Ho’olehua Veterans Center Stirs Controversy

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Ho’olehua Veterans Center Stirs Controversy

A proposed, controversial $4 million veterans center in Ho’olehua is moving forward, amid high emotions among veterans and confusion about the project’s origins. The proposed 7,000 square foot building to be located behind Lanikeha Community Center will house Veterans Affairs services, as well as a meeting room, classroom and office spaces, a kitchen and covered outdoor gathering area and serve as a joint facility with the Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands.

Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans (MVCV) board members say they sought $400,000 in funding a few years ago to complete the Kaunakakai Center parking lot and other remaining projects. The 3,000-square-foot structure on Wharf Road was finally completed in 2015 after a long struggle through permitting hoops and funding woes.…

Two More Monk Seals Dead

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018


The deaths of two young male Hawaiian monk seals on Molokai in June are being investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This comes after a young female was killed at Mo’omomi in May, with injuries showing human-inflicted trauma as the cause of her death. 

An unidentified juvenile male was found dead at  Paka’a beach on Molokai’s west end on June 25. The other young male, identified as RJ26, was born at Kalaupapa last year and found dead on June 18 on the east end near mile marker 22. NOAA’s Jolene Lau said no other details could be released at this time, pending the investigation.…

Lanikeha Re-Opens with a Facelift

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Lanikeha Re-Opens with a Facelift


With a mission to help homestead farmers reach their full potential, Lanikeha Community Center in Ho’olehua has reopened its doors with renovations that represent a dream.

“We began this dream a few years ago, we stayed on that mission… and what people said was a mission impossible, is mission accomplished,” said Rosie Davis, legal authorized representative of the Molokai Homestead Farmers Alliance (MHFA). “Our journey continues and it’s just getting better. We’re so proud of where we were… and where we’re going. [This facility] strengthens the community, it strengthens our homesteaders.”

The $1.7 million renovation project by the MHFA, which manages the facility, was paid for by state Grant in Aid funds.…

More Delays for Community Plan Update

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

After more than three years in process, the Molokai Community Plan update will be further delayed, according to County Council staff. The Maui County Council had until the end of this month to adopt an updated version of the 2001 Molokai Community Plan but the draft still hasn’t been discussed by the whole council. A lack of quorum by members of the council’s Planning Committee has caused recent meetings to be cancelled, said Susan Foley, executive assistant to Planning Committee Chair Kelly King.

Now, the Council has extend the finalization deadline to September, said Molokai Councilmember Stacy Helm Crivello.

“The Planning Committee is currently in deliberations of the Plan and upon completion of committee acceptance, the intent is to come before the Molokai community and hopefully to present the Plan to the full Council for passage,” said Crivello, via email.…

Monk Seal Killed at Mo’omomi

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Monk Seal Killed at Mo’omomi

Last month, a young female Hawaiian monk seal was killed at Kawa’aloa Bay at  Mo’omomi, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The yearling seal, identified as RJ42, was found dead by community members on May 31. An investigation is underway so details of the cause of death cannot be released, but a post-mortem examination conducted by NOAA on June 1 indicated it was an intentional act.

“[The] injuries were purposely inflicted by a person(s) that caused a significant amount of trauma resulting in the monk seal’s death,” a NOAA statement said.

This is the sixth suspected monk seal killing on Molokai, and third at Mo’omomi, since 2009, according to NOAA.…

Makakupa’ia Bridge Replacement

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

The Makakupa’ia Bridge, located on Kamehameha V Highway four miles east of Kaunakakai, is slated for a $6 million replacement  starting in 2020. The project is estimated to last 18 to 24 months and will involve the construction of a temporary bypass road, demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new bridge. The existing bridge, built is 1940, no longer meets current National Bridge Inspection Standards, meaning replacement is required.

Right now, Makakupa’ia Bridge is 23 feet long and 28 feet wide with two 11-foot lanes and two-foot shoulders. The new bridge will be 49 feet long and 42 feet wide, with widened shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists.…

Battle of the Airlines

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


It’s a battle of the airlines to the tiny settlement of Kalaupapa, with two companies vying for the ridership of residents. In a drama that will play out in the coming weeks, both Makani Kai Air and Mokulele Airlines are now flying into the peninsula.

In March, Mokulele Airlines was selected to service the settlement under the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) program beginning June 1, but without the federal subsidy that normally offsets the cost of flying into remote locations that otherwise might not get air service. Makani Kai has been serving Kalaupapa under the EAS since 2011, also applied to renew its EAS contract, requesting about $700,000 annually.…

Landfill Expansion Planned

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


Molokai’s landfill is looming larger each year, and the existing facility is slated to reach capacity by mid-2020. Maui County’s Dept. of Environmental Management is now proposing a $6.5 million plan to add two new disposal cells to the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility in Na`iwa that would bury the island’s waste disposal needs until 2038.

The two-phase expansion of disposal cells would increase the size of the existing 11.6 acre landfill to 18.4 acres. Phase 5 is projected for development in 2019 and Phase 6 would be completed in 2024. The project also includes relocating the existing green waste facility to another location at the landfill, as it currently exists where Phase 6 is planned.…

Community Plan Nears Finalization

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018


The plan that will guide Molokai’s next 20 years is nearing completion after a lengthy update process — and residents had a lot to say last week. The Molokai Island Community Plan Update is slated for finalization and adoption by the Maui County Council at the end of June.

The Council’s Planning Committee has made revisions to the draft plan, and Planning Committee Chair Kelly King visited Molokai last Monday to talk to the community about the plan’s updates — the latest in a series of meetings she and Molokai Councilmember Stacy Crivello have held over the last months.

King said several themes struck her when reading the plan, like the importance of maintaining Molokai’s rural character.…

Discuss Molokai Plan Final Draft on Monday

Sunday, May 6th, 2018


Maui County News Release

Maui County Councilmember Kelly King, chair of the Council’s Planning Committee, will present the proposed final draft of the Molokai Community Plan on Molokai from 5-7 p.m., Monday May 7 at the Mitchell Pauole Center. This is the latest in a series of informal meetings to gather with community members who will directly be impacted by the update to the existing 2001 Molokai Community Plan. The date extension passed by the Council late last year states June 30 as the deadline for final passage of the Plan. Throughout the process, community input was a driving force.

Along with Councilmember Stacy Crivello, King invites the community to come talk story and share any concerns about the few major changes made after more than a year of committee meetings, community input and additional workshops and visits to speak directly with the community.…