Government

Maui COVID Rise Brings Concern

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

An uptick in COVID-19 cases on Maui — 75 reported by the Dept. of Health last Saturday — has raised concerns among officials. Thirty-one of those cases are historic cases dating back as far as November that had not previously been reported due to a laboratory reporting issue, according to the DOH. However, the 44 new cases include two current clusters, as well as community spread cases.

“We really need to ramp up compliance to safety protocols or the alternative would be really high case numbers in the coming week, possibly resulting in tighter restrictions,” said Dr.…

New Case, County Seeks Mask Up Volunteers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

One new Molokai case of COVID-19 was reported last week, bringing the island’s total cases to 27. It was originally miscategorized on Maui, then Dept. of Health records were corrected to list it on Molokai, according to the Feb. 18 report. No other details were available.

A new Mask Up campaign in Maui County aims to boost face mask use. The initiative uses volunteers to serve as community ambassadors who “kindly remind visitors and residents that wearing face masks is mandatory,” according to a Maui County news release last week.

Volunteers will approach unmasked individuals with a copy of Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules to explain that mask-wearing is compulsory in all public areas of Maui, Molokai and Lanai.…

Ho’olehua Post Office Reopens

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

After nearly a week-long closure because of structural concerns, the Ho’olehua Post Office was cleared to reopen last week Tuesday.

“We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during the temporary closure” said USPS Manager of Post Office Operations Gary Logan, who oversees all neighbor island postal operations. “The safety and security of our customers and employees is our top priority.”

The post office on Pu’upe’elua Ave is a leased structure on land owned by Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands, according to tax map records. Safety concerns at the building were identified by a team of staffers from Honolulu that oversee neighbor island operations, according to USPS spokesperson Duke Gonzales.…

Ho’olehua Post Office Temporarily Closed

Friday, February 12th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Mail for Ho’olehua residents is being distributed out of a pop-up tent in the Kaunakakai Post Office parking lot after the Ho’olehua Post Office had to be vacated within hours last Tuesday due to structural concerns.

The Ho’olehua building, which served 450 mail customers, is now temporarily closed pending results from a structural assessment completed last Thursday, according to Duke Gonzales, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service in Honolulu.

All Ho’olehua mail customers are now asked to pick up their mail in the back parking lot of the Kaunakakai Post Office between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.,…

Homestead Group Gets Grant to Continue COVID Relief

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

DHHL News Release

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has announced eight recipients of the Native Hawaiian Development Program Plan, who will each receive a portion of $1 million in grants. The Molokai Homestead Farmers Alliance received $200,000 to support its existing COVID-19 relief program to distribute food, produce, hot meals, supplies (masks, sanitizers, etc.), and certificates for drugstore/prescription purchases. The goal is to serve 800 beneficiaries on the island of Molokai.

In October, the Hawaiian Homes Commission approved the Native Hawaiian Rehabilitation Fund (NHRF) grant funds for the current fiscal year. The allocation included $500,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts within the native Hawaiian community and $500,000 toward Regional Plan Priority projects on the homelands.…

3 New COVID Cases for Molokai Last Week

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

The new year brought new cases to the island, with an influx of three last week, bringing Molokai up to a total of 25 COVID-19 cases, as of Sunday, since the pandemic began.

One new case was reported by the Dept. of Health last Wednesday, Jan. 6, with two more joining the tally Friday.

Statewide, Thursday, Jan. 7 saw the highest number of cases in a single day since August, with 322 new cases across the state. In Maui County, numbers were also concerning to officials, with 56 new cases reported in the county last Thursday. Because the vast majority of cases are in households throughout all regions of Maui island, officials in the Maui District Health Office believe the spike stemmed from holiday gatherings.…

$1.8M for Molokai Conservation Efforts

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai is anticipated to have clearer oceans and reefs, less erosion and flooding, and protection from wildfires thanks to $1.8 million in federal funds that were just awarded to the Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

The funding, through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), will pay for measures to protect Molokai’s forest ecosystems, like fencing for protection from hooved animals and creating firebreaks. The State of Hawaii is also matching the funds as part of a larger Watershed Initiative, directing an additional $2 million of state Capital Improvement Project (CIP) and operating funds to protect Molokai’s forests and provide jobs for Molokai residents, according to the DLNR.…

New MEO Bus

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

New MEO Bus

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A new bus was blessed at Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Molokai last week. The 18-seat bus is the 13th bus in MEO’s Molokai fleet and is equipped with a wheelchair lift as well as seat harnesses built into the seats, according to Yolanda Reyes, MEO Molokai branch director.

“It will be used for all transportation routes but mainly for our Head Start children as their chair harnesses are already built in on each seat,” said Reyes. “Previously we needed to install each seat harness when there was an excursion for the children but now they are already built in.”…

Aging Water System Gets $37M Upgrade

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Aging Water System Gets $37M Upgrade

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Repairs and improvements to the 80-year-old Ho’olehua Water System kicked off with a small groundbreaking ceremony last Thursday that marks the beginning of a multi-phase, $37 million project that will last about two years. The water system serves more than 2,400 customers, including about 500 homesteads in Hoʻolehua, Palaʻau, Kalamaʻula and Moʻomomi, as well as provides water to the post office, schools and airport.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) capital improvement project will include improvements such as the installation of a 200,000-gallon storage tank, upgrades to automation systems, a new warehouse, and a new emergency generator diesel fuel tank.…

Temporarily Closure of Molokai Property Assessment Office

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

County of Maui News Release

The Molokai Real Property Assessment office is temporarily closed due to staffing shortage from Friday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 20. The office is located at the Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai.

The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 23, during its normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For property tax payments and circuit breaker questions, please call the Real Property Treasury Office at (808) 270-7697.

For all other property questions, please call the Real Property Assessment Office at (808) 270-7297, visit its website at mauipropertytax.com, or send an email at rpa@co.maui.hi.us.…