News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Proposal Would Change Ocean Monument to Sanctuary

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing a change for the already existing Papahanaumokuakea National Monument to a national marine sanctuary.

The two are created under different federal laws, and have differences in management. National marine sanctuaries are designated under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, while marine national monuments are established under the Antiquities Act, according to NOAA.

National marine sanctuaries are managed by NOAA through its Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and in some cases, in partnership with state governments and local communities.
Monuments are managed by multiple government agencies, which may include NOAA, the Department of the Interior, and other federal and state partners.…

Earth Day 2024

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

Earth Day 2024

“I really like the international Earth Day slogan that says, ‘think globally, act locally,’” said Ed Misaki, one of the recipients of this year’s Malama Kuleana Honua Award. Misaki and the other founding members of the Molokai Cares organization, who started Molokai’s version of Earth Day back in 1992, were honored with the award.

Molokai Cares launched the Earth Day celebration along with other initiatives, like establishing the recycling center at the landfill and stopping the building of a parking lot in front of the public library. Several years after Molokai Cares established the event, The Nature Conservancy took over hosting, and moved it from Kaunakakai Elementary School to its present-day iteration at the Mitchell Pauole Center.…

Lanai Is Getting Subsidized Air Service– What About Molokai?

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

For the first time, the community of Lanai will be getting subsidized flights through the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) program.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s EAS program was established in 1978 to ensure small or underserved communities maintain adequate transportation to larger hubs. The program offers subsidies, if needed, to air carriers on a per-flight basis.
Lanai and Molokai were determined as EAS airports in 1983 but in the program’s more than 40 years, no airline has requested a subsidy to either island – until now. Both airports have operated under the “basic” EAS program, in which the U.S. DOT holds no contracts with airlines as long as a required level of air service continues to be offered.…

Alaska-Hawaiian Merger Won’t Solve Molokai Flight Issues

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Molokai residents who were hoping the proposed Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines merger could help the flight crisis on Molokai, will unfortunately be disappointed. Representatives from Alaska Airlines were clear that they will not be flying to Molokai, officially partnering with Mokulele or bringing in an additional Molokai airline.

“We knew this was going to be a little bit of an unusual visit…We knew we didn’t have a solution,” explained Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines regional president of Hawaii, at a meeting with representatives from Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines, the U.S. Congress and Molokai community members on March 28.

Airline representatives sighted “significant airport limitations” of the Ho’olehua airport for their current decision.…

Seaglider Speculation

Friday, April 5th, 2024

Seaglider Speculation

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a hydrofoil, floating boat?

The Hawaii Seaglider Initiative made waves back in January when they proposed interisland transportation on seagliders as a reality. Now, Molokai residents and representatives are pushing for details on the project.

The seagliders are being developed by Regent, an East Coast-based company promising to deliver 100 percent electric, zero-emission, high-speed gliders, projected to be operational by 2026. With partners such as Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Southern Airways, Regent already has a $7.9 billion backlog for their product. Southern Airways, owner and operator of Mokulele Airlines, is slated to be the first customer worldwide to receive the seagliders, according to David Uchiyama, a community and government representative for Regent.…

Unreliable Flights Causing Medical Access ‘Crisis’

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Unreliable Flights Causing Medical Access ‘Crisis’

Molokai residents are continuing to struggle with unreliable flights on the island’s only air carrier, and many say they have missed critical medical appointments off island because of delays. Several options are being explored to address the issues, but will they solve the problem?
“It’s sad, because if we get delayed or canceled, we just not going to make our appointment,” said resident Andrea Dudoit, who is battling breast cancer. “And that’s putting lives at risk. It’s just not fair. I don’t think it’s right.”
Dudoit said she has missed two chemotherapy treatments on Oahu because of delays or cancellations on Mokulele Airlines, the sole airline currently serving Molokai.…

Researchers Study Potential Toxins in Reef from Lahaina Fires

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Researchers Study Potential Toxins in Reef from Lahaina Fires

The August wildfires which ravaged areas of Maui have cast a looming shadow over the marine life and fish populations, particularly in the waters adjacent to Lahaina — including those off Molokai. The aftermath of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century has left behind a toxic legacy, with concerns mounting over the potential contamination of the ocean waters, according to reports from the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources and the Nature Conservancy.

A primary concern regarding the contamination of marine ecosystems is the impacts to neighboring islands, such as Molokai. Scientists believe that the ocean currents may have transported contaminants from Lahaina waters to Molokai, which can potentially affect fish populations and coral reefs.…

Continued Care for Lahaina

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

Continued Care for Lahaina

On March 8, nearly a dozen Molokai residents headed over to Olowalu to help their Maui neighbors with a solar energy project.

Trained by the Molokai based Ho’ahu Energy Cooperative, the Molokai energy techs constructed a solar energy system from the ground up, explained one of the project coordinators, Todd Yamashita. The solar energy system, complete with panels, batteries and inverters, will go to support four tiny homes intended for displaced kupuna from the devastating Lahaina fires last August.

“This is an outcome of what happens when you empower our local Molokai people,” explained Yamashita.

The “strike mission,” as Yamashita called it, was the result of months of planning with Eddy Garcia, an off-the-grid farmer located near Lahaina in Olowalu.…

Tornado Warning Rattles Residents

Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Tornado Warning Rattles Residents

As high winds and rain battered Molokai the evening of Jan. 8, forecasters for the National Weather Service (NWS) saw a troubling image on the radar. A powerful thunderstorm over Kepuhi Bay in west Molokai was exhibiting rotation and deemed capable of producing a tornado.

A tornado warning was issued at 7:45 p.m., with residents advised to take immediate cover. Although no tornado materialized, many residents were left with concerns over a lack of preparedness for such an event.

“We’re not used to doing tornado warnings, and that’s one of the really short fuse events where you have to take action right away,” explained John Bravender, a warning coordination meteorologist for NWS.…

Free Deer Meat Drive

Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

Free Deer Meat Drive

In honor of King Kamehameha V, Lota Kapuaiwa Kalanimakua Aliʻiolani Kalanikupuapaʻikalaninui, who introduced the axis deer to Molokai and whose la hanau, or birthday, is Dec. 11, 1830, the Molokai Hunting Club (MHC) hosted another free venison drive for Molokai families.

MHC held the drive with the acknowledgment that axis deer continues to be a primary food source for the Molokai community. Over 200 households were reached during the free meat drive at Kiowea Park on Dec. 9.

“The most rewarding part of the free meat drive is our club members’ commitment to giving back to our ‘aina kupuna as well as helping to feed our island’s people.…