Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Betting on Butterflies

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Betting on Butterflies

Urban development in Hawaii has left native butterflies with dwindling habitat, but on Molokai, butterflies will soon enjoy a buffet in downtown Kaunakakai. A specially-designed garden in front of the Molokai Public Library, created last week through volunteer community efforts, offers butterfly flower favorites, beauty for passersby and an agriculture education for keiki.

“Just like bees, butterflies are important for agriculture because they’re pollinators and a lot of people don’t know that,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Molokai inspector Chevy Levasa, who spearheaded the project in her free time. “There is a real problem on Oahu and… Maui because humans are building condos and taking over [butterflies’] habitat.…

Ohana By Hawaiian Starts Molokai Service March 11

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Ohana By Hawaiian Starts Molokai Service March 11

Hawaiian Airlines News Release

Tickets for Hawaii’s newest interisland operation, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian,  are now available for its long-awaited turboprop service from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Molokai Airport (MKK) and Lanai Airport (LNY) by booking online at HawaiianAirlines.com. Three daily flights to MKK will launch on Tues., March 11 and twice daily service to LNY will begin Tues. March 18. In celebration of the launch, the airline is offering a special fare of $59 each way for tickets booked through Mon., Feb. 17 for travel through April 17, 2014 to both destinations.

“As Hawaii’s first airline, this new operation anchors us to our legacy and vision to connect all of our island communities through flight, making it easier for kama`aina and visitors alike to share time together,” said Hadden Watt, managing director of ‘Ohana by Hawaiian.…

Ikehu Molokai Energy Project Update

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Mahalo to the Molokai community for your many expressions of support for the Ikehu Molokai project. Thanks also for the many comments and feedback on the project.  Among other things, we have heard concerns about impacts on the Manila Camp neighborhood if the project is located there, visual and wildlife impacts from possible wind turbines in the west end, impacts on water from use of the reservoirs.

We have also heard that the basic goals of the project are very welcome on Molokai.  These goals include rate relief, grid stability, island self-sufficiency, leaving plenty of room for more rooftop solar, and energy emergency preparedness. …

Chinese New Year with the Chungs

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Chinese New Year with the Chungs

“Kung Hee Fat Choy,” meaning “congratulate you with prosperity,” is how you say Happy New Year, said Mrs. Chung with outstretched arms, cheerfully handing festive treats and gifts to visitors.

“It is a very inspiring saying,” she said. “It reminds us how lucky we are to be Chinese and to have this tradition to observe.”

For Mrs. Chung and her husband Mel, this time of the season means good food, good company and a time to celebrate their heritage. Red and gold lanterns, banners and decorative firecrackers adorned their business, Shop 2 & Beauty Salon. Guests were welcomed with Chinese music and lucky candies, and left with knowledge in rifle history and best wishes, starting the New Year off with a bang.…

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

Feral cats living on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula have become an attribute of the settlement, welcoming visitors and providing companionship for residents by lingering around homes and community buildings. But as the numbers of ferals continue to rise, gathering in colonies of 20 to 30 cats, it creates an environmental hazard to the settlement, according to National Park Service workers.

“In the last few months, a couple people have moved out and the cat colonies [they were feeding] have been abandoned,” said Paul Hosten, a terrestrial ecologist for the National Park Service.“…The health of those cats deteriorates and so they pick up diseases, they fight, they spread illnesses like cat leukemia and the problem becomes a health concern.”

According to Hosten, the settlement has experienced flea outbreaks and odor problems in the last year.…

Hundreds Testify on GMO and Pesticide Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than 100 Molokai residents sat all day outside Molokai’s county offices last Tuesday, waiting to testify on a proposed Maui County bill aimed at regulating pesticide use and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

As currently written, the bill would establish mandatory disclosure requirements for commercial agricultural companies using certain quantities of pesticides, create buffer zones around schools, other public areas and bodies of water, and require public notification before pesticide applications. It also calls for the county to complete studies on the possible environmental and health impacts of large-scale agricultural companies that use pesticides and GMOs.

Introduced by Maui Council Member Elle Cochran, the bill resembles one passed into law on Kauai in November.…

Bill to Address Radiation Concerns

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jade Bruhjell

Hawaii, a close neighbor of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, sits poised to be further enveloped by radioactive elements brought by air and Pacific Ocean currents from Japan. Being a new sort of disaster, we find ourselves stunned and confused with conflicting reports, and after over two years, still unable to fathom how to cope with a continuing and escalating catastrophe here in our Island chain. Sea life and drinking water are two of the most affected aspects, and on Molokai, fishing is such a part of daily life that we need to think seriously about current levels of radiation.…

Power Outages Unexplainable

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Maui Electric Company representatives visited Molokai last week to discuss a series of power outages on the island over the last year and explain their cause — or rather, to call them unexplainable.

There were 16 major outages on Molokai between Jan. 6 and Dec. 22, 2013, according to Joe Kentz, manager of Maui Electric’s transmission and distribution department. Three of those, not including a fourth in January of this year, have no identifiable cause.

“We really can’t explain what’s going on,” said Kentz. “I’ve been in this industry for 43 years and I’ve always been able to find the cause of a problem… We will find cause.…

Ventures in Vanilla

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Ventures in Vanilla

Deep in one of Molokai’s lush east valleys, a translucent, arched roof frames green peaks and greener foliage as far as the eye can see.

“These are the girls!” says Patty McCartney with motherly pride, stepping through the door and glancing around fondly. She tilts her head to get a closer look at each, brushing them gently with her hand and telling them they’re beautiful and growing well.

The girls are vanilla plants, a type of orchid vine producing beans that hold one of the world’s most popular flavors and fragrances.

“I come up here and talk to them, sing to them, fertilize and pollinate them,” she says.…

Celebrating Dr. King with Gardening

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Celebrating Dr. King with Gardening

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Last Monday, Sust`ainable Molokai celebrated Martin Luther King day with a community tree planting and workday at the Sust`ainable Molokai community permaculture farm. Honoring the national day of service, we had a small gathering of community, and our FoodCorps and Americorps service members, to put in some garden work and plant some trees.

The day began as it always does at the permaculture farm: Fred Richardson, the school garden coordinator, instructed everyone to walk around the site to survey and find pollinators. He then displayed the plants and trees that we’d be planting later that day — bamboo, pineapple, milo, coconut and mango — a diverse array, fitting to celebrate Dr.…