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Residents Protest Passenger Yacht

Meetings held to discuss community action.

As American Safari Cruises’ (ASC) yacht docked on its first trip to Molokai last Sunday morning, protesters greeted it with requests to leave local waters.

Over two dozen kupuna, teachers, fishermen, cultural practitioners and others chanted “No cruise ship” and “Go home!” toward the 145-foot boat, named the Safari Explorer.

As two vans carrying the boat’s passengers departed the docking area, protesters marched across the road holding signs reading “boycott this ship,” “you’re not welcomed” and “Hawaiian way or no way.”

Despite what some see as a benefit to Molokai’s economy and local businesses, others are upset that the venture was not discussed ahead of time in a community meeting, and that what they consider proper local protocol was not followed. Many also worry about the precedent this may set for future cruise companies.

“It’s critical that there’s a process in which the community can respond to you,” Molokai activist Walter Ritte told ASC officials last week.

The Safari Explorer is scheduled to make weekly stops to Molokai with a maximum of 36 passengers per visit. During their stay, guests will tour Halawa Valley, the plumeria and macadamia nut farms and attend a pa`ina and history lesson at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center. ASC is also buying local produce and beef to serve onboard.

“I am not aware of all the protocols but I’m learning,” said ASC CEO Dan Blanchard during a community meeting he called on Molokai last Friday. “For those of you who may have felt put aside…that was not the intention.”

Blanchard calls his company an “un-cruise” – “the antithesis of a typical cruise.”

“If there was a cruise coming into Kaunakakai, I wouldn’t want to be on it,” he said. “I honor all of you who fought off cruise ships.”

`Aha Ki`ole Involvement

During a meeting called by the `Aha Ki`ole last Thursday, Karen Poepoe said the organization is surveying its nearly 500 members on whether or not they support the yacht’s Molokai stops.

Mervin Dudoit, Kaunakakai moku representative, has been vocal in his opposition of the project. “The boat coming in my moku – there needed to be a community meeting.”

“Don’t say we don’t love the malihini because we do, but they gotta knock on the door, not come in the window,” said fisherman Leimana Naki.

Byron Espaniola, representative for the Kaluakoi moku, stated his support for Dudoit, but also for a fellow Maunaloa resident who is employed because of the yacht.

Teri Waros, who has worked with American Safari Cruises to facilitate conversations on Molokai, said at Friday’s ASC meeting that she was denied the opportunity to speak to the `Aha Ki`ole because of her previous work for Molokai Ranch. She added that when Dudoit “told me to take it to `Aha Ki`ole, that’s when I wrote” a letter explaining the project. “There was no [established] process” for presenting this type information, she added.

“I don’t want to change this place… but I don’t want to let it die,” Waros said, who added that she has lost a lot in her fight against the Ranch, and has been an active supporter of the `Aha Ki`ole since its inception. People “have to move off-island because there are no jobs here… All we’re doing to do is help some folks pay their rent this month.”

ASC Responds
ASC’s Amy Venema became emotional when she spoke of the feeling she and others get on Molokai during Friday’s meeting. “It’s a beautiful place – you feel it – and we want to do it right,” she said.

Blanchard explained while it’s important to understand what his company does, it’s also important to understand what they don’t do. While traveling to the north shore of Molokai or Hale O Lono were discussed originally, Blanchard said when he “realized [the north shore] was a very sacred area” and Hale O Lono was a popular local hang-out spot, he quickly abandoned those ideas. He added that the Safari Explorer will bring no kayaking, snorkeling or fishing to Molokai waters, nor small boat activity or beach landings.

“We want to be very considerate… of not getting in people’s way,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard and Venema also spoke of the education about each island they provide their passengers. For Molokai, that could include the island’s opposition to the proposed wind turbines and undersea cable. The guests, in turn, take that information back with them, share it with friends, and have even sent “letters to Congress on issues we present.”

“In order for us to control our future, we have to have a mechanism to control you so the next guys who come in can see that,” Ritte responded, referring to the planned protest. “Some of things you’re talking about makes a lot of sense… but it’s about the process.”

Lawrence Aki of Halawa Valley, who will offer guided tours to the passengers, shared some history of the company’s interactions, beginning in 2005, when Blanchard first visited Molokai.  He said Blanchard and Venema kept “showing up on [his] doorstep” because he refused to come out of the valley to meet them, he added, laughing. “Through that process, [I] found that these two people were true,” he said.

“I have seen people struggle to keep the culture the same way we struggle to keep the money,” said Molokai’s Kanoe Davis. “We have a lot of Hawaiians and a lot of malihini in this room who fight for the same cause – to survive.”

Ritte offered the option of delaying the first sailing, which he said would give the `Aha Ki`ole and community time to respond and time for ASC to “work with us.”

After the meeting, Blanchard said it was “a joy” to meet with Molokai residents and that he had a lot to think about.

Ritte said he waited all day Saturday to hear whether or not the boat would stick to schedule or cancel the Molokai stop, before he called for the protest the next morning.

“We want control over tourism,” he said to those gathered at the wharf Sunday morning. “The time of talking was presented to you,” he said of ASC.

“We love them,” said kupuna Judy Caparida, “but… greed sets in and they forget the promises they made.”

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61 Responses to “Residents Protest Passenger Yacht”

  1. Molokai PuleO'O says:

    Moloka’i was NEVER the friendly Island. That was what the Haole’s called it, as far as I can remember, Molokai has fought to keep it from development…Good Job WALTER RITTE keep up the good work and I stand by your side to help with whatever is needed..

  2. Molokai PuleO'O says:

    Ask yourself why has this childs parents decided to put their child in an immersion program??? Isn’t it because the language was taken away before and forbidden, by people that were welcomed to come and invade our lands. MOLOKAI is all we have left, look at Oahu and the rest of Hawaii the people have forgotten who they are. I to have family that have moved away to make money, and educate themselves. They come home and appreciate what we have here on Moloka’i, they are saddened by the change around them elsewhere. They speak of the changes that happen every year. The thing that they appreciate most about home is that it REMAINS THE SAME!!!

    Yes I believe that Many are on Welfare and Jobless, but it’s because they are LAZY!! Nobody is forcing them to sit idle, If you feel you can’t make it LEAVE THEN!!!

    One cruise ship will lead to one more and one more and so on….We cannot be stupid…
    Molokai is small and our resources are limited take care of what we have and we will never go hungry…

  3. Molokai PuleO'O says:

    YOU ARE THE CLOWN!!! Kissing OKOLE!! We fight for what is ours… How would you like someone walking in your HOME unwelcomed!!!YOU know what who gives a HOOT what they think about us…Main thing we get our point across… AND YOU ARE SAD putting down the PEOPLE OF MOLOKA’I WHO ARE YOU??? O yah thats right NOBODY!!!

  4. Molokaiwahine says:

    I am sorry that you are so upset and angry. I pray to God that you open your heart and You will forgive those of the past and God can forgive you.
    Ephesians5;1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children:and walk in love just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us,an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma
    5:and there must be no filthiness and silly talk,or coarse jesting,which are not fitting,but giving of thanks.
    Malama Pono

  5. AvgJoe says:

    Will the people of Molokai ever do anything to help themselves? Too many seem content to live off the U.S. taxpayer, all the while complaining about their lot in life. Is the goal to have 100% of Molokai on welfare?

  6. mokeman says:

    THESE ISSUES NO MORE THE LIMELIGHT THAT IS REQUIRED,AND WHO WOULD HE PROTEST AGAINST?? THE DRUG ADDICT FOR BEING LOLO,OR THE POOR HAWAIIAN WITH NO JOB,CAUSE NO MO WORK ANYWAYS,,,,THOSE CAUSES CAN’T BE FIXED AS EASY AS CHOPPING DOWN A TREE ON THE ROAD,,OR PARKING UR BOAT IN THE CHANNEL,,THEY ONLY PROTEST WHEN THEY CAN BE SEEN ON TV,OTHERWISE,,THEY WILL BE AS FORGOTTEN,AS THE DRUG ADDICT,,THE JOBLESS AND THE HOMELESS,,,,,,,,,,IF HE CAN HELP FIX THESE PROBLEMS,,I’LL PRAISE HIM ALL DAY LONG,,GO ON MY KNEES AND KISS HIS SKINNY OKOLE TOO…

  7. Loke Gandeza says:

    I’ve been reading your comments in both posts, you are are so very passionate in your beliefs and I respect that. What I don’t respect is the name calling, when someone has an opinion you don’t agree with. Even calling our own people lazy because they are on welfare? Not a fair assumption, and not alot of faith in your people. You are spending so much energy defending our precious land (it must be done, no question) but you are forgetting about our precious people. ALL PEOPLE, not just the ones that agree with you. We talk so much about our ancestors, yet we forget that the most prominent Hawaiian family’s on Molokai carry the last names of Ritte, Purdy, Albino, Duvachelle, Dudoit, Horner, Meyer etc. All these family’s have an ancestor that stepped foot on this land from another Country. Imagine if they stepped off the boat greeted by angry Hawaiian’s yelling “F..ing Haole Go Home, “F..ing Portagee go home, “F…ing Filapino, Pake, Japanee GO HOME!!! You have no value here!!! etc etc. (personally I am so grateful my Puerto Rican ancestor stayed and married a Hawaiian or I wouldn’t be here today. Every time you disrespect anyone that doesn’t have Hawaiian blood, you disrespect every one of the ancestors of the Hawaiian families listed above that came here from another country! This fighting is a waste of energy, everyone agrees that this particular yacht is not a problem… we all know the power of Molokai people so Cruz ships will NEVER be able to come to Molokai whether this yacht does or not. We won’t allow it. So why fight over something that WILL benefit our people now. It is in no way saying Molokai is opening its door to irresponsible development, if outside developers think other wise, they’ll learn fast this is not so. This yacht though is not irresponsible. aloha

  8. Finding the Balance says:

    That child is my daughter and yes I put all my children thru the immersion program so that they can learn the language and culture, something that was taken away from her family…..I totally believe in the Immersion program..

    But lets not dwell on the what ifs as I do not believe the majority want cruise ships..I certainly do not….But we are talking about a boat that brings people to learn about the culture, the values and the people of Molokai….

    No one seems to be against educating visitors so they can understand why it is so important to keep Molokai, Molokai..

    It appears that many in the community want their voices to be heard but scared…Why is that? We are also talking about Hawaiians with roots that penetrate deep in the ‘aina of Molokai….

    This boat I believe is a blessing in that it has woken the silent majority up because from what I am hearing many are sickened by the behavior of those protesting..Many are hanging their heads in shame…

    We need to look at the blessings we have now and this is a time to watch and observe and form a council that represents the entire island and not just a few…..

    Molokai has a voice from all sides and this is something that everyone needs to hear and understand…

    And so yes take care of what we have….the world is starving and so is Molokai..Can you not see that?

  9. Finding the Balance says:

    Hear Hear Loke…..Very well said…

  10. Molokaiwahine says:

    You have said it so eloquently!!! We ALL have foreigners(haoles) in OUR OHANA which we love.We are all chop suey!!!!
    Thank you Thank you
    I hope others hear your messages, it is so right on…..!!!

  11. bigbaboo says:

    Look! A group of protesters complaining about how someone is not respecting Molokai. and look once again standing behind them all is good ole Walter Ritte.
    Fighting for what is right for Molokai. When are you all going to wake up and stop buying the snake oil that he keeps selling. Cultural heritage is great, except it seems that he never seems to be the one to take the financial hit. Pretty slick when one can make a career out of being the boat rocker but never having to jump out of the boat and get wet.

  12. beachgoer says:

    The Stop Everything Group strikes again and the Dispatch is as much to blame as these protestors for this story.

    It wouldn’t be news and they wouldn’t get any publicity if the Dispatch didn’t give Walter Ritte and his tribe so much free publicity!!

    Try to remember the last time the Dispatch ran a story about the economic opportunities of new business on Molokai – or the damage caused by people like the Stop Everything Group.

    Just once I’d like to see the Dispatch publish a story about a “protest” on Molokai that is against welfare fraud, drugs, domestic violence or the stifling impact that the Stop Everything Group has on the rest of the island. Of course there have been small manifestations from time to time — but have you EVER seen a front page, full color photo of that type of protest? Not in the Dispatch, that’s for sure.

    Anyone who advertises in the Dispatch ought to reconsider spending money to support the newspaper so long as this type of damaging, one-sided propaganda is printed. Most newspapers go straight to the trash anyway, just check the post office on Wednesday afternoon.

    Shame on the people who are ignorant enough to follow the Stop Everything Group. And Shame on The Dispatch for making such a big deal out of nothing with stories like this.

    Come On, Dispatch…. it’s time for a change in your thinly veiled politics that are destroying this island and the people who are trying to eek out a living here.

  13. kawelaluna says:

    wow !!!!! I just wrote to the editor yesterday saying pretty much what you just said and the response from them was lukewarm at best, saying they will publish other people’s opinions but not so much of their own. You know as well as I do they are behind the ball on this topic. Maybe its time for another independent newspaper to give it a try without any alterior motives. Aloha no!!!

  14. HappyHaole says:

    it appears the whole protest is about not including or informing Mr Ritte and his group of the intention to visit the island. Nowhere was it explained how the yacht bringing 36 visitors was harming anything, becasue in fact they are not. and another fact is that neither Mr Ritte nor his followers actually own the island, they may own a small portion but I am quite confident that the visitors are not trespassing on thier land. The fact is the they dock at a public facitlity, drive on federal highways and go to businesses that welcome them. So whats the beef? everybody has to ask Ritte if they can come to the island? Do you think for a minute that Mr Ritte asks permission to travel to the other islands, or the mainland? I doubt it, and seriously who do you ask – don’t we all have a stake in this.
    I wonder what the rela majority of the island feel about this – based on the comment here I dont think Ritte’s team would win. Might be interesting if the Dispatch ran a poll.

  15. IlioAloha says:

    Dispatch is drama. I agree 100%. But, all newspapers across the globe have gone from maintaining neutrality to seeking sensationalism. The truth is no longer relevant or news worthy. I have been a victim of it myself. I just want the facts and to live aloha in peace. I’ve gotten to where I dont even want to read the paper anymore. I already quit watching the news. Its too depressing.

  16. FormerLocalWahine says:

    I was born on Oahu, but my dad grew up as a child in Molokai 80+ years ago. We now live in Seattle and visit the islands often because my dad has Dementia and I want his good memories of back home to linger as long as possible. He has always been so proud of Molokai, but we were saddened the last time we were there to see how much the island HAS changed. It is no longer as vibrant as it was years ago. So many businesses have shutdown, it looks like a ghost town. So many areas of the island are so run down & unkept. We did not recognize the island, it broke his heart!

    You say you don’t want to change Molokai? Well, it is too late… You already have, and unfortunately it is for the worse.

    Now when we visit the islands, I do my best to avoid bringing him to Molokai, because it is such a very sad state of affairs. Please help give life back to the island & to the residents!

  17. HaoaSchwenk says:

    I’m surprised the protesters are wearing clothes…They want Molokai, and every one who lives on island, to revert back to the stone age…As the note before mine stated…Yes! why don’t they protest the airport…why don’t they protest Harley Tancayo ( Hale Mai Taxi )or is it the FACT, they use the airport themselves to visit family on Maui and others (where the cruise ship would be welcome.) Why don’t they protest the container ships that deliever food and supplies gasoline (ect)..to the island. Don’t these people have a life…How did they get time off of work???Most of them looked well dressed. Spoiled adults who want their 15 minutes of fame. What do you think the visitors on the ship think of the people of Molokai,seeing these clowns carring their signs… Sad, really really Sad.

  18. HaoaSchwenk says:

    Is news so slow on Molokai… that you have to give these protesters their 15 minutes of fame??? Are, is it, you support them. How do you pay for your paper? How do you pay your employes??? With fruits and nuts and a potato for a job well done. I hope I don’t see this %#(& next week.

  19. Kawailelemakalani_M says:

    Okay there’s been talk about how the yacht is a bad thing but really its not. I would like to know one person who doesn’t lives on welfare or have a state or county job, or get grant money that is not a protester,

    There are many people on Molokai that depend on visitors…..

    Oh bye the way is it not Makahiki time? Is Makahiki supposed to represent peace… So why is war being declared with these protests during Makahiki time? What are we being taught at school about Makahiki? Perhaps we should be discussing in our class rooms more about why Makahiki is in place.

    I AM CONFUSED AS I AM TAUGHT MAKAHIKI IS PEACE BUT ALL THESE AUNTIES AND UNCLES SEEM TO BE DECLARING WAR..Help enlighted this young 11 year old Hawaiian Language student who is in the Hawaiian Immersion class of Kula Kaiapuni on Molokai..Now after reading this I want to know who is against the yacht and why the protests.. ;)

    This is my big question..

  20. Laila808 says:

    I believe that the entire Molokai ohana should come together to speak about this. A handful of protestors do not speak for the residents of the entire island. Or perhaps they do. the point is if everyone is not willing to share their own mana’o about a situation, then those who make the loudest noise will be heard and heeded. Get involved if you care about what happens to Molokai. Speak up about your needs as a resident, whatever they may be. Who cares if you get yelled at, or people oppose your opinion. At least say something and be heard.

  21. Finding the Balance says:

    I totally agree and this is the first time that I am speaking out against the protestors in the 18 years that I have been here. I think it is just a matter of time when all of those protesting will soon realize that they are a minority voice in this situation. The sad part is that they are putting up signs saying No cruise ships, right across from my home and down the street. When did this yacht turn into a cruise ship??? This is what amazes me how information gets twisted. I hope that all these people that I know and love will realize how this kind of visitor is perfect for our island when the entire world is in an economic turmoil.

    Perhaps the saddest part is that Dan and Amy did all they could to get the blessings from the island. After talking to some of the other well respected kupuna on this island I know how right this boat is for our island. Those well respected Kupuna feel sick about this whole protest thing.

    One local Hawaiian today suggest we collect all the EBT card (food stamp) and burn them all and take away all the medical that the State give to those not working and then see what the protestors have to say.

  22. Molokaiwahine says:

    Mahalo to all the small business who host the visitors from the small yacht. Mahalo to all the people who support having a job and supporting their Ohana through these tough economics times.
    This community needs jobs for people to support their families.So where is the Molokai Chamber of Commerce, where is the Molokai Visitor Association( public funding entity).
    So the ship will be coming this week and I hope people who support economic diversity will come out and support families who are working for these small local companies.
    For those in community who need jobs please come out and support and show aloha…
    Remember when we go off island to Honolulu, Las Vegas,Maui, and Big Island to visit our families because they can not afford to live at home on Molokai because there are no jobs. Yes we want our keiki hanau o ka Aina to live on Molokai, but if there are no opportunity for jobs they have to live somewhere else. Local families who might be losing there homes because they are laid off of work, what local family can buy a home today?Look at all the small stores and resturants closing? Look at Coffees of Hawaii, look at Paddlers,look at the Costco type stores,Look at Aunty Ruby’s. WE NEED TO SUPPORT OUR STORES AND RESTURANTS BUT IF NO JOBS AND NO ECONOMIC ENGINE WE WILL DIE…..
    Think about It!
    Mahalo and come out and support economic development! Any other plans to get people in our community working?

  23. Finding the Balance says:

    Mahalo Molokaiwahine…Yes I too need this boat to keep my business alive…struggling to put gas in the vehicles, pay the rent, the insurance, the paychecks and the list goes on…

    Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo for your support in trying to keep something alive on this island or perhaps a ghost town is what the protestors are looking for…

  24. Molokaiwahine says:

    So where is the Molokai Chamber of Commerce President and the Molokai Visitor Executive Director?
    Wow I am disapppointed that they are not welcoming the visitors on the boat. What are they doing?

  25. huntinandhiking says:

    How about those who support the small yacht head down to the harbour and welcome them with open arms? Show the visitors you’re wonderful, kind people (who I have met so many of on Molokai). Then the visitors will listen happily and love and respect the island. They will know why it is special and not want to change it into something it shouldn’t be. They will go home with happy memories and write to senators and legislators about things like Big Wind and how it will hurt this small island. People who come and fall in love with the island want to protect it. I’m just a visitor to Molokai but that’s my view….

  26. Finding the Balance says:

    HI molokai Wahine

    Unfortunately under their governing rules for their positions they have no choice but to stay neutral and remain out of politics..Sad but this is out of their hands. However I know they are aware of all of this and I am in hopes that they will find loopholes in their bylaws and positions to pull something out of the hat..

    I guess its down to the small businesses and the community of this island to take a stance.

  27. sharkey says:

    Where are you silent majority on Molokai? When do you reach the last straw?

  28. Molokaiwahine says:

    Molokai CC a public entity?
    The Executive Director for the Molokai Visitors Assoc. was at the protesters meeting, what kind of messages is being sent with her present at their meeting to the public? Was she observing?
    Can you find those By-laws and put it on the website of both entities?
    As a private citizen you are on your on time?
    As the President of Chamber you are the leader of the businesses on Molokai and could be there at the wharf just to observe?
    Sad to listen to all the racial slurs and nasty comments with little children listening to all of this? Are we breeding hate and racism?
    How many Hawaiians and locals have haole(foreign) husbands and wives?
    Our island is too beautiful for all of this negative actions……

  29. Finding the Balance says:

    I think observation is the correct term when the protestors meeting was in fact an Aha Kiole meeting…but still the majority was about the protests..

    The racial slurs and nasty comments were out of line…however from my observation that came from a handful and the ones that were more vocal at the last protest acted in a much more civil way this time around..

    I think the Aha Kiole will have a full plate in justifying the actions of the negativity that came out from their members mouths… Quite shameful for many Hawaiians witnesses, both adults and children.

    On the bright side there was only one protestor today and others that greeted the visitors with smiles and Aloha without their protesting hats on…What does that mean or say to our community???

    Perhaps the rainbows of yesterday that followed the vans and visitors through out the day gives some of the protestors something to think aboutll From what I heard the visitors had an amazing time and understood the passion behind the protestors reason and totally agreed that no cruise ships should come to the island.. They were not bothered as they were traveling on a 36 passenger yacht… I also believe that these visitors are well educated enough to know that there are always a minority in every community world wide that will spout out foul language.

    The best part they were greeted with far more people that were in support of their presence and received many thank you’s from so many members of the community who were not just businesses. They left the island with Molokai in their hearts and loved every moment here.

  30. Finding the Balance says:

    From my observation there is a shift from the protestors camp to the sitting on the fence line to watch and observe. There will be a community meeting and from what I understand the silent majority will be stepping forward… I was one and will encourage others to do so..

  31. basicallystupid says:

    It kind of reminds me of the old movie “Things to Come” The world breaks down and war lords take over. The new world builds up and comes to the war lord to offer him prosperty and a future for his minions. He turns the new world down. Guess who wins?

    Molokai – The Friendly Island?

  32. livaloha says:

    How is it that Walter Ritte speaks for Molokai? What POSITIVE things has he done for this beautiful place? He has caused the Ranch to go down the tubes along with the jobs at the golf course and Lodge. Now he has his sights set on a very low impact bit of tourism that will help bring some funds to those who own businesses here. Come on Brah, how about using your abundant energy and ability to motivate people for something positive?! Either that or get a job.

  33. missin molokai says:

    Here’s the problem: Any “business” or “tour” or “cruse ship” regardless of size should first check with the community of Molokai. I think that had this happened, there would not have been a protest. People need to learn that Molokai is not a place where you can just show up, unannounced and expect to profit. Sure, the boatload of visitors will spend some money and that’s great but how much are they paying to be on that boat? It’s like when you visit someone’s house…do you just go on in? No, you call out, huuuuuui, and check first. I bet if that had happened there would be no issue. However, if they get away with it, then all the others will think they can come and do whatever they want on Molokai too.

  34. Molokaiwahine says:

    Does Walter and the protesters pay for my food, gas, rent and my taxes?
    Stop.. Walter lives on Hawaiian Homestead and has many hales for his family, it is like a compound….So he definitely doing well…..
    Stop… the business have a right to create business to support their employees and families?
    Walter and protesters need to understand that they do not support the families living on Molokai, he is NOT KING and this is not a Monarchy, I pay my taxes to the State and the Federal government!
    What about the rise in domestic violence, drugs and homeless on our island, that is not outside influences, it is within and it is like a cancer growing all the time?
    So unless you have a plan for creating jobs on this island then maybe you should start thinking about how to help this community……putting people back to work…
    Those are the issues Walter should be addressing, DRUGS, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, HOMELESSNESS and food shortage for the poor…..AND JOBS
    MAHALO

  35. missin molokai says:

    It’s so so sad that you feel the way you do. You pay taxes therefor let the island be raped and prostituted out to the highest bidder? Fixing the drug/homeless problem is, of course, a great mission. What is it that you are doing to help? Do you think money will help? All money does is add fuel to the fire. Real help is ‘ohana, community, aloha, a sense of place. You think there’s not a drug/homeless problem on O’ahu? O’ahu get plenty money any quadruple the problems. You think you need all that “business” because that’s what they want you to think.

  36. Molokaiwahine says:

    Please do not compare Oahu to Molokai.We all live here on this island. And I do my part to help with these problems we have on Molokai. And it is not about making money, it is about just surviving.My point is that Walter and all of us on this island should focus on these problems because drugs, domestic violence,the homeless is hurting our OHANA. Our meetings in our community should be about solving those issues and it would be nice if Walter and his protestors friends would take the lead.
    Do you have any plans for creating jobs on this island, they are very limited?

  37. Finding the Balance says:

    We are not talking about raping or prostituting Molokai…that perhaps happens when everyone raids the Northshore, the streams, the oceans when there are parties, baby luau’s, graduations, weddings, even selling on the street and to send off island….You talk to anyone here and that is the big issue of the Natural resources…Always has been and always will be. The community has a lot of cleaning house to do before it can start attacking others…..

    Sadly missin molokai, we all need money unless we choose to throw away the fridge, the cooker, the car, the clothes and so forth….The real problem in this discussion is that of a huge misunderstanding and not that of deception.

    Pointing fingers is not the answer…protocols were done and somehow communication got crossed.. If everyone that was informed had digested the information received, a round table of discussions could have been done a long time ago. The fact of the matter is that communication did get muddled. Dan Blanchard has done everything he could to make this right and listen to the local Molokai Hawaiians that were advising him..

    So move forward and lets figure out how to make this right and find the balance in the economic tourism portion of the island. The island needs the visitors so we can have car rentals, hotel, stores, restaurants, places to stay for all visitors which also include locals and their family members along with kama’aina.

    This project is perfect for the island with 15-36 people every two weeks…More than that arrive daily who are not educated on the culture of Molokai via plane and ferry.

  38. missin molokai says:

    Seriously? Yes, protesters ARE complaining that someone is disrespecting Molokai. Yes, protesters ARE fighting for what is right for Molokai. Yes, Walter is standing behind them…and as for never jumping out of the boat, do your research. Walter has been wet most of his life. Of course, if all that matters to you is money, then you won’t agree. But if you appreciate culture, respect nature and the ‘aina, depend on the ocean and mountains for food, and want your grandchildren to be able to do the same then you will agree. Mahalo, Walter, for having the balls to stand up for what really matters.

  39. Finding the Balance says:

    I think we can all agree about the appreciation of culture respect nature and the ‘aina, depend on the ocean and mountains for food, and want our grandchildren to be able to do the same…

    Unfortunately while there are taxes to pay, rent and all the other necessities that majority depend on we still need the balance of economics… If all those protesting could give up their medical, foodstamps, grant money, cars, motorcycles, housing material, beer, wine, bread, rice, food bought in the stores, clothes that we wear, and all that good stuff that takes money then perhaps more people would re-look at the economic world as it is today…

    Unfortunately we live in the now and I believe that those for the yacht are adamant about maintaining a culture and respect of the ‘aina but economics calls and bills need to be paid..It is not about selling out as this 16 berth cabin, 36 passenger max yacht is small and low inpact.. The best part the people are here to learn so that they too can be in support of keeping Molokai, Molokai…

    Anything bigger, well I think many of the business owners would protest as that is the start of wiping out small businesses… This project brings balance and helps with the economics on the island…Not too big and not too small…Just right and if everyone could see both sides of the fence we sure would be a role model community for others to follow..

  40. Molokaiwahine says:

    Mahalo for your comments they are right on and are clear statements of what the present economic situation here is on Molokai!
    We all LIVE in this community and its diversification can be a good thing for all of US!
    As for asking the community we are the community too and we support the small 36 passenger yacht!
    So the next time they come in lets have Aloha signs welcoming them to our beautiful island that we want to share and not change but to educate…..
    A Hui Hou and Malama Pono

  41. ciyber says:

    Haha, life must be good huh? Big worries when elephants hide in trees cause dah mice in the strawberry fields.

  42. halemalu says:

    i never thought anyone would have objection to 35 visitors. on what grounds? if people refuse any kind of business, they then should also refuse foodstamps. good job, demonstrators. you just pissed off 35 psssengers and crew, and they will not come here and support our island businesses. have you ever looked up the word “PARANOIA” in a dictionary?

  43. mainlander says:

    I love it !

    Walter, Stop Da Cruize Ship. It’s just the beginning.
    Waros, Stay out of Molokai buisness. What are you doing ?
    People Of Molokai, Never give in like the rest of Hawaii !

    Okole Maluna

  44. Molokaiwahine says:

    The promise to those who are God on the job knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free Ephesians 6:8

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,patience,kindeness,goodness,faithfulness

    gentleness,self control;against such things there is no law

    Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires.

    If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.
    let us not become boastful,challenging one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26

    Let us be a Light for God in our daily Lives with each other……….

  45. kawelaluna says:

    Anybody can write in the bible nice phrases but when you mess up once your reputation is ruined forever. The bible has messed up a few hundred times. Here is one example: the earth is 6000 years old. Hmmmmm DINOSAURS. Please think for yourself.

  46. InsideObserver says:

    You attend meetings where you publicly challenge, humiliate and intimidate people of good will, without regard for the truth.

    Quote Scripture if you like, but we will “…identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matt. 7:16.

  47. livaloha says:

    How are a small group of viitors Staying on a boat going to negatively impact Molokai??!! The owners of the yacht are buying local produce and beef, that HELPS Molokai, they are getting driven around by residents, that HELPS Molokai, they are going down Halawa and learning about this beautiful place, her people and culture, that HELPS Molokai. I don’t understand why Walter has rallied his troops to protest this. Times are tough and jobs are scarce, this yacht visiting will help a little, the visitors are just that, visitors. Where’s your Aloha?

  48. Coco.Puff says:

    One word comes to mind about why Walter rallied his troops to protest this…EXTORTION! I wonder what demands he made of this company.
    Don’t give in to the likes of him; it’s not worth it.

  49. Finding the Balance says:

    If we ask the group of protesters to form a group and then ask some one to facilitate the following task, how many would be left standing?

    *Please all of those collecting grants which by the way the working people contribute taxes to these grants to step to the side

    * Please all of those collecting some kind of government help whether it is federal or state, which also means food stamps, help with housing, WIC, etc etc step to the side

    * Please all of those working for the State or Federal agencies/schools step to the side.

    * Please all of those that are retired and do not have to worry about making a living step to the side.

    * Please all of those that are depending on others to pay their bill step to the side.

    How many do you think would be left standing in front of the facilitator?

    My guess it would be ZERO…

    So the question that I have is then why is it that 36 visitors with a company that has been talking with community members/businesses for the past 6 years should be classified under cruise ships.

    I thought cruise ships were 800-2000 people, and no way can Molokai even come close to accepting cruise ships because of the infrastructure..

    How many days a week can a boat seriously dock at our harbor when you have to take in account the barge, gas barge and other community activities. MINIMAL…

    So in my mind this can only be a good thing for the community when a company such as this only goes places where cruise ships don’t go..

    Don’t you think that because this company is looking for cultural and enriching experiences for their guests, that they too would be fighting off the cruise ships..

    This is not about cruise ships as was tried once before…this is about our economy and helping small businesses survive on this island.

    Can you count on how many businesses went under this year? It’s scary..
    So why are these people protesting?

    Let us go back to how many people had to step aside?

    I am baffled about all of this despite hearing all the meetings both pro and against..I am baffled that not one person from the against the boat can realistically say they knew nothing about this.

    Please help enlighten me as some how we need to find the balance on our island. We need to find clear communication between the different groups. As some how the communication got muddled and opposition only mounted a week prior. From what I understand there were many opportunities to talk and discuss this months and even years ago but the confusion came about of what the right protocol is to the island.

    I am baffled when I see respectable Hawaiian people on both sides of the fence. I am baffled on why and how communication broke down between these people.

    But the bottom line is we need to find the balance and perhaps this group of protestors could for just a moment feel for the real working people that are trying to keep a roof over their families heads and not be living off the system.

  50. Molokaiwahine says:

    Lets use our energy to create jobs on this island instead of taking away jobs for families of Molokai.
    1. Jobs are limted
    2. People are moving off island
    3. Electricity keeps going up up up…..
    4. Food prices are going up and the food containers are getting smaller and smaller.
    5.Gas continues to go up
    6.Local people are losing their homes and having to sell.
    7.Drugs are breaking up families, keiki are being taken away from parents and the kupuna and others are NOW taking care of their mo`opuna.
    8.This island is dieing within, not by outsiders it has become a cancer and local families are suffering.
    9.Do you have suggestions to create jobs for our people, not grant money from the government which is tax dollars from the people that do work?
    10.The poor are getting tax heavy and barely surviving.
    11. We need jobs and we need to work together as a community to make this happen.
    12. No, to everything is not the answer to feeding the families on Molokai, social programs are getting cut all the time because there is no workers to TAX to get revenue to pay for the free social programs that many community members use.
    So, when you say NO to Monsanto and vistors and other job opportunities ask yourself what are the SOLUTIONS FOR FEEDING OUR FAMILIES on Molokai how can they keep their homes?How many local families can buy homes today on Molokai? The food banks are also low on food on this island.Think about the drug issues on this island and their effect on our keiki’s being taken away from their parents. Why are the parents turning to drugs, no hope no jobs?
    P.S. The ferry brings in visitors daily which add up over 100 people a week so are you going to protest the ferry too? Should the ferry stop coming too?
    Mahalo

  51. kawelaluna says:

    The people who are for this should get together and support this very small boat of people. I am extremely angry now that the protestors are against this. You people should pack up and move to Kahoolawe where there will be no change since that is what you want. I say this also as someone who believes in sustAINAbility. I was against the BIG cruise ships, I was for SAVE LAAU. I am presently against BIG WIND. I hate it when other escort boats take Molokai fish.But this has to be the most idiotic protest in the history of Molokai. Shame on you protestors.

  52. Potential Visitor says:

    My wife and I are looking forward to an upcoming visit to the island of Molokai. As with all adventures we undertake I spend considerable time investigating our destination to learn more of what it has to offer.

    A large part of that investigation involves learning the culture of the destination so we are equipped with enough information as to not offend our hosts and to be good visitors.

    I have largely been reading The Molokai Dispatch and the latest story about the protests of a yacht carrying 36 passengers is causing me to take pause and wonder if my wife and I will be welcomed on the island. We live in a small rural town having approximately the same population as Molokai and while we like to believe that things are staying much the same as our past we can all look around and see the changes that have come.

    Our county and city leaders are at best conservative but they can also still see the need for some changes to keep our community viable. My question to the readers at large is should I come to Molokai and enjoy its natural beauty and culture or should I go back to one of the other 5 islands I have already visited where I know what to expect?

    We can only promise to bring a few thousand dollars, respect your land and culture and hopefully leave a few new friends. We anxiously await the responses to this post.

  53. kawelaluna says:

    The island is amazing. You will love it if you do not care for night clubs, fancy restaurants, traffic etc. Molokai is pretty. When you are there you will see it for yourself. The people are amazing, don’t worry, no kidnappings murder etc just the occasional rental care break in. You will compare Molokai to the other islands (its human nature) and realize why so many want to keep their lifestyle intact,the way it is. Having said that, and regarding my previous post, it absolutely amazes me of the stupidity of this protest of 36 maximum passengers of people who just want to visit, not just move there and CHANGE things. You will have a great time if you love the outdoors.

  54. Finding the Balance says:

    Not everyone are protestors unless it is an issue that will destroy the island. you will be pleasantly surprised when coming to Molokai….Come with an open mind and just go with it….

    I think you will enjoy this island for what it is…as well as the people…

    Hope you make it..:)

  55. Coco.Puff says:

    How about picketing the airport and boycotting the airlines … they bring in visitors, too.

  56. mauival1 says:

    Why are you freaking out about a small group of people coming for 2 days,on a guided tour??? The airport has flights every day coming in with visitors that rent cars and do what they want for months at a time.Go there and scream at them, there’s a snack bar , you could take breaks, take naps in between flights. It would be something for all of you to bitch about everyday.Just scream and scream. And you don’t even know these people.Create more joblessness!That’s what you seem to want .

  57. Finding the Balance says:

    I thought a cruize ship could not make it into Kaunakakai…too darn big and way too many people… 800 -2000 people…

    This is 15-36 people same amount of people as on Island Air and way less than the ferry.

    So kind of curious of why this is called a cruise ship when perhaps in dictionary terms this boat would be called a yacht..

  58. Finding the Balance says:

    Has any one thought about talking to the businesses to see how they are doing?

    Cruise ships for sure would sink them under…But 16 berth cabin luxury yachts with retired people that want to learn about the island and the culture surely not?

    I would have thought that many businesses on island want to keep Molokai the way it is, and finding a balance is a very important issue for all the working people on this island.

    I do believe that all of us could do with stepping back and reflect for a moment and really see what is going on on Molokai..

    There are bigger battles to fight and this boat could actually be a blessing to the island and also one to fight the bigger battles that Molokai has yet to see…

    Has any one thought about just seeing how this boat will be in the coming months??…Who knows we could all be pleasantly surprised..Has any one digested their mission and purpose?

    If truth is in our hearts and finding the answers to a solid community then name calling and anger is not the nature of the game.

    I believe that a solid community will help preserve and protect this island, but a community without an open heart and NOT understanding of intentions will tear this island apart.

    Yes Walter has doen much for the community but please also see the bigger picture of what Teri has brought to the table, prior to the boat coming in….

  59. Molokaiwahine says:

    Yes, lets work together and I have learned that too, Saying racial remarks is demeaning to all of US. We all want to be able to live and enjoy Molokai, but we need to have jobs and work. Yelling at the 18 people in the van is not Molokai and not Aloha…My heart cries out to some of the protesters who I know and love and respect in our community. We all make mistakes and I too have learn from my mistakes. Please Uncle and Aunty please be open with your hearts. A trial run for 6 months and then we evaluate the operation.
    Mahalo

  60. Finding the Balance says:

    Thank you Molokai wahine….I too agree…Uncle and Aunty you know deep in your heart that there are things we must try.

    You also know that Molokai has a voice and can be heard when it comes to the real problems that try to invade our island.

    If those of you are truly the elders that many of us look up to, then surely in your wisdom and deep in your heart you know that we have to give this a try.

    For those of you that went to the different meetings and listened to both sides then surly an understanding of a communication breakdown occurred on both sides.

    Surely Molokai is this what we want to be looked at as the ones taking from the system and not trying to help ourselves with an economy that we can all live with.

    Surely Molokai, the unheard voices and the voices of protests, the voices and minds that look at all angles know that this boat is in no comparison to a cruise ship.

    Surely Molokai has the wisdom and spiritual power to understand that life needs a balance and to take one look at our beautiful island, surely you must understand that Molokai is out of balance.

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