Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Facing Climate Change, Part I

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Emillia Noordhoek

Editor’s Note: Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust`ainable Molokai, traveled to Europe to attend the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year. This is the first in a three-part series about the Panel’s conclusions and how global climate change will affect Molokai and the world.

Climate change is real. Experts predict that oceans will acidify, killing the coral reef and everything that has a shell. This will create global hunger, and be especially devastating for Molokai, where we rely heavily on subsistence fishing. Climate departure will happen sooner in tropics than any place else — as soon as 2020 — manifesting as increased storms, tsunamis and hurricanes, also causing flooding, erosion and runoff.…

Small Changes for Better Electric Service

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Small Changes for Better Electric Service

At Molokai’s Maui Electric Pala`au Power Plant, there’s a room filled with panels of switches, dials and screens. There, an operator who works 24/7, keeping Molokai’s lights on. There’s a constant hum inside the control room from the plant’s 13 huge diesel generators.

“We’re attuned to this noise,” said electrician Brian Tachibana. “If it changes at all, these guys will pick it up.”

Slight changes in frequency could mean a drop or surge in power, which require minute adjustments in settings by the operator.

They also watch the clocks – not so they can tell when their eight-hour shift is up, but as a way to monitor the frequency being generated.…

Panel Speaks Against Pesticides

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Agriculture in the United States uses millions of pounds of pesticides and herbicides per year. About 80,000,000 pounds of atrazine, a widely used herbicide found in many U.S. water sources, is sprayed on crops annually. At the same time, some male frogs are “feminizing” –producing eggs instead of sperm, and agricultural chemicals are the blame, according to Dr. Tyrone Hayes.

Hayes, University of California Berkeley Professor of Integrative Biology, presented a lecture to address the effects of agricultural chemicals on hormones as part of a five-island speaking tour on Molokai, May 16. Hayes was joined by food advocates Maui District Health Officer Dr.…

Energy Assistance Program

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

MEO Molokai News Release

June is the only month that the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program is offered and MEO Molokai will be taking applications June 2-30, Monday through Fridays except on June 11.  We ask that if anyone is interested to please pick up a brochure that is posted in town or at MEO office at the end of Kolapa Place.

Give us a call at 553-3216 to make an appointment and please gather all your required documents before coming to your appointment.…

Report from the Lines

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Report from the Lines

Have you noticed a lot of Henkles & McCoy trucks lately working on Kaunakakai’s power lines? That’s because the company has a contract from Maui Electric to improve the Kaunakakai electric circuit. The work is scheduled to last until August.

Henkles & McCoy (H&M) workers are replacing distribution wires, updating transformers and replacing power poles, said H&M Power Superintendent John Gladden. Currently, the wires are copper and they’re old — Gladden demonstrated snapping the wire with one hand. The new distribution lines will be made of aluminum.

They’re about a quarter of the way finished with the line replacement, and have already laid about 5,500 feet of new wire, said Gladden.…

Sust`ainable Molokai Garden Party

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Please join Sust`ainable Molokai on Saturday, May 31 in a celebration of gardening and community as we begin the morning exploring our High School Permaculture Farm. We will harvest ripe produce for our afternoon lunch — pizza. Later, personal pies will be cooked on-site using Sust`ainable Molokai’s mobile wood-firing oven.

Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, favorite toppings, laughter, and farming questions as we take on a day of fun.Driving directions: continue on Farrington Avenue, turn right at Ho`olehua Fire Station then take another right at the Permaculture Farm. Call 560-5410 to RSVP!…

Rebuilding After Disaster

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

In the event of a devastating natural disaster, homes on Molokai may be damaged. But when residents are ready to repair and rebuild, they face the usual lengthy permit process that is currently required by the County of Maui to replace or restore any structure. While emergency building permits can be issued, the county is looking at how the permit process can be expedited in the wake of natural disasters to speed up the recovery process.

Planners are visiting communities around Maui County holding workshops to involve residents in the process of developing post-disaster reconstruction guidelines, and visited Molokai two weeks ago.…

Collard Greens

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Collard Greens

Community Contributed

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

On Molokai, the summer heat can overwhelm many of the vegetables that grow well in the winter. Collards or collard greens can grow at a time of the year when local greens struggle and are in short supply. A primitive member of the cabbage family, it belongs to the “Acephala” group meaning “cabbages without a head.”

Collard is a corrupted term from the word “colewort” meaning “wild cabbage plant.” Native to the southern Mediterranean in an area called Asia Minor, a part of Turkey, it was carried in all directions and is popular in Portugal and Spain to the west, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia to the east, and African and India to the south.…

No Child Left Inside

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

No Child Left Inside

Turning litter from Mo’omomi into beautiful art, testing Kalama`ula waters for salinity and soil for pH levels and quizzing curious minds on the Kaunakakai Ahupua`a, students shared their research at the Molokai Digital Bus (MDB) capstone Ho`ike.

Students soaked in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) research at the fourth annual capstone last Wednesday at Kulana `Oiwi.

About 250 students collected, weighed and sorted data to showcase as part of the MDB Molokai Ho`ike project, a yearlong program that takes students out in the field in a mobile laboratory to experiment. Approximately 75 of those students came to the event to aid their kumu in presenting baseline research to other students, teachers and their ohana.…

Birds for Bishop Museum

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Birds for Bishop Museum

Hawaii’s native bird population is in peril, with 23 birds already extinct and more than 30 of the state’s avian species in danger of becoming extinct, according to a federal report.

However, fossil and sub-fossil discoveries and collections of specimens are providing a wealth of information that may save the birds. The first fossil findings took place on Molokai over 40 years ago, putting the island at the forefront of action and bringing in notable inquisitive scientists.

“It took millions of years for these birds to come to Hawaii and evolve into amazing species and once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Molly Hagemann, the Bishop Museum’s vertebrate zoology collection manager.…