Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Land Trust Raising Funds for Service Learning Center

Friday, November 21st, 2014

MLT News Release

The Molokai Land Trust (MLT) is planning an exciting new Operations and Service Learning Center in Kualapu`u. To make it a reality, we need your help in funding the project. The Learning Center will provide hands-on conservation educational opportunities for the student population and interested community members on the lands MLT stewards: MLT’s Mokio and Kawaikapu Preserves and The Nature Conservancy’s Mo`omomi Preserve.

The Molokai Land Trust just launched a social media crowd-funding capital campaign on IndieGoGo.com.  The ambitious, achievable goal of $25,000 is testing the waters.  The campaign runs for only 40 days.  MLT needs your help in getting a solid start on the goal.  …

Judge Orders Hold on GE Enforcement

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

A federal judge in Honolulu has ordered a temporary hold on enforcement of the moratorium on genetically engineered crops passed by Maui County voters on Nov. 4. Last week, Monsanto and other parties filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, challenging the moratorium. Judge Barry Kurren granted Monsanto and other plaintiffs in the suit a temporary injunction until Dec. 5.

The county stated last week it was preparing to enforce the moratorium pending the Election Officer’s certification of election results, but the judge’s injunction will put a hold on enforcement until further court action.

Injunction is a court order for a party to do, or refrain from doing, specific acts.…

Featured Farmer

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Featured Farmer

HTFG Molokai News Release

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) is a statewide nonprofit organization, dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion. The Molokai Chapter is made up of members that are home gardeners, small scale farmers and interested community members who meet monthly to share ideas about promoting products, skills and agricultural opportunities.

This month’s featured farmer is Michigan-born Jamie Ronzello who runs her family-owned Barking Deer Farm off Maunaloa Highway. Years ago, her college degree focused on cultural anthropology, and she is right at home farming on Molokai with its rich history. Jamie is a super busy, young farmer who delivers her “Beyond Organic” fresh vegetables to Molokai stores and Paddlers Inn and enjoys being a beekeeper.…

County Poised to Enforce GE Moratorium, Lawsuit Expected

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

County Poised to Enforce GE Moratorium, Lawsuit Expected

Molokai agricultural land. Photo by Edwin Mendija

A highly disputed voter initiative to ban the growing of genetically engineered crops passed in Maui County in last Tuesday’s General Election by a narrow margin of 50 percent to 48 percent, with just over 800 votes’ difference.

On Molokai, all of the island’s four precincts voted no by a ratio of nearly two to one, with 63 percent voting against the moratorium and 34 percent favoring it island-wide, according to stats from Hawaii’s elections website.

The initiative calls for a moratorium until a detailed environmental impact study of the harms associated with growing genetically engineered organisms has been completed and reviewed by the County Council.…

GMO Moratorium Survey Results

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

GMO Moratorium Survey Results

The MOM Hui News Release

Out of a total of 219 Molokai residents who participated in an online survey, 109, or 49.77 percent, are in support of a moratorium (temporary suspension) of all GE operations and practices within Maui County. The moratorium would last until an environmental and public health impact study is conducted and finds the proposed cultivation practices to be safe and harmless.  Of the total survey participants, 110, or 50.23 percent, were not in favor of this bill.

Chart courtesy of Mom Hui

One of those in favor shared that, “because of their history of contamination, collusion, coercion and endless greed for capital and control, companies like Monsanto cannot be trusted, and therefore independent studies need to be conducted to insure these practices taking place on our island are safe for its inhabitants and future inhabitants.”

Another individual argued that, “the State Constitution protects the public trust.…

Farm Tax Workshop

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Kuha`o Business Center News Release

There will be a Farm Tax Workshop held Nov. 6, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Business Development Classroom.  Michael Holl will be the returning to Molokai to speak to farmers and ranchers about business taxes. This workshop will help you manage your labor, financial and legal risks. Holl, who is from Oahu, is an enrolled agent who is a federally-authorized tax practitioner, licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers.

The Molokai Farm Tax Workshop is designed to enable farmers to lower their tax liabilities by a better understanding of business deductions, tax preparation and record keeping to minimize taxes and chances of an audit, business entities for your farm, how employment laws and independent contractor requirements affect your business, and special provisions in the tax code regarding farm income averaging to significantly lower taxes resulting from “bumper” crops.…

Protecting and Managing Your Place

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Aha o Molokai and Malama Mo`omomi News Release

Hawaiians always had strict rules and regulations when it came to harvesting from the shoreline and ocean. The Kapu System was set up to protect the natural resources from misuse and to insure that the future generations had the same resources for them to survive.

Molokai’s shorelines, especially west Molokai, are dotted with fishing Ko`a and Ku`ula shrines.  The fisherman’s first catch was placed on these ahu to honor the gods of the ocean, family aumakua, and the great teacher of fishing, conservation and sharing… Ku`ula Kai.

Molokai is in the process of applying for a State Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) designation, which will help to protect Mo`omomi’s ocean and shoreline resources.  …

10 Cent Flower

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

Puakenikeni or “10 cent flower” is a popular lei flower native to the South Pacific. A common forest tree in the Cook Islands, it can reach over 50 feet tall under ideal conditions. One specimen in Pu`unui on Oahu covered the entire side of a ma and pa store. There are many South Pacific legends connected to this plant, and flowers also used to perfume coconut oil.  It makes an excellent garden shrub, imparting its alluring fragrance throughout the yard and into the home.

Puakenikeni is a fast growing plant, and is efficient in taking up nutrients if adequately watered, Light fertilizing with a 10-30-10 or 10-20-20 type fertilizer is recommended, because over-fertilizing will create vegetative growth at the expense of flowers.…

Flushing Cesspools Down the Toilet

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Hawaii relies on its cesspools more than any state in the nation, according to the Department of Health (DOH), and officials want to change that. The DOH is proposing revised rules that would prevent new cesspools from being built and require switching to septic tanks if owners sell property with a cesspool on it.

The DOH feels that “Hawaii has fallen behind all other states in eliminating cesspool pollution,” according to an informational handout that Sina Pruder, an official from the DOH’s Wastewater Branch, reviewed in a public hearing on Molokai on Oct. 10. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the construction of new cesspools in 2000, and many states have taken similar measures years earlier.…

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Photo by Edwin Mendija.

A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment.

The “vote no” campaign opposes the initiative, highlighting the hundreds of jobs on the line that could be lost in Maui County if a moratorium on growing genetically engineered (GE) crops goes through. Supporters of the initiative say they don’t want farming practices they believe are detrimental to land and people to continue without a comprehensive, independent study completed.…