Author Archives: Catherine Cluett

Kalaupapa Remembers Edwin Lelepali

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Kalaupapa Remembers Edwin Lelepali

By Rick Schonely, Staff reporter

Photo by Rick Schonely

A Kalaupapa legend Edwin “Uncle Pali” Lelepali passed away at the age of 88 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the Kalaupapa community celebrated his one year of passing earlier this month on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Kalaupapa. A service was held at Kana`ana Hou Church with Pastor Richard Miller and Charles Buck, Conference Minister of the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ, and along with many of his friends. Uncle Pali’s favorite music was played by the Kalaupapa Backyard Band and stories were shared by many. After the service and music, everyone headed to the grave site at Papaloa Cemetery for more beautiful words, music, hula and poetry.…

Conservation Youth Programs and Jobs

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Kupu News Release

Local nonprofit Kupu is now accepting applicants for its summer and year-round conservation education and workforce development programs on Molokai.

Kupu’s Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) Summer program is seeking five members between 17 and 20 years old and one team leader, 21 and over, who are interested in a full-time summer education and job opportunity on Molokai.

HYCC Summer participants will work as a team, learning conservation work at unique natural resource management sites across the island, including Kalaupapa National Park, Ka Honua Momona, Molokai Land Trust, Sust`ainable Molokai and The Nature Conservancy. In addition to gaining hands-on job training, members will also receive a $500 volunteer award, $1,222 scholarship to use toward higher education or student loans, and may also apply the program toward fulfilling the Dept.…

Boater Rescued Off Kalaupapa

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Boater Rescued Off Kalaupapa

A man in a homemade, 22-foot boat was rescued off Kalaupapa by the Coast Guard early last Friday morning, Feb. 17. The Coast Guard received a mayday call at 1:43 a.m. from the vessel’s 52-year-old occupant  — who remains unidentified by officials as of Sunday. At 3:08 a.m., the Coast Guard’s dolphin helicopter crew hoisted the mariner from his fiberglass vessel, the Harmony B.

With windy weather and 7-foot seas at the scene near the Kalaupapa lighthouse, the boat’s captain said he believed his anchor was no longer holding and was concerned that the weather conditions would push his vessel onto the nearby rocks, according to the Coast Guard.…

Molokai Burger Closed After Fire

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Molokai Burger Closed After Fire

Molokai Burger’s grills will remain cold for two months, following a fire during the night of Monday, Feb. 13. The blaze and smoke caused significant damage to the building’s interior and equipment, and the island’s only drive-through is closed while repairs are made.

Smoke was reported by a community member at 11:19 p.m., while the building was vacant. Three minutes later, firefighters were at the scene and found heavy smoke and active flames in the back kitchen area of the restaurant, according to the Fire Department. The fire was under control within 10 minutes and was fully extinguished around 1 a.m.…

New Ownership for Friendly Market

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

New Ownership for Friendly Market

After 63 years under the ownership of the Egusa family, one of Molokai’s largest stores is changing hands this week. As of Feb. 11, Friendly Market Center will continue operation under the leadership of another family of grocers — the Okimotos of Waianae, Oahu.

The change comes after careful consideration over the last few years, said the Egusas of their retirement and business sale. Having a long working relationship with the Okimoto family as fellow independent grocers, FMC co-owner Jeff Egusa said they feel good about the transition.

“We didn’t want a big mainland company or anything like that [to buy the store],” explained Jeff of their decision to approach the Okimotos with the possibility of purchase.…

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

The Sproat family, owners of Molokai’s legendary mule ride, say they’re worried land access issues may prevent the business from continuing operation.

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

The Kalae barn that serves as their base of business — home to the mules that make daily guided trips down the rugged Kalaupapa trail — is on land owned by R.W. Meyer Ltd, leased by the Sproats. R. W. Meyer also owns the land at the trailhead by Kalae Highway, through which mules and hikers must pass to access the settlement.

The late Buzzy Sproat operated the mule ride for more than 40 years, and his family has owned the business for 25 years.…

New Science Facility Unveiled

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

New Science Facility Unveiled

A new, $4.7 million state-of-the-art science building at Molokai High School will afford its students the use of lab facilities for the first time since 2004. The 4,500 square foot structure with two classrooms will also allow MHS students — some of whom have already won international recognition for their work in science — to further their research.

“Our kids deserve the best and they’ve put out nothing but the best,” said Molokai county councilmember Stacy Crivello at the building’s blessing last Wednesday. “We’re resilient and always make due and our students have more than made due. They have brought so much honor to our island.”

Last week’s dedication ceremony marked the completion of construction that began in the summer of 2015.…

Molokai’s Women’s March

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Molokai’s Women’s March

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

Nearly 100 Molokai residents joined more than two million worldwide in the Women’s March movement that took place last Saturday.

Inspired by an initial initiative to march on Washington, D.C. corresponding to Donald Trump’s first full day as President, hundreds of thousands of people around the world rallied, voicing a variety of sentiments. Some marched for women’s rights, others made a statement against Trump, and still others championed equal rights for all. Though officially called the Women’s March, the event featured participants of all ages and genders. In more than 700 cities, towns and villages — in locations that included the near Arctic Circle, the Congo, France, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, Serbia, the U.K., and across Hawaii — residents joined to make a powerful statement.…

Mixed Success for Basketball on Lanai

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Both the Boys and Girls Basketball teams traveled to Lanai last weekend for a series of tightly-matched games and a win for both the Farmers and Lady Farmers. The girls are also prepping to host the MIL Division II Championship tournament this weekend at home.

Girls

In the first of the final two games of the girls’ DII regular season, the Pine Lasses defeated the Lady Farmers 60-41 Friday night. Molokai was led by senior Brooke Keliihoomalu with 18 points and senior Nadia Augustiro had 9 points. Lanai was led by senior Tyana Soberano-Foster with 25 points; Jana Ohashi added 12 points and Kayla Garcia had 9 points.…

Unemployment Office Closing

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Molokai’s Unemployment Insurance office is slated for closure at the end of this month because of federal budget cuts. The office has been open since the 1970s and has helped residents through the closure of many island industries. Now, officials say the community can still access services online and by calling the Maui office.

“All of the usual services and benefits of the Unemployment Insurance office will still be available to the residents of Molokai,” said Linda Chu Takayama, Director of the Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations.  “Face to face is always preferable but it has to be balanced with the economic situation.”

The office, located in the state building in Kaunakakai, will be closed after Jan.…