Community Development

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

Ho’olehua Veterans Center Stirs Controversy

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Ho’olehua Veterans Center Stirs Controversy

A proposed, controversial $4 million veterans center in Ho’olehua is moving forward, amid high emotions among veterans and confusion about the project’s origins. The proposed 7,000 square foot building to be located behind Lanikeha Community Center will house Veterans Affairs services, as well as a meeting room, classroom and office spaces, a kitchen and covered outdoor gathering area and serve as a joint facility with the Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands.

Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans (MVCV) board members say they sought $400,000 in funding a few years ago to complete the Kaunakakai Center parking lot and other remaining projects. The 3,000-square-foot structure on Wharf Road was finally completed in 2015 after a long struggle through permitting hoops and funding woes.…

Molokai Getting WiFi Hotspots

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Kalaupapa settlement now has 10 free public WiFi hotspots, with locations also coming to Kaunakakai, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) has announced. The hotspots will provide one hours of free service per day per device, provided by Spectrum. The Molokai hotspots are among at least 1,000 hotspots that were required as part of the agreement of transfer of Oceanic Time Warner Cable to Charter Communications, known as Spectrum.

The Kalaupapa WiFi hotspots are part of the first wave of public hotspots now active or underway on Molokai, Maui, Kauai and Oahu. Kaunakakai’s hotspots are scheduled for installation this fall, according to the DCCA, though they did not say where they will be located or how many are planned.…

Lanikeha Re-Opens with a Facelift

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Lanikeha Re-Opens with a Facelift


With a mission to help homestead farmers reach their full potential, Lanikeha Community Center in Ho’olehua has reopened its doors with renovations that represent a dream.

“We began this dream a few years ago, we stayed on that mission… and what people said was a mission impossible, is mission accomplished,” said Rosie Davis, legal authorized representative of the Molokai Homestead Farmers Alliance (MHFA). “Our journey continues and it’s just getting better. We’re so proud of where we were… and where we’re going. [This facility] strengthens the community, it strengthens our homesteaders.”

The $1.7 million renovation project by the MHFA, which manages the facility, was paid for by state Grant in Aid funds.…

More Delays for Community Plan Update

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

After more than three years in process, the Molokai Community Plan update will be further delayed, according to County Council staff. The Maui County Council had until the end of this month to adopt an updated version of the 2001 Molokai Community Plan but the draft still hasn’t been discussed by the whole council. A lack of quorum by members of the council’s Planning Committee has caused recent meetings to be cancelled, said Susan Foley, executive assistant to Planning Committee Chair Kelly King.

Now, the Council has extend the finalization deadline to September, said Molokai Councilmember Stacy Helm Crivello.

“The Planning Committee is currently in deliberations of the Plan and upon completion of committee acceptance, the intent is to come before the Molokai community and hopefully to present the Plan to the full Council for passage,” said Crivello, via email.…

Makakupa’ia Bridge Replacement

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

The Makakupa’ia Bridge, located on Kamehameha V Highway four miles east of Kaunakakai, is slated for a $6 million replacement  starting in 2020. The project is estimated to last 18 to 24 months and will involve the construction of a temporary bypass road, demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new bridge. The existing bridge, built is 1940, no longer meets current National Bridge Inspection Standards, meaning replacement is required.

Right now, Makakupa’ia Bridge is 23 feet long and 28 feet wide with two 11-foot lanes and two-foot shoulders. The new bridge will be 49 feet long and 42 feet wide, with widened shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists.…

Community Plan Nears Finalization

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018


The plan that will guide Molokai’s next 20 years is nearing completion after a lengthy update process — and residents had a lot to say last week. The Molokai Island Community Plan Update is slated for finalization and adoption by the Maui County Council at the end of June.

The Council’s Planning Committee has made revisions to the draft plan, and Planning Committee Chair Kelly King visited Molokai last Monday to talk to the community about the plan’s updates — the latest in a series of meetings she and Molokai Councilmember Stacy Crivello have held over the last months.

King said several themes struck her when reading the plan, like the importance of maintaining Molokai’s rural character.…

Discuss Molokai Plan Final Draft on Monday

Sunday, May 6th, 2018


Maui County News Release

Maui County Councilmember Kelly King, chair of the Council’s Planning Committee, will present the proposed final draft of the Molokai Community Plan on Molokai from 5-7 p.m., Monday May 7 at the Mitchell Pauole Center. This is the latest in a series of informal meetings to gather with community members who will directly be impacted by the update to the existing 2001 Molokai Community Plan. The date extension passed by the Council late last year states June 30 as the deadline for final passage of the Plan. Throughout the process, community input was a driving force.

Along with Councilmember Stacy Crivello, King invites the community to come talk story and share any concerns about the few major changes made after more than a year of committee meetings, community input and additional workshops and visits to speak directly with the community.…

Drawing the Line on Sea Level Rise

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Drawing the Line on Sea Level Rise

By Audrey Newman, Community Reporter

A team of committed students, teachers and community members participated in the statewide Blue Line Project to “draw the line on climate change” and raise community awareness of sea level rise projections for Molokai last Saturday.   Sust`aina ble Molokai helped volunteers create a temporary blue line of ocean images and climate change messages along Kamehameha V Highway in front of Duke Maliu Regional Park to show the area vulnerable to permanent flooding in the next 40 years.  

“We chalked in a blue line to show where the new shoreline will be if we don’t take drastic measures [to address] climate change, sea level rise, and carbon emissions,” explained Vicki Newberry, team leader for Aka`ula School. 

The blue line is based on the 2017 Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, which estimates one meter (3.2 foot) increase in sea level.  Projections for the entire Molokai coastline can be viewed at  Seventeen communities across Hawaii joined this Earth Day event, organized by the Blue Planet Foundation with local partners, to send a clear message from Hawaii that everyone across the globe must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels. Look in future issues of The Molokai Dispatch for more information on how climate change and sea level rise will affect Molokai.…

Proposal for Ranch Purchase

Friday, April 13th, 2018

A company called Lamplighter Energy has proposed the purchase Molokai Ranch to grow and export hibiscus to South Korea. Lamplighter CEO Andre De Rosa said wood pellets from the hibiscus is a renewable substitute to burning coal, and his energy company has the investors and contract with an organization in Korea to sell the product.

Molokai Ranch, owned by Singapore-based land holder owner GL Limited, went up for sale last September at a price of $260 million, and its 55,575 acres represents one third of Molokai.

De Rosa sat down with a small handful of residents last month, filmed by Akaku, and shared his plans, which he says he has been doing on a one-on-one basis with the community.…

Library to Get More Space

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Library to Get More Space

A growing collection of books and programs at the Molokai Public Library is causing its historic building to burst at the seams. If a proposed expansion is approved, the library would get some much-needed additional space. The proposal includes a new, stand-alone 1,875 square foot building behind the existing facility that would cost over $3 million, funded by the state Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS).

The new building will be connect to the back of the existing staff room by a breezeway. The facility will provide a meeting room, workroom for staff, and two restrooms additional space for books, as well as.…