Filmmaker Takes on Walter Ritte Documentary

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Filmmaker Takes on Walter Ritte Documentary

Quazifilms and MAC News Release
Molokai filmmaker Matt Yamashita of Quazifilms has launched a fundraiser for his new documentary, “Aloha `Aina: The Awakening of Walter Ritte.”Yamashita’s goal is to raise $35,000 on Kickstarter by Nov. 30 to generate early funding for a one-hour documentary about the life of Walter Ritte, a leader among Hawaiian activists and one of Hawaii’s most contentious public figures. Currently in development, the film is intended for national broadcast on PBS and will be an intimate and honest portrait of Ritte’s life with focus on his earliest years.

“His name is widely recognized and it stirs powerful reactions, yet the deeper I dig into his personal story, the more I realize that people don’t really know who Walter Ritte is,” said Yamashita.…

Court Rules Against County GMO Regulation

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Last Friday, a federal court of appeals ruled that Hawaii counties do not have the authority to ban or regulate genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly called GMOs, and the use of pesticides. The decision upholds the ruling of a lower court made last year, and concludes a highly disputed voter initiative in Maui County to ban the growing of GE crops passed in 2014.

Other county ordinances also overruled by the court’s decision include a Hawaii Island law signed in 2013 preventing new GE crops from being grown, and a 2013 Kauai bill requiring pesticide disclosure and buffer zones for application around schools, waterways, parks and other public use facilities.…

Crivello Rejoins Hokule`a

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Crivello Rejoins Hokule`a

Oiwi TV Photo by Kaipo Ki’aha

Molokai’s Kawika Crivello is once again joining the Hokule`a’s Worldwide Voyage as a crew member. This time, he traveled to Virginia two weeks ago to sail south along the East Coast to Florida in one of Hokule`a’s final legs before heading home to Hawaii.

As the weather gets colder, he shared a photo of the vessel’s hull covered in frost. The crew has been bundled up in winter clothes. As they headed south to North and South Carolina, Crivello commented on the beauty of the scenery.

“We’ve run across bald eagles, trees that are changing of colors, it’s fall season,” he said in a social media video.…

Chopper Crash Claims Two Lives

Friday, November 25th, 2016

There were no survivors in a Nov. 15 helicopter crash on Molokai’s east end. Attorney and Molokai homeowner Gary Galiher was flying the aircraft, along with passenger and Oahu realtor Keiko Kuroki, last Tuesday evening from Honolulu to his private helipad on Molokai. They never landed as expected, and they were reported missing by Galiher’s colleague early Wednesday morning, which initiated a Coast Guard and Fire Department search.

The wreckage of the the black Hughes 369D helicopter was found Wednesday afternoon, at about 1400 feet in a wooded area, according to Edward Taomoto of the Maui Fire Department. It was less than a mile mauka of Galiher’s hillside home just east of Puko`o Fire Station.…

Update: DHHL Water Given the All Clear

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

DHHL News Release (Nov. 23)

Effective immediately, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is lifting the water usage restriction for Molokaʻi residents who receive their potable water from the Hoʻolehua reservoirs.

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) completed the microbiological and chemical testing of the Hoʻolehua water system and has determined that it is safe to resume normal water usage and consumption.

“We would like to thank our homesteaders and the residents of Molokaʻi for their patience and understanding as well as Maui County, the State Department of Health and the State Department of Education for their continued cooperation in this matter,” said Jobie M.…

Prevent a Rabbit Invasion

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Domesticated rabbits on Molokai that have escaped or been released have been reported around the island and pose a dangerous threat to the ecosystem if not controlled, according to local natural resource managers.

“There are confirmed sightings in a widespread area,” said Butch Haase, executive director of the Molokai Land Trust (MLT). “They could cause devastating ecological and economic impacts like nothing we’ve seen before.”

Haase said MLT staff found a rabbit in one of its fenced restoration sites in the Mokio Preserve near Ilio Point.

“The rabbit had been browsing the endangered ohai plants within the fenced site to the point of killing many of the plants,” he said, adding the animal was large and mostly white. “The rabbit was captured and removed, but there have been other sightings across central and west Molokai.”

Rabbits have also been reported near Hale O Lono, Kaluakoi, Kalae, Ho`olehua, Kaunakakai and Kawela.…

Running Under the Moon

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Running Under the Moon


Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

Donning white shirts and glow sticks, community members ran and walked for a cause last Saturday night, getting showed in colorful powders along with way. The Moon Glow Run, held in the moonlight on a track around the Heart of Aloha Church’s Kualapu`u property, raised funds for the church’s planned worship pavilion. The church is nearing its goal of $170,000, having raised $132,700 so far. The pavilion will be located at the church’s property in Kualapu`u and will be used for church services, community events and cultural activities.…

Local Election Results

Thursday, November 17th, 2016


This year’s General Election brought results that shook the nation, with Republican Donald Trump becoming the President elect over Hillary Clinton. Maui County’s results largely favored incumbents but saw some changes in the County Council. Molokai’s Lynn DeCoite won the District 13 State Representative race over challenger Nick Nikhilananda. For federal representation, Brian Schatz held his seat as U.S. Senator and Tulsi Gabbard remains the District II U.S. Representative. Stacy Helm Crivello remains Molokai’s County Council member, winning the election over Keani Rawlins-Fernandez. Upsets in the county council include Alika Atay sweeping incumbent Dain Kane, and Kelly King topping incumbent Don Couch.…

Search Underway for Missing Molokai Helicopter-Updated

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

3:30 pm update: Maui Fire Department crews have located the crash site and confirmed there are no survivors. The downed helicopter was found about a mile and a half above the highway just east of Puko`o Fire Station. The Maui Police Department is coordinating recovery of the victims and preserving the wreckage for federal investigation. 

Initial story at 1:15 pm:

A land, air and water search is currently underway for a missing Molokai helicopter. The black helicopter, with two people on board, reportedly departed Honolulu Tuesday evening and never arrived at a private helicopter pad on Molokai as expected.

The Coast Guard hasn’t released the names of the missing persons pending notification of family members, but the pilot has been unofficially confirmed as Gary Galiher, a prominent attorney and east Molokai homeowner with a helipad on his property.…

A Debt of Gratitude

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

A Debt of Gratitude


Juan Alcon salutes during the Veterans Day program. Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

Kaunakakai School students, along with dozens of residents, honored Molokai service members at last Friday’s Veterans Day program in Kaunakakai. Organized by the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans, the observation included a student performance, release of colored pigeons, and words from Councilwoman Stacy Helm Crivello, Rep. Lynn DeCoite and other speakers.

Molokai VA physician Dr. Carlann DeFontes said according to research she did, Molokai has historically had the highest number of men and women joining the military per capita.

“People sacrificed so much to fight for us,” she said, becoming emotional.…