Government

Study on Electric Utility Suggests ‘Paradigm Shift’

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

A recent study on Maui County’s electric utility could play a large role in shaping the future of Molokai’s electric service. The independent study, contracted by the county to consulting company Guernsey, examined alternate forms of electric utility ownership and operation models. Released two weeks ago, it recommended that Maui County seek an Independent Systems Operator (ISO) or Regional Transmission Operator (RTO) to oversee the electric grid and energy market.

“The County desires to move to 100 percent renewable and sustainable energy as quickly as practicable, and has concerns about the prospects of this progress under the status quo,” states the study.…

Hawaiian Election Halted, Convention Scheduled

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Following a U.S. Supreme Court order that prohibited the counting of votes in a contested Native Hawaiian election, Na`i Aupuni – the nonprofit running the election – has announced it has terminated the election process. Rather than registered voters picking 40 delegates for a convention, or `Aha, that will be held in February, Na`i Aupuni officials have said all 196 candidates will be offered a seat at the `Aha.

In late November, a Supreme Court justice issued a temporary hold on ballot counting in response to a legal challenge filed by a group that claimed it is unconstitutional to hold a racially exclusive election.…

Hawaiian Election Continues Amid Concerns

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

A Native Hawaiian election due to close Nov. 30 is heating up as kanaka ma`oli debate the direction of self-determination and the future of over half a million Hawaiians nationwide.

Starting Nov. 1 for 30 days, nearly 90,000 Hawaiians registered with the Kana`iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll Commission can cast their ballot for candidates in their district who would represent them at an upcoming constitutional convention of 40 delegates. The Molokai ballot has three candidates who are among more than 200 candidates statewide: Noa Emmett Aluli, Lori Buchanan and Walter Ritte. One of them will represent both Molokai and Lanai at the convention, to be held between February and April of 2016.…

Elections for Hawaiian Convention Underway

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

A historic and contested election is taking place this month for Natives Hawaiians that could help determine the direction of self-determination. Starting Nov. 1 for 30 days, about 100,000 Hawaiians registered with the Kana`iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll Commission can cast their ballot for candidates in their district who would represent them at an upcoming constitutional convention of 40 delegates.

The Molokai ballot has three candidates who are among more than 200 candidates statewide. One of them will represent both Molokai and Lanai at the convention, to be held between February and April of 2016. According to the Roll Commission, just under 3,000 Molokai residents are registered.…

Turning Ideas into Laws

Friday, November 13th, 2015

When it comes to government affairs, Molokai community members often say they feel overlooked. The travel challenges of having county and state headquarters on different islands create fewer chances to meet officials in person. However, residents still have the power to influence government, explained former legislative aide Keanu Young, who held a workshop on Molokai last Thursday to show the community how they can make their voices and ideas heard.

“In a democracy, power is really invested in the people, and we want to remind people that they do have power,” said Young. “Our job is to give you the tools you need to understand the process and help you use those tools to communicate with your legislators.”

Now is the best time to bring ideas to legislators, explained Young, the assistant coordinator for the Capitol Building’s Public Access Room (PAR), where people can access reference materials, watch public hearings and work with expert staff to understand issues.…

Homesteaders Remember their Roots

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Homesteaders Remember their Roots

Community members viewed the names of the original homesteading families on display at the celebration. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

When homesteaders first took up residence on Molokai lands, they had to start from the ground up. Families worked hard together to put in roads and set up large wooden tanks to catch the rainwater for drinking and farming. They combined labor and resources to sow crops and purchase farming equipment.

Ninety years later, Ho`olehua’s fertile lands are inhabited by their thriving descendants, who own homes, grow crops and use the infrastructure put in place by their ancestors.

Last week, the Ho`olehua Homestead Association remembered its history at the homestead’s 90th anniversary celebration.…

Community Planning Continues This Month

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

After seven months of many six-hour-long meetings and much debate and community testimony, the first phase of the Molokai Community Plan Update process has come to a close. The volunteer board of Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) members wrapped up their duties of review last month, though the updated plan is still a year and a half away from being completed and the opportunities for public feedback are far from over.

County Senior Planner Jennifer Maydan said the Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) will begin its review of the draft plan on Nov. 12 during the group’s regular meeting.

“At the meeting they will decide if they will continue to review the draft plan during their regular meetings or in a separate track,” said Maydan, via email.…

Veterans Corner: Sen. Hirono talks with vets

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha all my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono conducted a town hall meeting at our Veterans Center on Tuesday, Oct. 13. She was well-received by more than 60 veterans and family members in attendance. The biggest issue was timely health care for veterans on Molokai. There was a 30-minute informal discussion on the veterans Choice Card program by Dr. Sarah Kistler, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and Karl Kiyokawa of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. They explained the choice card program and answered questions.…

Wellhead Protection Project

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

County Dept. of Water Supply News Release

The Maui County Department of Water (DOW) Supply initiated the “Wellhead Protection Project” in order to protect the quality of our community’s drinking water wells. The land areas that could contribute water and pollutants to our drinking water sources have been mapped as “Wellhead Protection Areas.” If pollutants are spilled or discharged in these land areas, they could filter through the soil to the groundwater and be drawn into a drinking water well. The DOW, in collaboration with the community, developed a protection strategy and drafted a Wellhead Protection Overlay District Ordinance.

The DOW will hold an informational meeting on this project and the proposed ordinance on Tuesday, Nov.…

Legislators Face Molokai Issues Firsthand

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Legislators Face Molokai Issues Firsthand

Last week, House Finance Committee members visited Molokai for the first time in years to get an up-close picture of problems facing island residents.

Lynn DeCoite. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

State House Representative Lynn DeCoite (Molokai, East Maui, Lanai) said she felt legislators needed to hear her native island’s concerns in person and urged the committee to make the trip.

“It’s just a matter of having my colleagues understanding what we’re going through,” said DeCoite. “… They have their own districts to worry about. But they came, they wanted to support, they wanted to see what we’re facing.”

Committee members spoke with residents at Home Pumehana and met with homestead farmers at Lanikeha.…