Sust-`AINA-bility Kicks Off

By Melissa Kelsey

At a ho`olaulea to celebrate the upcoming Sust-`AINA-ble Molokai: Future of a Hawaiian Island Conference, community members confronted ideas of what Molokai’s future could hold.

“For so long we have been saying what we do not want, but what do we want?” said Malia Akutagawa, one of the event’s organizers. She explained that while Molokai has been protesting development for a long time, the island has been less vigilant about verbalizing its positive goals.

“We do not have to look elsewhere,” said event organizer Matt Yamashita, on learning how to live a sustainable lifestyle. “We can learn so much from our neighbors.”

Activist Walter Ritte, one of the event’s speakers, explained that the two goals of the ho`olaulea were to announce the July 17-18 Sust-`AINA-ble Molokai conference and to start a discussion about what a sustainable Molokai means.

Community hula dancers shared the stage with Brother Nolan to provide the night’s entertainment.

While the event attracted a broad range of people, organizers say they will be targeting an increase in Hawaiian representation at the upcoming conference in July.

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