Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Panel Speaks on GMOs and Biotech

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Panel Speaks on GMOs and Biotech

Agriculture and food sustainability is a growing interest in the community and as technologies change, varied practices lead to clashing opinions on the best agriculture methods and safety. To address some of the latest controversial topics in the industry, the Molokai Farm Bureau hosted a presentation last Tuesday, led by three independent experts in ag technology. They answered questions and provided educational outreach to the community advocating scientific advances in biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“A lot of what’s going on in agriculture right now is because somehow the technology and communication have not synced,” said Mae Nakahata, an agronomist at Hawaii Commercial and Sugar Company on Maui, secretary of the Hawaii Farm Bureau and vice president of the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation.…

Welcoming FoodCorps Hawaii

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Welcoming FoodCorps Hawaii

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

This past Friday, March 14, Sust`ainable Molokai welcomed the FoodCorps Hawaii state team to Molokai. The team consists of eight service members, with five from Hawaii Island: Jane Lee serving at Kohala Elementary, Julia Nemoto at Mala`ai Garden, Jessica Sobocinski at Honaunau Elementary, Kalu Oyama at Na`alehu Elementary and Leina`ala Kealoha at Kua O Ka La Public Charter Schools. Additionally, Tasia Yamamura is serving at Ma`o farms on Oahu and here on Molokai, Lacey Phifer and Simon Mendes are our service members. The state fellow is Amelia Pedini, and our host site leader from the Kohala Center is Nancy Redfeather.…

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

As Hawaiian Airlines officially launched its new service, `Ohana by Hawaiian, to Molokai last week, hundreds of residents and officials celebrated an occasion that for many, felt like a homecoming for the company.

“Molokai has been part of our ohana for the last 85 years,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines (HA) president and CEO. “For the last 10 years, we have not been able to operate here, but every single one of those days in between we’ve been working on plans to bring this wonderful day to fruition. It’s great to be back and have had such tremendous support from this community.”

Under sunny skies, a crowd turned out to welcome the aircraft, greeting its arrival with oli and lei from Molokai residents preschool-aged through kupuna.…

Molokai USDA Employee Awarded

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Molokai USDA Employee Awarded

Hawaii Invasive Species Council News Release

During Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness week that started on Monday, March 3, Molokai U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Chevalier “Chevy” Levasa was recognized as the Maui Nui MVP for 2014. State representatives and senators presented a variety of awards to those who lead the fight against invasive species, including 2013 Community Hero, 2013 Hottest Hotline Report to 643-PEST, 2013 Business Leader, Greatest Hit of 2013 and MVPS’s from each county in the state. Declaring that “invasive species pose the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s health, environment, economy, and people” Governor Neil Abercrombie praised the award recipients for their dedication to protecting Hawaii.…

Red Cross Volunteer Honored

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Molokai’s Lester Keanini has traveled across the country, dedicated thousands of volunteer hours and even moved to Maui — all to support the Red Cross. For this dedication, he was recently awarded the honor of Maui County Volunteer of the Year.

The award is based on nominations, said Michele Liberty, Red Cross Maui director, and Keanini got the most nominations. Final selection was made by the Maui Advisory Council. March is Red Cross month, and Liberty said it’s also a time to honor the organization’s many volunteers — and “Lester’s humble humanitarian, spirit embodies that of the Red Cross mission.”

For the past year, she said, Keanini’s been volunteering every day, full time, at Maui Red Cross office.…

Energy Education with Big Goals

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Energy Education with Big Goals

Molokai High junior Sarah Jenkins hopes that her senior project will take an island-wide trend of energy awareness and conservation to the next level. She said she thinks teaching Molokai’s youth about energy literacy is a good place to start, and on March 1, teachers from around the island participated in an energy education workshop with that very goal.

In a series of workshops offered statewide in collaboration between Hawaii Energy, a ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, and National Energy Education Development (NEED), nearly 20 Molokai teachers from elementary through high school levels learned how to better educate their students on energy topics.…

Unusual Rains Make Changes

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

So far we’ve had two months of on-going small rains without dry periods. Amazing changes now going on along Maunaloa Highway, trees and grasses are growing like crazy! But on closer look, the older trees in people’s yards are flowering and fruiting with abundance. People that have avocados are estimating their harvest in the hundreds of pounds per tree.

Mushrooms are growing in the dead wood and even here and there beneath the grass. Insects are swarming, going through the screens and aiming for the sink and the light bulbs. We see this all the time in years when the winter rains are good, but never like this!…

Winter Blues

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Winter Blues

Community Contributed

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

Because Hawaii is located on the northern edge of the tropics, winters are much colder here than in tropical areas, and is considered sub-tropical. What does that mean for tropical plants? The word “tropical” evoke visions of hot, steamy jungles, but there are also dry, high elevation areas.

The climate in which each plant species originated from usually determines how they will respond to cold winters. Avocado originated in three different climates in and near Central America, including West Indies, Guatemala and Mexico. Mexican avocado do well in the cooler California climate, while the Guatemala and West Indies varieties do better in Hawaii.…

Be Fire Safe: Brush Removal

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Richard Schonely, Fire Inspector

Recent heavy rains have created new brush growth. Check your house or lot now and take steps to protect your property from fire hazards.

The Department of Fire and Public Safety asks property owners to make sure their land is in compliance with the Uniform Fire Code pertaining to brush as adopted by the County of Maui. Fire personnel will be inspecting parcels yearly throughout Molokai.

Visit the nearest fire station to pick up a brochure on how the parcel should be maintained. You can also visit firewise.org to get tips on making your home safe from a brush fire.…

Facts Lacking in West Molokai Plane Crash

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The crash of a small plane on Molokai’s west end on Thursday, Feb. 27 went unreported for days, and information on the event is still missing. Last week, authorities identified the pilot as John Weiser, Jr., owner of Panda Ranch and grass air strip in the Papohaku area.

Weiser was flying a twin-engine Partenavia P68 Observer, reportedly at night, but it is currently unknown whether the crash occurred during take-off or landing, according to Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pacific Division public affairs manager. A man who found the damaged aircraft reported it to the FAA on Saturday, March 1.…