Hundreds Testify on GMO and Pesticide Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than 100 Molokai residents sat all day outside Molokai’s county offices last Tuesday, waiting to testify on a proposed Maui County bill aimed at regulating pesticide use and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

As currently written, the bill would establish mandatory disclosure requirements for commercial agricultural companies using certain quantities of pesticides, create buffer zones around schools, other public areas and bodies of water, and require public notification before pesticide applications. It also calls for the county to complete studies on the possible environmental and health impacts of large-scale agricultural companies that use pesticides and GMOs.

Introduced by Maui Council Member Elle Cochran, the bill resembles one passed into law on Kauai in November.…

Bill to Address Radiation Concerns

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jade Bruhjell

Hawaii, a close neighbor of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, sits poised to be further enveloped by radioactive elements brought by air and Pacific Ocean currents from Japan. Being a new sort of disaster, we find ourselves stunned and confused with conflicting reports, and after over two years, still unable to fathom how to cope with a continuing and escalating catastrophe here in our Island chain. Sea life and drinking water are two of the most affected aspects, and on Molokai, fishing is such a part of daily life that we need to think seriously about current levels of radiation.…

Hanabusa Talks With Molokai

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hanabusa Talks With Molokai

Photo by Catherine Cluett

With the primary election approaching in August, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa made a stop on Molokai last week and sat down to talk story with residents and answer questions. Here, The Molokai Dispatch summarizes some of those questions and her responses.

A fourth generation resident from the Waianai coast, Hanabusa said though she is not Native Hawaiian, the cause is especially important to her, along with education and seeing student success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Question (Q): How do you see the future of energy in Hawaii?
Colleen Hanabusa (CH): You’re not going to go independent of fossil fuels overnight.…

Landfill Closed After Ordnance Discovery

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Landfill Closed After Ordnance Discovery

Photo of the ordnance discovered at the landfill, after detonation. Photo contributed anonymously.

The Molokai Landfill closed temporarily last week after workers discovered a potentially unexploded ordnance there on Monday.

“The ordinance was found during the sorting and separating of an older waste pile that consisted mostly of construction…waste with green waste mixed in it,” said Rod Antone, Maui County communications director.

The ordnance was from the 1940s, when military aircraft dropped practice bombs on some areas of Molokai for training, according to U.S. Army’s Staff Sergeant Corbin Heard with the 74th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit at Schofield Barracks.

After the ordnance was found, the Molokai Police Department contacted Heard’s unit to investigate the bomb.…

Student Leaders Take Senator on Campus Tour

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Student Leaders Take Senator on Campus Tour

Molokai Middle School Press Release

Molokai Middle School (MMS) students showcased their school with pride to an unlikely visitor last month. Sen. Mazie Hirono took a one-hour tour led by the MMS Student Council. Hirono’s initial interest in the school’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and Garden Bed programs got her attention and prompted her visit.

Noteworthy programs offered by teachers and partnerships with the Molokai community all played an important role.  Highlights of Hirono’s visit included a tour of the school’s Vegetable Garden Beds, Activities and Assemblies Program (a clothes drive to aide the victims of the Philippines), O’ Hina I Ka Malama Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Mo`omomi Project), STEM (VEX Robotics), The Girl’s Bridge Team, History Club, Media Broadcast Wheel, Restored Greenhouse, and the newly constructed Halau that sits mauka of the school.…

Molokai Landfill Reopened After Ordnance Detonated

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Molokai Landfill Reopened After Ordnance Detonated

Maui County News Release

County emergency response personnel blocked the entrance to the Molokai Landfill Tuesday morning while military explosives unit detonated the unexploded ordnance. Photo by Catherine Cluett

The Molokai Landfill has been reopened this morning (Tuesday, Jan. 14) after workers discovered a suspected explosive ordnance yesterday.

In response, the Maui Police Department contacted the military and an explosive ordnance unit detonated the object today. The “all clear” was given prior to 10:30 a.m. for the landfill to reopen to the public.

The Maui County Department of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, thanks our Molokai residents for their patience during this matter.…

Molokai Landfill Closed Until Further Notice

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Maui County News Release

Due to a potentially unexploded ordnance discovered today (Monday, Jan. 13) at the Molokai Landfill, the Molokai Landfill will be closed starting tomorrow, Tuesday Jan. 14 until further notice, per directive from the Maui Police Department.

The Molokai Police Department has been notified and is monitoring and securing the facility. The Molokai Police Department has contacted the military disposal unit and will notify the County when the “all clear” has been given.

At this time there is no estimated time for returning to full service at the Molokai Landfill.

The Solid Waste Division apologizes for the inconvenience, and thanks the Molokai community for their understanding.…

Nominations for Mayor’s Small Business Awards

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Maui County News Release

The Mayor’s Small Business Awards honor outstanding small businesses in our community, and nomination forms are now available for the upcoming awards.

“Small businesses are the true job generators, and owners risk a great deal to open their doors, create jobs, grow and stimulate our economy,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said. “Maui County is fortunate to have many successful small businesses that are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and ingenuity. I look forward to honoring them through this awards program.”

Annual 2014 Mayor’s Small Business Awards are announced jointly by the mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) and the Maui Chamber of Commerce.…

Kalaupapa Aircraft Wreckage to be Recovered, Under Investigation

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Kalaupapa Aircraft Wreckage to be Recovered, Under Investigation

After a Makani Kai aircraft crashed into the ocean off Kalaupapa last Wednesday, Makani Kai owner Richard Schuman said the Cessna Grand Caravan will be recovered this week.

“We know what happened, but not why,” Schuman told the Dispatch Sunday. “One way or another, we’ll get that aircraft out… and get the engine to the manufacturer [for answers.]”

The Makani Kai flight departing Kalaupapa about 3:45 p.m. experienced “catastrophic engine failure” shortly after take-off, according to pilot Clyde Kawasaki. The plane went down about 1/2 mile off the peninsula. Eight on board survived, while Department of Health (DOH) Director Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking plane.…

Mateo Appointed as County Clerk

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Maui County Council News Release

Former Maui County Council Chair and Molokai representative Dennis “Danny” Mateo has been appointed as the new County Clerk. After serving as a councilmember for 10 years, Mateo has recently worked as Executive Assistant to Mayor Alan Arakawa.

“He is a consummate professional,” Council Chair Gladys Baisa said. “He dedicates every ounce of himself to the job. Let’s get going, we have lots of work to do!”

Mateo addressed council members’ concerns about a potential conflict of interest about being a former elected official and currently working for the administration.

“I don’t see a conflict and in fact, I think it helps,” Mateo responded.…