Sustainability

Molokai Weighs In On NextEra Merger

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Representatives of NextEra, the Florida-based energy company proposing a merger with Hawaiian Electric, visited Molokai last week with plans to hold an open house to meet residents and answer questions. Concerned community members, however, had other plans.

Standing in a circle amid NextEra’s large, colorful posters and blue-shirted staff, local attendees requested a meeting format in which all their answers could be answered at once and heard by all.

“We want to know what is going on, as a group – that’s Molokai style,” said local activist Walter Ritte.

NextEra officials, joined by Maui Electric representatives, obliged.  With no seating planned for the open house format, everyone stood for the next three hours and discussed the merger and its implications for Hawaii’s energy future.…

Record Roi Round-Up

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Record Roi Round-Up

Divers harvested over 1,000 pounds of invasive roi in the island’s second annual tournament. Photo courtesy of Dicky Dowling.

Molokai divers joined forces last month for a cause – to save native fish species by ridding the island of about 1,000 pounds of invasive roi.

“Nowadays everyone is about malama this, malama that. This is really giving back to the reef,” said local diver Dicky Dowling, who organized the second annual Molokai Roi Tournament. “That’s the most invasive species… Somebody gotta do something, you cannot just stand on the side.”

In the 1950s, the Hawaii Department of Fish and Wildlife introduced roi as a game fish for food.…

Rebuilding a Tradition

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Rebuilding a Tradition

When Sheldon Wright builds walls, his main focus is to listen. He hefts a rock in his hands, flips it, spins it, lets it fall and hears the clack as it hits the stack of rocks in front of him. To construct walls the way Wright does—the same way ancient Hawaiians did hundreds of years ago—he has to tune into the tools of his trade.

“The rocks speak to me,” said Wright. “They tell me where they want to go.”

Wright fashions the beginnings of a dry stack wall outside Madsen’s home. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Wright is carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of dry stack masonry in which the rocks are placed in an interlocking fashion that requires no mortar, he said.…

Molokai Food Hub in Operation

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust`aina ble Molokai’s newly launched Molokai Food Hub is seeking locally grown fruits and vegetables.  In January, we officially became the vendor for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for Maunaloa Elementary School.  This is a federally funded snack program, which allows students to receive a snack of a fresh fruit or vegetable two to three times per week.  As the vendor, we are aiming to provide as much Molokai-grown fruit and vegetables as possible, so please call or email us if you would like to be a supplier (560-5410 or harmonee@sustainablemolokai.org).

The program is open to growers who can provide 60 servings of fresh fruit or vegetable (minimum serving size of 1/2 cup), and they will be paid fair market value. …

Mud-Caked Classroom

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Mud-Caked Classroom

Local farm brings lessons of the `aina to life

Third grader Kamalani Peltier, holding a tadpole, was one of 40 Kilohana School students to visit Simms Farm last month. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

A handful of Kilohana Elementary school students stared down uncertainly into the thick, gloopy mud of the lo`i kalo below them.

“Come on, ladies, let’s go! Jump in!”

Kilohana educational assistant Teon Simmons was trying to coax them into the lo`i, where three of their schoolmates were already wading and pulling weeds from the ankle deep muck. Wedged in the middle of the patch, farm owner Jo-Ann Simms was teaching the students how to gently swing long bunches of weeds to shake excess mud back into the lo`i.…

Addressing Overfishing

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Community Contributed

By `Aha Kiole O Molokai Members

Since statehood, the people of Molokai have relied on state government to manage Molokaiʻs ocean resources. We are currently witnessing profound shortagesin our subsistence gathering sources, which island families rely heavily on. We have fewer income opportunities and higher costs of living than most of the other islands.

From the early 90s, an effort to slow down the noticeable losses from our once rich ecosystems was begun. Management by the DLNR has not yielded positive outcomes in terms of maintaining sustainable and healthy nearshore fisheries.

Out of necessity and concern for our families, Molokai has independently generated its own island-wide conservation effort. …

Fishing Tensions Headed to Court

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A confrontation between Oahu divers and Molokai fishermen is headed to court. The incident, in which four Molokai men are being accused of illegally boarding a vessel in state waters, came as a culmination of rising tensions between off-island fishermen known to load up on Molokai catch and island residents who depend on those resources to feed their families.

In May, the four men allegedly threatened a group of Oahu divers fishing off Molokai and were recently arrested on felony charges. Robin Dudoit, 57, Floyd Kapuni, 31, Kaiula English, 28, and Albert Dudoit Jr., 27, were arrested by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Maui Police Department on Nov.…

Subsistence Fishing Designation Moves Forward

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Subsistence Fishing Designation Moves Forward

 

Community members are joining with state officials to develop a designation for Molokai’s north shoreline that would sustainably support marine resources, protect traditional fishing practices, prohibit commercial harvest and facilitate community involvement in resource management decisions.

The Mo`omomi Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) would extend from Ilio Point on the northwestern tip of Molokai, east to Kaholaiki Bay, near Pelekunu Valley. As it is currently written, the CBSFA would follow the contours of the coastline and extend out one half mile. The Kawa`aloa Bay Protected Area is a subzone with the CBSFA, with a subset of rules specific to it.…

Learning the Business of Farming

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

A group of Molokai farmers were looking to cultivate something beyond bananas and broccoli on Nov. 20: their business and marketing abilities. About a dozen local farmers and ranchers gathered at Hikiola to attend the Agriculture Business Development Training workshop to refine their skills at winning customers and securing funding.

With the county moratorium on genetically engineered crops currently on hold, many farmers are uncertain about the possible effects on their businesses. Although the workshop’s guest speaker, Nicole Milne, didn’t have concrete answers, she said laying out and following smart plans will keep farmers on the right path.

“I feel like people’s goals for their businesses and their farming ideals are fairly secure,” said Milne, associate vice president for programs for The Kohala Center, a Hawaii Island-based research and education organization.…

Local Author Publishes Children’s Book

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Local Author Publishes Children’s Book

 

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.…