For 19th century slaves in America, a hand-stitched quilt was more than just bedding; it was a map to freedom. As Black History Month kicked off at the Molokai Public Library last Wednesday, Molokai resident John Wordin shared the little-known story of the secret role quilts played in bringing enslaved African Americans to safety.
Wordin’s presentation was inspired by the book “Hidden in Plain View,” which details the history of the system of coded quilts.
“Slaves were deliberately kept from getting any education. They were illiterate,” said Wordin. “You couldn’t just give them a handout and say, ‘Well, these are directions as to where to go and who to talk to.’”
Instead, instructions were secretly stitched into shapes on quilts and hung in the windows of homes that formed the Underground Railroad, the covert network of routes leading to the free North.…
The Maui Fire Department (MFD) conducted its first Molokai-based controlled burn last week, clearing out 50 acres of overgrown brush behind residents’ homes in Kalama`ula between Feb. 4 and 7.
Nearly 40 firefighters from Molokai, Maui, Hawaii Island and the Pacific Northwest participated in the exercise, which, besides decreasing the potential for wildfire, also provided live training for firefighters.
“It’s a good area to mitigate hazards,” said Kaunakakai Fire Captain Henry Lindo, explaining that fires in that area tend to spread quickly, pushed forward by winds.
Maui County’s first controlled burn took place in December 2013 in West Maui, and other islands have conducted controlled burns before, but this is Molokai’s first.…
The body of a 70-year-old man was found near the Water Treatment Plant outside of Kaunakakai on Jan. 7, according to the Maui Police Department. The man, identified as William Hazen, was reportedly homeless. Police said no next of kin have yet been found.
According to some community members, he had a daily routine of going to Rawlins Chevron for morning coffee then going to the library, said Lori Buchanan of Molokai Mortuary.
With no next of kin identified, the mortuary buried Hazen last Friday at Kapaakea Cemetery. Volunteers dug the grave and performed a blessing, according to Buchanan.
Maui Police said they are still trying to notify any family members, and an autopsy is pending.…
A two-year-old boy suffered life threatening injuries on Feb. 2 when he hit by a vehicle in Waialua. The accident happened at 11:20 a.m. on private property. The vehicle, driven by a 67-year-old woman, was traveling south when the collision took place, according to police.
The boy was flown to the emergency room at the Maui Memorial Medical Center. The driver did not report any injuries.
No official information on the current condition of the child was available as of Sunday.…
Local farm brings lessons of the `aina to life
Third grader Kamalani Peltier, holding a tadpole, was one of 40 Kilohana School students to visit Simms Farm last month. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
A handful of Kilohana Elementary school students stared down uncertainly into the thick, gloopy mud of the lo`i kalo below them.
“Come on, ladies, let’s go! Jump in!”
Kilohana educational assistant Teon Simmons was trying to coax them into the lo`i, where three of their schoolmates were already wading and pulling weeds from the ankle deep muck. Wedged in the middle of the patch, farm owner Jo-Ann Simms was teaching the students how to gently swing long bunches of weeds to shake excess mud back into the lo`i.…
A Molokai man has been charged with attempted murder after he rammed into his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle in Kaunakakai on Jan. 7. The collision sent his vehicle through the fence and into a tree at Kaunakakai Elementary School. School was out for winter break at the time.
The 38-year-old man, Pakluke Lau, also known as Ula, was flown to Oahu to be treated for injuries, while the 35-year-old woman was taken to Molokai General Hospital and soon released.
On Jan. 25, Lau was arrested on charges of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of terroristic threatening in the first degree, two counts of violating an order for protection and reckless driving.…
Under mounting concerns over public safety in Manila Camp, the Molokai Planning Commission recommended a denial for requests for a zoning change and a community plan amendment that would potentially allow a 16-unit apartment complex to be built in the area.
The project, named Chopra Hale and proposed by Dilip Gunawardena of the LDE Group, LLC, outlined a two-story, multi-family apartment building that would cover 1.04 acres at 190 Makaena Place. The units would be available to those eligible under Maui County’s Section 8 program, which provides rental assistance for low-income residents.
LDE Group sought a zoning change from interim district to A-1 Apartment District, which would permit the construction of an apartment complex.…
Kualapu`u School News Release
Kualapu`u School hosted Molokai’s first-ever 100K bike ride on Jan. 18. Twenty-four riders completed either the half- or full-length distance course that extended from Hotel Molokai to Morris Point and back, then looped around Kualapu`u and Airport Loop, to finish back at the Hotel. Two on-island bike riders participated, Will Carlson and Lydia Trinidad; one former Molokai resident returned for the ride, Amanda Han; and the rest of the bicyclists came from off-island.
The first two riders to complete the noncompetitive course were Jeffrey Ling and Bill Leach in just under three hours 10 minutes. The largest bicycling support group to participate was the Red Hot Ladies Cycling group, a Hawaii Bicycling League affiliate, led by Patricia Johnson, also of Oahu. …
By Ayda Ersoy
Makahiki is the ancient Hawaiian festival in honor of the god Lono. I love the Makahiki season – nowadays, it means fun games, seeing everyone, watching the kids’ happy faces. And food!
We definitely need to support everyone who cooks all the food for the festival. Mahalo!
Here are some tips for the Makahiki, or any time you go out to a party or a meal, on how you can still eat healthily and at the same time have fun.
First, make sure you eat well before you go, so you’re not so hungry. When you get there, everything looks and smells delicious; there’s food all around you and everyone else is eating.…
HoloHI News Release
A Hawaii educator plans to run and bike 750 miles around Hawaii in 31 days to launch school-based conservation initiative called Bottles for Change that challenges keiki to help reduce Hawaii’s plastic footprint.
A new study estimates that there are more than 250,000 tons of plastic floating in oceans around the world, destroying marine habitat and contaminating our water and food supply. Lindy Shapiro, founder of the nonprofit Bodhi Education Project on Maui, plans to take an unprecedented, coastal expedition around the Hawaiian Islands named holoHI (the Hawaiian word “holo” means to run or ride on) – kicked off before sunrise on Jan.…