What is going on behind that black fence across from the post office? Resurrection. Behind the construction fence at 115 Ala Malama, there is an intense construction effort underway to build the new St. Damien of Molokai Catholic Church. Since early January, Nordic PCL Construction has been hard at work constructing a new worship center for the Molokai Catholic Community on the recent ashes of the old St. Sophia plantation church, scheduled for completion in December. This week, concrete walls will be raised into place with a crane.
By G.T. Larson
What we see of Molokai today is but a portion of its former size. At its largest, Molokai was probably at least a third larger in area than today, mainly on its north coast. Molokai, like the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, is a shield volcano. As has been discussed in an earlier series, most of Earth’s volcanoes are strato volcanoes, also called composite volcanoes.
This type of volcano have tapped reservoir of relatively cooler more viscous magma. Composite volcanoes usually have narrower bases and steeper sides than shield volcanoes. Some familiar examples are Mt. Hood in Oregon and Japan’s Mt. Fujiyama. These volcanoes have more of a tendency to “clog up,” resulting, if enough pressure builds up, in a violent explosion such as Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. Shield volcanoes are a type of volcano that has tapped a very hot, fluid supply of magma, usually basalt. They are much less likely to have explosive events; though, if the rising magma hits enough water if can have explosive steam related events.
When Molokai was forming, layer upon layer of lava built up a large curving dome, which at its highest may have been over 10,000 feet high. The north side of the dome was the same profile as the south side, a gradual rise in elevation. This gradual dome shape is characteristic of shield volcanoes. The south walls of Pelekunu and Wailau valleys are remnants of the original crater, or more accurately called caldera. Simply put, a caldera is a very large crater; craters can be inside a caldera, but not vice versa. Shield volcanoes are also known for their rift zones. These are areas along the flanks of the main volcano that vents form allowing the release of volcanic material.
These rift zones radiate out from the main caldera, usually in two or three spoke like zones. If you look carefully at a map of Molokai?s west end, you see two arms or spokes radiating out to the northwest and southwest from Maunaloa, the remnants of the West Molokai volcano. The arm going southwest heads toward La`au Point; this rift zone created La`au Point. It continues beyond La`au over 20 miles in what is called Penguin Banks, a shallow land mass below the ocean’s surface. The northwest rift zone created Ilio Point. The many hills one can see to the north of the road to Kepuhi Beach including Ka`eo, the hill where the ancient adze quarry is located, are all volcanic vents of the northwest rift zone.
So what happened to the other half of Molokai?s north shore? We will examine this in our next installment. Aloha Ke Akua.
By Sue Forbes-Kikukawa
On Sunday, May 1 the Kualapu`u Running Team competed in their first off-island race, participating in the Honolulu 5K for Kids. All team members turned in solid performances in their first competition at this level, with top results coming from the Ringor twins – Mary Rose and Mary Grace. The twins came in second and third in the girls’ 9-10 age group, with times of 30:07 and 30:20, respectively. Other top ten age group performers were Nainoa Kahale, fourth in the boys’ 9-10 age group with a time of 24:09; Noelani Helm, sixth in the girls’ 9-10 age group with a time of 32:46; Raphael Adolpho, seventh in the boy’s 9-10 age group with a personal record of 25:34; and Genevieve Kikukawa, eighth in the girls’ 11-12 division with a personal record of 30:20. Just missing top ten recognition were Kekama Naeole-Starkey, who ran 27:13 and came in 12th place in boys’ 9-10 division; while Noah Donnelly ran 27:40, earning 14th place in boys’ 11-12 group.
With close to 1,000 racers competing in the Honolulu 5K for Kids, the Kualapu`u kids did a terrific job of representing Molokai this year, and after getting a taste of some real competition are looking forward to returning to compete on Oahu again next year. As Genevieve Kikukawa said to her mom after the race, “That was fun, I want to do this again.” And so the practices and the on-island fundraising races will continue, with track practices scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5 p.m., and the next two Saturday running races on the calendar for May 14 and 21.
Along with getting a higher education, some students at the University of Hawaii Maui College-Molokai, formerly known as MCC, also tried their luck at losing a few pounds this past semester during UHMC’s first-ever “Biggest Loser” competition.
Professor Donna Haytko-Paoa, the coordinator for the event, was inspired by her favorite TV show “the Biggest Loser,” a reality series which helps people lose weight. She and her staff partner, Kelley Dudoit, reeled in twenty students to participate in the weight loss program, and awards for biggest losers were handed out last Friday at the college’s campus.
First-place winner, April Maddela, won a volleyball and the respect of her classmates after the 10-week event. She lost 26 pounds during the Biggest Loser competition.
wasn’t about losing weight,” she told the program’s graduates. “It was about changing your lifestyle, so you wouldn’t go up and down and be unhappy with yourself, so you can have confidence.”
The Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) has one open seat and it could be filled by early June by Oliver “DeGray” Vanderbilt. But his nomination by Mayor Alan Arakawa has been under review for the past two weeks after several Molokai community members have questioned his residency status.
Arakawa nominated Vanderbilt in April to fill the seat previously filled by Napua Leong, who resigned from the commission in December 2010. The commission has a maximum of nine seats, and eight out of them have been filled. Vanderbilt already served on the MoPC from 2003-2008, and was chairman his last year.