How is Your Healthcare?

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Gov. Ige News Release

As part of a statewide effort to share health care innovation plans and get community feedback, the Governor’s office will provide public briefings on Lanai and Molokai. Two health care initiatives meant to improve insurance coverage, health care access and coordination of care will be addressed in the following proposals:

The state’s proposed waiver from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), developed with input from the Affordable Care Act Waiver Taskforce, which seeks to preserve Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act while also complying with the federal health care law.

A plan to improve behavioral health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and excessive alcohol consumption by incorporating screening and treatment for behavioral health needs with innovations in workforce, telehealth, training, and incentives. …

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.…

Molokai Selected for Middle School Enrichment Program

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui News Release

Molokai Middle School is among 14 middle and intermediate schools around the state selected to participate in the R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Arts, Culture and Health) Initiative for the 2015-2016 school year.

R.E.A.C.H.’s mission is to ensure all public school students in grades six to eight receive the academic and community-based support they need to stay on track toward high school graduation by engaging them in a broad-base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours, in the areas of academic enrichment, arts and culture, and athletics.

The initiative, spearheaded by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui in collaboration with state Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, provides an organizational framework for public middle and intermediate schools to offer students expanded learning opportunities during after-school hours.…

Molokai Resident Among Pacific Century Fellows

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Pacific Century Fellows News Release

Thirty-six men and women from around Hawaii have been selected for the 15th class of the Pacific Century Fellows program, including Molokai resident Noelani Yamashita. The program identifies, encourages and helps to develop and strengthen island leaders.

Modeled after the White House Fellows Program and founded in 1996 by former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the Pacific Century Fellows are chosen on the basis of written applications and personal interviews conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of judges. In evaluating the candidates, the committee considers educational background; current career responsibilities, noting any special achievements as well as the comments of superiors; involvement in community activities; communication skills; and strength of character.…

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.…

Community Plan Extension Granted

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Molokai has been granted some extra time to prepare the island’s Community Plan, which will guide the island for the next decade.

Over the past six months, the Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) has been in the first stage of updating the plan, reviewing and making recommendations to the draft. However, following several cancelled meetings due to weather and increased interest from residents, the CPAC requested an extension to finalize their feedback before the process moves to the next phase. The County Council granted the request earlier this month, moving the deadline for the CPAC’s review from Sept. 8 to Oct.…

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.…

Committee Votes for Community Plan Extension

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Nearing the end of an intensive six-month series of meetings pushing six hours each, members of the Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) have voted to request the county council for an extension to the planning process that will guide Molokai’s next 10 years. The decision came in response to residents who felt the community needed more time to give input on the plan, along with a commitment to produce a quality plan, according to committee members.

“It’s taken centuries for Molokai to be as precious as it is, and in decades we can screw it up,” said CPAC member Greg Jenkins, who supported an extension.…

Give Your Two Cents on County Budget

Friday, August 21st, 2015

County of Maui News Release

In September and October, residents of Maui County will have the opportunity to give their input on the county’s budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017. Mayor Alan Arakawa and his administration will host a series of community meetings to receive comments and suggestions from the public regarding the proposed budget. The opportunity to give feedback on Molokai will be on Monday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. at the Mitchell Pauole Center.

Citizens with an interest in the county budget are encouraged to attend and offer input, either as individuals or on behalf of an organization. Both written and verbal comments will be accepted.…

Long-Awaited Victory for Veterans Center

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Long-Awaited Victory for Veterans Center

Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Military service members, by nature of the job, often fight for causes they may never live to see achieved.

The group of Molokai war veterans who first envisioned a Veterans Center on island in 2001 couldn’t have imagined the decade-long struggle of permitting delays, protests and a lawsuit that would follow. They couldn’t have known that 63 veterans, including project pioneer Larry Helm, would pass away before the building was completed.

They did, however, believe that Molokai would have a Veterans Center. Last Friday, their dream became a reality, as nearly 200 veterans, community members and elected officials closed an emotional and triumphant journey at the grand opening of Molokai’s Veterans Center.…