The Maui County Council is taking the first steps toward addressing the struggling Molokai ferry, which has seen decreases in riders and funds within the past year.
Councilmember Stacy Helm Crivello, who represents Molokai on the nine-person council, introduced a resolution last week urging Mayor Alan Arakawa to seek significant financial support for the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC), which runs the ferry service between Maui and Molokai.
The resolution requested that the mayor to propose an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget that would appropriate $500,000 to the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF), which, according to the resolution, currently has an estimated balance of $1 million.…
Photos by Catherine Cluett
In the face of falling ridership, the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC) is planning to suspend the Molokai Ferry’s daily round trip between Molokai and Maui, pending approval from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), according to the company’s President and Senior Captain David Jung.
“What’s happening with the ferry right now, is that we’re hemorrhaging money because of low ridership,” said Jung. “We’re trying to come up with a solution right now, but in the meantime we [plan] to cut back one trip a day. It’s better to have reduced service than no service.”
The route, which departs from Kaunakakai Harbor at 5:15 a.m.…
More details on a Jan. 16 forced emergency aircraft landing in east Molokai have surfaced in a preliminary report recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
According to the report, a privately owned Cessna 172 carrying a pilot and three passengers “collided with terrain” in Ualapue on Molokai’s east end around 2 p.m. that Friday. There were no casualties, although one passenger was rescued in serious condition and the other three with minor injuries.
The plane was owned by Hawaiian Night Lights, LLC. Pilot Michael Richards, a certified flight instructor, was giving a flying lesson to a Japanese citizen while her parents accompanied them in the plane.…
One passenger received treatment for minor injuries at the rescue helicopter landing zone. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
A privately-owned single-engine Cessna 172 carrying a pilot and three passengers made a forced landing near Cape Halawa last Friday afternoon, according to the Maui Fire Department. Ian Gregor, Public Affairs Manager for the Federal Aviation Association, said the plane “reportedly lost engine power.”
The aircraft was reported to have landed in the trees at an elevation of about 3,000 feet. Maui Fire Department personnel airlifted passengers as well as pilot and plane owner Michael Richards from the crash site to a landing zone at Pu`u O Hoku Ranch.…
Makani Kai News Release
Makani Kai Air is now offering three more daily round trip flights between Honolulu and Molokai on Sundays and four more round trips on Fridays.
“We’re expanding the number of flights on those days in response to the number of passengers who were finding it difficult to get seats on those days,” said Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air. “Since we began our service to topside Molokai last June we have been extremely happy with the number of Molokai residents who now call us their airline.”
Located at 130 Iolana Place along Lagoon Drive, Makani Kai Air is on the other side of the airport, away from the terminals and congestion.…
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.…
Photo by Catherine Cluett.
It usually signals unfortunate circumstances when Hawaii Life Flight (HLF) — an air ambulance service — arrives, but last week it was a celebration. The company has been offering emergency air medical transport on Molokai since 2006, and this year, made the island one of its bases. That means faster service for Molokai residents in need – and a better chance to save more lives, according to HLF staff.
“For all time-sensitive patients, like stroke, cardiac and trauma, every second counts… It can be life or death,” said flight nurse and Molokai base manager Josh Schroeder.
With the nearest bases on Oahu and Maui, the response time for HLF crew to arrive on Molokai for a call used to be between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, said Schroeder.…
Photo by Bianca Moragne.
There’s good news for drivers who live on the east end as well as residents of the Kawela area: construction on the Kawela Bridge is finally complete.
The former, 70-year-old bridge was deteriorating, and a $6 million construction project began back in 2012 to remove the original bridge and replace it with what you see today.
The old bridge, constructed around 1940, was clogged with stream deposits which impeded the flow of water below the deck, resulting in flooding in neighboring properties, said Project Engineer at Goodfellow Bros., Inc., Clayton Morrell.
Goodfellow Bros., Inc was contracted to remove the old bridge and build a new one in its place with a capacity to handle high volumes of water to pass beneath the roadway and remove stream deposit buildup that migrates down, Morrell said.…
The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded Makani Kai Air the Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidy to service Molokai’s isolated settlement of Kalaupapa for the next four years.
“Kalaupapa Settlement is thrilled to continue in the Makani Kai ohana and look forward to four more years of excellent on time service as we have enjoyed for the past two years,” said Mark Miller, the Department of Health Kalaupapa administrator.
Makani Kai was originally awarded the Kalaupapa EAS at the end of 2011 for two years, and filed for renewal to continue serving the settlement last year. Mokulele Airlines and two mainland companies also applied.…
The brother of former state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a lawsuit filed last Monday that a faulty engine is to blame for the Makani Kai plane’s ocean landing off Kalaupapa last December that caused his sister’s death.
According to The Associated Press (AP), Lewis Fuddy Jr. is suing engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation over the Dec. 11 crash that killed his sister. The pilot and seven other passengers on the flight survived without major injuries, but Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking Cessna Grand Caravan. Autopsy results concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, following the crash.…