Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Rebuilding a Tradition

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Rebuilding a Tradition

When Sheldon Wright builds walls, his main focus is to listen. He hefts a rock in his hands, flips it, spins it, lets it fall and hears the clack as it hits the stack of rocks in front of him. To construct walls the way Wright does—the same way ancient Hawaiians did hundreds of years ago—he has to tune into the tools of his trade.

“The rocks speak to me,” said Wright. “They tell me where they want to go.”

Wright fashions the beginnings of a dry stack wall outside Madsen’s home. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Wright is carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of dry stack masonry in which the rocks are placed in an interlocking fashion that requires no mortar, he said.…

Financial Woes May Suspend Ferry Route

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Financial Woes May Suspend Ferry Route

Photos by Catherine Cluett

In the face of falling ridership, the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC) is planning to suspend the Molokai Ferry’s daily round trip between Molokai and Maui, pending approval from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), according to the company’s President and Senior Captain David Jung.

“What’s happening with the ferry right now, is that we’re hemorrhaging money because of low ridership,” said Jung. “We’re trying to come up with a solution right now, but in the meantime we [plan] to cut back one trip a day. It’s better to have reduced service than no service.”

The route, which departs from Kaunakakai Harbor at 5:15 a.m.…

Bright Ideas for Saving Energy

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Maya Lima and Gaby Miguel, Kilohana sixth graders

Did you know that you can save a lot of energy and money by simply flicking off a light?   On Feb. 18, Kilohana School held an Energy Expo for their school community.   At the expo, Kilohana’s fifth and sixth graders gave presentations on how to save energy and money at home.  Parents and students walked from station to station to learn about energy conservation.

One of the student presenters, Gabrielle Miguel told audience members, “One cool way to save energy is to wash your clothes with cold water and buy Energy Star appliances.”  According to Miguel, washing clothes in cold water can save a family more than $63 a year.…

Season’s First Pup

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Season’s First Pup

Photo by Sly Lee, Marine Bio.Tech, National Parks Service, Kalaupapa

This black-coated baby is the first Hawaiian monk seal of the season born on Papaloa Beach, Kalaupapa last week.  Researchers don’t yet know whether it’s a boy or a girl. The mother, named RV06 by scientists, was also born in Kalaupapa in 2005, said Diane Pike, Molokai response coordinator for the Monk Seal Foundation.

Last year, RV06’s pup died after three days, but so far this year, mother and pup seem to be doing fine, Pike said.

Hawaiian monk seals are highly endangered, with only about 1,100 individuals alive today. Scientists believe the Hawaiian monk seal, along with the Hoary Bat, are the only two species of mammals indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands.…

Man Camp Called Off

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

When California resident Bryce Anderson visited Molokai in February, he thought it was the perfect place to get away from the city.

Anderson runs a company called Man Skills Academy (MANSA), a San Francisco-based organization built on developing men’s real-life skills and social relatability that Anderson feels are lost to technology. Wanting to hold a back-to-the-basics nature retreat for MANSA, Anderson created Man Camp Molokai and began promoting the island and the event to group members.

“Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the coolest island in the entire world??!” he posted on the social planning site meetup.com.…

Molokai Wildfire Protection Plan

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization News Release

The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, in collaboration with the Molokai Fire Task Force, will hold community input meetings to help develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for Molokai.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kulana `Oiwi.

Wildfires have great impacts on Molokai residents and natural resources, affecting daily life like road closures, evacuations, post-fire flooding and tax payer dollars. Fires affect human health and safety, such as creating dust and smoke, impacting water quality and resident and firefighter safety. They also affect the ecosystem including watersheds, forests, coral reefs and fisheries.…

Agroforestry Workshop

Friday, March 13th, 2015

UH CTAHR News Release

What is Agroforestry? Combining agriculture and forestry is nothing new, and has been practiced for centuries by the ancients, who practiced growing plants vital to their survival in forests while also enhancing what was already there. The Hawaiian garden is one example, with trees and plants that serve our food, fiber, medicinal, cultural, and construction needs in a sustainable system that continues to feed itself, including us.

March 21 is the first day of spring, and what better way to celebrate this special day than to learn about agroforestry concepts and applications on Molokai. Speakers include Craig Elevitch, Alton Arakaki, Fred Richardson, and another off-island speaker.…

Become a FoodCorps Member

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

FoodCorps is currently recruiting service members throughout Hawaii who are passionate about teaching children what healthy food is, where it comes from, and expanding hands-on nutrition education programs. This includes Sust`aina ble Molokai, which is recruiting for new service members to serve on Molokai at our island schools.  The deadline to apply for the 2015–2016 school year is March 31.

FoodCorps is a national organization addressing childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, and currently operates in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Through its partnership with AmeriCorps, FoodCorps recruits, trains, and places emerging leaders, known as service members, into limited-resource communities for a year of service.…

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.…

Understanding Soils Workshop

Friday, February 20th, 2015

UH CTAHR release

Hawaii has more than 140 different soil types, the most diverse of anywhere on the planet. Each soil is managed differently and responds to different nutrients and amendments. The formation of soil is influenced by temperature, rainfall, slope, and also age and content of the parent material from which the soil is formed. Volcanic eruptions are all unique in what types of soil it will create over time, some very rich in nutrients and others devoid of key nutrients. Having this knowledge your unique soil will help farmer and gardener better manage their soil for optimal growth of food, utility and ornamental plants.…