Government

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Photo by Edwin Mendija.

A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment.

The “vote no” campaign opposes the initiative, highlighting the hundreds of jobs on the line that could be lost in Maui County if a moratorium on growing genetically engineered (GE) crops goes through. Supporters of the initiative say they don’t want farming practices they believe are detrimental to land and people to continue without a comprehensive, independent study completed.…

Council Members Visit Molokai

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Council Members Visit Molokai

Six Maui County Council members and one candidate visited Molokai on Oct. 7, giving voters a chance to hear about their plans and passions before the Nov. 4 elections.

Council Chair Gladys Baisa, running for her fifth and final two-year term in office, hosted a luncheon and invited fellow councilmembers Mike Victorino and Don Couch, Jr., who are also seeking re-election, as well a new face to the political scene, Council candidate Ka`ala Buenconsejo.

Council Chair Gladys Baisa greets guests at a luncheon on Molokai. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

“I’m delighted that Council Chair Baisa…invited her colleagues to come to Molokai,” said Robert Stephenson, President of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce.…

Veterans Designation for Drivers License

Friday, October 17th, 2014

DOT News Release

Veteran designation will now be available for Hawaii driver’s licenses, state IDs, and instruction permits effective Oct. 1, 2014, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) in cooperation with the counties of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui are pleased to announced.

Persons who served in any of the uniformed services of the U.S. and received a discharge other than dishonorable are eligible.  Applicants must provide proof of qualification.  Acceptable documents include:

DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty)
NGB Form 22 (National Guard Report of Separation from Active Duty)
Prior to January 1, 1950 – WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO, 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, NAVCG 553
Discharge Certificate reflecting characterization of discharge
Verification letter issued by the Veterans Administration
Verification letter issued by the Office of Veteran Services

Applicants requiring a DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge, or other Military Documents to verify Veteran and Military eligibility status may go to archives.gov/veterans/military-services-records/  and follow the steps outlined for either an online application request or follow procedures to print, populate, and mail out a Standard Form (SF) 180 request.…

Veterans Corner

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha all my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events.

Veterans, as you may or may not be aware, our doctor David Hafermann is retiring at the end of October. We have been very lucky to have him here on Molokai for a good many years, taking care of our aches and pains, and some very serious illness also, whenever we had a problem he has been there for us.

On Monday, Sept. 29, there was a meeting at the vet center with Wayne Pfeffer, the director for the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, and there was a discussion about a clinic being here on Molokai.…

Federal Funds for Ag Conservation

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

USDA News Release

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reminds potential applicants to contact their local NRCS office to find out if they are eligible for the agency’s most common Farm Bill Programs (Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Agricultural Management Assistance Program). On Molokai, contact the NRCS Ho`olehua Field Office at 808-567-6868.

Applications for this ranking period are due at the NRCS office by close of business on Oct. 17. Applications received after this date will be considered in the next ranking period. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but ranked according to specific application cutoff periods.

“We are encouraging farmers and ranchers to utilize the federal funding to help improve conservation on private land,” said Dr.…

Changes to Cesspools and Wastewater Systems

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

DOH News Release

There are changes to rules about cesspools and wastewater systems taking place, and the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is soliciting public comments and holding meetings around the state, including Molokai.

Proposed changes include prohibiting the installation of new cesspools and requiring connections or upgrades of existing cesspools to septic systems within 180 days after sale of property.

There are roughly 90,000 cesspools statewide in Hawaii, with nearly 50,000 located on Hawaii Island, almost 14,000 on Kauai, more than 12,000 on Maui, more than 11,000 on Oahu, and more than 1,400 on Molokai. The untreated wastewater from cesspools can contaminate ground water, drinking water sources, streams and oceans with disease-causing pathogens, algae-causing nutrients, and other harmful substances.…

DOH Director Vows Continued Support for Kalaupapa

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

State Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Linda Rosen has a soft spot for Kaluapapa, but her term is nearing its end, and she visited the settlement last week to speak with residents there personally.

“I just want to let you know what a privilege it has been to be the director of the Department of Health and to have the privilege to be involved with Kalaupapa,” Rosen said.

Rosen, a political appointee, was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in February to fill a vacancy created by the death of former director Loretta Fuddy. With a new governor being elected in November, there will be a change in all of the appointed directors.…

Community Center Improvements Nearing Completion

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Kaunakakai’s community facility, the Mitchell Pauole Center, remains closed for renovations but its completion is near.

“The bulk of the work is done,” said Brianne Savage, interim parks director for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, which is in charge of the project. “We’re pushing [for reopening] as soon as we can.”

Construction began at the end of March, and was slated to be finished this December. Savage said she hopes the facility will be ready ahead of schedule. No official completion date has yet been set.

The renovations — which include an additional freestanding covered lanai, kitchen and restroom improvements, and wheelchair accessibility upgrades to current Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards – are budgeted at over $1 million.…

Honoring County Employees

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Honoring County Employees

Harvey Place, center, the winner of this year’s Employee of The Year, stands with Mayor Alan Arakawa, right, and Molokai County Council member Stacy Crivello, left.

Molokai county employees serve island residents every day by working to make sure community needs are met. In recognition of their services and hard work, employees from Maui County’s five departments on island were honored at a luncheon last Thursday.

“Every employee and job is critical to the operation that we have,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We want to make sure that everybody recognizes that we as county employees are here to provide the very best services we can to the community so we can have the highest quality of life.”

County employees are responsible for a variety of tasks that keep the island running smoothly — and many work above and beyond their job description.…

Community Talks County Budget

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Maui County mixed things up at this year’s community budget meetings with a new format that allowed residents, organizations and community leaders more focused opportunities to add input to the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

The new format rotated community members through tables of staff from each county department. County directors and staff members listened to concerns, addressed budget needs and answered questions about department-specific county-related issues. Attendees were given a form to write down their comments. All concerns were submitted to Budget Director for the Mayor’s Office Sandy Baz at the end of the meeting.

“This new format is being very well received from the community,” Baz said.…