Author Archives: Melissa Kelsey

Sust-AINA-ble Molokai

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Sust-AINA-ble Molokai

Future of a Hawaiian Island Conference

Sustainable Molokai Press Release

Artwork by Alex Gilliland

The Sust-AINA-ble Molokai: Future of a Hawaiian Island Conference is here. The conference will take place Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. From Hawaiian voyaging and navigation to eco-friendly building, there is a little of something for everyone. See you there!   

To view the schedule of events at the conference, follow this link:

‘Ohana Offering

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

We proudly announce that our Molokai Little League Junior Division baseball team members are the undefeated 13 and 14 year old District III Champions. Our team has worked hard to earn this opportunity to qualify for the Hawaii State 2009 Junior Division Tournament, scheduled for July 24-28. The tournament will take place at Hans L’Orange Field in Waipahu, Oahu.

At this time we are asking for assistance from our friends, family and businesses within our community to help defer the cost of our air and ground transportation and possibly housing, meals and other incidentals.

If you have any questions or are in a position to be of assistance, please contact Hala Pa-Kala, the Junior Division Vice President at 658-0260 (cell) or 553-5391 (home).

We do realize that these are difficult economic times for all, and we truly appreciate any and all assistance we receive.

Keiki Crops

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Keiki Crops

New garden for Kilohana Elementary

By Melissa Kelsey

On top of reading, writing and arithmetic, growing fresh produce will be part of the school day at Kilohana Elementary School. For the patch of land behind the school, members of the group Ka`ano imagine a community garden.

“This is one of the things that we have been wanting to do for a long time,” said Charlene Martin, a volunteer at Ka`ano, the organization known as the Molokai Seed Bank.  

In addition to growing food, keiki will also learn how to preserve seeds, according to Ka`ano volunteer Jade Bruhjell. One of Ka`ano’s goals is to establish a seed bank of heirloom seeds on Molokai that Bruhjell said could decrease the island’s dependence on outside food sources.     

“You start with the children,” said Martin. “We are going to teach them how to save their seeds, so they will have quality seeds of their own.”

Martin said Ka`ano members and Kilohana Elementary School teacher Mapuana Hanapi were both interested in a garden project for the school, so they worked together to brainstorm ideas. The school may use the garden’s produce to supplement its cafeteria food options and generate trade opportunities for the school, according to Martin.

“Hopefully, this will be a foundation of understanding for this generation of youth that will bring a resonance between the natural land and people,” said Bruhjell.      

Martin said in the future, Ka`ano hopes to tackle similar projects at other Molokai schools.
Cultivating the Past
The idea of growing food at Kilohana Elementary School is not new. Garden project volunteer Russel Phifer attended the school in the 1960s. At the time he was a student, he said there was an educational farm at the school. Keiki worked on farm projects, recycling as much as possible for future use.

“It is good to know the past, and how things were before,” said Phifer.  

Molokai schools also have a history of producing other food products, according to Phifer, who said Molokai High School used to run a dairy farm and produce milk.

“Back then, everything was produced here,” said Phifer, remembering how the island used to be less dependent on the barge. “Now, everything is packaged and shipped in,” he said.  

Krazy for Kolea Kontest

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Krazy for Kolea Kontest

Prizes offered for sightings of annual migratory birds     

Nene O Molokai Press Release   

The fall migration of the Kolea has begun. Also called the Pacific Golden Plover and scientifically known as Pluvialis fulva, the birds are returning from their breeding grounds in the Alaskan tundra. Kolea are territorial and live for twenty years or more, annually returning to Hawaii. Many Molokai residents have named their distinguished winter guests, noting their arrival and departure dates on calendars.

The Kolea is a swift flyer. In around 40 hours at speeds averaging from 56 to 60 miles per hour, the Kolea performs an incredible nonstop migration across the Pacific Ocean. The Kolea spends most of its daylight hours foraging, and can be recognized from a distance by its peculiar ‘run-stop-run’ feeding behavior.   

The Kolea is a prominent figure in Hawaiian folklore. It was considered to be the embodiment of Koleamoku, the god of healing, and a messenger of high chiefs. The northern migration of Kolea may have aided ancient navigators with the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands.

If you report the return of your Kolea, you could win a prize. The observer of the first confirmed Kolea sighting will win a Kolea research t-shirt from the Hawaiian Audubon Society. The first ten confirmed observations will receive a gift certificate for a scoop of ice cream at Kamoi Snack-N-Go in Kaunakakai. Any individual reporting a banded Kolea will receive $20 cash, after the sighting and location have been confirmed.

The Kolea is easily recognized by its bold black and white breeding feathers. However, this ‘alternate’ plumage is lost by winter when the bird molts back to ‘basic’ plumage.
Kolea banded on Molokai have a green or yellow band over a silver metal band. Also, be on the lookout for birds banded with a combination of three colored and one metal band. Bird bands are read as if reading a book, from left leg top to bottom, then right leg top to bottom.

To report your Kolea sightings, call Arleone at Nene O Molokai at 553-5992, or send an email to Include the date, time and location of each sighting with your report. Molokai sightings are collected at Nene O Molokai and emailed to Peter Pyle, an ornithologist who compiles the information for the Bishop Museum.   

District Champs

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

District Champs

Molokai Little League team to compete in state tournament  

By Melissa Kelsey

Front Row (L-R): Keldin Calairo-Nakagawa, Kaleonahe Sibayan, Noah Caparida, Ka'io Kalawe, Ehukai Rawlins.
Back Row (L-R): Likeke Schonely, David Rapanot, Bradley Nishihira-Aki, Namakana
Pa-Kala, Kiloaulani Ka'awa-Gonzales, C. Namakaeha Kamelamela.
Coaches, also back row (L-R): Scottie Rapanot Sr., Dwayne Kala, Manager Walter Rawlins Jr.

The Molokai Little League Junior Division baseball team stands undefeated. The team will travel to Oahu July 24-28 to play in the Hawaii State 2009 Junior Division Tournament.

“We played against some tough teams,” said Coach Walter Rawlins Jr., describing challenges the team faced throughout the season. “They did not give up.”

The 13 and 14 year old team earned the District III Champion title at the July 4 game when they defeated Maui Central 8-7. Rawlins said it was the first time a Molokai Little League team had earned the title in the three years he has been coaching.

“All of the kids, they found their heart and stayed together,” said Coach Scottie Rapanot Sr., explaining the team’s success. “That is something you cannot teach. They have to find it within their own.”

The team is raising funds to help cover the cost of airfare and other travel expenses they will accumulate on their Oahu journey. At Hotel Molokai last Friday, they gave homemade gifts to community members who made financial donations.

Welcoming Hokule`a – UPDATED

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Welcoming Hokule`a – UPDATED

Sustainable Molokai Press Release

UPDATE: The approximate time of arrival has been changed Wednesday afternoon before nightfall.

The Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokule`a will arrive to Kaunakakai Harbor on Wednesday morning, July 15. The exact time will depend on water and weather conditions. The crew is visiting Molokai to attend the Sustainable Molokai: Future of a Hawaiian Island Conference and participate in various other activities. Hawaiian immersion students will be doing oli to welcome the crew, and the public is invited to attend. With the help of the community, food is being prepared for the occasion.        

Man Dies While Picking Mangoes – UPDATED

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Electrocuted from overhead power lines

By Melissa Kelsey

UPDATE: According to bystanders, the man did not actually touch the electric line with the metal fruit-picking pole. It has been reported that when the pole came into close proximity of the line, the electricity arched from the line to the pole.


A Molokai man picking mangoes died last Friday as a result of his fruit picker touching overhead power lines. Police said the victim, Kamuela Hanapi of Kaunakakai, was harvesting mangoes with a homemade aluminum fruit picker of 20 to 25 feet in length.

Police received an emergency call from the victim’s wife at 7:35 a.m., reporting a possible electrocution. Police and firefighters arrived at the scene, located on Kamehameha V Highway near mile marker 10 in east Molokai. The victim was taken to Molokai General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

“He was a humble, outgoing, nice guy with a good heart,” said a friend of the victim. “He liked to give away fruit. He loved his kids.”

The victim was the third person to die in the state of Hawaii while picking fruit during the last three weeks. On Tuesday, June 30, a man died on Maui after he was electrocuted while picking mangoes with a metal fruit picker. On Wednesday, July 8, an Oahu man died from the same cause while harvesting avocados.  

Maui Electric Company released a statement last Friday, reminding the public to use extreme caution when picking fruit near overhead power lines.

“The fact that overhead power lines are energized and dangerous cannot be emphasized enough,” said Ed Reinhardt, President of Maui Electric Company. “During this time when many of our local fruits are in season, we urgently remind the public to follow basic safety precautions when picking fruit,” he said.  

Picking Up the Slack

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Picking Up the Slack

Danny Carvalho performs Hawaiian rhythms for library audience.

By Melissa Kelsey

At the Summer Reading Program, children enjoyed listening to the story of “The Little Red Hen.”

Upcoming Summer Reading Program Events
More events are coming to the Molokai Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. On July 14, the Molokai Humane Society will present “Be Kind to Animals.” On July 21, there will be a storytelling time hosted by Jim May. All sessions are on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m., and include story time for children.  


Inviting Energy

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Inviting Energy

Chinese art of feng shui shapes a home’s atmosphere.   

By Melissa Kelsey

Feng shui expert Clear Englebert demonstrated how outdoor décor can invite positive energy into a home.

The design of the front entrance leading into a person’s home can influence the health, harmony and prosperity of their lives, according to feng shui instructor Clear Englebert. During his June 26 class at Kalele Bookstore, Englebert illustrated how a home’s exterior has the potential to invite positive energy inside.

“When people go past your home, you want them to turn their head and smile,” said Englebert.

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art form of home design. With more than ten people in attendance, Englebert said his Molokai class was popular and attracted more people than his Kapiolani Community College class on Oahu.  

Energizing Elements
In the feng shui philosophy, Englebert explained how movement, light, sound and fragrance are four elements that attract energy. As a result, decorative components such as running water, music, color and scented objects effectively influence a home’s atmosphere.

The color red attracts attention and invites energy. To incorporate that feng shui principle, Englebert suggested planting red foliage next to a home’s front door and around the driveway entrance. However, it is important to not rely solely on flowers for this effect, since they usually only bloom for a short season. As an alternative to red plants, Englebert advised planting inside red pots at strategic entrance areas.

Plants with thorns or other “pokey” edges should not be used near the entrance of a home, because sharp edges turn away positive energy, according to Englebert. Instead, he said the best plants for front yards have fat, rounded leaves. Jade and sea grape were two plants he suggested for this purpose.

To invite good energy inside, it should be clear to passersby which door of the house is the front door, following the house’s original architectural plans. The front door should be much more noticeable than the garage door, and the garage door should be painted the same color as the house to make it less pronounced.

“Our feet follow our eyes,” said Englebert.

Inside the door, the front entrance should be uncluttered, and should especially not store too many slippers.

“Do not store every shoe in the house inside the front door,” Englebert explained.

Upcoming Classes
The June 26 class was the first session of a three-part tutorial on feng shui Englebert is teaching at Kalele Bookstore in Kaunakakai. His next two classes will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 10 and July 24, and will both feature feng shui topics for a home’s interior. Pre-registration is required, and to sign up, community members should call 553-5112. Because class size is limited, interested individuals should sign up early. Tickets cost five dollars per class.

Instructor Englebert resides on Oahu, where he maintains a feng shui consulting practice. He is the author of three books: “Feng Shui for Hawaii,” “Feng Shui Demystified” and “Bedroom Feng Shui.”

Veterans Center OK’d

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Veterans Center OK’d

Museum plans approved with kitchen.   

By Melissa Kelsey

Molokai’s veterans are considered by many to be living legends, and with last Wednesday’s green light to build a new Molokai Veterans Center as a museum, these fine women and men will indeed become living history. Dressed in bright yellow t-shirts, nearly 50 veterans showed up at the Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) meeting to represent their case for the Veterans Center.  

“A nation that forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten,” said Larry Helm, Commander of the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans.

Voting unanimously, the MoPC approved the veterans’ request for a Special Management Area (SMA) Minor permit, allowing the group to build the center on the veterans’ property located on Kaunakakai Place Road on the way to the wharf.   

“I think what we need to do today is just get this thing going,” said Steve Chaikin, MoPC Vice Chair.

As a result of the SMA approval, which promotes responsible development in the coastline region, the veterans can now apply for their building permit. This process is expected to take less time compared to the SMA permitting, according to DeGray Vanderbilt, former Chairman of the Planning Commission. Once the veterans obtain a building permit, they can start building. The veterans are counting on volunteer labor to build the center, according to Art Parr, the Molokai veteran who is the architect overseeing the building plans. A licensed contractor, plumber and electrician are also involved to supervise the project.

“I think just getting it started is the most important part,” said Molokai veteran Jeff Nartatez. “It just seemed like they were putting the veterans through a lot with just this one project,” he said.

Memories Get a Permit
The property where the Veterans Center will be built is part of the county’s Interim zoning district. The reason it took the Veterans Center so long to be approved is that the Interim zoning district does not allow for its use. Because museums are one allowed use for the Interim zoning district, last winter Commissioner Teri Waros suggested erecting the center as a museum to make the process go ahead more quickly. As a result, the commissioners approved the Veterans Center to be built technically as a museum.

“It has always been our intent to bring our memorabilia over,” said Parr. “When the idea of a museum was suggested, it made sense because that is what we had planned anyway,” he said.

Helm said the veterans also want to build a memorial at the site to honor Molokai veterans fallen at wartime, as well as those who have passed on at home.

Cooking up a Kitchen
As an organization that loves to cook, the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans were concerned when they were informed that zoning complications could prevent them from being able to have a kitchen as part of their building plans.   

“We want to provide food and hospitality Molokai style,” said Helm.

As a result of the Veterans Center being approved as a museum, the Maui County Zoning Department ruled that the kitchen on the veterans’ plan was too big for a museum use. After reviewing their legal rights to determine the kitchen’s size, the commissioners approved the kitchen on the original Veterans Center plan anyway, including it as a condition in the SMA Minor permit.

“I think it would be a huge oversight if we were to build this without the necessary kitchen accommodations,” said Commissioner Teri Waros.
According to Vanderbilt, the MoPC has the final authority over SMA Minor permits, and there is no reason why the Zoning Department can dictate how big a kitchen can be for museum use.

“It seems that kitchens are a reasonable accessory use to a museum,” said Vanderbilt. “Especially a living museum that honors the many men and women who have given so much of themselves so that we are able to enjoy what we have today,” he said.