Primary Election Approaching

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

This week, Molokai registered voters will receive their ballots for the primary election in the mail. The deadline for your ballot to be received is Saturday, Aug. 13 so it must be postmarked in advance, or it can dropped off at the voter service center in Kaunakakai by Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. To register to vote or check your status, visit 

In the primary election, voters nominate the candidates who will represent each party in the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8. When casting your primary election ballot, remember to select only one political party preference, and only vote for the candidates of your selected political party preference.…

Molokai Homesteader Appointed New Ag Director

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Molokai Homesteader Appointed New Ag Director

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai’s Kali Arce is the mayor’s appointee for the new Maui County Department of Agriculture. Arce, a Hawaiian homesteader who has been working in a variety of agriculture and conservation positions for over 30 years, will lead the department, pending confirmation by the Maui County Council. 

“I have more than three decades of experience in crop production systems, agricultural and biological education, agroforestry, land conservation and ecosystem restoration,” said Arce. “This will help me with the direction of Mayor Victorino to work with many people with various backgrounds to advocate for farmers and ranchers and serve as their voice. …

Elect Mahina Poepoe for State Rep

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

If I was asked to identify one reason to elect Mahina Poepoe as our State House District 13 representative, I would be hard pressed to choose between “Dedicated hands-on community worker,” “Tireless citizen activist,” “Unassuming leadership qualities,”  and “She gets the work done.”

Whether it be pursuing climate resiliency, providing access to healthcare, establishing a zero cap on short term vacation rentals, eliminating the influence of money in politics, fighting for a living wage, stewarding fishponds, implementing invasive species outreach, coordinating the Halawa Hawksbill Turtle Project, being a water protector, working as a Legislative Analyst for the Maui County Council, living for Native Hawaiian rights, her work is always in service to improving our quality of life and the health of the environment.…

Mahina Poepoe Running for State House D-13

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Mahina Poepoe Running for State House D-13

Mahina Poepoe Candidate News Release 

Aloha e Molokai! For those who may not know me, my name is Mahina Poepoe. I am the only Molokai candidate in the race for the State House of Representatives, District 13. I was born, raised, and lived my entire life on Molokai. I am a descendant of Native Hawaiian family ancestry from Puko’o, Mana’e. 

My mom is Puanani Goodhue from Puko’o, Molokai. My dad is Doug Lopes from Waianae, Oahu. 

On my mom’s side, my grandma is Anna Duvauchelle from Puko’o, and my grandpa is John Goodhue from Mapulehu, Molokai. 

My husband is La’a Poepoe, son of Kamalu and Mac Poepoe. …

Molokai TB Crisis Causes Statewide Concern

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in decades, according to officials, and they’re worried it could spread across the state, causing a massive hit to the ranching industry. 

It has already had a huge impact on Molokai’s cattle and pig populations, and officials are still trying to determine how far it’s spread. Of four infected herds from west and central Molokai, more than 100 pigs and 60 cattle have already been depopulated, and testing is ongoing, according to the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture. More than 400 more cattle have been exposed, Jason Moniz, veterinary program manager for the animal disease control branch of the state DOA, told KHON2 last week.…

Draft State Budget Includes Molokai Projects

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

HI Senate News Release 

With the State’s economy rebounding and significant increases in tax revenues, Maui County’s Senate delegation is in full support of the supplemental operating budget for fiscal years 2022-2023 as recently passed out of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. 

“With funding set aside for infrastructure, education, housing and health on the Valley Isle and statewide, we are heartened in anticipation of the needed work that will be done to improve the lives of our neighbors and friends on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai,” Senators Gilbert Keith-Agaran (District 5 – Wailuku, Waihe‘e, Kahului), Rosalyn Baker (District 6 – South and West Maui), Lynn DeCoite (District 7 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kaho‘olawe) said in a joint statement.  …

Ho’ahu Energy Coop Gets Federal Support

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

Sen. Schatz News Release

Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai, a local group developing Molokai’s first community-owned renewable energy resource project, will receive federal support, including technical assistance, from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“This kind of hands-on federal support will help us expand clean energy production on Molokai as the community moves to take its energy future into its own hands. That means more jobs, more reliable energy, and cheaper electric bills for Molokai residents,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai will receive tailored expert support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a DOE National Lab, to address the island’s unique energy challenges. During this first phase of the initiative, Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai will receive one-on-one assistance from PNNL, including training, energy and economic analysis, workforce and equity assessments, and grant application assistance.…

‘Boots on the Ground’ with Congressman Kahele

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

‘Boots on the Ground’ with Congressman Kahele

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

On a three-day visit to Molokai last week, Congressman Kai Kahele worked with Molokai veterans to solve healthcare challenges, discussed renewable energy projects and East End road infrastructure needs, discussed college campus expansion plans, tourism management, women’s resource programs and more. It was Kahele’s second island visit since being elected to represent Molokai and other areas of Hawaii’s second Congressional District in 2020. 

“One of the biggest things that we jumped right into and was very beneficial that we came was this transition for our veterans from Molokai General Hospital to something else that is still undetermined but we think is a new partnership between the Veterans Affairs and Na Pu’uwai,” said Kahele during a Dispatch interview last Wednesday.…

Molokai Endangered Species Get Federal Funds

Friday, March 18th, 2022

Sen. Schatz News Release

The Molokai Land Trust will be receiving $350,000 in congressionally directed spending, also known as earmarks, in this year’s appropriations bill, secured by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. The new earmark funding will be used to support construction of predator-proof fencing to protect threatened and endangered species within the Mokio Preserve.

“This new earmark will protect dozens of threatened and endangered species on Molokai,” said Sen. Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “By supporting the Molokai Land Trust, we’re helping to care for native wildlife, strengthen local ecosystems, and preserve the island’s environment for years to come.”…

Molokai Program Among $6.6M for Local Projects

Friday, March 18th, 2022

Congressman Kahele News Release

Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele announced $6,686,000 in Community Funded Projects for Hawaii’s second congressional district. The funding, which was included in the federal government funding package that passed through the U.S. House of Representatives last week, is expected to be signed into law by the President this week.

Among nine projects, one is specific to Molokai. Maui Economic Opportunity will receive $100,000 for the Kaohi Program, which offers in- and out-of-school activities and will target 100 Molokai youth ages 11 to 18 years old to reduce alcohol, tobacco and drug use. 

“These Community Funded Projects, secured by my office and granted to deserving non-profit organizations, state and county agencies, will support locally led priorities such as protecting our environment, educational opportunities for our keiki and addressing healthcare disparities in our rural communities.…