Island Youth

The keiki and `opio of Molokai

Winter Sports Preview, Part 1

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Although the weather is turning colder, the Molokai winter sport athletes are just getting warmed up. With the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) winter season approaching, Molokai High’s teams are training to compete in basketball, paddling, swimming and wrestling. In a two-part series, the Dispatch takes a look at these teams as they prepare to make their mark in the MIL.


This season, the boys’ and girls’ teams have 19 wrestlers apiece. The girls’ roster is rife with experience, with 11 returning wrestlers, while the boys’ team welcomes a relatively young squad that includes seven returning wrestlers and six freshmen.

“The number of returning girls makes us strong ‘cause we’ve got some experience to work with,” said Coach Randy Manley, who added that this year’s squad is the biggest girls’ team he’s ever seen from the school.…

Running the Rainbow

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Running the Rainbow

Participants send colored powders skyward at the start of the Turkey Rainbow Run/Walk. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Covered in powdery colors of the rainbow, more than 300 participants of all ages laughed their way through the five-kilometer Turkey Rainbow Run/Walk at Kualapu`u School last Saturday morning. Participants of the first-ever Rainbow Run let out a cheer and filled the air with a palette of powders as the event kicked off, while a natural bow arched fittingly overhead.

“I’ve never seen this many people run a 5K race and be happy about it!” said Marshall Joy, a Kualapu`u School teacher. “It’s great to see all the smiles.”

Ty McComas, Registered Nurse at Na Pu`uwai, helped spearhead the event with the assistance of fellow Na Pu`uwai staff member Komela Horner.…

Ho`olaule`a Keeps it Cool

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Ho`olaule`a Keeps it Cool

Parents, faculty and community members of Kaunakakai Elementary worked hard last Saturday to raise money to keep students cool in their classrooms. Proceeds from the event will go toward school-related needs, including air conditioning, according to Jenn Whitted, the school’s Parent Community Network Center Facilitator.

Hundreds of Molokai residents came to munch on chicken hekka plates and baked goods, while hula and Tahitian dancers and local bands provided live entertainment under clear skies. A bouncy house and dart and ball tossing games kept the kids energized. Meanwhile, the adults got a chance to win prizes from drawings and bid on items in a silent auction that included Maui hotel stays.…

School Ho`olaulea

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Kaunakakai School News Release

Kaunakakai Elementary School invites the community to its 2014 Ho`olaulea on Saturday, Nov. 22 from 4 to 10 p.m. on the school’s front lawn. Support Kaunakakai Elementary by purchasing some ono grindz, plants/produce, student work, participating in the game booths, or making a bid on one of the more than 50 silent auction items!

Enjoy some of your favorite local entertainers such as Moana’s Hula Halau, Mo Bettah Band, Bob Underwood and Friends, Tutu and Me Keiki, and many more. Lucky number drawings will be taking place all night long so stop by and make a donation for your chance to get in on the fun!…

Students Learn Hands-on at Future Fest

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Students Learn Hands-on at Future Fest

Normally, high school students operating backhoes on the school’s front lawn would be cause for alarm. However, last Wednesday it was all part of Molokai High School’s Future Fest, a day-long sampling of potential colleges and careers for MHS students.

According to Lisa Takata, representatives from over 12 colleges and universities from both Hawaii and the mainland attended the Fest, answering students’ questions on everything from possible majors to athletic scholarships.

Students chatted with university representatives at Future Fest. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

“Most of them talked about what they need to do to come to school,” said Tammy Fonoimoana, a financial aid counselor at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. …

Two days in Manhattan, with Molokai

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Two days in Manhattan, with Molokai

Community Contributed

By Simon Mendes

MHS students with Simon Mendes, family and friends in New York. Photo courtesy of Simon Mendes.

Sunday, Oct. 5 was a day that had been on my mind since returning to the Big Apple after living on Molokai for a year. It was the day I would get to reunite with Molokai, when a group of 10th and 11th grade students and four wonderful chaperons visited New York City. When I first laid eyes on the students, I was shocked at how well they fit in, they had so flawlessly adapted to urban fashion—tight jeans, fancy shoes—they looked like New Yorkers yet!…

Strong Start for MMS Robotics  

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Strong Start for MMS Robotics   

MMS Robotics News Release

The 2014-2015 VEX IQ Robotics season has begun successfully with two regular season tournaments for Molokai Middle School (MMS) Robotics.

Photo courtesy of MMS Robotics.

The first tournament was the 2014 VIV aio Maui Fair VEX IQ Tournament held on Oct. 4 at Baldwin High.  Ten teams from Maui County competed in the VEX IQ division, including both 434M and 434K teams from Molokai.  Team 434M Menehune Farmers won the Team Excellence Award and Trophy and qualified for states.  Team 434M members were Kaitlin DeRouin, Kodie Place, and Makani Davis.

The second tournament was the 2014 aio Hawaii VEX IQ Qualifying Tournament on Nov.…

Storyteller Captivates Molokai Audience

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Storyteller Captivates Molokai Audience

Before she visited Molokai as a world-traveling, professional storyteller, Diane Ferlatte was just trying to get her son Joey interested in reading. Books couldn’t pull him away from the TV, so Ferlatte herself became the characters: a croaking frog, a gravelly voiced old woman, a hissing snake. Suddenly, Joey started to pay attention.

Diane Ferlatte taps a rhythm during one of her songs. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

“He was listening like it was live TV,” Ferlatte recalled. “I went, ‘Ohhh, I see what I have to do now.’”

Her animated character impressions have been capturing listeners’ attention ever since. Last Monday afternoon at the Molokai Public Library, Ferlatte kept keiki and kupuna riveted as she passed on tales and songs from her family, her travels and other cultures.…

Molokai Football Finishes Second in League

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Molokai Football Finishes Second in League

Running back Alden Abafo picks up a few of his 120 total yards. Photo by Matthew Thayer of The Maui News.

In the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL)’s inaugural eight-player football championship, the Farmers brought it all: pinpoint passing, a lethal running game, a hard-charging defense. In the end, however, the Spartans’ record stayed perfect, as Seabury beat Molokai 44-34 to be crowned MIL champions last Thursday. The Farmers took second place.

“I couldn’t have asked for better effort,” said Molokai head coach Mike Kahale. “How can I be disappointed? I’m disappointed in the score but not disappointed in them as a team.…

Students Get a Glimpse of the Future

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Students Get a Glimpse of the Future

MHS students at the Library of Columbia University. Photo from MHS MCCTC blog.

Thousands of miles away from the quiet streets of The Friendly Isle, Molokai High students braved crowded subways and the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City. The students experienced both the East Coast and post-high school life during a six-day tour of colleges and workplaces.

“It’s so exciting,” said junior Misty Parker at an Oct. 30 community presentation of the students’ trip. “You always have to be on your guard, because there’s just people everywhere.”

High school educator Ric Ornellas, who lived in New York for 40 years, came up with the idea to visit New York over a year ago and helped form the Molokai College Career Tour Club (MCCTC), a group focused on preparing students for higher education and the workforce.…