Government

County Budget First Reading Now May 26

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Maui County Council News Release

To allow for the inclusion of additional funding from the state and federal government, first reading of Maui County’s fiscal year 2021 budget has been moved to May 26, Council Chair Alice L. Lee announced.

The budget was initially set to be heard on May 22, Lee said. The delay will allow the council to consider appropriating more than $66 million from Coronavirus Relief Fund, approved by Congress in the CARES Act, and additional money in transient accommodations tax revenue, she said.

“With the help of our partners at the state Legislature, we will be able to receive and appropriate tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue,” Lee said.…

Flyover Salute

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Flyover Salute

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Employees at Molokai General Hospital stood outside and cheered last Thursday as a military KC-135 aircraft flew overhead in a salute to healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel.

The event was an effort from the Hawaii National Guard and the 15th Wing Active Duty Airmen from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to fly over the state’s main hospitals and major metropolitan areas to honor COVID-19 frontline workers. They completed the flyover as part of routine training exercises, at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The statewide flyover included C-17, KC-135 and F-22 aircraft. The KC-135 that flew over Molokai was operated by Hawaii’s Air National Guard Air Refueling Squadron.…

Funding for Residents’ Essential Needs

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

County of Maui News Release

Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. is still accepting applications for the Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership (H.E.L.P.) program.

MEO has processed 1,677 applications for financial assistance through the program, for a total of $707,000 in assistance. The County of Maui allocated $2 million in general funds to the program.

“This program is providing vital financial support by helping with essentials such as rent and food during the COVID-19 emergency,” Mayor Victorino said. “This support for our families is important until they can safely return to work.”

MEO Chief Executive Officer Debbie Cabebe said, “It has been a humbling and rewarding experience to see MEO and County of Maui staff and volunteers come together to help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus.…

Retail Businesses Green-Lighted to Open

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Retail Businesses Green-Lighted to Open

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

With Hawaii’s COVID-19 curve officially flattened, Gov. David Ige announced last week the first phase of an incremental reopening of the state, with retail businesses permitted to open on Molokai Monday, May 11.

“Today was another victory in the battle with COVID-19. Only four positive cases were reported,” said Ige last Tuesday. “This makes more than two weeks of single-digit daily new cases. We have some of the lowest numbers of cases in the country. And we have flattened the curve.”

The governor replaced the Stay at Home order with a “Safer-at-Home” message. Last Thursday, Ige allowed retail and other businesses classified as low risk from a health perspective to open.…

Molokai Benefits From Council’s Proposed Budget

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Molokai Benefits From Council’s Proposed Budget

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez News Release

On April 30, Council’s Economic Development and Budget committee rose to the challenge of what will likely be remembered as the most strenuous Budget Session: “The Coronavirus Deliberations,” and recommended passage of the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

The Council worked collaboratively with the Administration, remaining flexible and responsive to residents’ needs, and acted upon community requests to invest in a “new normal” after emerging from the statewide shutdown. The Council’s proposed $816.5 million budget reduced the Mayor’s $869.8 million proposed budget by approximately $53 million, which includes aid for Molokai residents and businesses to help recover from impacts of COVID-19.…

Reopening Discussions Begin Cautiously

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Coronavirus cases across the state have declined significantly, with single digit new cases being reported for several days as of Sunday, while the Molokai count remains at two. Leaders across Hawaii and the U.S. are discussing the phasing and timing of reopening businesses and activities, and though Hawaii has among the lowest number of deaths nationwide at 17 as of Sunday, the state remains cautious.

“As the discussion occurs all over the world discerning when the right time will be to re-open… it’s imperative that we, in Hawaii, heed the lessons from other places, and employ the things that have worked and avoid repeating the things that haven’t,” wrote County Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez on social media.…

Transmission Rates and Social Distancing

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

By Dr. Landon Opunui, ND

Dr. Opunui is the Medical Director of Na Puʻuwai, the Native Hawaiian Health Care System serving the communities of Molokai and Lanai. He and the staff of Na Puʻuwai will be regularly contributing to an ongoing health column in The Molokai Dispatch.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the good news is that it does not appear to look nearly as catastrophic as once believed. The numbers of new cases and deaths both nationally and locally appear to be either plateauing or declining. To date, Molokai remains at two cases islandwide, with no indication of community spread.…

Farmer Relief Program

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

HDOA News Release

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) mailed out the first batch of checks under the COVID-19 Emergency Farmer Relief Program last week. Four Molokai grants are among the recipients. HDOA received 333 applications for the grants and was able to award 106 proposals that ranged from $2,000 for individual farmers and ranchers and up to $10,000 for nonprofit organizations, commodity groups, and agricultural associations that have experienced financial damage due to the COVID-19 emergency.

The total funding for the program was $250,000 which was drawn from the State’s barrel tax fund (Agriculture Development and Food Security Special Fund) and made available through Gov.…

Molokai Food Banks

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Hungry and don’t know where you can get food? This list of on island food banks may be able to help.

Information compiled by the Kuha’o Business Center on covid19mauinui.com/molokai. Information is subject to change.

Ho’olehua/Kualapu’u:

Alu Like Inc., Hoala Hou
Please call for more information
808-646-1592

Gospel Shoes of Jesus Christ
Currently serving both Mana’e and Hoolehua. Please call for more information if in need.
Contact: Judy Caparida at 808-558-8558

Molokai Baptist Church
Open: Tues, Wed, Fri, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Please call first. There are certain guidelines that need to be followed.
808-567-6689

Salvation Army Molokai
Please call for more information
808-213-5674

Kaunakakai:

Child and Family Services
*Located next to Bank of Hawaii- knock on door
Pick-ups available Mon to Fri 8am to 4:30pm (except state holidays).…

National Guard Community Service

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

National Guard Community Service

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

The seven members of the Hawaii National Guard currently on Molokai for a month helped in various community causes and events last week, in addition to their primary tasks of performing thermal scans for departing passengers at the Molokai Airport and assisting the Molokai Police Dept. Molokai’s own Staff Sgt. Laurence Kimoha’e Puailihau, Jr. was among those who assisted Kualapu’u Market staff as they reopened their doors to customers last week. He said guardsmen are also helping distribute meals at Molokai High Schoo’s Grab and Go program during the week, and last Saturday, assisted during the chili plate distribution at Lanikeha.…