Government

OHA Trustees to Hold Meetings On Molokai

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

OHA News Release

Native Hawaiians on Molokai will get an opportunity to provide feedback to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) at a community forum as well as a regular meeting scheduled by the Board of Trustees.

The community meeting is designed for OHA officials to listen to concerns and highlight efforts to improve conditions within Hawaiian communities. Both meetings are open to the public. Here are the specifics:

Community Meeting
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
6:30 p.m.
Kulana `Oiwi Halau

OHA Board of Trustees Meeting
Thursday, June 19, 2014
9 a.m.
Kulana `Oiwi Halau

For more information, visit oha.org, or call OHA’s office on Molokai at (808) 560-3611.…

Molokai Trains for Hurricane Preparedness

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Molokai Trains for Hurricane Preparedness

The National Guard demonstrates an emergency communication system that would allow Molokai to communicate with first responders across the state during a disaster. Photo by Bianca Moragne.

Imagine this: A destructive hurricane is spotted in the Central Pacific Ocean south of Molokai with wind speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. Once it hits land, the hurricane delivers a storm surge of destructive winds that leave many residents without electricity, shelter, food or water — and wipes out the island’s communication systems.

On Molokai last week, participants in statewide hurricane preparedness exercises run by the Hawaii State Civil Defense (HSCD), engaged in communication systems training and practiced emergency procedures in case this scenario becomes reality.…

Molokai Native Gains Air Force Recognition

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Molokai Native Gains Air Force Recognition

Community Contributed

By Capt. Renee Lee, Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs

Hailing from Ho`olehua, Molokai, James Low never imagined that he would live and travel around the world, and eventually settle nearly 5,000 miles away from home. Today, Low and his family reside in Dover, Delaware, where they have called home for nearly 10 years. There, he works as Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) Air and Space Expeditionary Force Cell Chief and was recognized as an AFDW Capital Airman in April.

Growing up on a farm, Low enjoyed a quiet, laidback life that involved frequent visits to the beach, playing basketball and baseball with friends, and going to church with his family.…

Reaching for Excellence

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Reaching for Excellence

With dwindling state budgets for athletics and the arts, and after-school programs often focusing on elementary and high school levels, a program called REACH initiated by the Lieutenant Governor has given Molokai Middle School (MMS) a boost. REACH, which stands for Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health, was launched in early 2014 and provided more than $260,000 to selected middle schools statewide.

MMS was selected as one of five pilot schools for the program and received $45,000 in funding for academic enrichment, athletics and the arts.

“[Students] need an experience to relate new learning to… otherwise it is difficult for them to remember and put into context,” said MMS Principal Gary Davidson.…

Undersea Cable Still On the Table for Some Islands

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

State and federal energy officials got a clear message from Molokai residents who voiced their continued opposition to a potential undersea transmission cable in Hawaii that would transport energy interisland.

“I’m totally pro-renewable energy which is why I’m very concerned and upset by this document,” said Molokai resident and energy expert Mike Bond, referring to the Hawaii Clean Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). “The one thing that concerns me the most is the tacit acceptance of the undersea cable… I think the cable is a disaster — it’s hyper-costly, and in my view, a political, corporate scam.”

The PEIS is a 1,000-page-plus document that analyzes potential environmental impacts associated with a wide variety of clean energy technologies and activities across the state.…

Veterans Corner

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha my beloved veterans and fellow residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. On Memorial Day, small flags mark the graves of service members at cemeteries across the country to honor the fallen. How did this tradition begin? During the Civil War, a widow in Knoxville, Tennessee named Laura D Richardson led a group of four women who formed a committee to obtain flowers to decorate 3,000 graves in the city’s national cemetery. However, the flowers that the group wanted to purchase were unavailable or out of season. One day, Richardson saw a small toy flag in a store window and got an idea.…

Gabbard to Assist Veterans in Completion of Center

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Gabbard to Assist Veterans in Completion of Center

Photo by Catherine Cluett.

After a nearly decade-long fight to build a veterans’ center on Molokai, including a few years in the construction phase, the building still isn’t finished. But Molokai veterans hope that a visit last week from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, herself a combat veteran with the Hawaii National Guard, will help spur its completion.

Inside the painted but empty interior of the building on Kaunakakai Place, Gabbard talked with members of Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans (MVCV) about the challenges they are facing with both the center and receiving services on Molokai. She also honored the late MVCV Commander Larry Helm by visiting his family and promising her support to complete the center, which was his dream.…

Molokai Gets $9M in CIP Funds

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

With the state budget for fiscal year 2014-15 green-lighted at $12.1 billion, Molokai has been allocated more than $9 million in capital improvement funds. That’s part of about $226 million set aside for the seventh senate district of Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kaho`olawe, reported Sen. J. Kalani English.

“Molokai is getting more than its fair share of the state budget,” said English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs. “While working in partnership with Rep. Mele Carroll we were able to secure many of the Capital Improvement Project funds that Molokai truly deserves.  These appropriations show that the Legislature recognizes the importance of Molokai.”

Projects range from education and athletics to agriculture and transportation infrastructure.…

Gov. Abercrombie Campaigns on Molokai

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Gov. Abercrombie Campaigns on Molokai

Incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie visited Molokai last week to tour local schools, agricultural programs and talk story with residents during his campaign for reelection. At a lunch event held at the Molokai Community Health Center on Monday, Abercrombie shared his accomplishments, as well as discussed some of Molokai’s challenges. Here, we have presented a summary of his speech in the form of questions and answers, some of which were added for clarity in this format, and some of which were asked by Dispatch staff in an interview afterward.

Q: What progress do you feel has been made since you’ve been in office?

Money Matters: 2015 County Budget

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Money Matters: 2015 County Budget

Money may not be everything, but around county budget season, it becomes pretty important. Mayor Alan Arakawa presented county councilmembers with his proposed $622.6 million Fiscal Year 2015 budget last month, and since then, the council has been traveling to various districts gathering public input.

On Molokai, the three-hour meeting held two weeks ago garnered a lively turnout and a full slate of testimony.

“We’re here to listen to you as to what your needs are,” said Molokai councilmember Stacy Crivello.

This year’s proposed budget is a $63.3 million increase — 11.3 percent — from last fiscal year’s financial plan adopted by the council.…