Students Tackle Environmental Challenges

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Aka`ula School students took on the examination of a variety of Molokai’s environmental issues during the school’s 20th annual PRISM Symposium two weeks ago. Using comprehensive research augmented by surveys of Molokai residents, student groups dove head first into topics that ranged from controversial to thought provoking.

Aka`ula uses a curriculum called Investing and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions (IEEIA), developed by Dr. Harold Hungerford, who was a special guest at this year’s event.

“[Aka`ula leadership] believe[s] that IEEIA is a great curriculum because it doesn’t teach reading, writing, and math separately,” wrote eighth-grader Hina Chow in a recent Aka`ula School newsletter.…

Beekeeping for Beginners Workshop

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Pu`u O Hoku News Release

A workshop for beekeeping for beginners will be held at Pu`u O Hoku Ranch on Tuesday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon. Topics will include honey bee biology, beekeeping equipment, starting a honey bee colony, hive management and honey production.

Instructors are Laura Mijares and Tim Haarmann, who live in southwestern Colorado and have been keeping bees for almost three decades. Over the years, they have worked in most aspects of beekeeping including owning and operating a beekeeping business, teaching beekeeping courses around the globe, consulting in short- and long-term agriculture development projects, and honey bee research.…

Mixed Feedback for Proposed Subsistence Fishing Area

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Mixed Feedback for Proposed Subsistence Fishing Area

Proposed boundary for the Molokai Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area on the north coast. Map courtesy of DLNR

Emotions ran high during a contentious discussion about the Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) being proposed for a portion of Molokai’s norther coastline last Thursday. Organizers of the proposal say efforts began about 20 years ago to establish sustainable fishing guidelines to protect declining ocean species. Now, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is beginning a process to create an official designation for the area and gathering feedback on the proposed rules that reflect traditional fishing practices of moderate gathering and kapu periods.…

Molokai Grad is National Scholarship Finalist

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Molokai Grad is National Scholarship Finalist

Photo courtesy of CSU

Molokai High graduate Kiloaulani Kaawa-Gonzales, now a junior at Colorado State University, has been named a finalist for the nationally competitive Truman Scholarship. The award is for undergraduates committed to careers in public service. While at Molokai High, he was he recipient of scholarships from Nordstrom, Coca-Cola and Ka Hikina O Ka La. Now, he’s working to continue his pursuit of excellence through a focus on conservation with cultural awareness.

“There are so many insightful native people that work in the field of natural resources,” he said. “But there is very rarely a chance for them to take a management or advisory role because of the lack of a college degree.”

He hopes to change that, in part by taking in a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates in Hawaii or Puerto Rico through the National Science Foundation.…

Makani Kai Makes Hard Landing in Kalaupapa

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Makani Kai Makes Hard Landing in Kalaupapa

Photo by Shannon Crivello

A Makani Kai flight landing in Kalaupapa last Saturday made a hard landing and skidded off the runway. The nine passengers aboard the flight were uninjured. However, the plane suffered damage to its nose, landing gear and wing, according to officials.

Makani Kai President Richard Schuman told Hawaii News Now the flight was on final approach to land and had been told by another, private aircraft at Kalaupapa that the other pilot was clear of the runway. However, when the Makani Kai flight touched down, its pilot had to maneuver abruptly to avoid hitting the other aircraft that was still on the runway, said Schuman.…

Completion of Community Plan Faces Delays

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

After several years in process, finalization of the Molokai Community Plan update may be further delayed by the Maui County Council. Planning Committee Chair Kelly King is seeking a council resolution extending the deadline to enact the updated plan until the end of the year. The original timeline called for County Council finalization of the plan this May.

In a Planning Committee meeting on Maui in mid-February, King expressed concern that the committee would not have adequate time to review the draft and gather community feedback at this point.

The County Council’s review and adoption is the final step in the process for updating the 2001 Molokai Community Plan that began a few years ago.…

Hale Kealoha Restaurant Closed

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Hale Kealoha, the restaurant and bar at Hotel Molokai, closed permanently on Feb. 28. Owner Tammy Smith said the closure is the result of a business decision between Hale Kealoha and Hotel Molokai and its management, Beachtree Properties. Hale Kealoha leased the bar and restaurant space, and Smith said though she had no intention to close her business, the change was initiated by the landlord.

“We came, we tried, we did our best, we impacted a lot of lives,” said Smith, who also owns a restaurant by the same name on Oahu. “We had a lot of people who liked what we did, we had some people who didn’t.…

Contamination Testing Approved to Begin

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Contamination Testing Approved to Begin

An investigation of the underground contaminants of the former power plant in Kaunakakai has received the green light to begin in a few months. Last November, Maui Electric Company told the community about its planned clean up of the former Molokai Electric Company site. Now, Maui Electric, which inherited the company but not the site, was approved for two Special Management Area permits by the Molokai Planning Commission last week, allowing the project to move forward.

Map courtesy of Maui Electric

The Molokai Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the permits needed for subsurface soil testing to be completed. One permit will cover work within the primary test area — a 1.5-acre parcel bordering Kamehameha V highway across from Paddlers Inn between Moahala St.…

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.…