Making Money Matter

Friday, August 26th, 2016

By Sarah Ching, Dispatch Staff

Running a business on Molokai can be tough, but it can be easier with healthy money habits, according to financial educator and entrepreneur Helen Wai. No stranger to financial struggle, Wai is incorporating her personal experiences to assist community members in breaking detrimental money habits that have often been instilled since birth.

“It’s time to break the cycle, and change what has become second nature,” she said of a two-hour workshop she is offering on Molokai called “Money Habits Matter,” on Aug. 29 at Kuha`o Business Center.

Growing up in Hawaii, Wai has overcome her own trials with finances and persevered to become the self-made business owner she is today.…

Newspaper Receives Statewide Awards

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Newspaper Receives Statewide Awards

Molokai Dispatch Photo

By Molokai Dispatch Staff

The Molokai Dispatch was honored with four Excellence in Journalism awards last weekend, at a dinner in Honolulu hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Hawaii chapter. Awards were presented in newspaper, TV, radio and magazine categories, for news coverage during 2015. Molokai’s own weekly paper received two first place and two finalists awards. Over the last three years, the Dispatch has now received 13 SPJ awards.

Former Dispatch reporter Colleen Uechi, who now works at The Maui News, was awarded first place in the non-daily newspaper category for general news/enterprise reporting for her story, “Fuel for Thought: Molokai’s Gas Prices,” which printed last October.…

Cable Outage Caused by Water Leak

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers on Molokai were without cable services for about 30 hours last week starting Wednesday evening. The outage was caused by a water leak in the east end building that houses Oceanic’s equipment, according to Norman Santos, vice president of engineering for Oceanic.

The company uses microwave signals to send cable and Internet signals from Lahaina, Maui to Molokai. A small building in east Molokai serves as the hub to receive those transmission signals. Santos said water started dripping into the building last Wednesday evening, March 9, and shorted out the two receivers for video signal. The third receiver for Internet remained operational, and Oceanic Internet did not fail during that time, according to Santos.…

Ho`olehua Credit Union Closed

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Ho`olehua Credit Union Closed

On Dec. 29, 2015, the First Hawaiian Homes Federal Credit Union (FHH FCU) closed its doors after being liquidated by the  National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Located in Ho`olehua, the small building at the corner of Farrington and Pu`upe`elua Avenues served 1,379 members and had assets of nearly $3.2 million, according to the credit union’s most recent Call Report.

First Hawaiian Homes Federal Credit Union closed its doors on Dec. 29. Photo by Catherine Cluett

An NCUA press release said the national organization made the decision to liquidate the FHH FCU and close operations “after determining the credit union was insolvent and had no prospect for restoring viable operations.”

John Fairbanks, public relations specialist for the NCUA, said he could not give any additional reasons for the lack of solvency due to confidentiality in protection of FHH FCU members and union.…

The Man Who Loves Christmas

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

The Man Who Loves Christmas

Each year, a tent pops up on Molokai filled with the Christmas spirit. Step inside and you’ll find yourself in a wonderland of frosted decorations, festive wreaths, ribbons and lights. Spearheading the family operation, Del Gossert is known locally as the “Christmas man,” and for the least six years, has been spreading holiday cheer through discounted decorations under a tent near Hotel Molokai.

Gossert starts growing his full, white beard in October in preparation for Christmas. A self-proclaimed “Christmas fanatic,” Gossart admitted that at his former Maui residence, there was barely room for a bed amid the boxes of Christmas decorations he collected.…

Celebration Through Donation

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Celebration Through Donation

For 80 years, Molokai Drugs has doled out over-the-counter remedies to thousands of island residents. This year, however, the island’s only pharmacy is tending to the health of a unique customer: Molokai High’s ailing fleet of school buses.

To celebrate their milestone anniversary, the owners of Molokai Drugs donated a new 14-passenger bus to the high school, which spent nearly $15,000 last year in bus repairs alone.

To thank the community for 80 years of aloha, Molokai Drugs donated a much-needed bus for students. Photo by Lee DeRouin

The brand-new vehicle, which will be used on Maui, is a start to replacing a collection of buses that over the years have cost the school thousands of dollars, delayed numerous trips and limited the number of students and equipment that teams can take off island.…

Hale Kealoha Unveils New Menu

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

After debuting its pupus last month, Hotel Molokai’s recently restored restaurant expanded its menu to include breakfast, lunch and dinner last week.

Hale Kealoha, the first full restaurant service at the hotel in three years, is now open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Owners and siblings Tammy Smith and Kama Hoe called it the restaurant’s “soft opening,” a chance to get the staff comfortable and work out any kinks before the restaurant’s grand opening on Dec. 5.

“It’s a beautiful place, so come on back and create the memories of what used to be,” said Hoe.

Breakfast at Hale Kealoha now includes classics such as pancakes, French toast and oatmeal.…

Community Planning Continues This Month

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

After seven months of many six-hour-long meetings and much debate and community testimony, the first phase of the Molokai Community Plan Update process has come to a close. The volunteer board of Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) members wrapped up their duties of review last month, though the updated plan is still a year and a half away from being completed and the opportunities for public feedback are far from over.

County Senior Planner Jennifer Maydan said the Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) will begin its review of the draft plan on Nov. 12 during the group’s regular meeting.

“At the meeting they will decide if they will continue to review the draft plan during their regular meetings or in a separate track,” said Maydan, via email.…

12 Molokai Businesses at County Product Show

Friday, October 16th, 2015

KBC News Release

At this year’s second annual Made in Maui County Festival, we have 12 booths occupied by Molokai businesses. The Kuha`o Business Center (KBC) is excited to not only have businesses returning to the festival from last year, but to be adding to the list of Molokai businesses that will be represented. The festival takes place Nov. 6-7 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului.

The event will boast a larger format with more products, more vendors, more food trucks, and more reasons to buy local. Nearly 140 product vendors and food trucks are confirmed for this year.…

Molokai Joins Opposition to NextEra Merger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Molokai residents voiced largely opposition two weeks ago to a proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra, a Florida-based energy company. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is gathering public feedback on the proposed $4.3 million merger and will make a decision within the next six months. Molokai’s feedback, said Commission Chair Randall Iwase, has been in keeping with what they’ve heard so far around the state.

“The commission is not required to hold these sessions, but it was opinion of all three commissioners that it was important and appropriate to hear from the public,” said Iwase.

A majority of Molokai attendees testified that they opposed the merger.…