Kalaupap Peninsula and Kalawao County news, articles, and stories.

Farewell to the Rose of Kalaupapa

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis, Kalaupapa

She climbed the few steps from the airport’s concrete strip and disappeared into Makani Kai’s plane. The doors closed, the engines roared, and the small plane began to pull away from the terminal building. We watched and waved as it taxied toward the top of the runway, turned, and with an increased roar of the engines, sped down the runway, then lifted gracefully into the Kalaupapa sky. The Rose of Kalaupapa was on her way to her next adventure.

The previous night we had toasted and roasted Sister Rose Annette Ahuna as she prepared to leave us after four years of wonderful ministry here in Kalaupapa.…

A Return to Konohiki

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Community-based proposal to manage Hawaii’s resources

Last month in Kalaupapa, the state-mandated Aha Moku Advisory Council presented a plan that could change the way natural resources are managed in Hawaii. The plan calls for a return to the konihiki system, in which those knowledgeable about the ways of the ocean set guidelines for marine food gathering using traditional Hawaiian methods.

“The Aha Moku is set up to look at evolving power back to the communities as far as resource management,” said Sen. Kalani English, who was among a handful of legislators who attended the Kalaupapa gathering. “How do we do that within state law… that’s what we’re figuring out.”

The konohiki were those in ancient Hawaii who continued teaching, assessing and learning generationally in an unbroken line of distinguished performance outcomes, according to the Aha Moku’s konohiki initiative.…

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.…

Funding for Improved Kalaupapa Waste Management

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

KNHP News Release

Joseph Kahee, Pa`oneakai Lee-Namakaeha and Ryan Mahiai, employees of the Solid Waste Facility of Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KNHP), were awarded one of 33 grants across the country in the amount of $12,500. The funding was through the Horace M. Albright-Conrad L. Wirth Grant Program at the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The Albright Wirth Grant Program supports a wide range of innovative projects that give National Park Service employees the opportunity to pursue personal and professional training experiences.

This group grant was used to implement a comprehensive “greening” plan for KNHP. One of the core components of the plan was to lay the groundwork for an integrated solid waste management system in Kalaupapa.…

Safeguarding Kalaupapa’s Past

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Safeguarding Kalaupapa’s Past

Ancient rock formations left by Native Hawaiians on Kalaipapa’s Kaukaho Crater, seen in the foreground, serve as a reminder of the past and efforts are being made to preserve them for future generations. Photo by Catherine Cluett

The Kalaupapa peninsula’s long history of isolation makes it one of the most pristine cultural resources left in Hawaii, according to the National Park Service (NPS). Its 10,700-acre authorized park boundary keeps the landscape raw and untouchable from modern land developers but its overgrowth of invasive vegetation threatens to eat away the traces of ancient Hawaiian residents 1,000 years ago.

Though Kalaupapa is most commonly known for its Hansen’s disease residents that were exiled there in 1866 and the geographic and societal segregation that took place over 100 years, the peninsula hosted a dense Hawaiian population nearly 900 years prior.…

Brother Dutton Statue Installed

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Brother Dutton Statue Installed

The Brother Dutton statue is installed, pictured here with Father Bill Petrie, Galen Hodell and Matthew Bicoy of St. Damien Catholic Parish. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Molokai Catholic parishioners got to see the face of a new statue of Brother Joseph Dutton for the first time when it arrived on the island from China last Thursday. The statue of the Civil War veteran who worked for 45 years in Kalaupapa with St. Damien depicts him in his youth wearing his Union uniform. There is a growing movement to promote Dutton to sainthood alongside Damien and Marianne Cope, and the statue may be one starting point for that process, said Molokai’s Father Bill Petrie of St.…

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 Bar Celebrates 10 Years

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Kalaupapa Bar Celebrates 10 Years

Last weekend, a street in Kalaupapa was closed for the second block party in the settlement’s history. A decade ago, Kalaupapa patient resident Gloria Marks bought the settlement’s only bar, and last Friday, the 100-resident community came out to celebrate the business’ 10th anniversary. It was Marks who also hosted the settlement’s first block party for the bar’s firth anniversary in 2008.

“Ten years is good but I have to make it another 10!” said Marks, Kalaupapa’s only business owner. Marks also runs Damien Tours, which is nearing its 50th anniversary.

Called Fuesaina’s Bar, Marks’ business stocks more than 10 varieties of beer, and some wine as well.…

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.…

Fire Truck Awaits Kalaupapa Home

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Fire Truck Awaits Kalaupapa Home


Three years ago, a fire truck was earmarked for Kalaupapa’s airport. But it still has not arrived on the settlement’s annual barge.  Instead, it sits unused, waiting for a proper garage that will protect the $300,000 truck from the elements and salt spray.

“If there’s not a garage for it, the fire truck will disintegrate in a year,” said Benton Ho, facilities engineer for the state Department of Transportation Airports Division. The Kalaupapa airport needs fire enforcement to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements now that flights to the peninsula regularly carry nine passengers, Ho said.

“We have been overflying by the FAA for several years now,” He said.…