Political

Molokai and Hawaii – Island Politics

Lawsuit Filed in Loretta Fuddy’s Death

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The brother of former state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a lawsuit filed last Monday that a faulty engine is to blame for the Makani Kai plane’s ocean landing off Kalaupapa last December that caused his sister’s death.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Lewis Fuddy Jr. is suing engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation over the Dec. 11 crash that killed his sister. The pilot and seven other passengers on the flight survived without major injuries, but Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking Cessna Grand Caravan. Autopsy results concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, following the crash.…

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.…

Panel Speaks Against Pesticides

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Agriculture in the United States uses millions of pounds of pesticides and herbicides per year. About 80,000,000 pounds of atrazine, a widely used herbicide found in many U.S. water sources, is sprayed on crops annually. At the same time, some male frogs are “feminizing” –producing eggs instead of sperm, and agricultural chemicals are the blame, according to Dr. Tyrone Hayes.

Hayes, University of California Berkeley Professor of Integrative Biology, presented a lecture to address the effects of agricultural chemicals on hormones as part of a five-island speaking tour on Molokai, May 16. Hayes was joined by food advocates Maui District Health Officer Dr.…

Gabbard Talks Story with Middle School Students

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Gabbard Talks Story with Middle School Students

When Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visited Molokai two weeks ago, she talked story with an assembly of Molokai Middle School students and answered their questions, both probing and fun. The congresswoman told students that she works in Washington, D.C. about three weeks every month, and comes home to Hawaii to travel around her districts for about a week. Here are some of the questions students from the Middle School seventh and eighth grade Social Studies classes prepared.

Question: How has being in the military influenced the decisions you made?

Answer: The time I served in the Middle East on two deployments really changed me a lot and informed some of my policy positions.…

Gabbard to Assist Veterans in Completion of Center

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Gabbard to Assist Veterans in Completion of Center

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.…

Robotics Team Gets Congressional Praise

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Robotics Team Gets Congressional Praise

During her visit to Molokai last week, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard honored the Molokai Middle School Robotics Team for their accomplishments at the VEX IQ Robotics World Championships in California last month.

The team came home ranked 10th in the world in the teamwork category and 17th for Qualifications out of 60 teams worldwide. Their results also qualify them to compete in the international competition this summer in Honolulu.

“I think sometimes it can be easy for us… to take for granted how awesome all of you are, so I get the privilege of being able to tell you how awesome you are,” said Gabbard, “and how proud we are, not just here on Molokai, not just here in Hawaii, but across the country to see how the talent and the skill of the students here is representing the strength of Hawaii…”

Assisted by County Councilwoman Stacy Crivello, Gabbard presented the team with Congressional recognition.…

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.…

Ige Visits Molokai on Campaign for Governor

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Ige Visits Molokai on Campaign for Governor

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.

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.…