Molokai Library Celebrates 80 Years

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The Molokai Public Library was celebrated as a community cornerstone at its 80th anniversary last Saturday.

“I know that many of you have memories of this library, and the books you’ve borrowed, and the answers you’ve found, and the wonderful staff that are here in Molokai,” State Librarian Stacey Aldrich told the crowd. “I’m grateful to the staff from 1937 to the present who have dedicated their professional lives to serving this community.”

Aldrich especially recognized Sri TenCate, who has been the Branch Manager of the Molokai Public Library for 31 years, saying “Your kindness and dedication are inspiring to us all.”

TenCate has helped carry on the library legacy that began on May 21, 1937.…

Polystyrene Ban to Begin Next Year

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

A Maui County ban on polystyrene foam containers, used by many restaurants for take-out food, will go into effect county-wide on Dec. 31, 2018. Passed by the Maui County Council last week, the ban aims to address environmental concerns posed by the non-biodegradable substance. The bill is now on the mayor’s desk awaiting his signature. Maui County will become the first county in Hawaii to pass a bill restricting the use and sale of polystyrene, joining many states and counties on the mainland that already have such bans.

“Due to its lightweight nature and ability to break down into smaller fragments that persist for decades, polystyrene has significant negative impacts on the environment, contributes to the potential death of marine animals and avian populations through ingestion…” the bill reads.…

Class of 2017 Shows Academic and Athletic Excellence

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Seventy-four students proudly marched between balloons and streamers, in front of family and friends, to receive their diplomas from Molokai High School last Saturday. With seven valedictorians — signifying the class’ highest grade point average — and one salutatorian, or second highest GPA — the class exemplified both academic and athletic excellence.

Principal Stan Hao remarked that the Class of 2017 boasts five Maui Interscholastic League athletic championships, and 36 students from have already completed college classes.

“The Class of 2017 has to be the most accomplished in college and career readiness,” he said.

Senior Class President Kananiokeaolani Ah Van called her class independent, loud and hard working, with a lot of natural talent.…

Molokai Gets $15M for Capital Improvements

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Molokai is earmarked to receive about $15 million in state Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding. That’s part of $63 million for District 13, which includes East Maui, Molokai and Lanai, Rep. Lynn DeCoite announced last week. Molokai’s projects will include improvements to both the Ho`olehua and Kalaupapa airports, as well as Hawaiian Home Lands lot development and improvements to Kualapu`u School. Additionally, $50,000 was added to the state budget to assist Molokai’s student athletes with travel costs.

“This year we were dealing with a very tight budget,” said DeCoite. “I’m thankful that our district received some of the much needed funds to repair our schools, airports and roads.…

Tulsi Gabbard Talks National Threats

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard visited Molokai last month to hold a town meeting, attended by a large and attentive crowd of residents. Community members had a chance to ask questions and talk story with the national democratic politician and Iraq war veteran, representing Hawaii’s second district.

North Korea’s missile capabilities particularly concerned her, and what she called the direct threat it poses to Hawaii.

“We have seen a lot in the news recently about North Korea’s continued increasing intercontinental ballistic missile capability…” she explained. “[Many]… are not aware of the very serious threat posed by North Korea and the fact that the intercontinental ballistic missiles that they have put Hawaii within range… this is not just some theoretical issue but something that threatens our state’s existence and something we have to take seriously.”

She said she has been working on missile defense on Kauai “should that worst case scenario happen” and urging state and federal officials to take action.…

A Changing Climate

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

This year’s 25th annual Molokai Earth Day celebration brought focus to an important theme: climate change. Dozens of local, state and federal organizations shared with residents how changing temperatures, rising sea levels and other global effects are impacting life on Molokai and what we can do.

“This Earth Day, we hope that you have found out that there are many things we can do about climate change,” said one of the event organizers, Penny Martin. “And so we recognize this group that was created to especially look at this very important issue.”

This year’s Malama Kuleana Honua award — presented annually to someone in the community who contributes significantly to Molokai’s environmental conservation — was a group, the Molokai Climate Change Network.…

Molokai Burger Reopens After Fire

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Molokai Burger Reopens After Fire

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

After a fire in February destroyed Molokai Burger’s kitchen and left the restaurant a sooty mess, the island’s only drive through has reopened two months later. Last Saturday, happy customers found the restaurant looking good as new, with equipment replaced and a clean, shiny interior. Owner Rod Felt said he is appreciative for the community’s backing through the ordeal.

“[We are] gratitude for the support, we really feel it,” said Felt. “We had so many come by and help us. There was one day during our cleanup we had 63 people [not including employees] helping us….…

Ayau Leads Paris Auction Protest

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Earlier this month, Molokai’s Halealoha Ayau and his family put their vacation in Paris, France on hold to take a stand against an auction of Hawaiian artifacts in the city. The day before their planned trip, the French Aguttes Auction House in Paris had announced the sale of more than 1,100 Hawaiian objects, part of a collection owned by Rainer Werner Bock of Maui. Aguttes called it the largest private collection of Hawaiian art in the world.

Ayau and 18 other family members and friends, including his two young daughters, held signs in front of the auction house that read, “Don’t sell my kupuna,” “#Hewa” and “Aguttes sells human remains.”

“All we asked… was to see documentation for items which have a high possibility of being native human remains,” said Ayau.…

Talk Story with Women’s March Founder

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Women’s March-Hawaii News Release

“I will always be proud of being the first to say ‘let’s march’ and to be the mother of the movement, in solidarity with thousands of wonderful women volunteers.” These are the words of Teresa Shook, a Hana, Maui resident, who sparked the flame that grew in days to become the historic Women’s March in Washington, DC on January 21, 2017.

Women’s March-Hawaii, in partnership with Kalele Bookstore, invites Molokai residents to talk story with Teresa, on April 19  from 5 to 7pm at Kalele Bookstore and Divine Expressions. Teresa is a retired lawyer and an educator who spent 30 years working for social justice, representing underserved communities, advocating for youth, and helping victims of domestic violence.…

Town Hall with Tulsi Gabbard

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard News Release

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will be holding a statewide Town Hall Tour in April, including a visit to Molokai.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent the people of Hawaii in Congress,” said Rep. Gabbard, who represents the people of Congressional District 2. “Our district is spread out, includes every island in the state, and is a long way from Washington, so my staff and I focus on outreach in a variety of ways to serve Hawaii’s people and keep them updated on what’s happening in our nation’s capital. At my upcoming statewide Town Hall Tour, I look forward to meeting with folks on every island, sharing a congressional update, discussing local and national issues, and answering questions.”

The Molokai Town Hall meeting will be held on Monday, April 17 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.…