Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Molokai Unscathed by Double Header Storm

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

As two hurricanes headed for Hawaii last week in a historic double threat, Molokai residents joined the state in launching into preparation mode. Schools and businesses closed, Red Cross shelters opened and families scrambled to stock up with food and water. While Molokai escaped relatively unscathed, other parts of the state were not so protected. Hawaii Island, where tropical cyclone Iselle made landfall Thursday night, as well as Maui, received significant damages.

At its strongest, Iselle was a Category Four hurricane clocking 140 miles per hour sustained winds across the Pacific. By the time it hit Hawaii Island late Thursday, it had downgraded to a tropical storm.…

Hazmat Training Brings Home Local Boy

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Hazmat Training Brings Home Local Boy

Photo by Rick Schonely.

Community Contributed

By David Lichtenstein

For Kimo Puailihau, giving back to Molokai means helping his home island better prepare for a potential hazardous materials emergency.

Puailihau — a 2001 Molokai High School graduate — has returned annually to Molokai for the past five years as a training coordinator with the 93rd Civil Support Team (CST) of the Hawaii National Guard. His team helps Molokai’s first responders get ready for the worst-case “what if” scenarios involving hazardous materials.

Whether the threat is chemical, biological or radiological, Puailihau and his team are ready to respond. When a strange chemical or other unknown material is found, first responders on Molokai will call the Hazmat 10 Team on Maui.…

Electric Co. Proposes Demand Response Program

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Hawaiian Electric News Release

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are proposing a portfolio of programs to provide customers more options for saving on their electric bills while supporting the adoption of more clean energy, reducing the use of more expensive fossil-fueled generation and relieving stress on the electric grid.

The programs are outlined in the utilities’ Integrated Demand Response Portfolio Plan filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently.

The plan lays out new and enhanced “demand response” programs for residential, commercial, industrial and water pumping customers. Under the programs, customers receive financial incentives for shifting energy use to certain times of the day or voluntarily allowing the output of certain appliances or equipment to be adjusted if necessary to help maintain reliable service for our island grids.…

Like a Grasshopper

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Community Contributed

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

In the popular television show, “Kung Fu,” Master Po refers to his student as “Grasshopper,” a term of endearment for one who is young, has a lot to learn, and whose mind jumps around “like a grasshopper.”

We probably have to more to learn from the grasshopper than he can learn from us. Few other insects have caused greater direct loss to crops worldwide than have grasshoppers. From ancient times to now, grasshoppers have caused the death through famine of millions of human beings. Damage is worse in areas with low rainfall when food is sparse.…

Teatime in the Garden

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Simon Mendes

This past school year as a Food Corp service member at Sust`ainable Molokai, I visited weekly with Kumu Teddy Sotello’s second grade class at Maunaloa Elementary. On a typical class day, I led students outside to their small, designer 4-by-4-foot “tea garden” bed—constructed at the beginning of the year—where we’d harvest a couple of pieces of mint and lemongrass. I collected the harvest, poured over hot water, and we’d wait for tea to brew.

While waiting, we learned songs courtesy of the Banana Slug String Band. The classes’ favorite song was “Dirt Made My Lunch,” which highlights the path from soil to plate — fitting to sing while the tea brewed.…

From Ranch to Table

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Molokai Ranch is beefing up their operation, and with more than 1000 cattle grazing on 30,000 acres of pasture, the company has started accepting orders for grass-fed beef, available on Molokai and Oahu in September.

“It’s a big deal for us,” said Molokai Ranch CEO Clay Rumbaoa. “The previous Ranch operation was ‘cow/calf,’ meaning none on the cattle was finished [and] processed on Molokai, but rather shipped to the mainland to be grain finished and processed,. Our model is to raise, finish, process, quality Molokai Ranch Angus beef that is 100 percent grass fed and hormone-free for consumers to enjoy.”

Molokai Ranch’s website touts that its environmentally-friendly beef, having lived on a diet of native grass, has a higher nutrition value with lower fat and higher omega-3s and minerals than the grain-fed alternative.…

A Slice of Sweet Harvest

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

A Slice of Sweet Harvest

The Davis family enjoys watermelon at their roadside stand near Rawlins’ Chevron. Photo by Jared Davis.

The summer sun beats down on the Davis family watermelon stand on Kamehameha Highway by Rawlins’ Chevron gas station every Saturday. With a pickup truck pilled sky-high with about 500 fresh, colossal, 20-pound watermelons ripened to perfection in Ho`olehua’s heat, Jared Davis sells his all-natural watermelons at his roadside stand in the summertime on Molokai.

For Davis, a third generation farmer who is keeping farming alive in his family and on Molokai, watermelons are a vital crop and livelihood for his ohana, he said.

“When I was younger there were a lot of farmers around here that planted watermelon,” Davis said.…

Molokai Gold a Buzzing Business

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Molokai Gold a Buzzing Business

Molokai Gold’s busy bees. Photo by Bianca Moragne

The lure of creamy, golden honey from a local business is giving people across the islands bees on the brain. If you haven’t heard the buzz, Molokai is home to the best honey in Hawaii—that’s according to judges at the 2013 Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge.

Molokai Gold, a year-old honey company run by beekeepers Micah Buchanan and Marshall Joy, is whipping up raw, unfiltered and natural honey.

“It was my honor and privilege to receive your beautiful honeys and prepare them for the Formal Judging and Public Tasting,” registrar of the Honey Challenge Pattie Rechtman said of Molokai Gold in a letter to Joy.…

New Ti Leaf Virus

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

New Ti Leaf Virus

Community Contributed

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

 Ti leaf is an important subsistence and commercial crop in Hawaii with diverse uses. An ornamental crop used for hula skirts, leis, and puolo, a bundle or container, Ti plants are also a central part of the tropical landscape with many new leaf sizes and colors. Leaves are used in the preparation of Hawaiian foods, such as laulau with pork and taro leaf, and lawalu, to wrap fish and other seafood and local starches for baking, and also as greens in floral arrangements. It also has ceremonial and medicinal uses, and Ti roots are also used in the production of liquor, okolehao.…

Hikiola Goes Solar

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Hikiola Goes Solar

ProVision Solar News Release

The Hikiola Cooperative in Ho`olehua has installed a 12-kilowatt grid-connected solar array that will provide almost all of the power needed to run the coop.  First organized in 1976 as a farm supply and marketing cooperative, Hikiola shifted to making supplies available to both farmer-members and the greater community.  Paying one of the highest rates for electricity in the nation (52 cents/kilowatt-hour this month), small businesses on Molokai have more than ample incentive to go solar electric.

“We are thrilled with the installation of the PV system,” said the Coop’s long-time manager Tina Tamanaha. “The use of alternative energy is a positive step in our mission to lower the cost of supplies for our agri-business patrons.”

Marco Mangelsdorf, President of ProVision Solar, and the installer of the Net Energy Metered photovoltaic system, noted that “with the abundant sunshine on this part of the island, the system should really crank out the solar kWhs. …