News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Molokai Homesteaders Gardening Program

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

UH Extension Office News Release

We will be starting a home gardening program this month for Molokai Hawaiian homesteaders. The purpose of this workshop series is to encourage homesteaders to grow their own vegetables and herbs, thereby increasing access to fresh, nutritious food. This program is open to both agricultural and residential homesteaders on Molokai, but you must have access to water on your homestead lot.

The program will focus on twice-monthly instruction, including hands-on field demonstrations in setting up and maintaining a 20 by 20-foot ground-based garden, and classroom study. Classes will be taught at a learning level for both homesteaders who haven’t previously grown a garden, as well as those presently tending a garden.…

Banana Root Borer: Spreading the Aloha

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Banana Root Borer: Spreading the Aloha

Community Contributed

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

The Banana Root Borer is one of the most destructive insects of banana, and was brought to Molokai in the mid-1980s with Dwarf Apple Banana planting material from a quarantined area in Waimanalo. First at the Molokai Agricultural Park, corms were shared with residents and before long, it spread through most of the island.

Large whitish grubs or larvae of the Banana Root Borer cause extensive damage by boring holes through the corm, affecting plant vigor, stunting, and early death of plants. The adult Banana Root Borer is a black beetle about ½ inch in length, with a large curved snout.…

Join Discussions of the 2026 Strategic Plan for Kanaloa Kaho`olawe on Tuesday

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

I Ola Kanaloa News Release

I Ola Kanaloa! Life to Kanaloa! Community gatherings are being organized throughout the islands to premier a new film about the island of Kanaloa Kaho’olawe and launch discussions about the Draft 2026 Strategic Plan for Kanaloa called “I Ola Kanaloa!”

The 30-minute film about the island of Kanaloa Kaho’olawe is part of and eight part series called Standing On Sacred Ground by filmmaker Toby McLeod. The overall series tells eight distinct stories from the viewpoints of diverse indigenous communities — stories that evoke ancient and contemporary spiritual connections to earth, while exploring how the health of our global environment can be sustained through respectful understanding of the sacred lands and traditions of these native peoples.…

Kawela Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Kawela Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Photo by Bianca Moragne.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) celebrated the completion of the Kawela Stream Bridge Replacement Project last Wednesday with a dedication ceremony on Molokai’s Kamehameha V Highway.

State-contracted construction company Goodfellow Bros., Inc. Assistant Regional Manager Todd Svetin said he pursued a career in construction for the sense of pride he feels when a project, like the replacement of the Kawela Bridge, is completed.

“Everyone involved in this project should feel that same pride,” Svetin said. “…I’d like to thank the Molokai residents and neighboring property owners for their patience during the construction.”

According to the DOT, the $6 million project replaced the original bridge, constructed in 1940, with a new bridge that meets modern standards.…

Keeping an Eye on the Algae

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Keeping an Eye on the Algae

DNLR staff documented gorilla ogo growth along Molokai’s south shore during a Sept. 4 visit. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

On a fishing trip along Molokai’s south shore in late July, fisherman Clay Ching noticed something strange. Huge masses of thick seaweed blanketed the shallow flats near Coconut Grove, protruding from the surface and covering hundreds of square yards in several large patches. As owner of local charter fishing company Hallelujah Hou Fishing and having spent decades trolling the area, Ching called it “epic proportions of growth” and said he’d never seen anything like it.

The algae invasion concerned him so much that he notified the Department of Land and Natural Resource (DLNR)’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).…

Learning Tech Together

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Learning Tech Together

Sixth graders build solar-powered cars in class during the Tech Together program. Photos by Bianca Moragne.

Huddled outside in the hot sun, Kaunakakai Elementary sixth grade students raced solar-powered toy cars that they built in the classroom as part of the two-week Tech Together: Ka Ulu Ana Program.

Tech Together is a 10-day in-class program that delivers science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, to sixth grade students statewide through stimulation and interactive activities. Three Molokai schools, Kaunakakai, Kualapu`u and Kilohana, participated in the program this year with a curriculum focused on renewable and non-renewable energy technology, sustainability and the correlation between Hawaii culture and energy needs, said Vaito`i Tuala, Trainer Two, or lead classroom instructor, when she visited Molokai two weeks ago.…

Soil and Groundwater Testing for Petroleum

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Proposed environmental soil and groundwater testing near the wharf in Kaunakakai will take place next year to assess levels of petroleum from historic leaks. The routine testing will be performed by Chevron Environmental Management Company (CEMC) and includes evaluating the facility currently owned by Island Petroleum, Inc., and the surrounding area where their terminal is located.

“Over the years, releases of petroleum have occurred which is not uncommon in industrial areas,” said CEMC Project Manager Karl Bewley.

According to Bewley, the work CEMC will perform is a standard approach to determine if there are environmental impacts resulting from past and current petroleum terminal operations. …

Cultivating a Food Network

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Like much of the state, Molokai imports most of the food found in its grocery stores, restaurants and schools — about 98 percent. Many Molokai residents are ready for a change and want more locally-grown foods available. That was the message received Wednesday night at Sust`aina ble Molokai’s Food Hub meeting.

Based on the Agricultural Needs Assessment survey conducted by Sust`aina ble Molokai in 2012, 90 percent of residents surveyed said they prefer to buy Molokai-grown food products, and 98 percent answered, “Yes, I would eat more local food if it was available.”

There’s a solution to that demand, said Sust`ainable Molokai Food Hub Coordinator Harmonee Williams.…

Chinese Rose Beetles: A Life in the Dark

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

The Chinese Rose Beetle, Odoretus sinicus, is one of the most insidious and troublesome garden and yard pests due its wide host range. It can feed on over 250 species of plants, including taro, beans, corn, eggplant, okra, banana, cacao, ohia lehua, heliconia, and roses. First reported in Hawaii in 1891, the Chinese Rose Beetle is found throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Due to our strange weather this summer, we’ve been having more than our share of Chinese Rose Beetles. Its signature holes in leaves looks like someone took a buckshot to your plants, and its damage can stunt and even kill plants.…

Molokai Flood Zone Changes Presented on Monday

Friday, September 5th, 2014

County of Maui News Release

Important information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs) will be highlighted at public meetings being held on Molokai Monday, Sept. 8. The meeting is from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands, with a presentation at 3 p.m.

For Molokai, the revised DFIRMs reflect the integration of the 2008 statewide hurricane study, which affects properties on the south shore of Molokai, as well as the decertification of the Kaunakakai levee system.

Personnel from FEMA, the County of Maui and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will provide a short presentation and take questions on the new flood maps and insurance ramifications.…