Government

County Talks Economic Opportunities on Molokai

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Molokai’s entrepreneurs, inventors and creative thinkers sat down with Maui County officials last Thursday to brainstorm new ways the county can improve economic development on the island. Ten representatives from the Maui County Office of Economic Development (OED) flew to Molokai for an all-day session to talk story about diverse resources available to local businesses and how staff can better serve the community.

“There are resources we have available through the county that you may not be aware of,” Jennifer Hawkins, event organizer and small business specialist at the OED’s Kuha`o Business Center, told Molokai participants. “So I just want to connect you and let you become familiar with some of our specialists…and to make sure that when you connect with them you don’t lose that connection.”

The OED, part of the mayor’s office, is made up of 12 representatives and specialists appointed by the mayor.…

County Seeks Input for Home Biz Bill

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The Maui County Council visited Molokai last month asking for community input for a home-based business bill currently under revision. More than 30 home business owners attended, expressing frustration that they were unaware of the bill’s existence. Council members made special arrangements to come back and talk story with the community about what the bill is about and ask what should be changed for Molokai. Yet, when Council members Don Couch and Stacey Crivello arrived for the scheduled meeting last Tuesday, only one home-based business owner attended.

“I want to hear what [laws] fit for Molokai,” said Crivello. “If one size fits all then so be it, but if it doesn’t, now is the time to tell us.”

Couch said the bill was first introduced two years ago after several cases of angry neighbors reported that home-based businesses were causing disturbances in their area.…

Reef Rules

Monday, December 16th, 2013

State Amends Law Protecting Coral Reefs

Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems extend more than 5,000 square miles and make up 60 percent of coral reefs in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. With today’s global human impacts damaging or threatening 70 percent of the world’s coral reef systems, losing 80 percent of coral species within the Caribbean alone, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources is thinking of new ways to better protect and restore one of Hawaii’s most culturally valued resources.

The DLNR came to Molokai earlier this month as part of a statewide public hearing process, announcing amended Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) relating to the protection of stony coral and live rock.…

HI Boaters Must Complete Boating Education

Monday, December 16th, 2013

DNLR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is reminding Hawaii boaters they now have less a year’s time to take a boating safety course approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators and the State of Hawaii.  Hawaii Administrative Rule 13-244-15.5 requiring operators of motorized vessels in state waters to take a safety course became effective on Nov. 10, 2012.

Enforcement of the new rule will begin on the second anniversary of the rule’s effective date, on Nov. 10, 2014. After that date in 2014, boaters will be required to show proof of successful completion of an approved boating safety course.…

County Boards and Commissions Open for Applications

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Maui County News Release

Applications are now being accepted for County of Maui boards, councils, commissions and committees. Responsibilities include hearing public testimony, reviewing policies and standards and making recommendations. On Molokai, the Molokai Planning Commission has openings and requires applicants.

Positions are appointed by the Mayor, confirmed by the County Council and have terms lasting two to five years. While no monetary compensation is provided for serving on a board or commission, the public’s participation helps provide an important government service. Anyone interested in serving on a Board or Commission may apply online at mauicounty.gov/Boards. The deadline for applications is Dec.…

Mitchell Pauole Center Construction to Move Forward

Monday, December 16th, 2013

A slew of proposed improvements to the Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai have been approved and construction will begin next year. The changes include expanding the existing lanai and constructing a new freestanding lanai, as well as updating the facility’s kitchen and upgrading the entire building to current Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards. The community center is currently scheduled to be closed for general use starting in February through the end of 2014.

ADA improvements will total $90,000 — an amount that was allocated for this project and would lapse at the end of the year if not used, which motivated a tighter deadline on moving the project forward, according to staff of the County Department of Parks and Recreation that’s proposing the project.…

Federal Funds for Conservation Ag

Monday, December 16th, 2013

USDA News Release

As a Molokai farmer or rancher, you may be eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) most common Farm Bill Programs. These include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, Agricultural Management Assistance Program, and Conservation Stewardship Program. Contact the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Ho`olehua to find out if you are eligible for this funding. Applications for the first ranking period of 2014 are due at NRCS offices by close of business on Jan. 17.

“We are encouraging farmers and ranchers to utilize the federal funding available to help improve conservation on private land,” said Shirley Nakamura, NRCS Assistant Director for Programs.…

8 Survivors, 1 Death in Makani Kai Kalaupapa Crash — UPDATED

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

8 Survivors, 1 Death in Makani Kai Kalaupapa Crash — UPDATED

Updated Thursday, 12/12 at 3 p.m.

A Makani Kai flight departing Kalaupapa this afternoon crashed into the water about 3:45 p.m. shortly after take-off about 1/2 mile off the peninsula last night. Eight on board the Cessna Grand Caravan survived, while Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking plane.

The pilot, Clyde Kawasaki, has been flying for Makani Kai for one year. He previously worked as a pilot for Aloha Airlines and has experience working thousands of hours of flight time, according to a Makani Kai representative.

“He’s a pilot that I’ve flown with frequently — he’s one of the best,” said Department of Health Kalaupapa Administrator Mark Miller.…

County, Monsanto Sign Pesticide Agreement

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Maui County and Monsanto signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week that requires Monsanto to disclose information about pesticide use on a voluntary basis. Monsanto operates on both Maui and Molokai.

“Responsible use of pesticides is a concern for us all, especially for those of us who grew up on these islands when sugar cane and pineapples were our main exports,” said Mayor Arakawa. “There must be safeguards and a sharing of information, and I believe the AG Oversight Agreement [MOU] is a proactive step we needed to take….”

The MOU comes shortly after bills were passed on both Kauai and Hawaii Island involving restrictions on the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).…

Renovations for Mitchell Pauole Center

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

An expansion and improvement project has been proposed for Kaunakakai’s community facility, the Mitchell Pauole Center (MPC). The changes include expansion of the existing lanai and construction of a new freestanding lanai, as well as updating the facility’s kitchen and upgrading the entire building to current Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards.

The improvements are valued at $300,000, with approximately 2,288 square foot of renovations. The project description lists the need for ADA improvements to the facility’s restrooms, parking lot, kitchen cabinets and other amenities. It also calls for lighting and electrical systems to be replaced to improve efficiency. An added covered, freestanding lanai area proposed for the east side of the existing facility would be 43 feet wide by 67 feet deep.…