Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Changing Times for the Molokai Ferry

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Changing Times for the Molokai Ferry

Community Contributed

By Dave Jung, Molokai Ferry General Manager

Photo by Catherine Cluett

The Molokai Ferry has been running a fixed schedule for the last 27 years, operated by Sea Link of Hawaii. However, last year, airline travel from Molokai dramatically changed, and single engine aircraft are very fuel efficient and cheap to operate. With air fares down to $39, the ferry just can’t compete in this current price war.

A new ruling by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) allows the ferry to change our schedule on a monthly basis and may cancel a voyage when the number of reservations is below 20 passengers on either segment of a round trip 48 hours before departure.…

Summer Avocados

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

Mid-summer is the leanest season for avocado in Hawaii, but the West Indies avocado fills the void and is there for the picking. The most heat-tolerant avocado, it’s the best adapted to the lowlands of Molokai, although it doesn’t do well along the shore where salty winds and soils can cause burning of roots and leaf edges.

The avocado is native to Mexico, where it’s been eaten before 10,000 BC. It spread throughout the Caribbean, Central and South American, evolving into three distinct races: the high-quality and cold-tolerant Mexican, the tropical forest Guatemalan, and the heat-tolerant, lowland West Indies.…

Fence for Coconut Grove Generates Mixed Reactions

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) received permission last week to place a fence around Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove, a move that some residents feel will protect a historic site but others feel will prove ineffective.

Molokai’s 150-year-old grove became the subject of recent scrutiny after disease and invasive insects were discovered in some of the trees last December. The State Historical Preservation Division (SHPD), which authorized the fence, said in a statement that seeing “the affected coconut trees within the grove reinforced the need for protective fencing” for the health of the grove and the safety of the public.

Support for the Fence

At community meetings held by the DHHL and Kalamaula Homestead Association in May and June, residents voiced support for a fence.…

Molokai to Receive $1.5M for Watershed Project

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release

Molokai’s Pua`ahala Watershed Project will be one of two federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) grants to be funded in Hawaii this year. The FWS is awarding $37.2 million in grants to 20 states — including more than $2 million to Hawaii — to support conservation planning and acquisition of vital habitat for threatened, endangered and at-risk species.

The Pua`ahala Watershed Project will receive $1,566,875. This project will secure long-term protection of Hawaii’s listed species as part of the State’s comprehensive recovery effort. The subject area contains some of the highest quality native forest habitat on Molokai.…

NextEra’s Commitment to Hawaii

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Community Contributed

Opinion by Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawaii

Gov. David Ige’s recent comments raised important questions about our pending merger and Hawaii’s clean energy future, questions that we continue to work diligently and transparently to address. We want to make our position clear and reiterate our full and unequivocal support of the State of Hawaii’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. We believe our proposed partnership with Hawaiian Electric provides the best path forward to achieving what is, without question, an aggressive, yet very attainable, goal. Together, we can get there.

The renewable energy law signed by Gov.…

Changing Seasons

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

We are in the midst of the Dog Days of summer, which runs July 3 to Aug. 11 and named after the star Sirius or the Dog in the constellation Orion. This is traditionally the hottest weather of the year, and I can’t argue that. Plants can sense subtle changes in day length and temperature in our changing seasons as the days get shorter, and the nights get longer. Long-day plants, such as corn and soybeans bask in the long hot days of summer, while others such as lettuce and kale prefer cooler days and nights.…

Grant Supports Youth Training in Sustainable Ag

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Sust`ainable Molokai (SM) recently received a $17,434 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. This award will support the efforts of SM’s Molokai Agricultural Youth Leadership Development Program.

The Youth Leadership Program aims to train high school and college youth in sustainable agriculture and permaculture practices through an ongoing mentorship program. The mentees will gain knowledge in the areas of traditional Hawaiian agriculture, professional business skills, hands-on experience, and will be encouraged to find their own unique way to contribute to food sovereignty in their community while earning a stipend upon the completion of the program.…

Mokulele Adds Direct Flight to Kona

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Molokai residents traveling to Hawaii Island will have a much easier option starting in September. Mokulele Airlines is adding a direct flight between Molokai and Kona, eliminating the need to stop on Oahu or Maui en route to Hawaii Island.

The airline will be offering two round trip flights daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, according to Mokulele representatives.

“Primarily this service is being offered because of the feedback we were given from the community,” said Mokulele President and CEO Ron Hansen.  “We realized that the residents of Molokai were looking for a fair price for travel to the Big Island.…

Iconic Grove Restored

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Iconic Grove Restored

The grove before renovation. Photo by Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd.

Just weeks ago, Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove was thick with shrubs, piles of dead fronds and manmade trash. Now, after a thorough weeklong overhaul, the ground is bare and smooth, the fallen tree trunks are stacked neatly and Molokai residents see what many of them said they remember growing up: an unobscured view of the ocean between the towering palms.

“We’re happy it’s clean. It’s like we got back the old Coconut Grove,” said Kalamaula Homestead Association President Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd, who said the last clean-up was about four years ago.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), which owns land the property, organized the cleaning in response to community meetings in May and June during which many Kalamaula residents pointed out the grove’s deteriorating conditions.…

Making School Meals Healthier, Cheaper

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Making School Meals Healthier, Cheaper

Kualapuu students enjoy a second year of free lunches. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

With the start of a federal free breakfast and lunch program offered in public schools island-wide and recent trends toward local, healthy eating, Molokai students are set to benefit in both the cafeteria and the classroom.

Last month, five Molokai schools were selected to receive free meals for all students regardless of household income through a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

While principals of most schools said making sure all students had lunch wasn’t a major issue in the past, they said it would still be a significant financial relief for many families.…