Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

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.…

Local Author Publishes Children’s Book

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Local Author Publishes Children’s Book

 

Molokai’s Todd Yamashita has authored his first children’s book, bringing together his passions of Hawaiian culture, his two kids, environmental conservation, intergenerational relationships between keiki and kupuna, and his wife’s fishpond restoration nonprofit, Ka Honua Momona. “Uncle’s Magic Thrownet,” colorfully illustrated by Jamie Mechel Tablason in hardcover, is available for sale throughout Hawaii and on Amazon.com.

“Writing a children’s book has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Yamashita, who also owns The Molokai Dispatch newspaper. “Children’s books should be simple and fun, and especially now that I have kids of my own, it’s a unique opportunity to introduce important values and themes to the next generation.”

Uncle’s Magic Thrownet tells the story of a kupuna who throws his net for fish and a keiki who discovers all is not as it seems with uncle’s old net.…

New Molokai Beginning Farmers Program

Friday, October 17th, 2014

UH CTAHR Extension Service News Release

A new, island-wide Beginning Farmer Program will begin this month. Twice-monthly classes will be held in Ho`olehua at the UH Extension Office and at UH Maui College-Molokai Farm focused on commercial crop production. A beginning farmer is defined as one who has farmed less than 10 years.

The aging of farmers is a matter of national security. In 2010, the average age of the workforce nationwide was 37, while the average age of farmers was about 58. There’s has been a 30 percent increase in farmers over the age of 75 and a 20 percent decrease in the number of farmers under the age of 25.…

Dirt Road Gardens

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

I’d like to tell you a little story that may be of interest. About nine months ago, I tried to take a shortcut and make a vegetable garden. I used a dirt road at the edge of my farm because there was just bare dirt there, no grass or trees. I stretched a couple of irrigation tapes the length of the area I wanted (70 or 80 feet and 10 feet wide), turned it on, and let the water drip for a day and a night. Then made two ditches only three inches deep and three inches wide with a pick right at the edge of the drip tape the whole length.…

Healing of an Island

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

For 50 years beginning during World War II, the island of Kaho`olawe was rocked by bombs, dropped by the U.S. military for naval training. Hawaii residents recall hearing the explosions and feeling the ground shake as missiles left gouges in the earth. Now, after decades of protest efforts, cultural reconnection and environmental restoration, a process of healing is continuing as a strategic plan is being developed to guide Kaho`olawe’s future.

Once a spiritual and cultural center for Native Hawaiians, trespassing on Kaho`olawe was prohibited for half a century. In the early 1970s, people began questioning those laws, and in 1976, the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana (PKO) formed and filed a suit in federal court to stop the bombing.…