Government

Molokai Ferry Seeks to Run ‘As Needed’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

With competition increasing, the Molokai ferry wants to scale back further than originally planned. On May 13, Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc. withdrew its petition to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to suspend one daily route between Molokai and Maui. The company instead plans to petition the PUC to require a minimum number of passengers to make a trip between the two islands.

“The concept we’re working on now is being what’s called a common carrier versus a scheduled carrier,” said company President Dave Jung. “A scheduled carrier has to run if you’ve got one passenger. … We want to be a common carrier where we have a minimum.”

Jung said they made the decision because he felt the original petition “was gonna drag out.” In a letter to the PUC on April 14, the Division of Consumer Advocacy recommended a thorough investigation that included public hearings, which Jung felt the company didn’t have time for.…

Committee Considers Ferry Subsidy

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Possible financial aid is in sight for the Molokai ferry, whose recent losses in ridership and funds have forced company president David Jung to consider a shutdown as early as June.

On May 15, the county’s Budget and Finance Committee will discuss a bill in which Mayor Alan Arakawa has proposed a $105,000 subsidy for the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF) and apply to the 2015 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“The ferry throughout the year has seen a decrease in ridership as hard times have come to Molokai,” said Jung, testifying at the county council’s May 7 meeting.…

Proposals Sought for Community Grants

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The County of Maui Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is seeking funding proposals for a second round of proposals for a total of $1.7 million for Fund Year 2015 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).

The deadline to submit proposals is 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8. Proposals may be submitted “ATTN. 2015 CDBG Application” and delivered to the CDBG Program Office at 251 Napua Street in Wailuku, or mailed (must be received by the deadline) to Office of the Mayor, CDBG Program Office, 200 S. High Street, Wailuku, HI  96793.

Earlier this year the CDBG program office submitted six proposed projects to the County Council, which rejected the following proposals:

Ka Hale A Ke Ola, $653,869 for rehabilitation and improvements to its homeless shelter; County of Maui, $650,000 for a Maui Fire Dept.…

Mana for Mauna Kea

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Mana for Mauna Kea

Community members gathered along Maunaloa Highway in solidarity with the Mauna Kea movement. Courtesy photo.

Ongoing efforts to protect Mauna Kea’s peak, considered sacred by Native Hawaiians, from an 18-story tall structure called Thirty Meter Telescope, has gone international, with Molokai residents joining in the protests and social media buzz.

Pictured here, local community members rallied along Maunaloa Highway last week, holding signs and raising awareness.

Mauna Kea’s peak is viewed as one of the most sacred sites in Hawaii, and Molokai activist Walter Ritte is leading efforts to protect it from a 14th telescope.

“There’s certain places where you just cannot compromise anymore.…

County Passes Ferry Resolution

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

While the Maui County Council has yet to decide exactly what type of assistance to extend to Molokai’s floundering ferry system, councilmembers are nearly unanimous in their support of the ferry’s operations.

At their April 7 meeting, councilmembers passed a resolution urging Mayor Alan Arakawa to seek a subsidy for the ferry, which the Lahaina Cruise Company (LCC) reports has lost both riders and funds over the past year.

Councilmember Stacy Crivello introduced the resolution, which asked the mayor to propose an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 budget to 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.…

Be Part of the Plan

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Steve Chaikin, Chair, Molokai CPAC

Over the next six months, the Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) will be meeting to recommend revisions to update the Molokai Community Plan. The Plan will then be reviewed by the Molokai Planning Commission and approved by the County Council.  When the process is complete, this plan will provide direction for future growth of our island and identify key actions for county agencies to implement over the next twenty years.  The Maui County Planning Department has a new division specifically tasked with implementing community plans.

All of our meetings are open to the public.…

Solar Applications in Limbo

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Solar Applications in Limbo

Sixty-five applications for rooftop solar on Molokai currently remain in limbo at the hands of Maui Electric Company (MECO), according to company Communications Director Kau`i Awai-Dickson.

Most rooftop solar panels in the state are installed under a program called Net Energy Metering (NEM), which pays customers the retail electric rate for excess energy generated from their panels.

At 51 percent, Molokai has the highest percentage in Hawaii of rooftop solar compared to the island’s peak demand.

“Hawaii leads the nation as far as rooftop [solar], and Molokai leads the state,” said Mat McNeff, MECO manager of engineering, at a meeting on Molokai last month.…

Financial Woes May Suspend Ferry Route

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Financial Woes May Suspend Ferry Route

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.…

Community Plan Update Begins

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

A group of 13 Molokai residents has begun the process of planning for the island’s next 20 years. The Molokai Community Plan acts like a blueprint for development, goals, policies and actions. Normally updated every 10 years, the belated update process got officially underway with the Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC)’s first meeting last week.

The first Molokai Community Plan was adopted in 1984 and was updated last in 2001. The community plan guides much of the large-scale decision-making through 2035. It includes complete descriptions of existing conditions on the island and explains land use designations, details on future development, projected effects of that development and infrastructure improvements.…

New Leadership for Group Home

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

ARC of Maui County News Release

The ARC of Maui County Board of Directors is pleased to announce Robert Lane as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer.  He joins ARC with a vast knowledge of the developmental disabilities community with experience ranging from Executive Director for Special Need Camps to Administrator of a 64 bed ICF/IDD facility in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Rob joins ARC at an exciting time with the recent licensing from the State Department of Health for our newest group home on Molokai.  This five bedroom home is the first state licensed domiciliary home on the island.  Residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities will receive 24-hour support from staff who are trained to meet the needs of each individual resident. …