COVID Cases Increase on Molokai, in State

Thursday, April 1st, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai COVID-19 cases continued to increase early last week, with three new cases between March 19 and March 26, and six active cases in the previous 14 days as of last Sunday. The island has 34 total cases since the pandemic began.

Statewide, Hawaii hit a week-long string of triple digit daily cases, ranging from 102 to 119 cases each day since last Tuesday. It was the first time since early February daily counts reached more than 100.

The County of Maui continues to enforce face mask regulations requiring everyone, whether fully vaccinated or not, to wear masks in public areas.…

Funding for Deer Management

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

County of Maui News Release

The County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns has awarded six grants to assess and manage feral animal populations, including axis deer, throughout Maui County.

“Maui County’s axis deer population has become much more than a nuisance. This invasive species is a threat to the livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers,” said Mayor Michael Victorino. “They also cause traffic accidents and damage yards and backyard gardens on Lanai, Molokai and Maui. Left unmanaged, axis deer will suffer and die from starvation and disease. These grants will help to assess the scope of the problem and employ humane ways to keep deer populations in check.”…

Outstanding Older Americans Nominations

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Maui County News Release

The Maui County Office on Aging is seeking nominations for Maui County’s 52nd annual Outstanding Older American Male and Female of Maui County. The recognition program is held each May in conjunction with Older Americans Month to recognize elders across the nation for their extraordinary efforts and contributions to society.

Nominees for the awards must be 65 years of age or older and a resident of Maui, Molokai or Lanai. Any individual, club or organization may nominate candidates for the award. Previous winners are not eligible for nomination.

Nomination forms are available by calling 270-7755, visiting

Microloans for Food Producers and Small Businesses

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

The Kohala Center News Release

Food producers and small businesses in Hawaii seeking financial support now have a local ally to help them secure no-interest microloans through one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms.

The Kohala Center, an independent nonprofit organization based on Hawaii Island, was recently designated by Kiva as the regional Kiva Hub for the Hawaiian Islands.

From helping Mother Nature’s Miracle on Hawaii Island acquire a greenhouse to enabling Molokai Livestock Cooperative to invest in marketing, more than 60 food producers and small businesses on six islands, including Molokai, have partnered with Kiva and The Kohala Center to secure more than $510,000 in no-interest loans to grow and expand their operations.…

Hawaiian Electric President Retires

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui County and Hawaii Island utilities, retired from Hawaiian Electric effective March 1.

Retiring after 28 years with Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric, Suzuki served as president of Maui Electric from 2012 to 2019, when she was named to the new position of president of Maui County and Hawaii Island utilities for Hawaiian Electric.

“Thank you for the honor of being able to serve our unique communities on Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii Island,” Suzuki said. “It’s been a privilege to work alongside our company’s dedicated employees and I am grateful for the years of collaboration with all of our customers, community organizations, renewable energy partners, and business and government leaders.”…

Michael Kikukawa: From Molokai to the White House Team

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai’s Michael Kikukawa graduated from Molokai High in 2013 and became the first Molokai student to attend Harvard. He didn’t stop there. He worked on the communications team for the Democratic National Committee and now has what he calls his dream job — White House press assistant. In the first 45 days of President Biden’s term, Kikukawa has already flown on Air Force One and stepped foot in the Oval Office.

“The best thing about Michael is his genuine heart, good intentions and his character,” said his dad, Phillip Kikukawa. “He’s polite and respectful. I’m proud of him, but I’m more than proud — I’m really happy for him.…

DHHL Beneficiary Input on General Plan

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

DHHL News Release

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is seeking beneficiary input as part of its 2022 General Plan update Beneficiary Consultation process.

The General Plan, which is updated every 20 years, establishes statewide policies that guide land management and DHHL programs over the consequent two decades. As one piece of the planning framework, the General Plan provides a comprehensive policy that ensures coordinated, integrated and orderly social, physical and economic development of Hawaiian Home Lands through the establishment of goals, objectives and implementing actions. DHHL’s General Plan is followed by detailed island and regional plans that are updated on a rotating basis and on their own timetable.…

Rats, Structural Concerns Close Maunaloa Post Office Temporarily

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Several weeks after a week-long closure of the Ho’olehua Post Office due to structural concerns, the Maunaloa Post Office is now closed because of “vector control concerns,” according to the U.S. Postal Service — in this case, rats — and poor building condition.

Duke Gonzales, a Honolulu spokesperson for the USPS, said the closure last Wednesday, Feb. 24, was “prompted by customer and employee concerns about the state of the facility.”

“…We are attempting to resolve our concerns with the facility landlord and will reopen as soon as those concerns are addressed,” he said.

There is currently no timeline for reopening.…

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.…