Transportation

MEO Rides for Maunaloa Post Office Customers

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

MEO News Release

The temporary closure of the Maunaloa Post Office prompted Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) to establish bus runs to help Molokai West End residents collect their mail from the Ho’olehua Post Office.

The U.S. Postal Service announced the temporary closure of the post office at 2 Maunaloa Road, Building 2, due to structural and vector control issues on Feb. 24. The leased structure, which had been open weekdays, houses post office boxes for about 240 customers; the post office does not offer street mail delivery, USPS said in a news release.

Maunaloa Post Office mail can be picked up at the back door of the Ho’olehua Post Office, 69-2 Puupeelua Ave.…

No Passenger Weight Limit for Mokulele

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Mokulele Airlines, the only air carrier left serving Molokai, has removed their weight limit for passengers, when previously, those weighing more than 400 pounds were restricted from flying on their aircraft.

“In response to the need to fly passengers-of-size, Mokulele has worked with engineers to provide a special double-seat, capable of carrying a passenger weighing over 400 pounds,” stated in the airline in a press release last week. “The seat is twice the size of normal seats and will be installed prior to each flight on an as-needed basis.”

Passengers weighing more than 400 pounds must travel on flights prior to 8 a.m.…

Mahalo Mokulele

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Kalaupapa Airport has been like a gathering place for many of us over the years. Then once this COVID struck our islands with such devastation, all this has changed and necessary restrictions by the Dept. of Health have prevented us from gathering there. That all changed on Saturday morning, Jan. 16, 2021, although only for a brief time, when we gathered in our masks at Terminal 1 to await the return of Boogie to our little township. After a brief delay, Mokulele’s flight touched down and taxied to a halt. A cheer went up as Boogie was taken from the plane and wheeled into the terminal in his wheelchair.…

Bringing Boogie Home

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

It is with deep gratitude that we send this huge mahalo nui to Mokulele Air for going out of their way to help the patients in Kalaupapa. They have made special trips to deliver food, supplies and patients. Boogie was able to return to his home in Kalaupapa last week. Even in his weakened physical state, it was obvious that his spirits were high. Words cannot express the deep joy and fondness that filled us as his flight landed and he emerged. Boogie “rode around” in his wheelchair to familiar places in the settlement, enjoying the crashing of the ocean, the beauties of the aina and meeting of friends along the way.…

‘Ohana’s Last Flight

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

‘Ohana’s Last Flight

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

It was a heartfelt farewell for ‘Ohana by Hawaiian last Thursday at Molokai’s airport as the airline departed on what may be its final flight from Molokai. Kupuna in wheelchairs held signs begging the airline to continue flying, while crew and Molokai ‘Ohana employees hugged and the airport fire department showered the plane with an arch of water as it taxied away.

The airline first announced last October it would suspend service to Molokai and Lanai on Nov. 1 after low travel demand caused by the pandemic “triggered a labor provision in Hawaiian’s pilot contract affecting the carrier’s ability to provide ‘Ohana by Hawaiian service.”…

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Halts Flights

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

‘Ohana by Hawaiian air service will indefinitely suspend flights to Molokai and Lanai on Jan. 14, the airline told employees in a letter from a company official last week. The move leaves Mokulele Airlines as the sole air carrier serving Molokai.

“Our low levels of inter-island flying, caused by depressed demand across our network due to travel restrictions, triggered a provision in our labor contracts that prevents us from offering this third-party passenger and all-cargo service,” wrote Executive Vice President and COO Jon Snook in the letter that employees received last Wednesday, Jan. 6.

In October, the airline announced it would suspend flights on Nov.…

New MEO Bus

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

New MEO Bus

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A new bus was blessed at Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Molokai last week. The 18-seat bus is the 13th bus in MEO’s Molokai fleet and is equipped with a wheelchair lift as well as seat harnesses built into the seats, according to Yolanda Reyes, MEO Molokai branch director.

“It will be used for all transportation routes but mainly for our Head Start children as their chair harnesses are already built in on each seat,” said Reyes. “Previously we needed to install each seat harness when there was an excursion for the children but now they are already built in.”…

Residents: Travel Rules Appear to Favor Visitors

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

As Hawaii’s COVID-19 numbers continue to level off averaging around 100 new cases per day and no new recent cases for Molokai, daily cases across the mainland have reached all-time highs. The U.S. surpassed 11 million cases on Sunday, and one million just in the last week alone, according to the latest data.

Meanwhile, Hawaii residents continue to live under strict travel regulations, as visitors from mainland are welcomed by the state. As officials seek to balance safety with economic recovery, some locals say they feel visitors are being prioritized over residents. And as many in the Molokai community continue to hunker down and avoid travel, partly due to the many hoops of paperwork, testing, quarantine rules and regulatory hassle, some are getting fed up.…

Travel Rules Cause Frustration, Masks Remain Mandatory

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Confusion over current travel rules continues, as residents try to navigate the ever-changing regulations of COVID-19 and a slew of forms, exemptions, protocols and quarantine regulations.

Returning part-time Molokai resident was reduced to tears after a frustrating travel experience arriving at the Molokai airport recently. Kim Potter of Kauai, who said she travels frequently for work as a first responder with FEMA, had a “nightmare experience” after a glitch in the Maui County system that travel verification workers use to check people’s addresses as they arrive at the airport left her scrambling to make calls to those her could vouch for her condo ownership and address.…

‘Ohana to Continue Service, Mokulele in Financial Hardship

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

After announcing they would temporarily stop service on Nov. 1, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian will now continue flying “through at least January 2021,” the airline said in a statement last week.

A “dormant” Essential Air Service (EAS) provision covers flights to Molokai and Lanai, requiring a 90-day notice for disruption of service, according to the Dept. of Transportation. Ross Higashi, deputy director of the airports division, said in a state Senate Transportation Committee virtual meeting last week that the EAS designation wasn’t being evoked for years because multiple airlines were providing commercial air service to Molokai and Lanai.…