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.…

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.…