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.…
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.…
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 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.…
The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract. Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.
Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides.
“More than once Richard Schuman always tells me, ‘if anything goes wrong in Kalaupapa, you call me and I will come there myself and pick up the people.’ That’s the kind of person he is,” said patient resident Gloria Marks at a community meeting at Kalaupapa’s McVeigh Hall last Tuesday.…
DHHL News Release
The State of Hawaii Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is seeking descendants still residing on Molokai of the 22 native Hawaiians allocated homestead lots and the 20 who were allocated residential lots at Kalaniana`ole Settlement, Kalama`ula, from Sept. 16, 1921, through Nov. 13, 1923.
In commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Kalanana`ole Settlement at Kalama`ula and the original 42 Hawaiian homesteaders, DHHL is planning on a celebration at Kalaniana`ole Hall, Kalama`ula following the Hawaiian Homes Commission meeting at the DHHL offices at Kulana `Oiwi on April 21, where the families of the original homesteaders will be recognized.…
State Senator and Democratic candidate for governor David Ige arrived on Molokai last week to talk story with residents before primary elections in November, challenging incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
David Ige. Photo by Jessica Ahles
Serving 28 years as a senator and a career in electrical engineering, Ige focuses on issues regarding education, economic development and the environment. Ige sat down with The Molokai Dispatch Friday to discuss issues relating to the Molokai community.
Question (Q): For you, what makes Molokai unique from the other islands?
David Ige (DI): This is my first time on Molokai in about 30 years. It is good to see that a lot of things have remained the same and a lot in Kaunakakai looks familiar since my last visit here.…
In an effort to streamline the permitting process, create more consistency and improve preventative maintenance for facilities, the county Department of Parks and Recreation will be revamping its procedures in the coming months. From parks and public facilities to leagues and community sports, Parks and Rec is instrumental in running many activities, services and events on Molokai. If you’re in the market to book an event or organize a league, you may notice some changes in the process — all with the goal of making it simpler, quicker and more consistent.
Brianne Savage, deputy director of the department, explained the changes to Molokai residents last week.…
Governor’s News Release
Molokai Community Health Center will receive $500,000 in capital improvement grant funds, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced last week.
Identified by the state Legislature, this grant will complete phase II of the Center’s capital improvement project that includes renovation of structures, an addition of a central deck, repaving the parking lot, installing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant walkways, as well as irrigation and landscaping at its Oceanside Center in Kaunakakai.
“The Molokai Community Health Center serves approximately 3,000 of the island’s 7,200 total residents, which is more than 40 percent of its population.” Abercrombie said. “This project will expand and improve access to quality health care on the Friendly Isle.”
The nonprofit Molokai Community Health Center is the only federally qualified health center on the island of Molokai.…
Maui County News Release
A Molokai community meeting organized by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) this week will include a presentation on the department’s proposed permitting and scheduling improvements for the use of County facilities. Parks officials also hope to gather input from individuals and organizations regarding improvement ideas for a stronger working relationship and partnership with DPR.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 20. The meeting had originally been scheduled earlier in the week. It will begin at 5 p.m. at Coffees of Hawaii, located in Kualapu`u.
Special event coordinators, tournament organizers and officials of adult sports organizations who utilize DPR facilities for their events on Molokai are encouraged to attend.…