Molokai Mechanics Inspire Electric Vehicle Donation

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Molokai Mechanics Inspire Electric Vehicle Donation

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Hawaiian Electric recently presented a donation of two 2012 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (EV) to the University of Hawaii Maui College’s (UHMC) Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Educational Program to provide mechanics hands-on experience in maintaining and repairing EVs.

The new program addresses a need that came up during discussions Hawaiian Electric conducted with the Molokai community.

“There was interest in EVs, but residents pointed out if they invested in the vehicles there were no on-island EV technicians who could provide servicing and repairs,” said Gregg Kresge, Hawaiian Electric’s electrification of transportation project delivery manager. “In further discussions with the vehicle mechanics on Molokai, all were enthusiastic about participating in EV training if it was available.…

One New Molokai Case Last Week

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

One New Molokai Case Last Week

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai logged one new COVID-19 case last Wednesday, Sept. 23, bringing the island’s total case count to 17.

Despite requests to break down the island’s total and active cases, the Dept. of Health has not yet begun providing that information so it remains unclear how many of Molokai’s cases are active.

Last week, Gov. David Ige signed a proclamation extending the COVID-19 emergency period through Oct. 31, leaving in place the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for both out of state and interisland travelers. However, beginning Oct. 15, a pre-travel testing option will allow out of state travelers an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine by providing a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to travel to Hawaii.…

Molokai Up 3 New Cases Last Week

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

After a surge of cases the previous week, Molokai had three new COVID-19 positives last week — two logged on Monday, Sept. 14 and one on Friday, bringing the island’s total to 16 since the pandemic began.

Requests have been made to the Dept. of Health to separate Molokai’s case count by total cases versus active cases but that breakdown is not yet available as of press deadline Sunday. Rep. Lynn DeCoite said the DOH told her “they are working on that” and should have it updated this week.

DeCoite said to her knowledge, none of the recent Molokai cases have required hospitalization.…

New Online Travel Application Mandatory

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

State of Hawaii News Release

A new online Safe Travels application will be mandatory for all travelers on Sept. 1, the State of Hawaii announced. This new digital application, which collects the required health and travel information, is critical to protecting the health of our residents and visitors alike. Safe Travels is one part of a multi-layered screening process which includes arrival temperature checks, and secondary screening for those with symptoms or temperatures of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The application can be found at

Safe Travels digitizes and simplifies the current paper-based process. Currently, there are two different types of forms – one each for interisland and transpacific – for travel to and within Hawaii.…

Young Brothers Granted 46% Rate Hike

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

In the latest in a saga of Young Brothers barge troubles, the company was granted a 46 percent rate increase, with conditions. The increase, approved last week by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will be effective Sept. 1. YB must fulfill several mandates as part of the rate hike, which has been granted on a emergency basis for 12 months.

“We understand that Young Brothers is the only carrier required to serve all islands and discontinuation of service would discontinue all service to Molokai and Lanai,” said Molokai Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez in an informal virtual community meeting she held to dis-cuss the rate increase last Thursday.…

New HI Case Record, Molokai Hospital Prepared

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

New HI Case Record, Molokai Hospital Prepared

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

The state reached a new record last Thursday with 355 new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day. On Maui, 71 cases have been reported in the last 30 days, as of last Friday, and county officials expect that number to grow. Molokai confirmed cases remain at two.

“We would like to commend the community on their efforts to keep us COVID-19 free,” said Janice Kalanihuia, president of Molokai General Hospital. “We know it has been a long five months, but now is not the time to let our guard down. There have been a lot of visitors from other islands to Molokai over the past month so it is best for us to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, keep socially distant and wear a mask when out in public.…

Interisland Travel Quarantine in Effect Again

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

With numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the state continuing to skyrocket, a partial interisland travel quarantine was reinstated by Gov. David Ige last week, effective Tuesday, Aug. 11. The mandatory 14-day quarantine affects Molokai residents traveling anywhere in the state except Oahu. If you’re flying into Honolulu, you don’t have to quarantine, but upon your return to Molokai, the 14-day quarantine would be required.

“With Oahu’s 200 new cases reported today and 1,618 active cases statewide, reinstituting the interisland quarantine was necessary to protect our community and healthcare system,” Mayor Michael Victorino said last Friday. “I also want to let our residents know that we are discouraging any non-essential travel, but we understand if you need to travel for work or medical care.”…

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Offers Free Food Transport

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

‘Ohana by Hawaiian Offers Free Food Transport

Hawaiian Airlines News Release

When Kristina Gomez learned her elderly parents on Molokai were impacted by the abrupt closure of a main grocery store in the town of Kaunakakai due to COVID-19 cases, she wanted to find a way to help. A Hawaiian Airlines guest service agent in Honolulu, Gomez reached out to our leadership team late last week, suggesting we set up a transportation service between Oahu and Molokai to assist the rural island’s residents.

Teams with Hawaiian Air Cargo and ‘Ohana by Hawaiian – our turboprop operations offering passenger service to Molokai – worked through the weekend discussing requirements of the proposed service, consulting with local government officials, and obtaining necessary TSA approvals.…

Battle of the Airlines

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


It’s a battle of the airlines to the tiny settlement of Kalaupapa, with two companies vying for the ridership of residents. In a drama that will play out in the coming weeks, both Makani Kai Air and Mokulele Airlines are now flying into the peninsula.

In March, Mokulele Airlines was selected to service the settlement under the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) program beginning June 1, but without the federal subsidy that normally offsets the cost of flying into remote locations that otherwise might not get air service. Makani Kai has been serving Kalaupapa under the EAS since 2011, also applied to renew its EAS contract, requesting about $700,000 annually.…

Mokulele Selected to Serve Kalaupapa

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Mokulele Airlines has been selected to fly into Kalaupapa under the federal Essential Air Service program without subsidized funding, despite concerns from the community. The airline has not yet finalized its flight schedule or pricing for its service to the isolated settlement, which will begin June 1.

The federal Department of Transportation (DOT) announced their decision on March 16, and Mokulele representatives met with Kalaupapa residents the following week to discuss their needs.

“I would say there’s a guarded optimism that Mokulele will serve the community and meet our needs, but there’re still concerns,” said Department of Health Kalaupapa Adminstrator Kenneth Seamon.…