State of the County Address

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The following is Mayor Alan Arakawa’s state of the county address, which he delivered February 20 at the Baldwin High School Auditorium at 5 p.m. Check back soon for some comments from Mayor Arakawa about Molokai specifically. 


Aloha and good evening.

Please join me in giving Mr. Dean Wong a round of applause. He had some large shoes to fill in taking over emcee duties this year and he’s done a fine job.

Our last two State of the County events were emceed by the late

Martin Luna, a friend to this administration and our community.

Of course it is impossible not to think of Martin now as we begin tonight.…

`Ohana by Hawaiian: Air Service Coming Soon to Molokai

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Hawaiian Airlines News Release

A kapa pattern symbolizing ancestry, family and transportation will mark the turboprop aircraft flown by Hawaii’s newest interisland operation when `Ohana by Hawaiian inaugurates service to Molokai and Lanai this summer.

The name and brand identity of the new service, as well as the aircraft design by renowned artist and designer Sig Zane and his son Kuha`o, were unveiled this morning at Honolulu International Airport.

“The name `Ohana perfectly captures the idea behind this service and the role it will play in our community. This new service has always been about making it easier for friends and families throughout the islands and from overseas to share time together,” said Mark Dunkerley, President and CEO of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.…

Fish and Dive Refreshes Business

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Fish and Dive Refreshes Business


After 40 years in the same location, Molokai Fish and Dive is being moved into the gas station next door in a process that will bring several changes to the popular ocean gear and tour provider. Tim and Susan Forsberg, who have owned the shop for 12 years, said it was time to do something different, so they took on the challenge of adding fuel and food to their services for locals and tourists.

When the Forsbergs noticed Hayaku, the gas station next door, was often closed last December, they feared that Molokai would soon have only one gas station again.…

Island Air’s New Ownership

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Island Air — Molokai’s largest air carrier — is changing ownership, the airline announced Jan. 10. The company has not yet disclosed any details, including the buyer and how the sale may affect its employees and routes.
One week after the announcement, however, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported the buyer as billionaire Larry Ellison, the new owner of Lanai. The newspaper cited two anonymous sources “familiar with the situation.”

“Yes, we are in the midst of a potential sale,” Cindy Vanairsdale Island Air’s corporate secretary, told The Molokai Dispatch last week. “Amidst all the media speculations, from our end, it is still an unnamed entity during this due diligence period, and anything can happen.”

Island Air CEO Les Murashige sent a letter to employees on Jan.…

Agreement Marks Peaceful Conclusion to Yacht Conflict

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Agreement Marks Peaceful Conclusion to Yacht Conflict

This time last year, a group of Molokai residents greeted the Safari Explorer yacht with protest signs, while the state called for a security zone to ensure the vessel’s safe docking. Last week, the ongoing conflict was peacefully resolved, not only allowing continued visits from the 36-person yacht, but also designating Molokai as future home port of operations for the company.

Community members, American Safari Cruises staff, state officials and protesters gathered last Wednesday in a spirit of understanding to sign an agreement that concludes more than a year of conflicts. Photo by Catherine Cluett

Amid smiles and hugs, former protesters, state officials and American Safari Cruises staff signed an agreement that’s been called the first of its kind in the state.…

U-Haul Rentals Available at Rawlins Chevron

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Need a truck or van for the weekend? Rawlins Chevron has you covered. They’re now offering U-Haul rentals, in a partnership with the national company. Service station owner Shirley Rawlins said U-Haul approached her about offering the rentals, and the venture has been successful so far.

“It was not in the plan, but we decided to give it a try,” said Rawlins. “It’s moving pretty good now.”

Currently, Chevron has one truck and one van for rent, which customers must reserve online through U-Haul’s website, said Rawlins. She called the rates “very reasonable,” with the truck renting for about $20 per day.…

Hawaiian Airlines to Start Molokai Service Next Year

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines to Start Molokai Service Next Year

Hawaiian Airlines announced last week that their parent company, Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., will begin service to Molokai and Lanai sometime next year. The company has already purchased one turboprop aircraft (powered by propeller rather than jet engine) to service the routes, and has a purchase agreement for a second, according to a Hawaiian Airlines press release.

The ATR 42 twin-turboprop aircraft will be configured to carry 44 to 50 passengers.

“These are the ideal aircraft for service to the less populated islands in our state,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Holdings. “This new service will complement the B717 jet service offered by Hawaiian Airlines as well as provide the additional service that Molokai and Lanai residents have been requesting.”

The new turboprop service will operate separately from Hawaiian Airlines.…

Molokai Air Travel Developments

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Molokai Air Travel Developments

Good news may be on the horizon for Molokai air travelers. Hawaiian Airlines has announced that Molokai is one of the destinations it is looking to serve with new turbo-prop aircraft it plans to acquire. In addition, current Molokai service provider Island Air is upgrading its aircraft to allow increased passenger capacity and improved service.

Hawaiian to Expand Neighbor Island Service
Hawaiian Airlines (HA) announced last week that is has signed a “letter of intent” to acquire smaller, turbo-prop aircraft (powered by propeller rather than jet engine) with the aim of establishing a subsidiary carrier to serve airports like Molokai’s Ho`olehua Airport, which are not currently part of HA’s routes.…

Kaunakakai Harbor Improvements Meeting This Wednesday

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

DLNR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will conduct a public
information meeting in Kaunakakai on Wednesday, May 16, to provide information on planned construction activities for improvements to the commuter ferry (Molokai to Maui) and the impact to harbor operations.

“DLNR is the lead agency coordinating the design and construction of this major project, in coordination with the state Department of Transportation-Harbors Division, which manages the commercial harbor side,” said William J. Aila. “Public use of this essential harbor will continue during construction.”

The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mitchell Pau‘ole Center, 90 Ainoa St.…

Kawela Bridge Replacement Underway

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

For years, Kawela residents living along the highway about five miles east of Kaunakakai have experienced flooding of Kawela Stream during heavy rains. Now, the year-and-a-half process of replacing the Kawela Bridge has begun, which state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials say should improve water flow and mitigate future flooding.

Construction of the new bridge is scheduled to continue through January 2014, according to a statement from Goodfellow Bros., the Molokai company contracted to complete the work. The $8.4 million project is being paid for with $6.5 million in federal funds, $1.6 million in state money, and some additional funding, according to DOT spokesperson Michael Moscati.…