Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Tyson Pactol First to Earn Malama Aina Degree

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

UHMCM News Release

After serving in the U.S. military and earning the privileges of the GI Bill, Molokai boy Tyson Pactol returned home and utilized the opportunity to attend college.  Back in the fall of 2011, UH Maui College, Molokai (UHMCM) offered an Associate in Technical Studies (ATS) Degree called Cultural and Natural Resource Management (Malama Aina).

At that time, Tyson was working with The Nature Conservancy on Molokai.  With natural resource management being his field of interest, Tyson pursued the ATS Malama Aina degree.  In fall 2014, Tyson successfully finished the degree.  He is the first Molokai resident to earn this Associate. …

Molokai Wins Big at International Science Fair

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Molokai Wins Big at International Science Fair

 

Maui County was represented at ISEF by Molokai students Alex Simon (front, left to right), Evelyn Haase, Keaa Davis, Sarah Jenkins, Momi Afelin (back, left to right), Luke Jones (Kihei Charter School) and Lily Jenkins. Photo courtesy of Lily Jenkins.

At the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), an event that included around 1,700 students from more than 75 countries, five Molokai students spent hours being grilled by Ph.D. holders and Nobel Laureates. In a room full of geniuses, Molokai proved it is home to some of the world’s brightest young scientific minds.

In the Earth and Environmental Sciences category, Molokai High School senior Sarah Jenkins and sister Lily Jenkins, a sophomore, won first place and a $3,000 award.…

Molokai Ferry Seeks to Run ‘As Needed’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

With competition increasing, the Molokai ferry wants to scale back further than originally planned. On May 13, Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc. withdrew its petition to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to suspend one daily route between Molokai and Maui. The company instead plans to petition the PUC to require a minimum number of passengers to make a trip between the two islands.

“The concept we’re working on now is being what’s called a common carrier versus a scheduled carrier,” said company President Dave Jung. “A scheduled carrier has to run if you’ve got one passenger. … We want to be a common carrier where we have a minimum.”

Jung said they made the decision because he felt the original petition “was gonna drag out.” In a letter to the PUC on April 14, the Division of Consumer Advocacy recommended a thorough investigation that included public hearings, which Jung felt the company didn’t have time for.…

Have you seen the `A`O?

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Have you seen the `A`O?

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young

`A`O or Hawaiian shearwater, courtesy Michael Walther, Oahu Nature Tours.

Recent observations of the endangered `A`O on Molokai suggest that this endangered species probably nests in remote areas on Molokai. Once known to nest on the steep slopes of the north shore and fern-covered forested areas, since 1906, this seabird has only been heard or seen in 1979, 1988, 1995 and 2009, with a single individual found grounded at One Ali`i Park three times between 2014 and 2015.  The `A`O or Hawaiian shearwater (Newell’s shearwater, Puffinus auricularis newelli), is a small black and white seabird measuring about a foot in length and with a wing span of almost three feet.…

Albizzia, Friend or Foe

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

The first introduction of plants to Hawaii started with the arrival of Polynesians, who brought important food and utility plants to their new home. I remember noted Hawaiian botanist Isabella Abbott calling kukui an invasive species because it displaced many natives in valleys and mountainsides.

Over the last 240 years, thousands of plant species were introduced to create new economic opportunities as a western capitalist system replaced an ancient self-sufficient system. Today, most of the vegetation found below 2,000 feet, with the exception of a few isolated coastal systems, is introduced.…

Molokai Getaway Package

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 Makani Kai News Release

Hotel Molokai, in conjunction with Makani Kai Air and Molokai Car Rental is now offering an “Escape to Molokai” combination package. The package includes two nights’ stay at the Hotel Molokai, round trip airfare for two to Molokai from either Honolulu or Kahului, and a two-day car rental from Molokai Car Rental, all for $489, taxes and fees included.

“This combination package makes travel to our island affordable,” said Michael Drew, General Manager of Hotel Molokai. “We’re happy to do what we can to encourage Hawaii residents to come to Molokai and enjoy the open spaces and unspoiled environment.”

Although the package will be available from both Oahu and Maui, Makani Kai Air will not commence service between Molokai and Kahului until Monday, June 1.…

Ikehu Molokai Meetings

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

The Ikehu Molokai planning team is excited to be returning to Molokai and hope that you can attend an Ikehu Molokai renewable energy project community meeting. Community meetings are scheduled for the week of May 24.  The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, May 23, 3 to 4 p.m. Manae Goods & Grindz (at the picnic table), informal discussion Tuesday, May 26, 6 to 8 p.m. Kilohana Community Center Wednesday, May 27, 6 to 8 p.m. Maunaloa Community Center Thursday, May 28, 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Kalanianaole Hall Friday, May 29, 11 a.m.…

The Secret Lives of Monk Seals

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The Secret Lives of Monk Seals

Scientists scan the beach for seals. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

A year and a half ago, scientists and community members wanting to learn more about endangered Hawaiian monk seals decided to try a new method of observation. Instead of continuing to speculate and make assumptions about the life and habits of monk seals – much of which happens under water – they decided to record it on video. Attaching satellite trackers and cameras known as “critter cams” to the backs of seals allows biologists, students and the public to gain insight into the largely obscured life of this endemic sea mammal.…

Two Islands, One Goal

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Two Islands, One Goal

Hanohano Naehu (far left, in yellow) gives the Rapa Nui visitors a tour of the spring bordering the fishpond. Photo by Clare Mawae.

On a bright and breezy Thursday morning, two men from different parts of the world knelt over a pile of freshly netted weke. One was a Molokai born-and-raised fishpond keeper, the other, a Spanish-speaking Rapa Nui fisherman, each knowing just a few words of the other’s native tongue. Under a shady tree, they pulled out knife and fork and began scraping translucent scales from the fish in the same methodical style. Neither could say very much to each other, but they spoke the common language of men whose livelihoods revolve around fish.…

Study Alternatives for New Electric Utility Model

Friday, May 15th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced today it has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study the options available for a new electric utility model.

The $30,000 analysis is in response to the County’s concerns about the looming NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger before the Public Utilities Commission, and how it may affect area residents and businesses. The study will look at alternative forms of ownership and the alternative utility business models for Maui County’s electric utility company.

“We must look at our options, but to do that and have a constructive conversation about the matter we need more information,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.…