Kualapuu students enjoy the first school lunch of the year. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
As part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, free breakfasts and lunches will be available to students at all Molokai public schools starting this year. Those schools are among seven statewide that were selected by the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) to pilot the program this year.
While many Molokai students already qualified for free or reduced price meals, educators say the new program will be a relief for many families who didn’t previously qualify and will streamline the dining process.
The federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, which debuted in Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky in 2011, gives free meals to schools in which at least 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches.…
By Molokai Dispatch Staff
An important process is taking place: a community plan for the next 20 years of Molokai’s future is being developed and your input is requested. Each community within Maui County has a blueprint plan that guides decision-making and that plan is updated periodically. Right now, the County of Maui Planning division is facilitating the development of Molokai’s Community Plan over a period of six months.
The Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) is comprised of 13 Molokai residents and is currently reviewing and offering recommendations to the plan. The next meeting is Tuesday, and the public is invited to each meeting.…
Last Thursday, former U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa met with the Molokai community to discuss rules on Hawaiian Home Lands Trust proposed by the U.S Department of the Interior (DOI). Hanabusa, who came unaffiliated with any government entity, said that as the years have passed, some of the information that is important for Native Hawaiian beneficiaries to know has been forgotten.
“It’s a long journey for the beneficiaries as a total group, basically from 1920 till now,” she said.
Colleen Hanabusa speaks during the meeting. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
In 1921, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) set aside 200,000 acres of land into trust, overseen by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.…
Kuha`o Business Center News Release
An upcoming three-day training session for community and business leaders will offer FEMA certification and cover important information about coastal community resilience, natural disaster awareness, social media for response and recovery and leveraging tools for conducting damage assessments.
On Tuesday, July 21 from 8 a.m. to noon, a one-day training course will provide state and local government agency staff and other stakeholder groups with background on natural hazards.
Coastal communities around the world are experiencing unprecedented change resulting from population growth in coastal regions and increased vulnerability to natural hazards. Resilient coastal communities are better able to plan for and take action to mitigate the risks from coastal hazards, increase the pace of recovery from destructive events, and adapt to changing environments.…
A federal judge has ruled that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops is invalid. The order determined that the ordinance, initiated and passed by voters in November’s election, was preempted by federal and state law that allows cultivation of GE crops, and therefore the ban exceeds the county’s authority.
In the decision issued last Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Mollway made it clear that the decision was not a comment on the validity of concerns for or against the ban, but simply a legal response to the question of whether the ban was enforceable based on existing state and federal law.…
Pacific Century News Release
The Fund for the Pacific Century, a charitable, nonprofit organization, is accepting applications for its 15th class of Pacific Century Fellows. The program, modeled after the White House Fellows Program, is designed to recognize and encourage Hawaii’s future leaders.
The nine-month program will include approximately 30 of Hawaii’s most promising individuals from all segments of our community who are in their mid-20s to early 40s. The fellows will be selected by an 18-member committee of prominent citizens based on their demonstrated ability to set and achieve goals and on having exhibited leadership qualities in their current professional, volunteer, and civic activities.…
On June 5, the Maui County Council passed a bill to appropriate $105,000 to Sea Link of Hawaii, which operates the Molokai ferry and has reported losses in riders and funds over the past year.
With a contract still to be written for the funding, it will take about a month for Sea Link to receive the money, according to County Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen. She added they’re still in the process of deciding whether the finding will be given all at once or in increments.
Since January, the ferry has been losing an average of $20,000-$25,000 a month, according Sea Link President and Senior Captain Dave Jung.…
By Reynolds Ayau
Photo by Richard Cooke.
To the people of Molokai, aloha! My name is Reynolds Ayau and I’m the Kahu for a little church in Halawa Valley called lerusalema Hou Church. Our little church is badly in need of replacement. Dry rot and termites have made it a total hazard.
To try and remedy the situation, we had to contact the landowner. The landowner, God bless her, said, “I didn’t know I owned the property so I’ll donate it to the church.” That was over three years ago and we are still waiting for the County of Maui to approve the necessary subdivision.…
With competition increasing, the Molokai ferry wants to scale back further than originally planned. On May 13, Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc. withdrew its petition to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to suspend one daily route between Molokai and Maui. The company instead plans to petition the PUC to require a minimum number of passengers to make a trip between the two islands.
“The concept we’re working on now is being what’s called a common carrier versus a scheduled carrier,” said company President Dave Jung. “A scheduled carrier has to run if you’ve got one passenger. … We want to be a common carrier where we have a minimum.”
Jung said they made the decision because he felt the original petition “was gonna drag out.” In a letter to the PUC on April 14, the Division of Consumer Advocacy recommended a thorough investigation that included public hearings, which Jung felt the company didn’t have time for.…
Possible financial aid is in sight for the Molokai ferry, whose recent losses in ridership and funds have forced company president David Jung to consider a shutdown as early as June.
On May 15, the county’s Budget and Finance Committee will discuss a bill in which Mayor Alan Arakawa has proposed a $105,000 subsidy for the ferry. The money would come from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF) and apply to the 2015 fiscal year, which ends June 30.
“The ferry throughout the year has seen a decrease in ridership as hard times have come to Molokai,” said Jung, testifying at the county council’s May 7 meeting.…