Senate Committee Visits Molokai

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

State Senate News Release 

Between July 26-28, members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means visited multiple venues on Maui and Molokai, where they were met by state officials and community members who delivered presentations on their plans for a range of both Governor’s and Senate priorities, including economic and workforce development, investments in infrastructure, the coalescing of a food innovation network, and the future of Kahoʻolawe and Kalaupapa.

Hawaiian community priorities were also a focus of the Maui County site visits, taking the members from Maui to Molokai and ending in Kalaupapa. Chair Watson provided a progress report on the historic $600 million appropriation in 2022, with the encumbrance of the $200 million in Fiscal Year 2023 and the remaining $400 million expected by the end of Fiscal Year 2024 for homestead and infrastructure development statewide.…

Comment on Na’iwa Subdivision Project

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is moving forward with the construction of infrastructure improvements to the Na’iwa Agricultural Subdivision project near the Ho’olehua Airport. The 341-acre parcel will be subdivided into 66 lots, 50 of which have already been awarded to beneficiaries. That’s according to DHHL’s Draft Environmental Assessment for the project, which was just released and currently in a 30-day public review comment period.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $34.6 million. Proposed improvements include access roadways, electrical power, irrigation and potable water for agricultural use of the lots, as well as support the construction of homes and infrastructure built by beneficiaries. …

Tokuda Pledges Air Assistance

Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Tokuda Pledges Air Assistance

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

Congressman Jill Tokuda, the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s Second District, is in the process of writing a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding Molokai’s airline crisis. 

“I’d like to create a thoughtful letter that really lays out the transportation crisis and vulnerability that exists,” said Tokuda. “Right now, the only constant is that it is inconsistent,” she added. 

Tokuda explained to Molokai residents gathered at her town hall meeting held at Mitchell Pauole Center last Thursday that the FAA needs data on flight delays and cancelations along with personal testimony to make a difference. 

Molokai community members related horror stories of family members passing away without loved ones and surgeries cancelled – all due to flight expense and unreliability. …

Maui County Gets Nearly $100M in State Funds

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Nearly $100 million in capital improvement projects (CIP) and grant-in-aid appropriations, including Molokai projects, were included in the final version of the state budget, voted on in conference committee last week. Assistant Majority Floor Leader Lynn DeCoite of Molokai, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, announced the funding. 

Several Molokai projects received CIP funding. The Molokai Irrigation System was given $2,000,000 for improvements. The Hoʻolehua Veteran’s Cemetery received $650,000 for upgrades and site improvements for fiscal year 2024 and 2025. The Kalaupapa Settlement received $540,000 for remediation of hazardous materials, also over the next two years. …

Congresswoman Holds Town Hall

Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

Rep. Tokuda News Release

U.S. Representative Jill Tokuda will hold additional town hall meetings across Hawaii’s Second Congressional District to hear from constituents. Tokuda previously held town hall meetings in Hilo, Oahu and Maui.

Rep. Tokuda will also hold Farm Bill listening sessions with farmers, workers, and agriculture producers.

The Molokai event will be held on Thursday, May 4 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Mitchell Pauole Center.   

For more info and to RSVP, community members should visit…

Billion Dollar Budget Hearing

Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter

Garnering nearly half of its strength from property taxes, the Mayor’s proposed Maui County Budget for the 2024 fiscal year sits at over $1 billion.  For the first time since 2019, the Molokai community had a chance to voice their proposals and questions in-person. 

Before the panel of County Councilmembers, which included Molokai’s Keani Rawlins- Fernandez, Molokai residents offered mahalos, concerns and petitions for future funding for Molokai-specific projects. 

Multiple Molokai residents took to the microphone in support of expanding the Maui Boys and Girls Club to include Molokai. With a less active Youth Center, Molokai kids between the ages of 7 and 17 lack positive activities, outside of sports, to participate in, according to Juvenile Probation Officer Brent Nakihei. …

Mayor Bissen Heard Mokulele Concerns

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

Molokai residents took the opportunity to air their many flight grievances and address overwhelming frustration with unreliable and expensive flights on Mokulele Airlines two weeks ago when Mayor Richard Bissen made a two-day visit to Molokai.  

A talk story event at the Mitchell Pauole Center constituted the mayor’s first stop on his Holomua Kakou initiative, with the goal of visiting towns around Maui County. 

The purpose of the trip was to run the County of Maui out of Molokai for two days, as well as field questions from Molokai residents in a communal talk story gathering. 

While reminding the Molokai community that the County government does not have input on private airlines like Mokulele, Bissen called Keith Sisson, Chief of Staff at Mokulele’s parent company Southern Airways, to have a conversation with Molokai residents. …

Grant Solicitations to Support Native Hawaiians

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

OHA News Release  

More than $9 million in grant solicitations to help Native Hawaiians are now available through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Solicitations include community grants to strengthen ʻohana (family), moʻomeheu (culture) and ʻaina (land) connections, and grants to support education, health, housing, economic stability, homestead communities, and iwi kupuna repatriation and reinternment. Two new granting categories are being launched to support Native Hawaiians with disaster recovery and provide technical assistance to organizations serving Native Hawaiians (Kakoʻo Support Grants). 

Molokai nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply.

With a legacy of supporting more than a decade of community events, OHA’s ʻAhahui Grant Program is making more than $300,000 available for community events scheduled from June to December 2023.…

Taxes for Health Insurance Marketplace Consumers

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

Legal Aid Society News Release

Molokai consumers enrolled in 2022 Marketplace health insurance must file their federal taxes by April 18. Most consumers received advanced premium tax credits based on their estimated income in 2022 to lower their insurance costs. Consumers must reconcile their estimated income with their actual income in 2022 by filing federal taxes. Any difference between the advanced premium tax credits and actual tax credits may impact their refunds or taxes owed.

The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii wants to remind Molokai consumers four things:

Get your 1095A: Get your 1095A from the mail or log into your Marketplace account and print.…

Molokai Flight Subsidy Proposed

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A proposed flight subsidy program for Molokai that’s currently moving through Hawaii legislature seeks to bring relief to Molokai residents who struggle with the high cost of air travel. Molokai’s Senator Lynn DeCoite proposed the bill to “assist with the cost of airfare for Molokai residents traveling inter island for essential services.”

Senate Bill 784 would require the state Dept. of Transportation to establish a one-year pilot program to provide subsidies for airlines providing service to Molokai. Since January 2021, only Mokulele Airlines flies into Molokai, and the bill seeks to not only lower ticket prices for residents but also incentivize other airlines to serve the island. …