News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Celebration Through Donation

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Celebration Through Donation

For 80 years, Molokai Drugs has doled out over-the-counter remedies to thousands of island residents. This year, however, the island’s only pharmacy is tending to the health of a unique customer: Molokai High’s ailing fleet of school buses.

To celebrate their milestone anniversary, the owners of Molokai Drugs donated a new 14-passenger bus to the high school, which spent nearly $15,000 last year in bus repairs alone.

To thank the community for 80 years of aloha, Molokai Drugs donated a much-needed bus for students. Photo by Lee DeRouin

The brand-new vehicle, which will be used on Maui, is a start to replacing a collection of buses that over the years have cost the school thousands of dollars, delayed numerous trips and limited the number of students and equipment that teams can take off island.…

`Aha Moku Advisory Seeks Feedback

Friday, November 20th, 2015

DLNR News Release

The `Aha Moku Advisory Committee (AMAC) has scheduled a series of public meetings this month to seek comment from communities in `ahupua`a districts as it develops and adopts rules for its operation and administration.

Created by the Legislature in 2012 via Act 288, the `Aha Moku Advisory Committee is attached to the State Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and is mandated to bring the voices of the `ahupua`a communities forward to the Department on issues related to natural and cultural resources.

“AMAC may advise the DLNR on issues related to land and natural resources management through the ‘Aha Moku system of best management practices,” said Leimana DaMate, AMAC executive director.…

Rule Proposed to Protect Sea Cucumbers

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

After a commercial operation was discovered overharvesting sea cucumbers earlier this year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking to regulate the catch and consumption of the marine creature throughout the state.

Previously, there were “no rules at all” protecting sea cucumbers, which serve an important purpose in the ocean, said Russell Sparks, aquatic biologist with the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).

“The … thing that concerned us is the role these animals play on the reef,” Sparks explained. “They’re kinda like earthworms on land. They gotta turn the sediments over and clean it.”

Last week DLNR officials held a public hearing on Molokai to discuss proposed regulations with community members.…

‘Sons of Halawa’ World Premiere

Friday, November 13th, 2015

‘Sons of Halawa’ World Premiere

Quazifilms News Release

Photo courtesy of Quazifilms.

On Monday, Nov. 16 in Honolulu, “Sons of Halawa,” a locally produced 60-minute documentary, will have its World Premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). The Molokai Premiere is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. under the tent at Hotel Molokai.

The story takes place in Molokai’s Halawa Valley and revolves around the life of Pilipo Solatorio. Now in his 70s, Pilipo is the last of his generation living in the isolated valley. The film follows him for two years as he searches for a successor to replace him as the carrier of Halawa’s cultural practices.…

Biochar for Molokai

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

Josiah Hunt of Pacific Biochar is the mover and shaker in the use of biochar in Hawaii and other areas of the world, and will be presenting a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. at UH Maui College-Molokai Farm located in the Molokai Agricultural Park.

Although the word “biochar” may be new, the idea of using charcoal for food production is not new. In the Amazon Basin, unearthed areas have been found to contain layers of biochar that enriched the poor soils of these high rainfall regions. High rainfall in the tropics can leach or wash away key nutrients, especially bases such as Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, key elements for optimal plant growth, and these conditions are found in high rainfall areas of Molokai.…

Butterflies Are Back

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Friends of Molokai Library News Release

If you checked the Butterfly Garden at the Library this summer, you may have noticed that there weren’t any Monarchs flying around.  It turns out that there is a Monarch “season” in Hawaii… who knew?

According to the Butterfly Society of Hawaii, the season is approximately October to May.  But we are seeing caterpillars on the crown flower, and Monarchs and Lesser Grass Blues feeding on the milkweed, rattlepod, balloon plant and sun drop plants.

In our home garden, we also have the Gulf Fritillary, Citrus Swallowtail, Large Orange Sulphur and Cabbage butterflies back.  The Fritillary is about the same color at the Monarch, but the flight pattern is much different.  …

Homesteaders Remember their Roots

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Homesteaders Remember their Roots

Community members viewed the names of the original homesteading families on display at the celebration. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

When homesteaders first took up residence on Molokai lands, they had to start from the ground up. Families worked hard together to put in roads and set up large wooden tanks to catch the rainwater for drinking and farming. They combined labor and resources to sow crops and purchase farming equipment.

Ninety years later, Ho`olehua’s fertile lands are inhabited by their thriving descendants, who own homes, grow crops and use the infrastructure put in place by their ancestors.

Last week, the Ho`olehua Homestead Association remembered its history at the homestead’s 90th anniversary celebration.…

Community Planning Continues This Month

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

After seven months of many six-hour-long meetings and much debate and community testimony, the first phase of the Molokai Community Plan Update process has come to a close. The volunteer board of Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) members wrapped up their duties of review last month, though the updated plan is still a year and a half away from being completed and the opportunities for public feedback are far from over.

County Senior Planner Jennifer Maydan said the Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) will begin its review of the draft plan on Nov. 12 during the group’s regular meeting.

“At the meeting they will decide if they will continue to review the draft plan during their regular meetings or in a separate track,” said Maydan, via email.…

Wellhead Protection Project

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

County Dept. of Water Supply News Release

The Maui County Department of Water (DOW) Supply initiated the “Wellhead Protection Project” in order to protect the quality of our community’s drinking water wells. The land areas that could contribute water and pollutants to our drinking water sources have been mapped as “Wellhead Protection Areas.” If pollutants are spilled or discharged in these land areas, they could filter through the soil to the groundwater and be drawn into a drinking water well. The DOW, in collaboration with the community, developed a protection strategy and drafted a Wellhead Protection Overlay District Ordinance.

The DOW will hold an informational meeting on this project and the proposed ordinance on Tuesday, Nov.…

Homestead Gardening Program

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves

The next round of the Hawaiian Homesteaders Gardening Program will start in late November. The purpose of this educational program is to increase homestead families access to fresh vegetables. Participants will be taught all aspects of establishing and managing a garden, and growing vegetables adapted to Molokai.

This program is open to all Hawaiian homesteaders residing on Molokai, and participation will be limited to 15 families. Classes will be held two to three times each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m., with occasional workshops. The choice of a Tuesday or Thursday meeting date will be determined by participants.…