Breaking News: Search for Missing Cessna Continues Off Molokai

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Breaking News: Search for Missing Cessna Continues Off Molokai

The search continues today for a downed aircraft off Ilio Point that was reported missing last night. Around 7 p.m. on Dec. 30, a Cessna 172 with the tail number N174LL, with three people on board, disappeared off radar about four miles east of Molokai’s Ilio Point after departing the Molokai airport for Honolulu.

The plane’s pilot has been identified as Michael Childers, with passengers John Mizuno and Whitney Thomas, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is leading the search for the missing aircraft and has widened the search up to 17 miles northeast of Ilio Point. HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point along with the crew of USCGC Kittiwake from Honolulu are searching by boat and air, with the assistance of Molokai Fire and Police departments.…

Bucks for Bots

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Bucks for Bots

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

At first glance, it might have appeared to be a group of kids playing with a collection of innovative toys. Though they were having fun, the students at the Malamalama Education Fund dinner and fundraiser last Saturday were actually showcasing learning tools that may help them become engineers, mathematicians or scientists.

The goal of the event, put on by the Molokai Island Foundation (MIF), was to benefit the island’s education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Along with donations from corporate sponsors, proceeds from the dinner and silent auction held at the Molokai Community Health Center will go into a fund to assist with equipment and travel expenses for STEM-related activities.…

E. Coli Found in Ualapue Water

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

On Thursday, Dec. 8, the water source for Ualapue in east Molokai tested positive for E. coli bacteria. The water remained safe to drink, however, because water in the distribution system is disinfected, according to county Department of Water Supply (DWS) officials.

The water sample that tested positive for the bacteria was collected on Dec. 7 in the Ualapue Shaft, a well source water located mauka of the highway near Ualapue. No E. coli was found in the distribution system, so officials gave the all-clear to continue drinking the water.

The presence of E. coli can indicate contamination in the water from human or animal waste, according to the DWS.…

Waialua Christmas Sale

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

By Pat Kikukawa

Vendors are invited to participate in the Christmas Craft Boutique, rummage sale and Farmer’s Market at Waialua, on the second Saturday, Dec. 10, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Waialua Pavilion.

We are looking for all types of good things; handcrafted items, fresh produce & plants, fish, baked goods, hand crafted items, apparel, household items, etc.

If you are interested in selling your special items, contact Pat Kikukawa at 553-5643 or at ASAP.  Reasonably priced spaces are still available at $10 per six foot space. Please make your checks payable to Waialua Congregational Church and bring your own table and chair(s).…

Court Rules Against County GMO Regulation

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Last Friday, a federal court of appeals ruled that Hawaii counties do not have the authority to ban or regulate genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly called GMOs, and the use of pesticides. The decision upholds the ruling of a lower court made last year, and concludes a highly disputed voter initiative in Maui County to ban the growing of GE crops passed in 2014.

Other county ordinances also overruled by the court’s decision include a Hawaii Island law signed in 2013 preventing new GE crops from being grown, and a 2013 Kauai bill requiring pesticide disclosure and buffer zones for application around schools, waterways, parks and other public use facilities.…

Update: DHHL Water Given the All Clear

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

DHHL News Release (Nov. 23)

Effective immediately, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is lifting the water usage restriction for Molokaʻi residents who receive their potable water from the Hoʻolehua reservoirs.

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) completed the microbiological and chemical testing of the Hoʻolehua water system and has determined that it is safe to resume normal water usage and consumption.

“We would like to thank our homesteaders and the residents of Molokaʻi for their patience and understanding as well as Maui County, the State Department of Health and the State Department of Education for their continued cooperation in this matter,” said Jobie M.…

Search Underway for Missing Molokai Helicopter-Updated

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

3:30 pm update: Maui Fire Department crews have located the crash site and confirmed there are no survivors. The downed helicopter was found about a mile and a half above the highway just east of Puko`o Fire Station. The Maui Police Department is coordinating recovery of the victims and preserving the wreckage for federal investigation. 

Initial story at 1:15 pm:

A land, air and water search is currently underway for a missing Molokai helicopter. The black helicopter, with two people on board, reportedly departed Honolulu Tuesday evening and never arrived at a private helicopter pad on Molokai as expected.

The Coast Guard hasn’t released the names of the missing persons pending notification of family members, but the pilot has been unofficially confirmed as Gary Galiher, a prominent attorney and east Molokai homeowner with a helipad on his property.…

Molokai Voters’ Guide

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

General Election Day is approaching on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Your vote is your voice and one of the most powerful forces to shape the future by electing a representative government who will make decisions which affect you, your family and your community.  On this year’s ballot, Molokai voters will choose the new U.S. President, U.S. Senator and Representatives, State Representative, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees and Maui County Councilmembers.

The Presidential frontrunners, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have divided the country in a historic battle, leaving many voters disenchanted with the election process. However, even if you choose not to vote for one of those candidates, there are three other choices you can select from on the ballot.…

Molokai Ferry Ends Service

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Molokai Ferry Ends Service

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

After three decades of service, the Molokai Princess ferry running between Kaunakakai and Lahaina will sail its final trip this week. Last week, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the request of the ferry operator, Sea Link of Hawaii, to cease service, noting falling ridership and financial losses.

“We’ve lost over $1 million in the last four years trying to keep the ferry alive,” said President and Captain Dave Jung.

The ferry’s last trip will be on Thursday, Oct. 27. The ferry service began in 1986 when Gov. John Waihee encouraged the company to run a ferry out of Molokai.…

Rare Orca Sighting Off Molokai

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Rare Orca Sighting Off Molokai


Photo by Tabitha Pupuhi

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai fisherman Clay Ching and his daughters Katina Soares and Tabitha Pupuhi caught a rare sighting of orcas, also known as killer whales, on camera off the south shore of Molokai last week. The video, posted on social media by Pupuhi, has gone viral, with thousands of views and shares.

The three were fishing about 13 miles offshore on Oct. 10 when they spotted four orcas, which came right up to their boat. Pupuhi said there were three larger whales and one smaller one.

“We really couldn’t believe our eyes!” said Pupuhi.…