Molokai agricultural land. Photo by Edwin Mendija
A highly disputed voter initiative to ban the growing of genetically engineered crops passed in Maui County in last Tuesday’s General Election by a narrow margin of 50 percent to 48 percent, with just over 800 votes’ difference.
On Molokai, all of the island’s four precincts voted no by a ratio of nearly two to one, with 63 percent voting against the moratorium and 34 percent favoring it island-wide, according to stats from Hawaii’s elections website.
The initiative calls for a moratorium until a detailed environmental impact study of the harms associated with growing genetically engineered organisms has been completed and reviewed by the County Council.…
The MOM Hui News Release
Out of a total of 219 Molokai residents who participated in an online survey, 109, or 49.77 percent, are in support of a moratorium (temporary suspension) of all GE operations and practices within Maui County. The moratorium would last until an environmental and public health impact study is conducted and finds the proposed cultivation practices to be safe and harmless. Of the total survey participants, 110, or 50.23 percent, were not in favor of this bill.
Chart courtesy of Mom Hui
One of those in favor shared that, “because of their history of contamination, collusion, coercion and endless greed for capital and control, companies like Monsanto cannot be trusted, and therefore independent studies need to be conducted to insure these practices taking place on our island are safe for its inhabitants and future inhabitants.”
Another individual argued that, “the State Constitution protects the public trust.…
Kuha`o Business Center News Release
There will be a Farm Tax Workshop held Nov. 6, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Business Development Classroom. Michael Holl will be the returning to Molokai to speak to farmers and ranchers about business taxes. This workshop will help you manage your labor, financial and legal risks. Holl, who is from Oahu, is an enrolled agent who is a federally-authorized tax practitioner, licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers.
The Molokai Farm Tax Workshop is designed to enable farmers to lower their tax liabilities by a better understanding of business deductions, tax preparation and record keeping to minimize taxes and chances of an audit, business entities for your farm, how employment laws and independent contractor requirements affect your business, and special provisions in the tax code regarding farm income averaging to significantly lower taxes resulting from “bumper” crops.…
Aha o Molokai and Malama Mo`omomi News Release
Hawaiians always had strict rules and regulations when it came to harvesting from the shoreline and ocean. The Kapu System was set up to protect the natural resources from misuse and to insure that the future generations had the same resources for them to survive.
Molokai’s shorelines, especially west Molokai, are dotted with fishing Ko`a and Ku`ula shrines. The fisherman’s first catch was placed on these ahu to honor the gods of the ocean, family aumakua, and the great teacher of fishing, conservation and sharing… Ku`ula Kai.
Molokai is in the process of applying for a State Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) designation, which will help to protect Mo`omomi’s ocean and shoreline resources. …
By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR
Puakenikeni or “10 cent flower” is a popular lei flower native to the South Pacific. A common forest tree in the Cook Islands, it can reach over 50 feet tall under ideal conditions. One specimen in Pu`unui on Oahu covered the entire side of a ma and pa store. There are many South Pacific legends connected to this plant, and flowers also used to perfume coconut oil. It makes an excellent garden shrub, imparting its alluring fragrance throughout the yard and into the home.
Puakenikeni is a fast growing plant, and is efficient in taking up nutrients if adequately watered, Light fertilizing with a 10-30-10 or 10-20-20 type fertilizer is recommended, because over-fertilizing will create vegetative growth at the expense of flowers.…
Hawaii relies on its cesspools more than any state in the nation, according to the Department of Health (DOH), and officials want to change that. The DOH is proposing revised rules that would prevent new cesspools from being built and require switching to septic tanks if owners sell property with a cesspool on it.
The DOH feels that “Hawaii has fallen behind all other states in eliminating cesspool pollution,” according to an informational handout that Sina Pruder, an official from the DOH’s Wastewater Branch, reviewed in a public hearing on Molokai on Oct. 10. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the construction of new cesspools in 2000, and many states have taken similar measures years earlier.…
Photo by Edwin Mendija.
A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment.
The “vote no” campaign opposes the initiative, highlighting the hundreds of jobs on the line that could be lost in Maui County if a moratorium on growing genetically engineered (GE) crops goes through. Supporters of the initiative say they don’t want farming practices they believe are detrimental to land and people to continue without a comprehensive, independent study completed.…
Molokai’s Todd Yamashita has authored his first children’s book, bringing together his passions of Hawaiian culture, his two kids, environmental conservation, intergenerational relationships between keiki and kupuna, and his wife’s fishpond restoration nonprofit, Ka Honua Momona. “Uncle’s Magic Thrownet,” colorfully illustrated by Jamie Mechel Tablason in hardcover, is available for sale throughout Hawaii and on Amazon.com.
“Writing a children’s book has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Yamashita, who also owns The Molokai Dispatch newspaper. “Children’s books should be simple and fun, and especially now that I have kids of my own, it’s a unique opportunity to introduce important values and themes to the next generation.”
Uncle’s Magic Thrownet tells the story of a kupuna who throws his net for fish and a keiki who discovers all is not as it seems with uncle’s old net.…
UH CTAHR Extension Service News Release
A new, island-wide Beginning Farmer Program will begin this month. Twice-monthly classes will be held in Ho`olehua at the UH Extension Office and at UH Maui College-Molokai Farm focused on commercial crop production. A beginning farmer is defined as one who has farmed less than 10 years.
The aging of farmers is a matter of national security. In 2010, the average age of the workforce nationwide was 37, while the average age of farmers was about 58. There’s has been a 30 percent increase in farmers over the age of 75 and a 20 percent decrease in the number of farmers under the age of 25.…
By Joe Kennedy
I’d like to tell you a little story that may be of interest. About nine months ago, I tried to take a shortcut and make a vegetable garden. I used a dirt road at the edge of my farm because there was just bare dirt there, no grass or trees. I stretched a couple of irrigation tapes the length of the area I wanted (70 or 80 feet and 10 feet wide), turned it on, and let the water drip for a day and a night. Then made two ditches only three inches deep and three inches wide with a pick right at the edge of the drip tape the whole length.…