Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Molokai Joins Opposition to NextEra Merger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Molokai residents voiced largely opposition two weeks ago to a proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra, a Florida-based energy company. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is gathering public feedback on the proposed $4.3 million merger and will make a decision within the next six months. Molokai’s feedback, said Commission Chair Randall Iwase, has been in keeping with what they’ve heard so far around the state.

“The commission is not required to hold these sessions, but it was opinion of all three commissioners that it was important and appropriate to hear from the public,” said Iwase.

A majority of Molokai attendees testified that they opposed the merger.…

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Nene O Molokai press release

Photo by Michael Walther.

Koloma Smith reported the return of the kolea at Kilohana School at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6, marking the beginning of the fall migration of the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva). Koloma won the 18th annual Krazy for Kolea Kontest and earned a Kolea Research Hawaii T-shirt from the Hawaii Audubon Society and a gift certificate for one scoop of ice cream at Kamoi Snack-N-Go.

The kolea is a swift flying shorebird and has been clocked migrating at 118 miles per hour, although an average of 56 to 60 miles miles per hour is more typical.…

Connecting Culture and a Canoe Race

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Connecting Culture and a Canoe Race

Hawaiian immersion students participating in last year’s Kulaia celebration. Photo courtesy of Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello.

Fifty years ago on the evenings before major outrigger canoe races, Molokai residents and paddling crews from Hawaii and around the world camped together on the shores of Hale o Lono Harbor. They shared tents, meals, music and conversation under the stars.

“It was really good for everybody to get together. No matter what club you were in, everybody had fun together,” said local fisherman Mervin Dudoit, who paddled in seven Molokai Hoe races during the 1960s. “… Now most guys don’t talk to the next team [before a race].”

As races got more competitive and a good night’s sleep more valuable, lodging separately in hotels or local homes became commonplace.…

Aloha on the High Seas

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Aloha on the High SeasQ&A with Hokulea crewmember Kawika Crivello

Kawika Crivello on the sweep. Photo: Oiwi TV. Photographer: Maui Tauotaha.

A handful of Molokai residents have been honored to be invited as crew on the Hokulea, a double-hulled voyaging canoe whose first journey from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976 successfully replicated ancient Polynesian travel using traditional navigation techniques. The late Mel Paoa and Penny Martin began a long tradition of Molokai crewmembers, among them Kawika Crivello. He was one four local watermen to complete legs of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a 47,000-mile journey that will conclude in 2017. While not his first voyage, Crivello served as steersman on a leg across the dangerous Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia between April and June of this year.…

Vet Center Told ‘No Solar’

Friday, September 18th, 2015

MVCV News Release

The Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans (MVCV) has been looking into installing solar panels on the roof of the new Veterans Center. But vice commander Longie Dudoit who was trying to get quotes on the project has hit a road block and he has been told by Sun Electric that solar panels cannot be installed on Molokai at this time. This is a frustrating situation that we hope can be resolved soon. If you have any questions, please call the vet center at 553-8387. There will be a meeting regarding electricity in Hawaii and especially the proposed Hawaiian Electric merger with NextEra Energy on Saturday, Sept.…

Swarm Season is Here

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Elisabeth Kaneshiro, Molokai Meli

Here at Molokai Meli, in addition to producing local honey, we also help residents and businesses with bee removal. We have had a lot of calls for removals and have seen the bees moving around. Honey bees swarm when the hives are getting too big and need more space. The rain causes the bees to swarm more often because the bees are bringing more nectar so the hive grows. The bees make a new queen and take a big group with the old queen and leave. These often look like a big cloud. They send out the scout bees to go and look for a new home.…

Kalaupapa Crews Fight CA Fires

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Kalaupapa Crews Fight CA Fires

Community Contributed

By Jeannine Rossa

Photo courtesy of Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Molokai’s Ricky Chong, Daniel Romes and Joe Mollena recently returned from a stint fighting wildfires in northern California. Employees at Kalaupapa National Historical Park, they joined National Park Service staff from other Hawaii parks to make up an all-Hawaii wildfire-fighting crew. The crew joined staff from other agencies and was deployed to the over 10,000 acre “Dodge Fire” north of Susanville, CA and the over 36,000 acre (and counting) Forks Complex fires near Hayfork, CA.

Terrain is steep, rocky, and rugged. The work is hot, smoky, exhausting and dangerous.…

County to Complete Utility Study

Friday, September 18th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The County of Maui is moving forward with plans to a study on the electric utility options for the community, and results will be complete by mid-October. The study will examine alternate businesses models and whether the proposed NextEra merger is in the best interest of residents. The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development has selected an Oklahoma based firm to complete the study.

Guernsey, which had an Oahu office from 1999 to 2007, is an engineering, architectural and consulting firm which once worked with Hawaiian Electric and the U.S. Army when the military wanted to privatize its electrical systems on Oahu and Hawaii Island.…

Taro Field Day to Host Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai and UH Cooperative Extension Service News Release

The Molokai Taro Variety Field Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Molokai Applied Research and Demonstration Farm, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The annual event has been organized by the UH Cooperative Extension Service since 1985, and is something that many residents look forward to. This year promises to be another outstanding event.

An important highlight of this year’s Taro Day is The Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition. This year, Molokai has been selected to host the competition, which is held annually at selected sites around the Pae `Aina in honor of Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Na`ea Rooke, who recognized the value of the Hawaiian taro varieties and has written in detail on methods she used to produce large kalo (taro).…

Waves of Flickering Taro Leaves

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Alton S. Arakaki, County Extension Agent

In 1895, Katherine Lee Bates wrote the famous words “for amber waves of grain” in the lyrics of “America the Beautiful.” I didn’t know what the words meant until my teacher pointed to the thousands of acres of sugarcane and I watched the countless wave-like action of leaves as the wind move across the field. In this live classroom, he concluded that the mainland kids would never identify with words “for green waves of sugarcane” if Katherine Bates had used them instead.

These same kinds of words were written in the journals of early sailors and missionaries arriving in Hawaii, to describe the fields of kalo or taro, ko (sugarcane), uala or sweet potato, and mai`a (banana) they observed as they sailed the coast and walked from one island district — ahupua`a — to the next throughout Hawaii.…