Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Have you seen the `A`O?

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Have you seen the `A`O?

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young

`A`O or Hawaiian shearwater, courtesy Michael Walther, Oahu Nature Tours.

Recent observations of the endangered `A`O on Molokai suggest that this endangered species probably nests in remote areas on Molokai. Once known to nest on the steep slopes of the north shore and fern-covered forested areas, since 1906, this seabird has only been heard or seen in 1979, 1988, 1995 and 2009, with a single individual found grounded at One Ali`i Park three times between 2014 and 2015.  The `A`O or Hawaiian shearwater (Newell’s shearwater, Puffinus auricularis newelli), is a small black and white seabird measuring about a foot in length and with a wing span of almost three feet.…

Albizzia, Friend or Foe

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

The first introduction of plants to Hawaii started with the arrival of Polynesians, who brought important food and utility plants to their new home. I remember noted Hawaiian botanist Isabella Abbott calling kukui an invasive species because it displaced many natives in valleys and mountainsides.

Over the last 240 years, thousands of plant species were introduced to create new economic opportunities as a western capitalist system replaced an ancient self-sufficient system. Today, most of the vegetation found below 2,000 feet, with the exception of a few isolated coastal systems, is introduced.…

Molokai Getaway Package

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 Makani Kai News Release

Hotel Molokai, in conjunction with Makani Kai Air and Molokai Car Rental is now offering an “Escape to Molokai” combination package. The package includes two nights’ stay at the Hotel Molokai, round trip airfare for two to Molokai from either Honolulu or Kahului, and a two-day car rental from Molokai Car Rental, all for $489, taxes and fees included.

“This combination package makes travel to our island affordable,” said Michael Drew, General Manager of Hotel Molokai. “We’re happy to do what we can to encourage Hawaii residents to come to Molokai and enjoy the open spaces and unspoiled environment.”

Although the package will be available from both Oahu and Maui, Makani Kai Air will not commence service between Molokai and Kahului until Monday, June 1.…

Ikehu Molokai Meetings

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

The Ikehu Molokai planning team is excited to be returning to Molokai and hope that you can attend an Ikehu Molokai renewable energy project community meeting. Community meetings are scheduled for the week of May 24.  The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, May 23, 3 to 4 p.m. Manae Goods & Grindz (at the picnic table), informal discussion Tuesday, May 26, 6 to 8 p.m. Kilohana Community Center Wednesday, May 27, 6 to 8 p.m. Maunaloa Community Center Thursday, May 28, 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Kalanianaole Hall Friday, May 29, 11 a.m.…

The Secret Lives of Monk Seals

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The Secret Lives of Monk Seals

Scientists scan the beach for seals. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

A year and a half ago, scientists and community members wanting to learn more about endangered Hawaiian monk seals decided to try a new method of observation. Instead of continuing to speculate and make assumptions about the life and habits of monk seals – much of which happens under water – they decided to record it on video. Attaching satellite trackers and cameras known as “critter cams” to the backs of seals allows biologists, students and the public to gain insight into the largely obscured life of this endemic sea mammal.…

Two Islands, One Goal

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Two Islands, One Goal

Hanohano Naehu (far left, in yellow) gives the Rapa Nui visitors a tour of the spring bordering the fishpond. Photo by Clare Mawae.

On a bright and breezy Thursday morning, two men from different parts of the world knelt over a pile of freshly netted weke. One was a Molokai born-and-raised fishpond keeper, the other, a Spanish-speaking Rapa Nui fisherman, each knowing just a few words of the other’s native tongue. Under a shady tree, they pulled out knife and fork and began scraping translucent scales from the fish in the same methodical style. Neither could say very much to each other, but they spoke the common language of men whose livelihoods revolve around fish.…

Study Alternatives for New Electric Utility Model

Friday, May 15th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced today it has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study the options available for a new electric utility model.

The $30,000 analysis is in response to the County’s concerns about the looming NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger before the Public Utilities Commission, and how it may affect area residents and businesses. The study will look at alternative forms of ownership and the alternative utility business models for Maui County’s electric utility company.

“We must look at our options, but to do that and have a constructive conversation about the matter we need more information,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.…

Renewable Energy Project Update

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Aloha to the Molokai community!  The Ikehu Molokai project is intended to convert Molokai to renewable energy, while lowering costs and stabilizing the electric grid.  We presented the project to many community groups last year and were pleased that so many Molokai people supported it. Our vision for the project has always tried to reflect the sentiments and values embraced and expressed by the residents for a healthy, sustainable, and energy independent island.

Over the past few months, the Ikehu Molokai team has been working on the design, engineering, and financing of the Ikehu Molokai project. Our recent progress includes the following highlights:

The costs are coming in better than expected, meaning more rate relief for Molokai residents and businesses.…

Committee Considers Ferry Subsidy

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Possible financial aid is in sight for the Molokai ferry, whose recent losses in ridership and funds have forced company president David Jung to consider a shutdown as early as June.

On May 15, the county’s Budget and Finance Committee will discuss a bill in which Mayor Alan Arakawa has proposed a $105,000 subsidy for the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF) and apply to the 2015 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“The ferry throughout the year has seen a decrease in ridership as hard times have come to Molokai,” said Jung, testifying at the county council’s May 7 meeting.…

Grassroots Benefit Concert

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Grassroots Benefit Concert

Mama-T and Tubby Love were some of the night’s performers. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Last Saturday’s third annual Grassroots Benefit Concert at Duke Maliu Park celebrated homegrown, all-natural products –and the creatures that make it possible. The event’s message was “Mahalo i Na Halihali `Ehu Pua,” which means Thank You to the Pollinators, and highlighted the need to protect pollen-carrying creatures like butterflies and bees.

“Pollinators are vital to growing food, and we want to just bring that issue to light,” said Mercy Ritte, one of the event organizers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Pathologist Matthew Goo said that butterflies face the predatory challenges of spiders, wasps, lizards and in particular, the bulbul bird.…