Community Development

What is community development? How should community development be governed?

Molokai Weighs In On NextEra Merger

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Representatives of NextEra, the Florida-based energy company proposing a merger with Hawaiian Electric, visited Molokai last week with plans to hold an open house to meet residents and answer questions. Concerned community members, however, had other plans.

Standing in a circle amid NextEra’s large, colorful posters and blue-shirted staff, local attendees requested a meeting format in which all their answers could be answered at once and heard by all.

“We want to know what is going on, as a group – that’s Molokai style,” said local activist Walter Ritte.

NextEra officials, joined by Maui Electric representatives, obliged.  With no seating planned for the open house format, everyone stood for the next three hours and discussed the merger and its implications for Hawaii’s energy future.…

Be Part of the Plan

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Steve Chaikin, Chair, Molokai CPAC

Over the next six months, the Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) will be meeting to recommend revisions to update the Molokai Community Plan. The Plan will then be reviewed by the Molokai Planning Commission and approved by the County Council.  When the process is complete, this plan will provide direction for future growth of our island and identify key actions for county agencies to implement over the next twenty years.  The Maui County Planning Department has a new division specifically tasked with implementing community plans.

All of our meetings are open to the public.…

Scouts Build Stand-up Racks

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Last week, a Molokai grown Boy Scout returned to his roots to help the island’s youth. While on spring break from Kamehameha-Kapalama (KSK), high school senior Rusty “Naholowaa” Nakayama and a group of fellow Boy Scouts came home to build stand-up paddleboard racks as part of Nakayama’s quest to become an Eagle Scout.

Boys can join the Cub Scouts at the age of eight and become Boy Scouts at the age of 12. In order to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, they must earn 21 merit badges and put together a community service project by their 18th birthday.

“I’m not only doing this to get my Eagle, but it is satisfactory to give back to the community,” said Nakayama.…

A Field to Call Home

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

A Field to Call Home

Molokai’s softball team lines up by maile lei that was cut as part of the new field’s official blessing. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

The Molokai softball team finally has a place to call their own. For years, the girls and coaches bussed to practices and games at the county’s ball field in Kaunakakai. Meanwhile, they put in hours of labor on weekends the last couple of years to pick rocks and prepare their future field at Molokai High. It all became worth it last Saturday, when the brand new field officially opened with a blessing and the first pitch was thrown on their home diamond.…

Community Plan Update Begins

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

A group of 13 Molokai residents has begun the process of planning for the island’s next 20 years. The Molokai Community Plan acts like a blueprint for development, goals, policies and actions. Normally updated every 10 years, the belated update process got officially underway with the Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC)’s first meeting last week.

The first Molokai Community Plan was adopted in 1984 and was updated last in 2001. The community plan guides much of the large-scale decision-making through 2035. It includes complete descriptions of existing conditions on the island and explains land use designations, details on future development, projected effects of that development and infrastructure improvements.…

Proposed Solar Program Changes

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Proposed Solar Program Changes

Molokai has the highest percentage of renewable energy compared to total electric usage of any island at 51 percent, according to Maui Electric Company (MECO). With that high percentage, however, comes challenges for the island’s small electric grid – as well as unfair prices for customers without solar, claims MECO. The company is proposing changes that would temporarily halt the installation of rooftop solar on Molokai – and many customers and local solar companies aren’t happy about it.

In a program called Net Metering Program (NEM), customers with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are paid by the utility company for excess energy the panels generate at retail rate.…

MEO Celebrates 50 Years

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Lyn McNeff, CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.

This year Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) celebrates 50 years of service to the people of Molokai and Maui County. MEO began in 1965 as nonprofit grass roots Community Action Agency chartered to fight poverty in Maui County.

For more than two generations MEO has been engaged in this effort through community advocacy and by providing needed services such as transportation, early childhood development, youth services, inmate reintegration back into the community, and micro loans and business development services to low-income entrepreneurs.

Continuing with efforts to expand upon our work in the community, on March 21, MEO will host our 50th anniversary fundraiser dinner “Dancing with Our Stars.” The event is at the King Kamehameha Golf Club and it promises to be an exciting night of fun as local celebrities compete before judges to win the prize of best dancers of the night.…

Vet Center Awaits Final Inspection

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Vet Center Awaits Final Inspection

Only an inspection and a certificate stand between Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans (MVCV) and the official opening of their brand new, long-awaited center.

The center just needs approval from the Department of Wastewater, the last in a lengthy series of inspections. Members will then wait for the county to process their application for a Certificate of Occupancy, which MVCV officers said could take a few weeks.

MVCV officers stand in their newly certified kitchen. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

After nine years of construction and legal woes, the veterans said it’s the last agonizing step before the center is finished.

“It’s been a lot of hard work.…

Commission Votes No on Apartment Project

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

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.…

Ikehu Molokai Energy Update

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Aloha and Happy New Year!  We want to express our gratitude to the entire community for welcoming us in the past with great warmth and hospitality, and engaging as partners in planning for the Ikehu Molokai renewable energy project.  Our vision for the project reflects those sentiments and values embraced by residents and expressed at many community meetings for a healthy, sustainable, and energy independent island. Success of the Ikehu Molokai project will only be accomplished as a long term collaboration between community groups, residents, and the Ikehu Molokai planning team.

As you know, the Ikehu Molokai project has been proposed to convert the island’s electricity to renewable energy.  …