Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

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.…

Tips for Cutting Electric Costs

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

For electric ratepayers looking to cut down on utility costs, options abound. Outdated air conditioning models can be upgraded for rebates. Extra refrigerators and old freezers can be sent in and recycled for cash. For Molokai residents, however, these and other options don’t always apply, explained Hawaii Energy’s Helen Wai at a workshop on Molokai last week.

“On Molokai you need two fridges and a freezer,” said Wai, Community Outreach Specialist for Hawaii Energy. “You hunt, you fish, the barge comes once a week, you go to Costco once a month. … It can be an insult for someone to say, get rid of your freezer.…

Phonebook Recycling Kicks Off

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Berry Company News Release

The Berry Company, LLC, proud publisher of the Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages, is partnering with schools on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai to launch “Think Yellow, Go Green,” the company’s annual environmental awareness and recycling campaign. The seventh annual program kicked off on Earth Day, April 22, through the end of May, and runs concurrent to the 2015 Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages directory delivery on the neighbor islands.

Local schools on each island will compete to collect the most outdated telephone directories, which will keep the directories out of landfills through recycling. The schools have the opportunity to win cash prizes for their students’ participation in the program, and award amounts vary based on the school’s location.…

Propagation Workshop

Friday, May 1st, 2015

HTFG News Release

On Saturday, May 2, Molokai is proud to host world renowned fruit expert, chef, author and filmmaker Ken Love. Learn his successful propagation techniques in grafting, air layering and seed saving, hosted by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) on Molokai. Ken travels the world to learn and teach about growing and producing unique tropical fruits and has looked for rare and exotic fruit in more than 50 countries.  He has at least 150 unusual fruit trees on his family farm in Hawaii Island.

As a chef and localvore advocate, he has a passion for introducing unusual local grown fruits into farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants with a “Buy Local” message as Hawaii producers compete with Florida, Mexico and Ecuador. …