Business

Molokai Joins Opposition to NextEra Merger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Molokai residents voiced largely opposition two weeks ago to a proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra, a Florida-based energy company. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is gathering public feedback on the proposed $4.3 million merger and will make a decision within the next six months. Molokai’s feedback, said Commission Chair Randall Iwase, has been in keeping with what they’ve heard so far around the state.

“The commission is not required to hold these sessions, but it was opinion of all three commissioners that it was important and appropriate to hear from the public,” said Iwase.

A majority of Molokai attendees testified that they opposed the merger.…

Makoa Trucking Plans Expansion

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

With an increasing demand for storage space and limited area for its vehicles, Makoa Trucking & Services plans to add a 1,920-square-foot steel warehouse at 40 Hio Place, across the street from Rawlins Chevron station.

Last Wednesday, the Molokai Planning Commission approved a Special Management Area (SMA) Minor Permit for New Horizon Enterprises, Inc. dba Makoa Trucking & Services. The project must begin no later than Sept. 30, 2017 and must be completed within two years of the start date.

Makoa Trucking Co-owner Chris Mebille said in recent years their expanding storage business has left less room for their trucking operations.…

Tutu’s Memories: Halcyon days at the Sheraton Kaluakoi

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Marie Yamashita

“You people here are so lucky,” said my good friend Ethel, who had come from Oahu with her husband and friends to spend another weekend golfing and staying at the Sheraton.   “It’s beautiful here and the course is better than our Mid Pacific Country Club on Oahu.”

That was way back in the early 1980s. Many times I had heard similar words from those who visited our island, not only from those who golfed, but others who came primarily to luxuriate in the hotel’s vacation atmosphere or to dine in the charming dining hall.

The view of Kepuhi beach was breathtaking.…

Food for the Soul

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Food for the Soul

Growing up on Molokai as the children of business owners, the Torres siblings wanted to be entrepreneurs from a young age.

“We made our own stores at home out of canned goods, empty cans, whatever we could find,” remembered Rosie Torres-Batara, one of seven sisters. “That’s how it all started.”

The Torres sisters at the new Simply Natural store. Nora Espaniola, who runs the store, far left. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Years later, the seven sisters and one brother are still in business together, only now it’s more than a game of pretend. In a row of storefronts across from Kaunakakai’s Veterans Memorial Park, the family runs three businesses next to each other.…

A Steak in the Local Economy

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

A Steak in the Local Economy

In Hawaii, 85 percent of calves are shipped to the mainland, said Pu`u O Hoku Ranch General Manager Jann Roney. They’re raised and butchered, and the finished product is not always sent back to the islands. However, like others around the state in recent years, Molokai ranches and businesses are working to keep the full cattle operation at home.

Molokai Ranch

Last August, Molokai Ranch launched its 100 percent grass-fed beef in an effort to establish its new pillars of animal husbandry and sustainability, said Operations Manager Dathan Bicoy.

Prepared beef dish from Molokai Ranch. Photo by Laura Pilz.

About 1,800 cattle graze 30,000 acres of pasture in Maunaloa.…

Shop Offers Design-Your-Own Apparel

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Shop Offers Design-Your-Own Apparel

Something for Everybody News Release

Something for Everybody celebrated its third year in business anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 8. There were #goodwaibes all around, food and music to be found and of course, something new going on.

“This yearʻs huliau (change in time) has lead us to grow and meet our customers’ needs by allowing them to be a part of their wear,” said owner Wailani Tanaka, referring to their addition of a custom designs and creations corner in the shop. “Here at SFE we’re big on products that are relevant to our customers and their lives, and what better way to find that than by allowing them to be a part of that design process of their apparel and accessories.”

The store is now primarily stocked with brand new blank tops, bottoms, dresses, skirts, hats, even home decor and more that are all available for custom design from creation to print or press right in the store.…

Changing Times for the Molokai Ferry

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Changing Times for the Molokai Ferry

Community Contributed

By Dave Jung, Molokai Ferry General Manager

Photo by Catherine Cluett

The Molokai Ferry has been running a fixed schedule for the last 27 years, operated by Sea Link of Hawaii. However, last year, airline travel from Molokai dramatically changed, and single engine aircraft are very fuel efficient and cheap to operate. With air fares down to $39, the ferry just can’t compete in this current price war.

A new ruling by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) allows the ferry to change our schedule on a monthly basis and may cancel a voyage when the number of reservations is below 20 passengers on either segment of a round trip 48 hours before departure.…

Legal Toolkit for Small Business

Friday, August 14th, 2015

MEDB News Release

Learn more about employment and tax law for small businesses in a free workshop offered by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) next month on Molokai. Called “Legal Toolkit for Small Business: Understanding Employment and Tax Law,” this session on Tuesday, Sept. 1 is part of MEDB’s Technical Assistance Series which was created to help small businesses establish strong systems, processes, tools, and best practices to build a solid foundation for success.

The workshop offers an ideal opportunity for business owners to receive helpful advice from prominent Hawaii attorneys and an accountant, specializing in legal and financial issues facing small business owners.…

NextEra’s Commitment to Hawaii

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Community Contributed

Opinion by Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawaii

Gov. David Ige’s recent comments raised important questions about our pending merger and Hawaii’s clean energy future, questions that we continue to work diligently and transparently to address. We want to make our position clear and reiterate our full and unequivocal support of the State of Hawaii’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. We believe our proposed partnership with Hawaiian Electric provides the best path forward to achieving what is, without question, an aggressive, yet very attainable, goal. Together, we can get there.

The renewable energy law signed by Gov.…

Giving Small Businesses a Leg Up

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Giving Small Businesses a Leg Up

Photo by Tessi Juario.

When you’re a small business owner on Molokai, it can be a challenge to find time to gain enterprise know-how and inspiration. A businesses conference last week brought it all together in one place for one day, with speakers specializing in technology, taxes, customer service, business planning and other topics.

“In 2014, we had 333 registered businesses on Molokai,” said Jennifer Hawkins, small business advocate at Molokai’s Kuha`o Business Center, which spearheaded the event under Maui County’s Office of Economic Development. “When you walk down the street, you don’t see 333 businesses. Some may have dissolved by now, some may have grown.…