Community Development

What is community development? How should community development be governed?

Questions Remain for Hawaii Pacific Teleport Project

Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Questions Remain for Hawaii Pacific Teleport Project

Nine satellite earth station antennas representing the Hawaii Pacific Teleport (HPT) project have been installed in Ho’olehua at the Goodfellow Brothers’ quarry. These white orbs are currently the subject of inquiry as they face a decision by the Molokai Planning Commission on Jan. 24.

The goal of the project is to expand Wi-Fi and cell phone coverage across Molokai and the surrounding ocean without the need for fiber cables, explained Haloa Dudoit, director of community outreach for the project.

“The antennas will allow residents to access reliable internet and Wi-Fi calling even in remote areas of Molokai and on the ocean,” said Dudoit.…

County to Consider Public Ferry

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A feasibility study to consider a Maui County-owned ferry system is slated to be completed in the next year. Lanai Councilmember Gabe Johnson, who has spearheaded the initiative, said $300,000 has been budgeted for the study for this fiscal year that will determine options for how ferries between Molokai, Maui and Lanai could be run, how much it would cost, where the funding might come from, and other variables. 

He pointed to how Maui’s public bus transportation is operated, with the buses owned by Maui County and operated under a contract with Roberts Hawaii. He said a similar arrangement for the ferry service might be an option. …

Kaunakakai Harbor to be Dredged

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

Molokai depends on barge deliveries for food, fuel and other essentials. The barge depends on being able to dock at the Kaunakakai Harbor, which must be kept at a certain water depth for it to be usable. Maintaining the harbor depends on the US Army Core of Engineers (USACE), the authorities responsible for monitoring 28 harbors across the state. Dredging is essential to maintaining necessary depths by removing the sediment that collects in the harbor over time. Fifty years after it was last dredged, Kaunakakai Harbor is slated for maintenance dredging this fall. 

Work is scheduled to start after Oct.…

Army Corps Hosts Meeting on Harbor Dredging

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers News Release

The Honolulu District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division, is hosting a community information meeting to present the construction plan for the Kaunakakai Harbor Maintenance Dredging Project. The meeting will take place on June 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Duke Maliu Regional Park Pavilion in Kaunakakai. 

Over the past year, USACE has engaged with members of the Molokai community and stakeholders to hear concerns and ensure any potential impacts on the environment, recreation or fishing were addressed in the plan. Please join us for this presentation to learn more. …

Comment on Na’iwa Subdivision Project

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is moving forward with the construction of infrastructure improvements to the Na’iwa Agricultural Subdivision project near the Ho’olehua Airport. The 341-acre parcel will be subdivided into 66 lots, 50 of which have already been awarded to beneficiaries. That’s according to DHHL’s Draft Environmental Assessment for the project, which was just released and currently in a 30-day public review comment period.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $34.6 million. Proposed improvements include access roadways, electrical power, irrigation and potable water for agricultural use of the lots, as well as support the construction of homes and infrastructure built by beneficiaries. …

Maui County Gets Nearly $100M in State Funds

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Nearly $100 million in capital improvement projects (CIP) and grant-in-aid appropriations, including Molokai projects, were included in the final version of the state budget, voted on in conference committee last week. Assistant Majority Floor Leader Lynn DeCoite of Molokai, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, announced the funding. 

Several Molokai projects received CIP funding. The Molokai Irrigation System was given $2,000,000 for improvements. The Hoʻolehua Veteran’s Cemetery received $650,000 for upgrades and site improvements for fiscal year 2024 and 2025. The Kalaupapa Settlement received $540,000 for remediation of hazardous materials, also over the next two years. …

Hazard Mitigation Plan Seeks Local Feedback

Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

The State of Hawaii 2023 Hazard Mitigation Plan is being created right now. Representatives from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) are seeking input from Molokai residents on the types of hazards they would like identified in the plan. 

Updated every five years, the hazard mitigation plan aims to “protect communities against the threats of flooding, hurricanes, wildfire, tsunamis and other hazards,” by “taking action now, before the next disaster,” according to a recent news release from HI-EMA. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will use the state plan to create a list of projects requiring funding.…

Options for the Unhoused

Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

Options for the Unhoused

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

For Molokai’s unhoused population, there could be relief in a new, fast-moving program. 

Oahu’s Blanche McMillian is the CEO of Hui Mahi’ai Aina and an advisor to Gov. Josh Green. She arrived on Molokai last Friday morning with a proposal based on her own experiences. 

One of 17 children, McMillian described the actions of her family and her Christian faith as the basis of her work with Hawaii’s homeless. McMillian has dedicated her life to putting that faith and upbringing into action. Through her Hui Mahi’ai Aina foundation, McMillian has built permanent homes for over 60 people.  …

New Land Designations Proposed for Ilio and Waikolu

Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter 

Molokai’s Ilio Point and Waikolu Valley are up for possible re-designations that Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) staff say would allow more focused funding and management. 

Currently managed by the Land Division, a broad department which maintains state lands, the DLNR is proposing a re-designation of the areas as Natural Area Reserves. 

Natural Area Reserves were “established to preserve in perpetuity specific land and water areas which support communities, as relatively unmodified as possible,” according to the DLNR website. 

“The purpose of that would be that we could do more focused management in those areas,” explained Molokai DLNR representative James Espaniola. …

Community Discusses Purchase of Molokai Ranch

Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter

As Molokai residents are well aware, Molokai Ranch has been for sale since 2017. For $260,000,000, a buyer would become the owner of over 55,000 acres of land with infrastructure like water lines, roads and housing — equating to about a third of the island. 

Tech moguls have a bad habit of snatching up land in Hawaii. Over the past few years, Mark Zuckerberg has bought 1,500 acres of Kauai. Larry Ellison famously purchased 90,000 acres, or 98 percent, of Lanai for $300,000,000. A massive land grab by an outside investor is what the Molokai community is seeking to avoid.  …