Community Development

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

100% Renewable Energy for Molokai by 2020

Friday, April 7th, 2017

100% Renewable Energy for Molokai by 2020

Hawaiian Electric Companies has rolled out a statewide plan that sets a goal for Molokai of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. Over the next three years, the electric utility is proposing 1.4 megawatts (MW) of additional photovoltaic energy to be added to the island’s existing 2.3 MW of energy coming from rooftop solar panels, as well as 5 MW of wind energy. The plan also calls for a transition to biofuel for “some” of the island’s 12 MW of energy currently being generated from diesel fuel.

“Molokai will serve as a blueprint to increase the cost-effective use of renewables for the remainder of the state and help us obtain real–world experience in running an island grid with 100 percent renewable energy,” states the report, filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last December and recently presented at the fourth annual Maui Energy Conference.…

Hotel and B&B Proposed for Town

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Two upcoming projects slated for permitting represent firsts of their kind on Molokai. A two-story hotel and commercial space planned for downtown Kaunakakai would offer eight rooms for rent and retail storefront. The island’s first potentially permitted Bed and Breakfast is also seeking approval from the Molokai Planning Commission this month.

The property of the proposed hotel, located between American Saving Bank and Kalele Bookstore, is currently a 13,092 square foot empty lot owned by Stanley Wada.

The first floor would include two room units, manager’s office, laundry room, and three retail units, totaling 3,776 square foot of building coverage, according to Maui County Molokai Planner Sybil Lopez.…

New Science Facility Unveiled

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

New Science Facility Unveiled

A new, $4.7 million state-of-the-art science building at Molokai High School will afford its students the use of lab facilities for the first time since 2004. The 4,500 square foot structure with two classrooms will also allow MHS students — some of whom have already won international recognition for their work in science — to further their research.

“Our kids deserve the best and they’ve put out nothing but the best,” said Molokai county councilmember Stacy Crivello at the building’s blessing last Wednesday. “We’re resilient and always make due and our students have more than made due. They have brought so much honor to our island.”

Last week’s dedication ceremony marked the completion of construction that began in the summer of 2015.…

Unemployment Office Closing

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Molokai’s Unemployment Insurance office is slated for closure at the end of this month because of federal budget cuts. The office has been open since the 1970s and has helped residents through the closure of many island industries. Now, officials say the community can still access services online and by calling the Maui office.

“All of the usual services and benefits of the Unemployment Insurance office will still be available to the residents of Molokai,” said Linda Chu Takayama, Director of the Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations.  “Face to face is always preferable but it has to be balanced with the economic situation.”

The office, located in the state building in Kaunakakai, will be closed after Jan.…

Kaunakakai Brownfield Cleanup

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Kaunakakai Brownfield Cleanup

Image Courtesy of Maui Electric

A Kaunakakai property with known contamination from operations of the former Molokai Electric Company is slated for comprehensive testing and cleanup, beginning in the coming year. Maui Electric, which inherited the company but not the site, is initiating the first steps in the effort, and shared their plans with the community last month.

“Maui Electric has never operated out of this site, we inherited the site, but we want to make sure we get the site cleaned up and ready to be repurposed into something else,” said Greggory Kresge, Maui Electric environmental compliance engineer.

The brownfield property — a term used to describe a former industrial site with hazardous pollutants — is located on the lot currently occupied by Molokai Supply across from Paddlers Inn.…

Community Plan Update in Final Stage

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

The Molokai Community Plan has begun the final step in the update process. In May, the Maui County Planning Department transmitted the draft document to the County Council for review and adoption. Once completed, the plan — a comprehensive blueprint for the island’s economic and environmental resources, infrastructure and cultural values — will help guide Molokai’s future over the next decades.

This is the final step in the process for updating the 2001 Molokai Community Plan that began more than a year ago. Revisions to the plan were initially prepared and recommended by Planning Department staff, then reviewed by the Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC), a 13 member committee of Molokai residents, which provided its recommended revisions during public meetings and workshops held from March through October 2015.…

College Graduation Honors Family Learning

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

College Graduation Honors Family Learning

Photo By Colleen Uechi

More than 100 Molokai graduates of all ages were honored for completing an important milestone in their lives two weeks ago as they earned associate, bachelor and masters degrees on Molokai. Every four years, University of Hawaii Maui College Molokai campus holds a commencement ceremony and this year’s 41 graduation participates represented just a portion of the 116 students that received degrees between 2012 and 2016.

The graduates — ranging in age from 17 to 59 — are 75 percent Native Hawaiian. They represent all walks of life, including three couples, two siblings and three military veterans.…

The Molokai Community Plan

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Aha Kiole o Molokai News Release

The Maui County Planning Department started the review process for The Molokai Community Plan, which included many meetings of different groups and covered all aspects of Molokai. At first, the Molokai community was not participating, so the Aha Kiole got involved and held five meetings in each of the five Moku to let people know what was going on, how important the Molokai Community Plan was and ask people what they wanted to put into the plan.

Last week, the plan came before the Molokai Planning Commission for the final of many Commission meetings. The Aha Kiole o Molokai, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, UH Law School and many in the Molokai community joined forces to make sure the mana`o of our community was pa`a in the plan.…

Hawaiian Election Halted, Convention Scheduled

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Following a U.S. Supreme Court order that prohibited the counting of votes in a contested Native Hawaiian election, Na`i Aupuni – the nonprofit running the election – has announced it has terminated the election process. Rather than registered voters picking 40 delegates for a convention, or `Aha, that will be held in February, Na`i Aupuni officials have said all 196 candidates will be offered a seat at the `Aha.

In late November, a Supreme Court justice issued a temporary hold on ballot counting in response to a legal challenge filed by a group that claimed it is unconstitutional to hold a racially exclusive election.…

Addressing Drugs on Molokai

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

With a recent drug-related shooting fresh on people’s minds, Molokai residents are gathering for a revitalized call to action to address the island’s drug problems head on. More than 40 community members from church representatives to police officers, recovering addicts to government officials, gathered last Friday for a workshop led by Toni Bissen, executive director of Pu`a Foundation, a nonprofit that has created a framework for healing trauma within prison walls.

“You look back and we’ve had murder suicides, suicides, domestic violence,” said county council member Stacy Crivello. “We act and then we stop. It’s just our culture, because you know that person and you don’t want to talk about it.…