Air Force Lease Expires on DHHL Parcel

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

More than 300 acres of land in the Ho’olehua and Pala’au areas of Molokai that had previously been used by the U.S. Air Force was returned to the Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands last week. 

The USAF leased the lands from DHHL under a 25-year lease at $40,270 annually, which expired on Dec. 31, 2022. The USAF used the lands for radio and communications equipment, installation and maintenance, according to a press release from the governor.

Gov. Josh Green announced last week what he called a “long overdue” transfer for Molokai homesteaders. 

“This day is long overdue for the beneficiaries and residents of Molokai,” said Green in the press release.…

Planning for Managed Tourism

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter

On a small, rural island like Molokai, whose residents have fought for preservation of their cultural heritage and against overdevelopment, tourism is a controversial subject. Many residents welcomed the lack of visitors brought by the pandemic, while local businesses often suffer from drops in visitor numbers. In an effort to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is making progress with the Molokai Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP). Over a three-year period, the plan’s focus is on the stabilization, recovery and rebuilding of the visitor industry for the island.

 “HTA was getting a lot of heat at the state legislature because in 2019, Hawaii had a record breaking number of tourists, over 10 million that came to Hawaii,” said Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, county councilmember for Molokai, and member of the HTA’s Molokai Task Force.…

Hawaiian Homes Commission 2023 Meeting

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

HHC News Release 

The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC), the nine-person executive board that governs the Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands (DHHL), has approved and announced its 2023 meeting calendar. 

The meetings will be held in communities statewide in compliance with Act 220, passed by the 2021 legislature and signed into law by Gov. David Ige on July 6, 2021. Act 220 provides state agencies the flexibility to utilize interactive conference technology for the public to view meetings online as well as provide remote oral testimony so board members and other participants can hear the testimony whether through the internet, a telephone, or other means. …

Voters Decide Future

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

Voters Decide Future

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter

The highly anticipated general election took place last Tuesday, Nov. 8 .  Residents voted in a new governor and new Maui County mayor, and three Molokai candidates were elected to state and county offices.

Democrat Lt. Gov. Josh Green defeated Republican candidate Duke Aiona 64 to 33 percent in the governor’s race. Hawaii voters re-elected Democrat Senator Brian Schatz in a lopsided 71 to 21 percent win over Republican challenger Bob McDermott.

Richard Bissen took 59 percent of the statewide vote to beat out incumbent Mike Victorino for Maui County Mayor.

Three Molokai candidates came out on top in competitive races for county councilmember, state representative and state senator.…

How to Vote and What Happens After That

Friday, November 4th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

The deadline to vote in the general election is quickly approaching next Tuesday, Nov. 8. There are several ways you can make your voice count in this important opportunity to choose candidates who carry your vision for the future. There are four Molokai candidates on the ballot. 

If you’re already registered to vote and you received a ballot in the mail, you can return it by U.S. Postal Service up until Nov. 8. This is a departure from what the Dispatch previously reported, but Kathy Kaohu, county clerk whose office handles elections processing in Maui County, said an agreement with the Postal Service allows ballots mailed between now and Election Day to be processed separately from the rest of the mail. …

Ranked Choice Voting

Friday, November 4th, 2022

Governor Ige recently signed extremely limited Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) legislation which would allow voters an opportunity to “rank” candidates in a particular race.

How many times has one not voted for their preferred candidate for fear that someone they do not support would win? With RCV, one chooses the candidate they would most rather have for the specific position. If their preferred candidate does not receive the most votes, who would be a second choice for the voter?

The candidate with the fewest votes is removed and those voters who chose that individual then have their second choice receive their vote. This process continues until a candidate receives 50 percent plus one and they are then elected.…

Vote in the General Election

Friday, October 28th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

It’s time to vote! The general election is quickly approaching and last week, Molokai registered voters received their ballots in the mail. The deadline for your ballot to be received is Tuesday, Nov. 8 so it must be postmarked in advance, or it can dropped off at the voter service center in Kaunakakai by Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. 

Now is the time to participate in this important part of community-building to voice your preference for candidates who align with your values and vision for the future. Along with candidates statewide, four Molokai residents appear on the ballot running for key seats in this election.…

Mixed Feedback on OHA’s Ocean Policy

Thursday, October 20th, 2022

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter

Office of Hawaiian Affairs representatives arrived on Molokai last week to discuss ocean management policy, with a list of set questions. Attendees had their own questions, however, and OHA staff left with a clear message from Molokai.

“No one speaks for us but ourselves,” said Mana’e lawai’a Leimana Naki. 

Molokai Kanaka spoke for themselves. They spoke of what the great expanse of ocean has meant to them and their families and their island. 

“Molokai prides itself on this balance,” said one community member referencing Molokai’s reciprocal relationship with its environment, both from a cultural perspective and a practical one, to sustain the community’s subsistence lifestyle. …

Arce Sworn In as First County Ag Director

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Arce Sworn In as First County Ag Director

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Molokai’s Rogerene “Kali” Arce took the oath of office two weeks ago as the first director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture. A Molokai resident and Hawaiian homesteader, Arce has more than three decades of experience in Hawaii’s agriculture industry. 

“Under Kali Arce’s leadership, we are making progress toward re-establishing agriculture as a key segment of our economy,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “With support from our new Department of Agriculture, farmers are helping to provide our residents with fresh produce and higher-paying jobs, apart from the hospitality industry.”

Arce assumed her new position in July.…

Candidate Hui Tour to Molokai

Thursday, October 13th, 2022

‘Onipa‘a 2022 News Release 

‘Onipa‘a 2022, a hui that unites Council candidates Noelani Ahia, Nara Boone, Jordan Hocker, Gabe Johnson, Robin Knox, Tamara Paltin, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, and Shane Sinenci, announced the launch of their district tour. The Molokai event will be on Oct. 27 at 11:30 a.m. at the Molokai Canoe Club.

‘Onipa‘a 2022, is a people’s movement, arising out of a decade of grassroots organizing, acknowledging hard-fought advancements that could be lost this election without voter participation.

Two years ago, for the first time in Maui County history, the Council gained a progressive majority of five members, which resulted in extensive legislation to manage tourism and reduce vacation rentals,  promote long-term, affordable housing opportunities for residents, create a department of agriculture to increase food security, address climate change and sea level rise impacts, care for our unsheltered ‘ohana, fund farmers’ microgrants and promote local businesses, increase transparency and accessibility by transitioning Council meetings online, and more. …