A federal judge has ruled that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops is invalid. The order determined that the ordinance, initiated and passed by voters in November’s election, was preempted by federal and state law that allows cultivation of GE crops, and therefore the ban exceeds the county’s authority.
In the decision issued last Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Mollway made it clear that the decision was not a comment on the validity of concerns for or against the ban, but simply a legal response to the question of whether the ban was enforceable based on existing state and federal law.…
Pacific Century News Release
The Fund for the Pacific Century, a charitable, nonprofit organization, is accepting applications for its 15th class of Pacific Century Fellows. The program, modeled after the White House Fellows Program, is designed to recognize and encourage Hawaii’s future leaders.
The nine-month program will include approximately 30 of Hawaii’s most promising individuals from all segments of our community who are in their mid-20s to early 40s. The fellows will be selected by an 18-member committee of prominent citizens based on their demonstrated ability to set and achieve goals and on having exhibited leadership qualities in their current professional, volunteer, and civic activities.…
On June 5, the Maui County Council passed a bill to appropriate $105,000 to Sea Link of Hawaii, which operates the Molokai ferry and has reported losses in riders and funds over the past year.
With a contract still to be written for the funding, it will take about a month for Sea Link to receive the money, according to County Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen. She added they’re still in the process of deciding whether the finding will be given all at once or in increments.
Since January, the ferry has been losing an average of $20,000-$25,000 a month, according Sea Link President and Senior Captain Dave Jung.…
By Reynolds Ayau
Photo by Richard Cooke.
To the people of Molokai, aloha! My name is Reynolds Ayau and I’m the Kahu for a little church in Halawa Valley called lerusalema Hou Church. Our little church is badly in need of replacement. Dry rot and termites have made it a total hazard.
To try and remedy the situation, we had to contact the landowner. The landowner, God bless her, said, “I didn’t know I owned the property so I’ll donate it to the church.” That was over three years ago and we are still waiting for the County of Maui to approve the necessary subdivision.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…