Government

Legal Short-Term Rentals on the Rise

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Since a Maui County ordinance creating a procedure to legalize short-term rental houses was passed in May of last year, eight properties have been permitted on Molokai to serve as vacation rentals. The two most recent permits were granted by the Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) last week, receiving widespread support from neighbors in the east end Waialua community.

Before the ordinance, only two Molokai homes were operating as legal short-term rentals, after going through a lengthy permitting process. Short-term rentals have long been contended on Molokai; with few accommodations for visitors, many homeowners rent their houses on a short-term basis, even though county law had prohibited the practice in the past.…

Dream Green Team

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Talking trash isn’t usually a good thing, but a small team in Kalaupapa is changing the way people think about rubbish with their award winning solid waste management program. The Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KNHP) Green Team, comprised of five local Molokai employees, has received national recognition for the work they’re doing to make the peninsula a statewide model of waste management.

The team — Arthur Ainoa, Joseph Kahee, Brennan Lee-Namakaeha, Pa`oneakai Lee-Namakaeha, and Ryan Mahiai — has recently been named one of seven recipients of the National Park Service’s 2013 Environmental Achievement awards. The award recognizes their accomplishment of drastically reducing the peninsula’s solid waste through recycling, composting, conserving and reusing.…

County Budget Decisions

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Maui County News Release

It’s that time of year when the County of Maui makes big budget decisions. Come out and add your input to what’s important to fund this year. Mayor Alan Arakawa is encouraging all community members to participate in the Community Budget Meetings for Fiscal Year 2015, which will be held around the county next month.

The budget meeting on Molokai will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 5:45 p.m. for the CDBG hearing and 6 p.m. for the budget meeting at the Mitchell Pauole Center.

“Feedback from these meetings provides valuable direction to for us,” said Mayor Arakawa.…

Talk Story with Sen. Schatz

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Talk Story with Sen. Schatz

Last week, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz made a visit to Molokai and talked story with business owners, farmers, advocates and residents. Schatz is former Hawaii Lt. Governor, and was elected by Gov. Abercrombie to serve out Daniel Inouye’s term until the 2014 special election, for which he is running. As a senator, Schatz sits on three Senate committees: Commerce, Energy and Natural Resources, and Indian Affairs. Here are some excerpted questions and answers — some from a conversation with the Dispatch and others from community members.

Question (Q): What do you love about Molokai?
Schatz’s answer (A): It’s the sense of people depending on each other and real aloha.…

Impaired Driving Enforcement

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Maui Police Department News Release

The Maui Police Department will be participating with the nationwide Impaired Driving National Enforcement crackdown from August 16 to September 2, 2013. Police will set up intoxication checkpoints at unannounced locations and times during this two week period. Intoxication checkpoints will be set up county wide, which will include Hana, Lanai and Molokai.

People are encouraged to drive sober. Those that will be consuming alcoholic beverages are reminded not to drive and to use a designated driver or find an alternate mode of transportation.

Police will also step up enforcement with seat belt usage, speeding and electronic mobile devices.…

Partnering for Preservation

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Partnering for Preservation

Protecting Molokai’s Watersheds

An understanding of the connections between mountains and ocean — mauka and makai — is rooted in ancient Hawaiian culture. Today, invasive species and human impacts are threatening to clog Molokai’s reef — the most extensive coral reef in the Main Hawaiian Islands — with sediment washed down from the mountain slopes. Today, scientists are doing studies to provide proof of this evidence and offer their data to help find solutions. And today, Molokai residents are meeting together to discuss those solutions and taking action to protect the island’s most valuable resources — both the mountains and the ocean.…

Oceanic Internet Upgrade

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Oceanic Time Warner Cable broadband Internet customers on Molokai have waited for years, filed dozens of complaints and wrung their hands in frustration as hundreds streaming Netflix movies failed to load — all because of Internet speeds many called substandard. Finally, the wait is over and YouTube videos can buffer in an instant. Last week, Oceanic upgraded Molokai service from microwave technology to fiber optic — effectively doubling Internet speeds to its approximately 1,000 island customers, according to Oceanic President Bob Barlow.

Last week, Oceanic notified its Molokai customers of the upgrade through an automated telephone message. Barlow said no interruption in service occurred, and despite their preparation for potential technical issues, none were experienced.…

Brother Dutton Statue Gifted to Molokai

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Molokai is already home to two saints — Damien and Marianne — and if efforts continue, the island might be known for a third: Brother Joseph Dutton. Dutton worked alongside St. Damien and Marianne to serve Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa, but he is just as known for his rocky past before becoming a Catholic. Thanks to Oahu benefactor John Perreira and a few local residents, including the late Larry Helm, a statue of Dutton will soon arrive on Molokai to help tell the story of a transformation from soldier to would-be saint.

A Relatable Life
Dutton served in the Northern Army during the Civil War and climbed the ranks for his loyal service.…

Kalaupapa Barge Day

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Kalaupapa Barge Day

The remote Kalaupapa settlement is normally the epitome of peace. But once a year, its wharf becomes as busy as a New York City intersection. It’s barge day — a big occasion for the tiny community that’s taken place annually for decades. It’s when a year’s worth of equipment, gasoline, non-perishable food supplies and personal orders is delivered to the settlement. It’s been described as Christmas in July.

There’s only barge in the state small enough to fit into Kalaupapa’s narrow harbor — and only a short window of time in the summer when the rough water is calm enough for the barge to safely dock.…

Hotel Kitchen Approved for Repair

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Hotel Kitchen Approved for Repair

A year after a fire destroyed Hotel Molokai’s kitchen , Hula Shores restaurant and bar is one step closer to repairing and reopening its dining facilities. Hotel Molokai was approved for repairs at the June 26 Molokai Planning Commission meeting, securing their ability to begin construction soon. The Special Management Area (SMA) minor permit approved repairs to the Hula Shores kitchen and the hotel’s storerooms, laundry and second floor guestroom, all of which was demolished after an accidental fire June 19, 2012.

The Maui County Planning Department set a June 30, 2014 start date for construction and completion within a year after that.…