Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

The Western Yellow Jacket

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn Teves, Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

Over 25 years ago, we encountered a swarm of some vicious Yellow Jackets at Forest Camp. Later, as we ate lunch of venison and rice, they started landing and feeding on the venison. I knew this wasn’t just any old Yellow Jacket; this was the notorious Western Yellow Jacket. Yellow Jackets are wasps, and have a predatory and also a scavenging habit and will feed on many insects, including plant-eating insects and nuisance flies around house and garden. However, they become a major threat when they attack humans, good insects and animals, including Hawaii’s native species.…

Kawela Bridge Project Completion

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Kawela Bridge Project Completion

Photo by Bianca Moragne.

There’s good news for drivers who live on the east end as well as residents of the Kawela area: construction on the Kawela Bridge is finally complete.

The former, 70-year-old bridge was deteriorating, and a $6 million construction project began back in 2012 to remove the original bridge and replace it with what you see today.

The old bridge, constructed around 1940, was clogged with stream deposits which impeded the flow of water below the deck, resulting in flooding in neighboring properties, said Project Engineer at Goodfellow Bros., Inc., Clayton Morrell.

Goodfellow Bros., Inc was contracted to remove the old bridge and build a new one in its place with a capacity to handle high volumes of water to pass beneath the roadway and remove stream deposit buildup that migrates down, Morrell said.…

Molokai Food Hub Meeting

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust`aina ble Molokai will host a meeting for island farmers and food producers on Wednesday, Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the High School Cafeteria.  The primary purpose of the meeting is to determine if our farmers can (and want) to supply Maunaloa Elementary School’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) with locally grown fruits and veggies.  There will also be discussion on connecting our island farmers with other consumers, including stores and restaurants.

Sust`aina ble Molokai is currently in the process of developing a Molokai Food Hub, which is meant to serve as an on-island distribution center, as well as a resource center for farmers. …

Mobilizing to Cleanup the Beach

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Mobilizing to Cleanup the Beach

Photos by Bianca Moragne.

About one hundred volunteers walked along Mo`omomi’s coastline with large black and tan canvas bags, sifting through the sand and picking up marine debris that washed up on shore. Fast-food takeout containers and cups, tires and even a propane tank littered the area. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s (SCH) beach cleanup brought volunteers together to do something about the trash last Saturday.

About 7,000 pounds of plastic shards, rope, nets, bottles, wrappers and other trash was removed from Mo`omomi Beach thanks to hard work from the Molokai community, said SCH Executive Director, Kahi Pacarro.

“We’re here because we love the beaches and want to keep them clean,” Pacarro said.…

Many Shades of Orange

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Community Contributed

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

Citrus is a family of closely related species, most of which can cross with each other to create new varieties. The main citrus species include Tachibana Orange, Lemon, Mandarin or Tangerine, Indian Wild Orange, Pummelo, Sweet Orange, Sour Orange, and Grapefruit. Grapefruit is believed to be a natural hybrid between pummelo and sweet orange discovered in the Caribbean. The Sweet Orange is among the most popular citrus, including the common or blonde orange, the sugar orange, the blood orange and the navel orange. Crosses between species have created tangelo, tangor, tantangelo, lemandarine, calamondin, and many others.…

Beautiful and Dangerous

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Beautiful and Dangerous

Some plants growing in your garden may be beautiful, but as invasive species, threaten native vegetation and could potentially lead to damage of native forests. Such is the case for Kahili Ginger, a species of decorative plant that local experts say is coveted for its large flowers but in fact is highly invasive.

“If it gets out of control [in a garden] and into the natives forests, we can lose thousands of acres of forests [as seen on other islands],” said Lance De Silva, forest management supervisor for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife on Maui, who regularly comes to Molokai to assist with invasive species control.…

Molokai Unscathed by Double Header Storm

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

As two hurricanes headed for Hawaii last week in a historic double threat, Molokai residents joined the state in launching into preparation mode. Schools and businesses closed, Red Cross shelters opened and families scrambled to stock up with food and water. While Molokai escaped relatively unscathed, other parts of the state were not so protected. Hawaii Island, where tropical cyclone Iselle made landfall Thursday night, as well as Maui, received significant damages.

At its strongest, Iselle was a Category Four hurricane clocking 140 miles per hour sustained winds across the Pacific. By the time it hit Hawaii Island late Thursday, it had downgraded to a tropical storm.…

Hazmat Training Brings Home Local Boy

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Hazmat Training Brings Home Local Boy

Photo by Rick Schonely.

Community Contributed

By David Lichtenstein

For Kimo Puailihau, giving back to Molokai means helping his home island better prepare for a potential hazardous materials emergency.

Puailihau — a 2001 Molokai High School graduate — has returned annually to Molokai for the past five years as a training coordinator with the 93rd Civil Support Team (CST) of the Hawaii National Guard. His team helps Molokai’s first responders get ready for the worst-case “what if” scenarios involving hazardous materials.

Whether the threat is chemical, biological or radiological, Puailihau and his team are ready to respond. When a strange chemical or other unknown material is found, first responders on Molokai will call the Hazmat 10 Team on Maui.…

Electric Co. Proposes Demand Response Program

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Hawaiian Electric News Release

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are proposing a portfolio of programs to provide customers more options for saving on their electric bills while supporting the adoption of more clean energy, reducing the use of more expensive fossil-fueled generation and relieving stress on the electric grid.

The programs are outlined in the utilities’ Integrated Demand Response Portfolio Plan filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently.

The plan lays out new and enhanced “demand response” programs for residential, commercial, industrial and water pumping customers. Under the programs, customers receive financial incentives for shifting energy use to certain times of the day or voluntarily allowing the output of certain appliances or equipment to be adjusted if necessary to help maintain reliable service for our island grids.…

Like a Grasshopper

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Community Contributed

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

In the popular television show, “Kung Fu,” Master Po refers to his student as “Grasshopper,” a term of endearment for one who is young, has a lot to learn, and whose mind jumps around “like a grasshopper.”

We probably have to more to learn from the grasshopper than he can learn from us. Few other insects have caused greater direct loss to crops worldwide than have grasshoppers. From ancient times to now, grasshoppers have caused the death through famine of millions of human beings. Damage is worse in areas with low rainfall when food is sparse.…