Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Eggs of the Earth

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Community Contributed 

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

Squash has been referred to as “eggs of the earth” and was domesticated before corn and beans, over 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. It’s native to a broad area from the southern U.S. to South America, and was cultivated by Native Americans.

Categorized either as summer or winter squash, summer squash are varieties eaten when fruit and seeds are immature, such as zucchini, crookneck, patty, scallop, and others, while winter squash are those eaten when the shell is hardened and seed is fully matured. Some squash are grown for their high protein seeds, including the Japanese variety, Kakai.…

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract. Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides.

“More than once Richard Schuman always tells me, ‘if anything goes wrong in Kalaupapa, you call me and I will come there myself and pick up the people.’ That’s the kind of person he is,” said patient resident Gloria Marks at a community meeting at Kalaupapa’s McVeigh Hall last Tuesday.…

2014 Molokai Earth Day

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Nature Conservancy Molokai News Release

Celebrate the environment and malama aina at the 22nd annual Molokai Earth Day this year on April 18. Come learn from conservation exhibits that bring awareness to our natural resources and what environmental organizations, agencies and local groups are doing to preserve it. Enjoy entrainment, including Moana’s Hula Halau and MoBettah Band, and local food vendors during this grass roots, family-oriented event from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Kaunakakai Ball Field.

An annual event theme is developed by the Earth Day committee and local cultural experts.  The 2014 theme is, “He Wa`a He Moku, He Moku He Wa`a; Your canoe is like an island, an island is like your canoe.”  The theme describes how your canoe, like your island is surrounded by water, isolated and with limited resources. …

Pilot Explains West Molokai Accident

Monday, April 14th, 2014

For John Weiser, the pilot whose plane crashed on his west Molokai airstrip on Feb. 27, it was a 1 in 10,000 accident.

“I must have landed on this airstrip more than 10,000 times in the last 30 years with no trouble,” he said, adding that he has more than 20,000 pilot hours logged. “When I came in to land that day, I was off-center. I should have turned around and come back, but instead, I did the turn and when I rolled out, I was in the trees.”

Weiser said his private grass airstrip on his Papohaku property has runway lights, and though some are out, he still lands at night, as he did on Feb.…

Tagging Kioea: Learning about Molokai’s Rare Shorebirds

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Tagging Kioea: Learning about Molokai’s Rare Shorebirds

Wildlife biologist Dan Ruthrauff stood for 12 hours in Kaunakakai’s Koheo Wetland — blinded by wind and blowing sand — waiting for one of the world’s rarest shorebirds to show up. In his hand, he held a string that, when pulled, would harmlessly close a net over an unsuspecting bristle-thighed curlew — a pencil-legged, long-beaked, speckled brown bird known in Hawaii as the kioea.

Ruthrauff, a biologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the Alaska Science Center, was one of three wildlife scientists waiting patiently to capture kioea last week. Their goal was to place color-coded tags on their legs, along with geolocators that will provide tracking data on the birds’ migration routes between Alaska and the Pacific Islands, before gently releasing the birds.…

Molokai Says Goodbye to Island Air

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Molokai Says Goodbye to Island Air

On April 1, Island Air took off from Molokai for the last time after the company announced last month that it would end its service to the island. Terry Cole is an air traffic controller on Molokai and snapped this shot from the tower.

“There were quite a few cars parked on the hill waving goodbye, and the pilot expressed his sadness about not coming back,” she said.

Island Air CEO Paul Casey told the Dispatch that the company waited until it was “sure that the residents of Molokai had adequate service” before deciding to “redeploy our aircraft to another route that needs more capacity.”

Island Air had eight full-time and seven part-time employees based on Molokai, the longest of whom has worked for the company more than 25 years, according to Casey.…

Rhinoceros Beetle Huge Threat

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

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

It moved around undetected for almost two years before it was found through a routine survey by University of Hawaii and USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-PPQ) officials. The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) is one of the largest beetles to invade Hawaii and was discovered in an area surrounding Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. By that time, it was found in a one mile radius around the base. Red flags were raised in 2007 when it was first found in Guam, an island half the size of Molokai where a major U.S.…

The Importance of the ‘Aha Moku System

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

Opinion by members of the Kawela Moku

This represents individual mana`o from members of the Kawela Moku, and is not intended to speak for the Aha Kiole as a whole.

Hawaii Mowat on historical perspective

In the past century, the health of Hawaii’s ecosystem has severely declined. With the change of powers, came the change of the way we did things in Hawaii. Agriculture, development, invasive species, etc. has wreaked havoc on Hawaii’s natural resources and it seems as if the western way of land management does not work for Hawaii so the ancient yet sophisticated system must be revived.…

Molokai’s Champion of Change

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Molokai’s Champion of Change

Jon Brito calls the summer he decided to take a break from pursuing his Bachelor’s degree a defining moment in his life. That was when he solidified his passion for conservation and natural resource management — a passion that’s now landed him a national honor. The 24-year-old from Molokai has been selected as one of the White House’s Champions of Change that recognizes those around the country who engage the next generation of conservation stewards — and one of only two youth leaders to be awarded.

“Jon’s commitment to the environment and his selfless mission to protect Hawai’i’s precious land and culture is inspiring,” said U.S.…

Low Chill Temperate Fruits

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Low Chill Temperate Fruits

Community Contributed

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

Low-chill fruits are temperate fruit varieties developed for warmer conditions, such as parts of Florida and California, but many will set fruit even in the cooler parts of Hawaii. Varieties requiring 100 to 200 chill hours are the best bet in Hoolehua, while others up to 300 chill hours may fruit in Kalae and Maunaloa.

Breeders in Israel have developed low-chill apples, including Anna, a variety resembling Red Delicious. Dorsett Golden, resembling Golden Delicious, is from a seedling found in the Bahamas. A recent University of Florida development is the TropicSweet apple.…