julie Ann Bicoy. Women’s Bodyboard 1.Summer Napoleon. Men’s Bodyboard 1. Perry Buchalter, 2. Camilo Dela Cruz, 3. Kawehi Soares. Women’s Open 70’s shortboard 1. Kabbie Bicoy, 2. Danielle Bicoy, 3. Naomi Bicoy. Men’s open 70’s shortboard 1. Dart Bicoy, 2. Kuhio Kaholoaa, 3. Wayne Kaauwai, 4. James Pua`a-Spencer. Longboard Open 1. Sashamon, 2. Clint Labrador, 3. Fats Kahoalii, 4. Kabbie Bicoy. Masters Longboard 1. Alan Apostol, 2.Perry Buchalter.

If you are interested in supporting Molokai Ohana Surf Club’s efforts or would like to receive email updates about future MOSC events, email molokaisurf@gmail.com.