On Better Sirens

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Maui sirens did not go off before or during the fires. I am so sorry. To my beloved Hawaiian community, I have an idea that may help or save us in the future.  Authorities say, if the alarm siren had sounded, it may have caused people to run up and toward the fire. To me, the flaw is in the single use and single designation of the alarm siren. There is a very simple fix going forward, hopefully immediately: have two designations for our early warning alarm system that everyone can understand immediately.  

The steady siren, like our current monthly tests, designates a tsunami warning.…

Reflections from the Incoming Editor

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Reflections from the Incoming Editor

It’s been a year to remember. If you’d asked me a year ago where I would be, I’d have hoped for an opportunity like this, but never expected it. Life comes at you fast. 

In sincere gratitude, my experience so far has only been made possible by the outrageous generosity of the Molokai community. From miso soup at the Guzeiji Soto Mission, to corned beef hash at the Kikukawas, from Wednesday night soccer to Thursdays at the softball fields, my life here has revolved around borrowed cars, rented rooms, and true friends as I slowly got my feet under me. 

I want to say thank you to Catherine Cluett Pactol.…

Growing Old Consciously

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

To be aware of my own aging process is quite an interesting experience. It happens to everyone, whether we want it to or not. At first glimpse, I tried to ignore it. Then I tried to fight it, but that’s like fighting against gravity mid-fall. 

I’ve learned to see my play of emotions in a different way. I’m on a natural honorable journey here on Molokai. The ego tells me to do the things I used to do as a young person. But I can’t, at least those things have become less satisfactory. So why take that route? Why keep myself in the mind frame of “I can’t?”…

Reflections of a Dispatch Board Member

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

To call them eras may sound a little pretentious, but in our history of The Molokai Dispatch, that is what they are.  The Jerry and Edie Anderson era, the Todd Yamashita era, and the Catherine Cluett Pactol era.  These individuals have been responsible for the stewardship of The Molokai Dispatch for most of our now nearly 40 years of existence.  They are the reason that we have survived momentous changes in the newspaper industry and continued to serve the Molokai community.  We stand on the foundation that they have built.

The latest layer in that foundation has been laid down by Catherine Cluett Pactol over the past 15 years. …

Scholarship Donation Mahalo

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Shout out to my friend Jim Foti and the Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association. Big mahalos for the generous donation to our Friends of Molokai High and Molokai Middle Schools foundation. At this year’s Shaw and Partners Molokai Challenge Race held in May, Jim set aside a portion of every entry fee with all the proceeds going to our Friends Foundation. This donation will help all our students at Molokai High and Molokai Middle schools. Mahalo to our worldwide paddling community for participating in the Kanaka Ikaika race. A part of your entry fee came to us. Yessah, a $3,135 donation for the Friends Foundation. …

Obon Festival Mahalo

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

After a three-year hiatus, Guzeiji Soto Mission of Molokai recently held its Obon festivities on their temple grounds in Kaunakakai.  Many people came to remember and honor their ancestors as they ate chicken hekka and danced the night away!  We would like to thank all who participated and made Obon 2023 a huge success:  Rev. Shuji Komagata, GSMM members and their families, Somei Taiko, Hawaii Matsuri Taiko, Derrick Iwata and dancers, Royce Villa, Shirley Rawlins, Jean Ribao, Charlene and Bull Dela Cruz, Tracey Apoliona, Bright and Dio Youngstrom, Puni Ignacio, Sherman Napoleon and Jonathan Jefts.  We are very grateful and appreciative of your continued generosity and kindness. …


Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

There are countless stars
up above tonight
like the bright
beautiful Milky Way
in the southern sky
but, as I look to the east
from Kaunakakai
sitting here in silence
on our lanai
I cry
at the sight on the horizon
just as black
as the ink from this pen
I dwell on why
and I wonder when
this darkest of darkness
is going to end

Jayson Mizula 


Reflections from a Dispatch Board Member

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

Reflections from a Dispatch Board Member

The history of newspapers on Molokai is a colorful one. Often times it revolves around the individuals behind the scenes who keep the tenets of journalism alive in our far off-the-grid community.  

I don’t think Catherine Cluett Pactol of New Hampshire, fresh out of college in 2008, had any idea that she would become one of these central figures. Or that she would go on to elevate Molokai further by expanding coverage of Maui County through a job she envisioned for herself at Hawaii Public Radio.

 Fifteen years ago, the responsibilities of editor, publisher and layout artist were burning me out.…

Molokai History Project

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

Following the passing of Dr. Aluli late last year, there was a groundswell of support to establish a place on Molokai to share our collective histories and cultural objects. Over the past few months, a group of 15 plus individuals have met to brainstorm ways to make this possible. Most recently, our group met with Pulama Lima, the executive director of Ka Ipu Makani Cultural Heritage Center, a local nonprofit already doing heritage preservation work on Molokai. As a curator, Lima emphasized the importance of keeping and preserving our history on island, and the need for these artifacts to be cared for as required by conservation standards.…

Unreliable Transportation Decreases Dental Services

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023

There are now decreased dental services on Molokai due to unreliable transport into and out of the island. 

Dr. Tabitha Chiu, DMD writes: 

“Dear Nalu Dental patients,

In the few months that l’ve been working at Nalu Dental, l’ve felt so welcomed by everyone that l’ve met. It’s been a privilege to be able to provide dental care to your community. Unfortunately, due to the unpredictability of transportation on and off the island, I will be pausing my commutes from Oahu. It has become difficult to manage my schedule when flights are consistently delayed, often without notice. I hope to return once transportation is more reliable.…