Hoolehua residents urged to continue water conservation

Press Release, Department of Hawaiian Homelands

HOOLEHUA, Molokai – Repairs to Department of Hawaiian Homeland’s two water pumps at the Kalae water well that began in early November and impacted hundreds of homesteaders in the Hoolehua area on Molokai continues. Residents and businesses in the affected areas are reminded to continue necessary water conservation efforts by restricting lawn watering, avoid washing cars and taking shorter showers. Non-essential water use should be limited.

In order to maintain safe water levels in the water reservoir, a temporary four

Monsanto and DHHL workers install a water line

-inch emergency water line was installed. Since the four-inch line is smaller than normal, a lesser amount of water is being pumped to meet the needs of water users in the Hoolehua and Kalamaula areas. As a result, on November 10, DHHL issued a 50 percent reduction notice to Hoolehua residents to help lessen the risk of running out of water while the repairs are being completed.

Continuing a support partnership between the County of Maui and other Molokai water suppliers, the County’s water system is helping to supply water to DHHL’s system during repairs. Earlier this year, when the County’s system underwent emergency repairs – DHHL provided water to the County to assist Kaunakakai residents by maintaining safe water levels for the Kaunakakai water reservoir.

To ensure that fire suppression needs are not compromised for both the impacted Hoolehua area and the surrounding areas providing water support, Fire Department Captain Travis Tancayo headed a coordinated effort between agencies to avert any escalation of the situation. Tancayo credits the work of many in helping to prevent a dangerously low water supply situation from worsening.

“With the guidance of Pacific Electro’s Marty Johnston, the group was able to collaborate and resolve how to get needed water to the reservoir while DHHL’s pumps were under repair,” said Tancayo. “Everyone involved worked weekends and nights to develop the response plan, get materials and lay pipes so that people could have water available. We’re very grateful for Kualapuu Ranch and ranch owner Kevin Komkowich’s assistance. The pipes were laid on the ranch’s property and their support and understanding of the urgency were instrumental. We were then faced with needing to cut the road to lay the temporary water line and Pedro Ranch stepped forward with heavy equipment to help get this done. By having many people and agencies work together we were able to respond rapidly and help our community and that also includes our residents and businesses that took steps to immediately conserve water. The public’s help is always crucial and appreciated”

Anita Wong, DHHL’s deputy director gave special recognition to Molokai Properties. The company reactivated its Well 17 in order to provide a needed water source for the Kalae Reservoir. “Molokai Properties’ help with Well 17 was essential,” said Wong. “Rex Kamakana and the water department personnel worked tirelessly to make it happen and we appreciate their hard work these past few weeks.” Wong also commended Monsanto for the company’s help with providing 2,700 ft of a high density 4”water line pipe needed to allow for water to flow to the reservoir from Well 17. “Monsanto not only provided the needed pipe material, the company also made available a large crew of workers to install the pipe over a 3-day period using specialized tools.”

The County of Maui is providing water to the Kalamaula area and will continue to assist DHHL until repairs to its two pumps are completed. Repairs are expected to be completed sometime in the first week of December. Impacted residents and businesses in Hoolehua and Kalamaula are asked to continue conservation efforts.


Keiki Kane sweep through Las Vegas baseball tournament

The Keiki Kanes took first place in the Las Vegas Baseball Academy Fall Desert Classic in October.

Molokai’s Keiki Kane youth baseball team was in Las Vegas in October to compete in a tournament for 11 and 12-year olds. The team not only competed but dominated by sweeping through the field to win the Las Vegas Baseball Academy Fall Desert Classic.

The Keiki Kanes moved through the round robin section easily, going 4 and 0 and outscoring their opponents 69-11. In single elimination, Molokai continued its winning ways through the quarterfinals by defeating the Utah Bandits 6-2. After a 16-4 semifinal blowout of the California Diamond Dogs, the keiki Kanes squeaked by another California team 4-3 to take home the tournament trophy.

In other sports, Molokai dropped two games recently in the Island Youth Football league. The Molokai Peewees lost to Ewa Beach 34-6. The Molokai Termites lost to Ma’ili 44-12.

Molokai takes care of its own for Thanksgiving

Quietly and without any publicity, a local catering service is showing what real giving on Thanksgiving is all about.

Mike Shizuma, of Mike’s catering in Ho’olehua, is preparing about 500 Thanksgiving meals for people on Molokai. Through the efforts of six different churches and several individuals who did not wish to be named, everyone on Molokai will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

A similar meal distribution was held last year on Thanksgiving, focusing mainly on the Maunaloa community that had been devastated by the closing of Molokai Ranch. This year, 200 meals will be prepared for Maunaloa and picked up at the certified kitchen near the Lanikeha Center in Hoolehua. Another 85 meals will go to Home Pumehana residents. The participating churches will pick up the meals for their own congregations and take them to those who are homebound, from east end to the west end of Molokai.

Another Thanksgiving effort took place on Monday and Tuesday at the Damien Center next to St. Sophia Church in Kaunakakai. A total of 164 families received various non-perishable goods to help them through the holiday. Families learned about this through word of mouth since the church did not publicize the distribution.

Kaunakakai’s only bar and restaurant — Paddlers’ Inn — celebrates grand opening

Last Friday, the Kaunakakai establishment Paddlers’ Inn held its grand opening complete with free Kalua pig, pupus and live music. Darrin Abel is the third owner of Kaunakakai’s only bar and restaurant over the past couple of years.

With lots of bamboo, more seating and other upgrades, Paddlers’ now has a jungle feel to it. It also boasts six plasma TVs showing sports and local events. The menu will include local cuisine with steaks, seafood and some Mexican fare.

It seems like Paddlers’ plans to stay busy. The following night, Saturday, the Molokai High School class of 1990 held a reunion fundraiser there.

This Friday, November 27, recording artist John Cruz will perform at Paddlers’. Reserved tickets including dinner are $45, regular reserved are $20 and general admission tickets are $10.

Welcome back Paddlers’, you’ve been missed.

New DVD for Na Ohana Hoaloha benefits Aka’ula School

This Linda Johnston acrylic painting shows Na Ohana Hoaloha performing at Coffees of Hawaii as they do every Sunday afternoon.

Every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. the musical group of Molokai kupuna, known as Na Ohana Hoaloha, performs at Coffees of Hawaii. This past Sunday was a special day as the group premiered a DVD of their performances called “Pretty Old for the First Time.”

Na Ohana Hoaloha means a family of friends. These Molokai friends have put together a great show of traditional and new musical numbers that everyone is sure to enjoy. The DVD is a production of Aka`ula School, which sits across the street for Coffees of Hawaii in Kualapuu. The profits from the DVD sales will benefit the school. Paul Riel and Dara Lukonen of Aka’ula School shot much of the video and Riel did the editing. The DVD is for sale at Coffees of Hawaii and other locations around town. It makes a great holiday gift and is also a way to support the school.

Aka’ula is the only private middle school on Molokai, serving students in fifth through eighth grade. The school has shown a commitment to environmental education in many of the projects they have undertaken. On October 24 they participated in the International Day of Climate Action, a worldwide event to raise awareness about climate change.

But it doesn’t end there. Recently, 10 Aka’ula students and several staff members went to the North American Association for Environmental Education conference in Portland, Oregon. The students did not just attend but also made numerous presentations at the conference. The students worked hard for months to create their presentations as well as fundraise to attend the four-day conference.

According to reports from the conference, the organizers and more than 1,000 participants were impressed by the students who networked and gained new insights and ideas. This is all in preparation as Aka’ula plans to hold its own environmental education conference on Molokai in 2010 and they wanted to learn any tips on how to make it run smoothly.

EUTF board will consider open enrollment delay today

The board of trustees for the state Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund meets today to consider a two-week extension in the open enrollment period, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15.

Gov. Linda Lingle asked the EUTF to consider this special meeting, citing the confusion many government workers have about the open enrollment process and the staff difficulties in handling the increased workload. The board will also consider a one-month delay in when the new plan selections take effect, from January to February, to provide adequate time to process applications.

Molokai Drugs is one pharmacy that has requested this delay until February 1. Kim Svetin of Molokai Drugs said that with this additional time she hopes that InformedRx, the company providing prescription drugs under this program, can resolve issues involving customer paperwork, stocking adequate supplies, hours of operation and customer service.

Since this mandatory prescription plan was put in place October 1, it has created dozens of problems for customers on Molokai.

Deadline tomorrow to bid on baseyard construction project

Tomorrow is the deadline to bid on the Molokai baseyard improvement project.

The new public works department baseyard is being built at the Duke Maliu Regional Field in Kaunakakai. Phase one of this project involves grading, paving, retaining walls, fencing, buildings and landscaping. Maui County has estimated the cost of this project to be between $2 and $3 million. Bid documents, including all specifications, can be found at the Maui County Division of Purchasing, Department of Finance.