Kalaupap Peninsula and Kalawao County news, articles, and stories.

Lawsuit Filed in Loretta Fuddy’s Death

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The brother of former state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a lawsuit filed last Monday that a faulty engine is to blame for the Makani Kai plane’s ocean landing off Kalaupapa last December that caused his sister’s death.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Lewis Fuddy Jr. is suing engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation over the Dec. 11 crash that killed his sister. The pilot and seven other passengers on the flight survived without major injuries, but Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking Cessna Grand Caravan. Autopsy results concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, following the crash.…

Splashdown on Kalaupapa

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

She stood on the highest level of the pier flanked by her companion mermaids, Christina and Molly, then on the count of three (interrupted by two and a half) she launched herself far out into the water like a champion swimmer at the Olympic Trials, then quickly surfaced like a playful dolphin. Slim Sam, better known as Sister Sam, true to her vivacious and sprightly nature, was leading the water show in the company of the young people from the Newman Center in Manoa, Honolulu. This splashdown and frolicking in the waters of our harbor was one of the highlights of our young visitors’ stay in Kalaupapa.…

End of Isolation at Kalaupapa Commemoration

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Hui Malama Makanalua News Release

This year, June 30 marks the 45th anniversary of the end of the isolation of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) patients at the Makanalua peninsula, commonly known as Kalaupapa. To observe this anniversary and honor those who were subject to the policy, local nonprofit Hui Malama Makanalua will be placing lei made from natural materials at every known burial site on the peninsula. This project, named Lei Hali`a O Kalaupapa(lei in remembrance of Kalaupapa), will be completed with the assistance of Kalaupapa National Park personnel.

From 1866 to 1969, nearly 8,000 individuals with Hansen’s disease were sent to live in “quarantine” on the peninsula.…

Miracle Girl Returns To Kalaupapa

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Miracle Girl Returns To Kalaupapa

Right, Audrey Toguchi from Aiea, Oahu, and left, Dr. Maria DeVera, who works at Schofield Barracks.

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

She stepped from Makani Kai Air with the agility of a New England Patriots’ cheerleader and walked to Kalaupapa’s Terminal 1 with the grace of a Hawaiian hula dancer.  Audrey Toguchi, now 86 going on 26, credits her miraculous healing from lung cancer to the intercession of St. Damien. So she had come from her home in Aiea, Oahu on this day, May 10, to celebrate with us the feast day of St. Damien. It was on this same date in 1873 that Damien arrived here at the Hansen’s disease settlement in Kalaupapa.…

Monk Seal Births, Recovery Plan

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Monk Seal Births, Recovery Plan

Photo courtesy Eric Brown.

By Laura Pilz and Catherine Cluett

Even though youth of the human species aren’t permitted in Kalaupapa, babies of the Hawaiian Monk Seal persuasion are welcomed.  The peninsula has become one of the most popular spots for endangered monk seal births, with two so far this year.

According to Diane Pike, Molokai Response Coordinator for the Monk Seal Foundation, almost all of the monk seal births on Molokai occur in Kalaupapa. “Last year, we had 10 pups,” said Pike, “and all of them were born in Kalaupapa.”

Through tracking efforts, scientists have found that those females who come to give birth in Kalaupapa are not necessarily Molokai seals.…

Kalaupapa Celebrates the Fountain of Youth

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

He walked through the doorway like the second coming of King Kamahameha with a young woman on his arm and I thought, “Oh my, he surely has discovered the fountain of youth!” Bugles blared and a host of voices sang out, “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear John!”

It was the eve of Palm Sunday and we had gathered at the home of Winnie Harada to celebrate the birthday of her neighbor and longtime friend, John Arruda. John was celebrating his ninety years of youth with great gusto. Power to the Portuguese!…

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract. Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides.

“More than once Richard Schuman always tells me, ‘if anything goes wrong in Kalaupapa, you call me and I will come there myself and pick up the people.’ That’s the kind of person he is,” said patient resident Gloria Marks at a community meeting at Kalaupapa’s McVeigh Hall last Tuesday.…

Kalaupapa: Wearing Of the Green

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

March 17 dawned like any other day here in Kalaupapa. It was just another work day for the National Park personnel, whose workday begins at 6 a.m. For us whose day begins in church, it meant an early rising at 5 a.m. and the celebration of Mass at 5:45. Yet it was a little different for this Irish-born lad. It was the feast day of my patron saint and so I wore a loud shirt with Happy St Patrick’s Day splashed all over the front in vivid green. True to my heritage, I was wearing the green.…

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

This cat, Spyder, is one of the many felines that make their home in Kalaupapa. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Feral cats living on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula have become an attribute of the settlement, welcoming visitors and providing companionship for residents by lingering around homes and community buildings. But as the numbers of ferals continue to rise, gathering in colonies of 20 to 30 cats, it creates an environmental hazard to the settlement, according to National Park Service workers.

“In the last few months, a couple people have moved out and the cat colonies [they were feeding] have been abandoned,” said Paul Hosten, a terrestrial ecologist for the National Park Service.“…The health of those cats deteriorates and so they pick up diseases, they fight, they spread illnesses like cat leukemia and the problem becomes a health concern.”

According to Hosten, the settlement has experienced flea outbreaks and odor problems in the last year.…

Holidays in Kalaupapa

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

By Father Pat Killilea, St Francis, Kalaupapa

I heard the voices approaching. So I got to my feet and went to the front door. They were coming through the entrances onto the church lawn wearing strange red head gear and armed with torches. My heart began to race. Oh my Lord, they were coming to take me away. My goose was cooked and Christmas had not even arrived yet. I had to face the music. Then… they broke into song: “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed…”
They had indeed come to take me away, as they began the annual community carol singing evening.…