, , , , ,

Aha Kiole Drafts Protocol for Passenger Boat Industries

As the Molokai community continues to determine its future and where tourism fits into the economical equation, the Aha Kiole, a resource management group, has compiled the results from a series of community meetings and surveys. The document outlines guidelines for tour companies arriving to the island by boat, including American Safari Cruises (ASC), which has been making controversial stops to Molokai since October 2011.

Results of feedback gathered by the Aha Kiole over the past several months showed different levels of agreement with ASC’s visits through surveys and moku meetings. In the surveys, 85 percent of the 395 residents surveyed voted “no,” 11 percent voted “yes,” and 4 percent said “yes” but with controls.

Results from five moku meetings in January, attended by 326 residents, showed a different representation of opinion. Of the attendees of the meetings, 36 percent said “no” to passenger boats and yachts, 8 percent voted “yes,” while a majority of 56 percent said yes, with controls.

“What that told us is that people wanted strong controls,” Walter Ritte, a leader in the Aha Kiole, said last Wednesday at the Kawela moku meeting. That meeting kicked off a series of follow-up moku meetings to take place in the next several weeks to gather feedback on the drafted passenger boat guidelines.

Suggested “controls,” summarized in the guideline document, were gathered from the meetings, surveys and documents such as the Molokai community plan. After the final round of meetings is completed, the Aha Kiole plans to submit the guidelines to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to establish protocol for passenger boat companies wishing to add Molokai to their itinerary.

Aha Kiole leaders hope that the guidelines the community has assembled will be used by the DLNR as a screening process for would-be tour companies. In addition to following the mandates provided, the Aha Kiole proposes that any company wishing to include Molokai in their itinerary must also hold community meetings and obtain residents’ consent.

The Aha Kiole’s effort to establish a protocol for passenger boat industries arose when American Safari Cruises (ASC), a company whose 36-person yacht makes two-day stops on Molokai approximately every 10 days, began docking in October 2011. ASC officials had been in contact with local vendors and business owners for several years. But some felt that the general community was left out of the planning and decision-making process, and protested the boat’s passage.

In an agreement with protesters and Aha Kiole leaders, ASC temporarily suspended its Molokai stops until the community had held a series of public meetings. They resumed their visits in January, and are authorized to dock at the Kaunakakai Wharf until May. After that, Ritte said, they would have to be re-examined by the state, and follow the drafted Aha Kiole guidelines in order to continue their visits in the fall.

ASC would have to make some changes to their current operations in order to abide by the proposed guidelines. A section entitled “fair exchange of value and sharing of wealth” calls such practices as rotational use of local vendors, such as vans and tours, use of existing hotels and B&Bs for overnight stays (ASC passengers currently sleep on the yacht), and use of local restaurants rather than dining on the vessel.

Bridget Mowat said that as it stands now, only a few local individuals and businesses benefit economically from the yacht’s arrival.

“The whole purpose [of the yacht’s Molokai stop] is to boost local economy,” she said in support of a section of the guidelines.

For Kawela moku residents, one of the more controversial points in the draft guidelines was “no visits to Halawa Valley.” Ritte said this stipulation had come primarily from Mana`e residents. Attendees of last week’s meeting pointed out that it was illegal to forbid travel on a public road, but discussed adding specifications like “no commercial activities in Halawa” or “no visitors on private property.”

Currently, a cultural tour of Halawa Valley with Lawrence Aki is part of ASC’s itinerary. Moku leader Wade Lee stressed that before a final decision was made on activities in the valley, the Aha Kiole would need input from Halawa residents and moku leaders.

The document is still under discussion, and many residents feel revisions and clarifications need to be made. But establishing protocol has been viewed as a big step towards Molokai’s goal of self-determination.

“No other agency has done what we’ve done,” said Ritte. “We just got to be patient… we’re not going to give up.”

Upcoming moku meeting to discuss the guidelines include: Mana`e moku at Mana`e Community Center, March 28, potluck at 5 p.m. and meeting at 6 p.m.; Pala`u moku at Lanikeha Community Center, April 9 at 6 p.m.

Draft guidelines, as compiled by the Aha Kiole, for passenger boat and yacht visits to Molokai:

I. Protection and Enhancement of Environment and Culture
1. Subsistence
No visits to Mo`omomi.
Encourage work in Fishponds and Taro Lo`i.
No overnight stays on North Shore.
2. Wahi Pana/Kapu Zone
No visits to Kaulukukui o Lanikaula.
No visits to Halawa Valley.
No visits to Iliiliopae.

3. Commercial/Recreation Activity

1. No Ocean activities except with local existing vendors.
2. Regulate authenticity, legitimacy and validity of all cultural vendors.
3. No dumping of rubbish in ocean or on Molokai.
4. Attend a forty-five minute Orientation on Molokai and its culture, with input from each Moku.

II. Fair Exchange of Value and Sharing of Wealth
1. Rotate the use of existing vendors, such as Vans and Tours.
2. All tours and activities must be escorted by local escorts.
3. Use existing Hotels and legal B&B for overnight stays (no sleeping on Ship).
4. Use existing restaurants and eateries (no eating on the ship).
5. Donate to a Community Fund (not the Aha Kiole o Molokai) to be used for environmental/cultural protection and enhancement on Molokai.

III. Limit and Control over the Number, Size and Frequency of Visits
1. No more than two full size Vans per visit, or 30 people per boat.
2. No more than One Boat Visit a Week, others say a month, what do you say?

IV. Separation of Visitors from Real Estate Sales and Land Taxes
1. All visitors must attend a 45 minute orientation which includes land issues past and present.

V. Community Process must include free and informed community participation and consent. Community meetings must be held in each of the Moku that will be impacted.


25 Responses to “Aha Kiole Drafts Protocol for Passenger Boat Industries”

  1. HaoleDaMushman says:

    We can all agree that Molokai does not have the resources to support large cruise ships.
    That being said, the guidelines that the legally powerless and rather myopic Aha Kiole came up with seem to ignore that we live in the United States of America, and are subject to her laws as well as her protections.

    Let’s not forget that without these protections, Hawaii would have been swallowed up in WW2 by the Japanese, and knowing how well they treated the other local populations during their occupations, everyone would probably be speaking Japanese and the locals would have been slaughtered after performing slave labor until they could no longer walk to the fields.

    Some of the more ridiculous ideas, I have pointed out below…

    – No visits to Mo`omomi.

    Older wealthy eco-tourists are way more likely to tear up the land and disgrace the ‘aina like our own local population does?
    The gate will be locked soon, because locals cannot respect it. Go to some young local and ask them about Mo’omomi, most will tell you that it is a great place to go 4X4’ing and when asked about the cultural significance, stare blankly back at you…

    – Encourage work in Fishponds and Taro Lo`i.

    Noble concept that most people would probably be in to. Maybe it would spurn more locals to participate in the fishpond rebuilding as well.

    – No overnight stays on North Shore.

    The only thing that could be of concern there are the fields of pakalolo…. Which is fine, I do love our pakalolo.

    – No visits to Halawa Valley.

    What better way to gain respect for the Hawaiian history and culture than walking up the trail, on private property to see the ancient taro fields, irrigation canals and heiaus that are all very impressive?

    – No visits to Iliiliopae.

    Again, why would you not want these folks to understand the scale and significance of the Hawaiian religion? With a guide to explain what is kapu and not,
    what is wrong with them going to visit?

    – 1. No Ocean activities except with local existing vendors.

    What local vendor has the capacity to serve 37 people on the water?
    No one.

    – 2. Regulate authenticity, legitimacy and validity of all cultural vendors.

    Who gets the right to say what is hawaiian or not? Sounds like this opens the doors so longstanding political beefs between island residents can be settled with a power play determining that they are not “authentic.”

    – 3. No dumping of rubbish in ocean or on Molokai.

    ASC of course does not do this, but I regularly pick up garbage and bottles from Mo’momi, to the parks and mountain. I follow Kanakas who throw bottles out of their cars, and regularly have people dumping poached deer, half cleaned, mostly wasted on the side of the road in garbage bags. How about our own island residents who do not recycle their goods and continue to make the good old Mt. Opala dump get higher and higher every year.
    Perhaps our residents should look to the people and management of ASC for leadership on how to teach our own local people to respect the ‘aina, seeing that much of our local population seems totally incapable of doing so.

    – 4. Attend a forty-five minute Orientation on Molokai and its culture, with input from each Moku.

    Wow. Why don’t we ask them to get off the boat on their knees?

    – II. Fair Exchange of Value and Sharing of Wealth

    Is Molokai all of a sudden socialist? Who determines what is fair? What wealth is to be shared? All of the signs on the way to Halawa talk about the cruise ship just meaning pennies in revenue to the island. So… do we actually cut the pennies in to bits to share them?

    – 1. Rotate the use of existing vendors, such as Vans and Tours.

    -Another poorly thought out idea by people who seem to have never run businesses without government support. If I say wanted to get in the Van game, I would buy my vans, and compete for the business 1 week a month or one week a year or how would that work exactly? Who would make the investment if some socialist board determines how many pennies you get. The USA is a free market economy, anything else is socialism and not what this country stands for.

    – 2. All tours and activities must be escorted by local escorts.

    Reasonable on paper, but how many people and how much can they charge? What socialist board gets to determine this?
    Why is this not mandated for people who fly in? Or come on the Ferry? What is the role of the escorts? They make you have escorts in China and Vietnam. Are we going the way of China here on Molokai?

    – 3. Use existing Hotels and legal B&B for overnight stays (no sleeping on Ship).

    Now this is just plain lolo. The Aha Kiole expects people to pack up their stuff and go stay where exactly? The Hotel Molokai would be leaving other customers without a place to stay. The people are paying for beautiful cabins on the ship so they can stay on the ship. That is what a “Cruise” is.

    – 4. Use existing restaurants and eateries (no eating on the ship).

    Where can 37 people eat on this island at once other than at the hotel?
    Considering they are sourcing the food from local vendors for the ship, Kumu etc, they are being very respectful. Most molokai’ans do not even source their own food from Molokai. We buy mainland beef and vegetables all the time on this island. Our one bakery does not even make wheat bread or gluten free bread that many folks who live elsewhere depend on.
    Ignoring our own resources like Kumu farms and the Livestock Co-op, how could you possibly expect other people to adhere to a rule that the bulk of this population on this island does not adhere to?

    – 5. Donate to a Community Fund (not the Aha Kiole o Molokai) to be used for
    – environmental/cultural protection and enhancement on Molokai.

    How about island residents get serious about environmental and cultural protection before we expect others to do so?

    – 1. No more than two full size Vans per visit, or 30 people per boat.

    So the ASC ship should travel with 25% vacancy? Why do we not force the airlines and ferry to do the same? More draconian socialism.

    – 2. No more than One Boat Visit a Week, others say a month, what do you say?

    The Kaunakakai harbor is a federally protected water way. Good luck with that one.

    – 1. All visitors must attend a 45 minute orientation which includes land issues past and present.

    Why do we not make everyone who comes to Molokai do this? I got off an airplane and came and bought land…. This orientation sounds like a shallow attempt to cast the island in to the light of victimhood which is pretty pathetic. We are where we are, let’s make the best of it.

    Molokai seems to be dominated by

    Racketeering, Intimidation, Taxation, Terror, Extortion.

    Do the math. Molokai should be smarter than this, but for too long our political system has been dominated by cronyism and ignorance, race baiting and hate.

    No I was not born here, no I am not Hawaiian, no I will not fight you physically.

    That being said, I will continue to try to inspire a new generation of local leadership on this island that is not hell bent on cronyism, nepotism and ignorance.

    If the politically powerful family on this island had actually read Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, or even a history of how other native american nations have been treated by our national government, they might realize that the tactics they are using with the Blockade, the Aha Kiole and the Aloha Aina Warriors are ultimately going to lead to the downfall of any local influence in statewide or country politics.

    The idea that the governor should sign the Aha Kiole in to law is now further away than it ever was, largely in part to these asinine recommendations.

    Molokai needs fresh leaders who have education, statewide and national perspective on politics, and a desire to protect our Molokai lifestyle and ‘aina without selling out ourselves as myopic ignorant thugs.

    • Kalikiano says:

      Very articulately stated, but don’t be in a rush to state ‘I am not Hawaiian’, since there’s enough supercilious posturing about what exactly constitutes being Hawaiian to fill every bowl to excess, several times over. You sound like you qualify ipso facto, since it’s apparent (on the basis of your words) that your regard for the ‘aina is just as strong as many of the kanaka maoli who claim that exclusivity through blood roots. In the end, it’s all about humane, informed open-mindedness, mixed in equal measure with a traditional Hawaiian collectivistic outlook and the altruistic desire to build a community in which all may benefit, and none suffer unduely. Hopefully, in that process, the most admirable traditions and strengths of the (original) Hawaiian people will thrive and flourish, regardless of race and ethnicity! Pupukahi i holomua! Hui.

      • HaoleDaMushman says:

        Big mahalo for your kind reply Kalikiano.
        You are dead on when you say that we have plenty of issues that we can be united about.
        Windmills, Erosion, the Monsanto Death Dust, respect for the ‘aina, and that is just the start.

        Common ground is where it starts. There are people on this island who win when we stay divided. We need to make sure that the power on this island shifts away from those with that attitude.

        I moved to Molokai because I saw a fisherman on the east end, fishing on the end of the reef, that simple image inspired me to completely change my life. It encapsulated all that is good about Molokai, which starts with the land and continues with her people. It encapsulated the life I want to lead, close to the earth, and close to the soul.

        Aloha is where it starts.

  2. kalaniua ritte says:

    may be you should step up and be a new leader since you have all the answers….but what kind of leader hides behind a name like haoledamushman.if a real leader is going to talk crap he should stand behind what he says otherwise he has no credibility…like you

  3. HaoleDaMushman says:

    Never said I had all the answers, just saying many the ones that AK put out were illogical, illegal and not particularly well thought out.

    Molokai’s leaders need to come from within. I am keeping my eyes open and am happy to write checks to those that want to step up and have a cogent and well thought out strategy. People who can engage on issues instead of making things personal. People who do not need chainsaws or threats to communicate.

    Unfortunately so many people are afraid to step up for fear of being persecuted.
    it may just keep on keeping on.

    The next real leaders of Molokai are probably still in school. Time will pass, power will change hands and our island will keep moving forward, of that I am confident.

    I the meantime, AK should go back to the drawing board and put forth something that is logical, fair and makes sense for the situation. If AK wants Abercrombie’s signature, coming out with irrational and illegal solutions like they have will not move the AK cause forward. It will just be a blown opportunity.

  4. Kawaiolele says:

    Well said HaoleDaMushman. The only thing you left out its that the numbers provided by the Aha Kiole accounts for 5% of our population, the remaining 95% choosing not to participate in their “process”. I think that this is important to keep in mind.
    The other aspect important is what the bills going through legislation say the Aha Kiole’s areas of Kuleana are:
    (d) The aha moku advisory committee may provide advice on the following:
    (1) Integrating indigenous resource management practices with western management practices in each moku;
    (2) Identifying a comprehensive set of indigenous practices for natural resource management;
    (3) Fostering the understanding and practical use of native Hawaiian resource knowledge, methodology, and expertise;
    (4) Sustaining the State’s marine, land, cultural, agricultural, and natural resources;
    (5) Providing community education and fostering cultural awareness on the benefits of the aha moku system;
    (6) Fostering protection and conservation of the State’s natural resources;
    (7) Developing an administrative structure that oversees the aha moku system; and
    (8) Selecting an executive director.

    If you keep these in mind and go back and review the demands of the Aha Kiole of Molokai, you have to wonder what authority they think they are working with. If the bills become law, how is this group going to comply with the law? When will they realize that they continually missed truly golden opportunities to actually apply the concept of the Aha Kiole management, even as the recent events unfolded? If they had dealt with current issues from a genuinely cultural, spiritual and intellectual perspective, they could have increased their outreach to our community. Instead, they have chosen to further distance themselves from the real kupuna of this island and the vast majority of the residents who are really committed to keeping Molokai Molokai, rather than to kill it slowly.
    For any other Molokai folks who are concerned that others might mistake the Aha Kiole o Molokai as a voice for them, simply send a note to our legislators, the mayor, the governor and William Aila as the chairperson of the DLNR. We may be the majority, but we don’t have to be silent any more.

    • kalaniua ritte says:

      i would love to see more people involved in molokais future but the other 95% dont care.you can make up any excuse you want but in the end they dont participate because they dont realy care.they rather go to luaus ,parties ,paddle canoe or dance hula but go to a meeting…never.thats just the simple truth,most people are comfortable[welfare,section 8 ,other gov. subsities] they will never step out of that comfort zone.so if any one out there can get these other 95% outand participate that would be great. but please stop attacking those who do care enough to go meeting and put them selves out there to keep molokai molokai.

      • davidlichtenstein says:

        I attended the original Kawela Moku meeting of the ‘Aha Ki’ole in January. I provided my name, mailing address and email address. According to this story, another Kawela Moku meeting took place in March but I was never notified. Unfortunately, I didn’t check the local bulletin boards the week before the meeting. But is that the only way to find out about meetings? Does the local ‘Aha Kiole have a website or Facebook page to post meeting information and news releases? To be truly representative, the ‘Aha Ki’ole needs to improve its communication with the community and be far more transparent and democratic.

  5. karenpoepoe says:

    Mahalo, Kalaniua, you are right. I have family members that have opinions but don’t care to get involved because it is uncomfortable to speak out on any issue and easier to just try to take care of their everyday situations without adding the stress of politics and community affairs to their lives. I understand that because I wasn’t always in a place where I was able to commit to anything but family. But I do commend those who are trying to keep Molokai Molokai.
    And Haoledamushman, we would appreciate your perspective added to our discussion, and perhaps have a more well-rounded look at what you find fair. Unfortunately, not everyone can have their 100%, because a collectivist framework such as what we are trying to offer (Thank you, Kalikiano, for seeing the possibilities) does mean that we have to get used to the idea of “others” and their needs in the mix.
    The ‘Aha Kiole is not perfect, we’re learning as we go. But, if we put our prejudices aside- all of us, we might recognize a potential here that can offer more benefits for us all. What the ‘Aha Kiole is trying to do is provide a forum where the people have an opportunity to speak out. The government does not typically offer that opportunity, and the Moloka’i residents have long been ignored in decision-making and influence in the things happen on our island. We are actually trying to offer the least “myopic” situation by asking for public input.

    Haoledamushman, believe it or not, I think we’re more on the same page than you think- because I don’t hear you demanding to push tourism at the expense of the resources, I hear you simply questioning the legality and process of going solely on what we’ve collected from some of our survey and meeting participants. We are far from done.
    Some of you may not agree with our right to exist. I have mentioned several times we held a community meeting where the highest leaders of DLNR (State), OHA (State) and Westpac (Federal) gave evidence of their support for our efforts on Moloka’i in this new and potentially beneficial structure. They publicly expressed the hope that this community could find protocols for agreement for island issues through a structure such as the ‘Aha Kiole. The struggle would have happened whether we existed or not. We’re hoping that we can learn from the mistakes that both we and the business people involved made, and try to establish a protocol that is agreeable to the majority.
    Some of you may feel that the percentages in our surveys do not sufficiently reflect a reliable representation of the people. Since our meetings and surveys have been moku-based, and the invitation has been to all- including non-members, the sampling has been random. Additionally, the numbers of residents represented in the samplings (verifiied votes), coupled with a correlating margin of error applied to the number of survey respondents, shows a valid representation for an island of this size- and ascribes a quantity sufficient to indicate to government agencies a voting trend that makes a statement. Very few surveys will even get even a 50% participation of an entire island population. We actually had a similar number of respondents in our Windmill survey last year, but no one questioned it because we all seemed to be on the same page with that one.

    It would be so much easier if, in all issues, we could be in almost total agreement, like the Windmil issue. We knew that at some point there would be a divisive issue among island residents- and there will be more to come, surely. But as we learn, we would like to be able to better handle our communication and set up protocols, and we hope to do so by stepping up our ‘ahupua’a and moku organization.

    One thing has been clear for many years, in many surveys, interviews and discussions: the true majority of Moloka’i people know that this island is special because of it’s nature, and most people don’t want to see that specialness lost. I cannot control anger or fear, or emotional responses that come from the deep wounds of the Hawaiian people, but I can and will try my best to remain fair and listen to everyone to see what kinds of compromises we can make with each other without compromising the natural resources of our island.

  6. Lawrence says:

    Molokai occupies and deserves it’s rightful place on our small blue planet. It’s connection and mutual human ties with other residents on our globe can’t be severed, manipulated for negative purposes or somehow reversed through activism, simple wishes or ideology.

    There is a path reversing the damage done to Molokai’s geology, reef, culture, and sustainability. It is a common path. It’s located in the middle, between the extremes of sharp activism and the apathy of those who feel hopeless. Finding the path requires strong leadership, persistence and strengthening the vital bonds of common education and participation.

    A sincere thanks and blessings to those who serve and support Aha Kiole. Their positive efforts to protect Molokai are admirable. As one who works on public boards, I know how difficult it is to find the path to success. When multiple agencies are involved, the process is sometimes frustratingly slow. Out of initial ideas and efforts, progress is measured in increments. I often find, original expections concerning progress morph into the reality of comprimise. Comprimise in the public arena is necessary for success. It allows parties with oposing viewpoints to find common ground.

    I”m not surprised that Molokai remains largely undeveloped. I believe it will remain so due to deeds and actions of original inhabitants and those who carry on those actions.

    The answers to the troubling issues exist on island and in other locatioins around our troubled globe. Solutions to unemployment, sustainability and repair to a damaged ecosytem exist but they will require outside financial help and local support. There’s no doubt these solutions will require a comprimise that allows non-islanders to lend a hand in support of localy owned and controlled businesses returning Molokai to a sustainable, livable island with bountiful resources, clean water, and a pristine environment.

    Our globe keeps shrinking due to technology, availability of frequent travel and sucessive generations who continue to drop old ideas, ugly baggage and find the concerns and problems they experience at home are shared by their brothers and sisters around this small world. Molokai is one small piece of this world and could be a shining example of how we turn around the alarming ecological and social issues faced by everyone.

    Most of use reading this small, well intentioned message won’t live to see the results. But we can start this process if we find common ground.

    The few guests who visit Molokai via a cruise ship are a tempest in a tea cup. I know this comment may be viewed negatively. The real problems of soil errosion, unemployment, drug use, drought, envasive species and other issues that plague the island deserve to be put on the A list.

    God bless this island and it’s wonderful residents. The people of Molokai already posses a single powerful resource. The power of Aloha. I first experienced it there and it has remained with me all these years. Since my first visit to Molokai, I have never been the same person. I have traveled the globe and never experienced anything remotely similar to this simple gift. It was offered to me without question, unbidden and straight from the heart of a stranger.

    Blessings and warmest aloha. Keep Molokai Molokai.

  7. janelee says:

    Why the Aha Kiole? Learn the history of the Molokai Irrigation System and the Molokai Ranch’s efforts to develop their West End lands. Ask the people who were duped to buy land to build their homes in paradise, only to learn that they are dependent on bacteria laden irrigation water to drink because the ranch lied about their so called “adequate” water supply. Ask the homestead farmer about the moratorium on farm water use because of the drought and that the domestic users on the system have priority. The Molokai people knew this and tried to put controls on this, but they were fought, not just by the ranch, but our own government who never had the sense to know what would happen. The people knew, the Aha Kiole is charged to know, and they are here to make sure this does not happen again. It’s about greed folks, you know that monster that eats everything up…no matter who gets hurt in the process!

  8. Lawrence says:

    Janelee, Mahalo for you insightful advice. I have been following the actions of the Molokai Ranch for many years. I was called very early in the AM when the Palms were cut own at Kaluakoi. My heart was sick.

    The actions of the Ranch are/were negative, acidic and punishing. Many people who have been through property negotiation or similar business transactions involving large sums of money assume most business entities would have sold or left long ago as their gross reciepts dwindled and their costs mounted. The first time I walked the sands and greens of the West End I was astonished. I waited three days before two golfers walked the fairways. I actually walked into the pro-shop and asked where everyone was?

    I did not understand, but was convinced Molokai Ranch was losing money at a serious rate and the business plan they followed was absolutely unstustainable. As someone charged and trusted to operated multiple businesses, I continued to be astounded and puzzled.

    Could a business entity be this negative and destructive? Could an organization be this spiteful? Apparently so.

    I talked to locals, property owners and business owners. I read the 10 year plan carefully. I read the signs and learned all I could about Lau Point. I left as many guests do, worried and concerned. The entire time I was on island, I was off balance and distracted by something. I couldn’t figure out what was keeping me distracted. I kept having powerful experiences I couldn’t quite explain. After multiple lengthy visits I no longer have the distracted feeling. When my feet touch the ground at the airport and I smell the red dirt and dry grass, I get a enormous feeling of relief. I can’t explain it and have stopped trying.

    Your comments concerning greed are pointed and accurate when describing some people and organizations.

    However, not everyone and all businesses are based on greed.

    There is a way.

  9. Kalikiano says:

    Absolutely ‘aloha’ is the core matrix here we must all keep in focus, regardless of those who reactively prefer antagonisms to identifying and sharing common ground. Your mention of a personal epiphany, inspired by watching a fisherman on East End makes me mindful of my own personal Hawaiian inspirational catalyst.

    As a California surfer who has long looked to the mother oceans for spiritual inspiration, learning of famed Makaha waterwoman Rell Kapolioka’ehukai Sunn’s life and the lessons she taught all of us in personal courage, mixed with the supreme essence of traditional aloha spirit, redirected my focus in a similar manner to profound respect for the ‘aina that I also have come to embrace.
    The story of Rell’s life is available to anyone who cares to learn it (see below link), but it is worth repeating a famous quote of hers here that defines the ‘aloha spirit’ perfectly:

    “The ‘Aloha spirit’ is simple, really. You give and you give and you give…and you give from here (the heart), until you have nothing else to give.”
    Rell possessed the blood of Chinese, Irish and kanaka maoli ancestors and together with Duke, Eddie and others who set a high personal standard, still defines the essential value we must always aim for in our mutual interactions.

    Rell’s story may be view here, at Malcolm Gault-Williams’ ‘Legendary Surfers’ website:


  10. kalaniua ritte says:

    we gave everthing already..pau… time to start recieving.

    • ponokai says:

      I spent a lot of time with Aunty Rell when I was a young girl, learning from her how to be one with the ocean and many other things. She was definitely all about aloha, but the one thing she always told us was to protect our resources. She would say “all this, all this beauty, will be taken away if we don’t protect it.”. I remember one time in Waikiki at a surf meet someone said that Waikiki was so ugly now and Aunty Rell said that it depends on which Waikiki you looking at. She saw past the hotels and the traffic and the pollution and the crime…and she always said, especially about the West side, that we have to protect it or it will end up the same. As an adult I now get what she was saying. No matter how much we aloha, no matter how much we see the beauty in our natural surroundings, there will always be those who will try to come in and profit off of it. One hotel turns into 100, one ship turns into 100 and so on. Aunty Rell saw past everything to still see the beauty in Waikiki but isn’t it a shame that she had to? Imagine the day we all have to look past everything to see Molokai’s beauty! I don’t ever want to have to do that.

      • Kalikiano says:

        Ho Ponokai! Mahalos for the clarification of what I said (and intended to say, with regard to Auntie Rell and the ‘Aloha spirit’). It is true as you infer it that ‘Aloha spirit’ doesn’t mean letting others take malicious or opportunistic advantage of sincere generosity and goodness. Anyone who knows Rell also knows that she was a very capable and formidable wahine, able to give as good (or as bad) as she got in equal measure, as appropriate. The fact that she chose to make the most positive interpretation permissible in any given circumstance is a testament both to her inherent goodness, her wisdom and to her astute understanding of the complicated issues all Hawaiians face. Auntie Rell was indeed concerned about the damaging changes suffered by the ‘aina and its people (resulting from malihini exploitation), but as a modern and well-educated person she also knew that there are no simple answers to the extremely complex questions facing all who are Hawaiian or who define themselves as Hawaiians. This in fact what sistah Kalaniua said somewhat more bluntly (“Aloha is earned” and “We gave everything already…pau…time to start receiving”; I am in empathetic agreement with that opinion) and it is further illustration of the fact that a collective resolving approach to is the fundamental basis upon which any attempts to both preserve the island and maintain quality of life for everyone on it must be established. BTW, I envy your opportunity to associate with Auntie Rell. That must have been a cherished experience, looking back at it. Hui.

        • ponokai says:

          Not sure where you’re getting your info about Aunty Rell, but she indeed knew “one simple answer”: Aloha ‘āina. Love and respect for the land and sea. So simple. And by the way, “Sistah” Kalaniua, is a well respected (and quite handsome) MAN on Molokai. And he was right when he said pau give already.

  11. keikiaina says:

    Our community has received many grant monies from the Federal,State of Hawaii and private sector:
    1. fishponds,$ 2million and $90,000 fron NOAA and more
    2.Medical facilites
    3.Agriculture for farming programs
    4. Domestic violence programs
    5. Drug programs
    6. Education programs
    7. Building home programs
    8. Child care programs
    9, Food and housing assitence programs
    May we ask you, what do you do to support your family? Do you have your own business? Do you work for a business that receives grant monies or for your business?
    The bottem line “grant monies” come from the tax payer mainly and then the private sector.
    I think it is great that people in our community are starting their own businesses in these hard economic times. It is great that we share the hula and paddling with our community. Its great to share and educate our cultures with each other and the malihinis from all over the world.
    We have been receiving alot of MONIES for this island, we are very fortunate.
    TAke care with Aloha

  12. kalaniua ritte says:

    im a idependent contractor who is contracted by kamehameha schools aina ulu program.no tax payer $….ALOHA IS EARNED

  13. janelee says:

    Our congressional team, particularly Senator Inouye, were very successful in obtaining federal grant monies to fund our many needed, non-profit services. For this we are grateful. But you need to know that Molokai is also a “collateral,” For our efforts in protecting our natural resources from exploitation, we have become a rare jewel for Hawaii’s economic ambitions. The latest, windmill farms and a submerged cable connecting Lanai, Molokai, and Maui. Molokai will be impacted by the cable, the junction “switch box,” as the cable touches our shore three times. We are beholding to our congressional leaders but we are also wary of those “bearing gifts.” How much more will Molokai be required to sacrifice because other islands have traded off their island’s natural resources to support excessive and dangerous growth and developments in the State.

  14. HaoleDaMushman says:

    Man there is a lot to unite this island. But yet, we are divided with the deepest fractures. It hurts to read how angry some people are, it must be a tough place from which to give love.

    Aloha, in my book means, compassion, mercy, kindness and giving. These are things that are given away and then return tenfold later.

    Much like namaste, shalom, salaam and other greetings around the world that speak to the good intention of two parties meeting, aloha means more than just hello or goodbye. It is a way of life.

    Personally, I try to live aloha through the gifts of my time, my mana, my money and my love. The rewards are beyond compare and transcend cultural lines, prejudice and race or religion.

    One cannot take saved up aloha to the grave. Give it all away everyday and have faith that the gods will reward you. Our lives are way too short to live any other way.

  15. Kalikiano says:

    Auwe, my sincere apologies to ‘bruddah’ Kalaniua! No disrespect meant; hopefully none taken! I’m off island far more than on it, so the error is unfortunate. Guess I owe Kalaniua a case of Primo, at the very least!

    As regards Auntie Rell, Rell’s daughter Jan is a hoaloa; I was planning to write a book about Auntie Rell’s life, but the project didn’t reach fruition after Stuart Holmes Coleman’s book (‘Fierce Heart’) and Greg Ambrose’s ‘Stories of Rell Sunn: Queen of Makaha’ beat me to the starting gate. After that the Tia Carrera film version of Rell’s life also (regretably) went on the rocks. FYI, the ‘definitive’ book book about Auntie Rell has yet to be written, despite Greg’s and Stuart’s excellent approaches. Hui.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.