Author Archives: Dan Murphy

Fishpond Interviews

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Community Contributed


Aloha kakou,

Here is a link to the aired interviews Noe Tanigawa did at our fishpond!  In interviews are: Uncle Merv, Uncle Herbert, Aunty Julia, and Todd!  :)  Can someone please figure out how we can get copies of the clips?  I don't want the links to go away while I'm gone and then for us to lose them.  I loved hearing our Uncles and Aunty Julia!  mahalo, noe

Ranch Pays Big

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Ranch Pays Big

Some of the desolate-looking grounds and empty swimming pool at Kaluakoi’s old hotel will be brought back to life in the near future thanks to a recent court ruling against Molokai Ranch.

Last month, an arbitration hearing forced Molokai Properties Limited (MPL) to reopen the abandoned pool at the site of the Kaluakoi Hotel and pay $75,000 in punitive damage to the West Molokai Resort Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO).

The hotel, owned by MPL, stopped maintaining the grounds in late 2008 and officially shut down the pool in December 2008. However, a cross easement with the AOAO that dates back to 1976 requires the hotel’s owner to maintain common areas as long as they own the property – even if the hotel is no longer in operation. Retired Judge Patrick Yim, who served as arbitrator in the case, said MPL’s failure to do so was, “intentional, knowing, egregious and malicious.”

When the Kaluakoi area was first being developed in the 1970s, the Kepuhi Partnership purchased to adjacent plots of land – one to build condominiums and the other for what became the Kaluakoi Hotel.

Kepuhi Partnership created a cross easement declaration that outlined “common areas” that were available to patrons of both lots. According to the easement, those spaces include, “all parking areas, roads, walkways, landscaped areas… and the swimming pool.” The easement explained that the cost of maintenance for those areas was to be split, but the actual work was the responsibility of the hotel lot’s owner.

The AOAO, with the help of Honolulu attorney Terry Revere, filed a complaint with the Second Circuit Court on Feb. 17, 2009 – roughly two months after MPL shut down the pool. Both groups decided to settle the matter in arbitration and a final decision was reached on Dec. 24.

MPL claimed it was not their choice to shut down the pool and reopening it would be legally impossible. However, Yim’s report denied both of these defenses and also stated that MPL failed to provide evidence to back up their counterclaim that AOAO actually owed them thousands of dollars in maintenance fees.

The AOAO also requested an unstated amount of money to reimburse unit owners for possible renters they had lost due to the pool being closed and other poor maintenance. Yim denied that claim saying there was no way to tell how much business was actually lost because of MPL’s failure to uphold its obligations.

AOAO President Jeff Kent, his attorney Terry Revere, MPL General Manager Daniel Orodenker and his attorney Andrew Beaman were all contacted for comment, but none returned phone calls.

Residents in the Kaluakoi area did say crews began cleaning the pool and landscaping walkways earlier this week, but could not verify that they were working for MPL.

Coast Guard Coming to Makahiki

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

US Coast Guard News Release

The crews of the US Coast Guard Cutters Kiska, a 110-foot island class patrol cutter stationed in Hilo, and the Kittiwake, an 87-foott patrol cutter currently stationed in Nawiliwili, are scheduled to participate in Ka Molokai Makahiki Games this weekend. The Kiska's Commanding Officer, Lt. Charlotte Mundy and Kittiwake's Commanding Officer, Lt. Gordon Hood, have indicated that the cutters will be open for tours to Molokai residents on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Building Economy with Sports

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

State of Hawaii News Release

Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr. announced last week that he is proposing legislation to establish a Hawai‘i Sports Commission that would enhance the state’s potential to become a worldwide leader in sports and sporting events.

The 13-member commission would be given the full-time responsibility to attract, develop and promote sports and sporting events throughout the state and generate revenues for Hawai‘i’s economy.

Drop-In Center Not Being Dropped

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Despite many recent rumors to the contrary, Governor Linda Lingle said that there are no plans to eliminate Molokai's mental health drop-in center. Lingle's letter was written in response to a letter sent to her by Senators Kalani English,Rosalyn Baker and Shan Tsutsui.

In Lingle's letter she writes that rumors may have started because two of the center's employees left for unrelated reasons. The text from both letters is posted below.


The Senators' Letter:

A Fighter for Life

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Penny Spiller is a fighter. She fought for her life when doctors told her she had six months to live in January of 2007. She fought her insurance company when they told her they would no longer pay for her medical care in August of 2008. And now, she is continuing to fight to make sure no one else has to endure the same legal battle.

Spiller, a Molokai resident, filed a lawsuit against The Hartford Insurance Company that claims she was wrongfully denied payment of her benefits. The Hartford stopped paying Spiller’s medical expenses two years ago because they didn’t believe she qualified for the type of care she was receiving from her long-term health insurance coverage.

Business is Booming

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Business is Booming

The Aina Momona – Hawaiian for the “bountiful land” – Market apparently isn’t quite “momona” enough to keep up with business in Kaunakakai. The market, located on Kamehameha V Highway next to the Bank of Hawaii, offers an island-wide selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and beef from local growers. Market Coordinator P.J. White said business has been so strong that they have had to cut back from three days a week to two.

Avelina Danioan is one of the eight to ten regular growers who sell their produce at Aina Momona on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. White said they recently stopped opening on Friday’s because most of the week’s supplies had been bought by then. People from Kualapu`u to Halawa come to the market to buy and sell. Charles Niles of Halawa Tropical Flowers Farm said that he makes the trip twice a week because it gives the business regular recognition in the community.

“It’s a showcase for us,” Niles said. “We can consistently have flowers in Kaunakakai and we are now getting regulars.”

The market also offers fresh meat orders and jewelry. Ninety percent of the food is organically grown and all of it comes straight from the Friendly Isle.

Access Denied

Monday, January 18th, 2010

The Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) backtracked on their backtrack last week, deciding not to hear an appeal of the 20,000 square foot farm dwelling being built by Pierluigi Zappacosta on Molokai’s west end.

Over nine months ago, the commission voted to exempt Zappacosta from obtaining a Special Management Area (SMA) permit. The commissioners voted to hear an appeal of their decision last September, but changed their minds last week, saying they were legally unable to allow an appeal. Most of the commissioners showed remorse while delivering their verdict last Wednesday, but said they hoped to use this case as a catalyst to change laws that led to the long, confusing process.

Sports Round-Up

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Sports Round-Up

The Farmers brought home three first place finishes from the wrestling meet held at King Kekaulike last weekend. The meet was the second of the year for the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL), but the first that Molokai competed in.

Junior Kevin Dudoit battled through a series of tough opponents to win the 135-pound weight class. On the girls’ side Charisse Manley won the 130-pound division and the biggest surprise of the day was freshman Michal Torres-Umi who won the 120-pound division in her first ever high school meet.

Dudoit and Manley were top competitors last year and are continuing to get better, but Torres-Umi was a pleasant surprise.

“Her last match was a pretty big win. She beat out a junior or a senior from Baldwin,” said Molokai coach Randy Manley. “Our girls’s team did very well overall. If things stay consistent, they should have a very good finish.”

Manley said he was missing several wrestlers who couldn’t make the trip this weekend, but would help fill some of the gaps in the Farmers’ lineup. He was able to use this meet to figure out what weight classes he needed to place his strongest wrestlers in and is looking forward to this week’s meet.

“We're thinking that if we put everybody in the mix, we should look pretty good by the end of the season,” Manley said.

The Farmers are back in action this weekend with another MIL meet at Kamehameha- Maui.

Even though the Molokai High School boys’ swim team is too small for a relay, the kane swimmers managed to place seventh out of nine teams in the first of two meets this past weekend.

The MIL Invitational at Kihei was the first back-to-back meet for the swimmers this year, who dropped their individual times considerably on the first day and held them steady on the second. 

,” Spires said.

The Friendly Isle swimmers’ next meet will be the MIL Championships at Kihei on January 29 and 30.

It’s Tiger Time

Friday, January 15th, 2010

It’s Tiger Time

Molokai's first ever Chinese New Year "Year of the Tiger" parade is less than a week away. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. and end with a ceremony at the War Memorial Park.  The program will consist of a Chinese Kung Fu demonstration and the honoring of our Chinese kupuna.  Betty Kehaulani Kauka Puaa will be one of the kupuna honored.

Puaa's original Chinese maiden name was Lau. Her paternal great-grandfather Mr. Kwan -Sun Lau was a medical practitioner from Canton, China who was also known for his medical expertise in Hawaiian herbs.  Arriving in the first wave of Chinese settlers to Hawaii, he eventually established his medical practice at the Big Island’s Waipio Valley where its herbal plants were in abundance.  The villagers in the Valley affectionately named him Kauka, a respectful Hawaiian term for medical doctor.  In due course the Lau family adopted Kauka as their family name.  During that time, he married a local lady named Kamalolo.
Puaa's paternal ancestors were notable Hawaii citizens. Her great-granduncle Lau On aided Dr. Sun Yet Sen, who succeeded in overthrowing the Manchu Dynasty in 1911. Her other great-granduncle, Lau See, was a successful entrepreneur and founded and later sold the popular Sun Sun Lau Restaurant in Hilo. Her grandfather Lau Chong Akiona Kauka was a US government civil engineer who supervised the construction of the breakwaters on most of Hawaii's islands. The original Molokai pier was due to Mrs. Puaa's grandfather's efforts.
Born in the year of the Rabbit to father Henry Ah-Yau Kauka Sr. and mother Henrietta Newmann, Mrs. Puaa was the fourth child in the family.  She lived at Ahaino, then at Kipu Camp on Molokai and attended the Holomua School.   At Molokai High, she met her future husband, the late Jacob Kopa Puaa.  They were together for 49 years.  She is now the matriarch of the family, helping her daughter oversee operations at the Spencer bus company. This legendary bus company carries students to and from school and has provided a community-minded bus service for over 69 years.
In honoring our present kupuna, they also bring to mind an impressive line up of past notable Chinese kupuna such as the late George Fook-Kun Chong, founder of the well-known Chong 's Poi shop; the late Charley Yin-Hoy Young, founder of  C.Y. Electric, a popular electric contracting company;  the late Harry Yet-Wah Chung, a keen community affairs advocate who was one of the founding charter members of  Molokai General Hospital and  Molokai Lion's Club as well as the founder of Harry's Market and the late  Dr. Arthur Chu who was a dentist for many years.  These past kupuna were all known for their pioneering spirit and enduring strength.
Our kupuna, past and present are the source of strength that we can draw upon to build a better future. Please come on Jan. 18 to see them being honored.

The fun doesn’t stop when the parade does. The Year of the Tiger Festival will start at 12 noon in the parking lot between Mel Chung Gunsmith’s and Shop 2. The festival will include traditional Chinese ceremonies, tai chi lessons, a mini Chinese bazaar and artwork and essays from Molokai’s students. For more information about these events or to sign up for a Tai Chi lesson call the Molokai Cultural Club at 553-5888.