Aha Kiole Drafts Protocol for Passenger Boat Industries

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

As the Molokai community continues to determine its future and where tourism fits into the economical equation, the Aha Kiole, a resource management group, has compiled the results from a series of community meetings and surveys. The document outlines guidelines for tour companies arriving to the island by boat, including American Safari Cruises (ASC), which has been making controversial stops to Molokai since October 2011.

Results of feedback gathered by the Aha Kiole over the past several months showed different levels of agreement with ASC’s visits through surveys and moku meetings. In the surveys, 85 percent of the 395 residents surveyed voted “no,” 11 percent voted “yes,” and 4 percent said “yes” but with controls.…

Marine Corps Consultations to Be Held on Molokai Airport Use

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Marine Corps Base Hawaii News Release
Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii is proposing renewed use of the Molokai Airport as a re-fueling location for MV-22 “Osprey” and H-1 “Huey” and “Cobra” helicopters, as well as increased use of Kalaupapa Airport by the H-1 helicopters. On Tuesday March 27, at Mitchell Pauole Center conference room from 5 to 7 p.m., the Marine Corps is holding National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 consultations to discuss issues and concerns related to potential effects on historic properties in the vicinity of these airports.

MCB Hawaii initiated Section 106 consultations in November 2010, and expanded consultations in December, 2011, to include discussions of other locations in Hawaii outside Oahu.…

Fuel Costs Rising, Worse to Come

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Fuel Costs Rising, Worse to Come

Molokai residents are used to some of the highest gas prices in the nation. But with an overnight jump of 25 cents last week – reaching $5.36 for regular unleaded – even locals were left in disbelief. While Molokai has seen higher prices before, experts predict record-breaking highs in gas prices by summer of this year.

In 2008, the Dispatch investigated just why oil prices were so much higher on Molokai than other parts of the state or nation. The conclusion was a combination of factors – first, supply-and-demand economics dictates that less consumption requires higher prices to turn a profit.…

Senate Bill Encourages Remote Air Service

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Hawaii Senate News Release

The Hawaii State Senate passed Senate Bill 2960 last week that would suspend landing fees for air carriers that provide interisland service to rural airports, which include Kapalua, Hana, Kalaupapa, Lanai, Molokai and Waimea-Kohala airports.

“This measure encourages commercial air carriers to continue service to the remote parts of our State,” said Sen. J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs. “In effect, I hope it increase reliability and stabilize air fares.”

According to a Department of Transportation report, flight activity at Kalaupapa, Kapalua, Hana, Waimea-Kohala and Lanai has steadily declined over the last five years.…

Passenger Boats Survey Results

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Community Contributed
By `Aha Kiole o Molokai

The `Aha Kiole o Molokai has made a concerted effort to reach the community to get feedback and input regarding the arrival of the American Safari Cruises. Now, results are out from an island-wide “Advent of Passenger Boats and Yachts Survey.” A vast majority – 85 percent – of people voted “no,” 11 percent voted “yes” and 4 percent voted “yes, with controls.” We had 395 people participate in our surveys.

The results of the four Moku meetings showed 36 percent voting “no,” 8 percent voting “no” and the majority, 56 percent, voting for controls.…

Airport, Service Improvements Coming to Kalaupapa

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Airport, Service Improvements Coming to Kalaupapa

For the first time in six years, Kalaupapa will again have firefighting equipment and staff at their tiny airport. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is providing a “skidmount unit” – a firefighting devise on a flatbed truck – to aid in the case of emergency, along with 24/7 personnel to man it, according to DOT spokesperson Dan Meisenzahl. The equipment should arrive to the settlement in March, he said. Two additional firefighters are being hired by the state, who will rotate service in Kalaupapa.

“If things ever go bad, it would be a collaborative effort,” said Department of Health Kalaupapa Administrator Mark Miller at last week’s community meeting, adding that the additional equipment and personnel would greatly aid in the event of emergency.…

Bill Advances to Reduce Molokai Shipping Costs

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

State of Hawaii News Release 

Last week, a bill passed another hurdle on its way to establishing a working group to explore options for reducing shipping costs from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu. House Hill 2380, Relating to Shipping, passed the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce with unanimous testimony in support of the measure. 

Molokai homestead farmer and rancher, Lynn DeCoite submitted testimony in strong support of House Bill 2380 HD1.  “The island of Molokai feels that this bill is critical to the survival of our economy,” she said. “We have been crippled with nowhere else to turn.  We need options, not a monopoly.”

Harbor Security Relaxed

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The wharf was relatively empty and quiet at the Safari Explorer’s last port call to Kaunakakai last Tuesday, with only about a dozen residents holding protest signs. For that, officials thanked Molokai, and said it will be the last time a security zone is enforced for the yacht’s dockings through May, if all goes smoothly.

“We thank the community for showing the correct amount of balance at the pier [on Jan. 21],” said Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR) Chairperson William Aila. 

Meeting To Discuss Reduced Harbor Security

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

DNLR News Release

Department of Land and Natural Resources is holding a community meeting regarding the security perimeter at the Kauanakakai Wharf to accommodate American Safari Cruises visits to Molokai. The meeting is on Monday, Jan. 30 at Mitchell Pauole Center at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. We will address the experience last weekend and respond to the community. Reduced security to accommodate fishermen and canoe paddlers and lessen the inconvenience to the community will be discussed. All are invited. 

US Coast Guard Support to Ka Molokai Makahiki

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Coast Guard News Release
The crews of the US Coast Guard cutters Kiska, a 110-foot island class patrol
cutter stationed in Hilo, and the Ahi, an 87-foot patrol cutter stationed in Honolulu are  scheduled to participate in Ka Molokai Makahiki games this weekend .  The cutters will be open for tours to Molokai residents on Saturday morning and afternoon starting at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Please meet at the ferry enclosure for each escorted tour and learn more
about the Coast Guard Ohana in Hawaii.   Additionally, the 45-foot Response
Boat Medium and its crew from US Coast Guard Station Maui in Maalea also
expect to be here and  participate in the games.