Molokai Voters’ Election Guide

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Molokai Voters’ Election Guide

By Molokai Dispatch Staff

Primary Election day is coming up this Saturday, Aug. 13. Your vote is your voice and one of the most powerful forces to shape the future by electing a representative government who will make decisions which affect you, your family and your community. This year, many Molokai candidates appear on the ballot. While some of them, such as the Molokai seat for the Maui County Council, won’t appear until November’s General Election, the primaries are an important opportunity to vote for who you think best represents your vision for the future.

The options can be confusing, though, and seeing the ballot for the first time at the polls can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared.…

Rep. DeCoite Files Election Papers

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Rep. DeCoite Files Election Papers

Rep. DeCoite News Release

Last week, Representative Lynn DeCoite (D- East Maui, Molokai, Lanai) filed her papers to seek election to the District 13 seat in the Hawaii State House of Representatives, the seat she was appointed to by Governor Ige on Feb. 19, 2015 to fill the remainder of the two year term of the late Mele Carroll.

“Being appointed to represent District 13 was a tremendous honor. It has been a whirl-wind adventure; I don’t think I’ve ever been so inspired, amazed, overwhelmed, tired, and energized all at the same time- and I wouldn’t change one second of it!…

The Molokai Community Plan

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Aha Kiole o Molokai News Release

The Maui County Planning Department started the review process for The Molokai Community Plan, which included many meetings of different groups and covered all aspects of Molokai. At first, the Molokai community was not participating, so the Aha Kiole got involved and held five meetings in each of the five Moku to let people know what was going on, how important the Molokai Community Plan was and ask people what they wanted to put into the plan.

Last week, the plan came before the Molokai Planning Commission for the final of many Commission meetings. The Aha Kiole o Molokai, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, UH Law School and many in the Molokai community joined forces to make sure the mana`o of our community was pa`a in the plan.…

35 Years of Agriculture

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

35 Years of Agriculture

A recent Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture (DOA) land use study shows dramatic changes in agriculture land use in the last 35 years, both on Molokai and statewide. Most of Molokai’s agriculture is in the Ho`olehua area, on DHHL, state and Molokai Ranch land. According to the DOA report, the largest ag land users in 2015 — farming about 2,300 acres — are seed companies that primarily lease from Molokai Ranch. Prior to 1980, many Ho`olehua homesteaders leased their land for pineapple production, while some of that land today is being used to grow diversified crops like sweet potatoes, dryland taro, vegetables, macadamia nuts, bananas and papayas, according to the study.…

Unresolved Solar Applications Pile Up

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016


More than 100 applications to install rooftop solar on Molokai remain pending at the hands of Maui Electric, according to a company representative. This delay as been reprimanded by Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chair Randall Iwase, who issued a statement last week expressing dissatisfaction in the holdups on Molokai to approve and connect new rooftop solar.

“I am disappointed with several recent events that affect new renewable energy projects in the Hawaiian Electric Companies… which may also work against the goals of lowering electric rates for all customers and achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045,” he wrote.

In February of last year, Iwase and the president of Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) signed a letter of agreement stating in part that “the policy is that the HECO Companies have an affirmative duty to interconnect a potential customer pursuant to existing statutory requirements, commission orders, and the utility’s tariff where that project does not affect circuit or system level security and reliability.”

Iwase said he believes HECO and subsidiary Maui Electric may not be upholding their end of the agreement.…

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.…