Second Ag Country Fair returns to Lanikeha tomorrow

The Molokai Ag Country Fair may soon become a May Day tradition on Molokai.

Representatives from the Homestead Associations will be at Lanikeha.

Tomorrow, April 30, is the second annual Ag Country Fair at the Lanikeha Center in Ho’olehua from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Like last year, the event will showcase Molokai grown produce, meat products and informational exhibits.

Live musical entertainment and ono food can be found at the Ag Country Fair.

A country store, silent auction, poultry show, grease pig contest and food, crafts informational displays are just a few of the things that are being offered. Other features of the event will include: Molokai-grown produce and animal products, entertainment featuring the Mana’o Trio, booths from the Homestead Associations, craft booths, a celebrity chili cook-off, game fowl show, Keiki Corner, dog show, lei making contest, orchid project and horse/pony rides.

Last year’s theme for the event was ag unity. Since sustainable living still encompasses the Molokai community, look for more new ideas from the Blue Planet Foundation and other vendors promoting sustainable living in all aspects, from alternative energy to innovations in agriculture.

To get things started, the Molokai Gamefowl Association is holding a special class at Coffees of Hawaii tonight at 5:30 p.m. You will see more classes and information about chicken breeding at the fair as well.

Pule begins at 9 a.m. at Lanikeha.


First Wind and Friends of Lanai attempt to slow big rush for Big Wind

After it appeared that First Wind had dropped out of the wind power business on Molokai, the Boston-based business filed a letter Tuesday with the Public Utilities Commission seeking relief for what it considers unfair treatment.

Only a week ago, First Wind printed a full-page advertisement in The Molokai Dispatch newspaper stating it is, “no longer pursuing a wind project on Molokai.” Now, it seems that First Wind would like to see the competitive bidding process reopened for the Big Wind project on Lanai and Molokai.

The PUC set a deadline of March 18 for First Wind to submit a completed term sheet for the project. But because it was unable to secure land from Molokai Ranch, despite what it claims were “six good faith offers to purchase land,” First Wind was cut out of the project.

Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind, believes Molokai Ranch’s decision to use Pattern Energy, in the event a project is approved, represents a direct violation of the original agreement between Hawaiian Electric Co., Castle & Cooke and First Wind. In addition, Gaynor believes this goes against stipulations included in the PUC’s original order approving the agreement.

Castle & Cooke, the majority landowner on Lanai, entered an agreement with Pattern Energy a couple of weeks ago to allow this newly preferred company to develop the 200 MW wind project on Lanai.

At the same time that First Wind is filing its appeal, the environmental group Friends of Lanai has petitioned the PUC to reopen the bidding process. Attorney for FOL, Isaac Hall, said the bidding process needs to start over since First Wind failed to secure land thus making any agreement null and void.

FOL believes that since Pattern Energy has no agreement with any public agency in Hawaii. This means that HECO and C&C have no authority to select a new developer.

According to a press release, FOL spokesman Robin Kaye said: “The entire process has been shrouded in secrecy. There has been no public discussion of costs, no responsible consideration of other means to meet the non-binding goals of the State’s renewable portfolio standards, and no clarity on where the proposed undersea cable might surface on Oahu. The process hasn’t even determined from which islands the wind resources would be harvested. The rush to Big Wind should stop here and now.”

Mac Poepoe shares mana’o with Big Island

Kupuna Mac Poepoe will share some of his insights as a Molokai fisherman and conservationist in this Puana Ka ‘Ike lecture, “Feeding Family.”

The event takes place Friday, April 29, at the Keauhou Beach Resort Ballroom on Ali’I Drive on the Big Island.

Mac Poepoe is not only an expert on conservation practices for coastal regions like Mo'omomi, but he is also a veteran and a strong advocate for Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans.

As co-founder of the 18-year old Hui Mälama o Mo‘omomi, Poepoe has led the way toward educating others about the coastal resources found in Mo‘omomi Bay and pono (proper) behaviors that ensure not only familial but community subsistence. Hui Mälama o Mo‘omomi has produced a fishing calendar based on the cultural practices that are linked with the phases of the moon.

Poepoe was the 2006 recipient of a lifetime achievement award from Hawaii’s Living Reef Awards Program.

For more information on Poepoe’s presentations, contact Joy Cunefare at 534-8528 or e-mail For lecture schedules and webcasts of previous lectures, visit and

The Puana Ka ‘Ike and Eia Hawai‘i lecture series are presented in partnership with Keauhou-Kahalu‘u Education Group of Kamehameha Schools, The Kohala Center, the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Keauhou Beach Resort.

Maunaloa principal selected as award finalist

Maunaloa Elementary School Principal Joe Yamamoto can be seen on most school days overseeing the students on the school field during recess time.

Joe Yamamoto, principal of Maunaloa Elementary School, was recently selected as a finalist in the $25,000 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Awards.

Yamamoto, who was nominated by Complex Area Superintendent Lindsay Ball, is among 11 public school principals across Hawaii that are still in the running. They were selected for their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students.

For more than 12 years Yamamoto has maintained high academic standards in the small school on Molokai’s West End. Maunaloa has consistently met Adequate Yearly Progress since the federal No Child Left Behind requirements went into effect. During that time, he set goals to improve student achievement, attendance, behavior and parent and community involvement.

“It all comes down to the staff, the teachers and support staff,” said Yamamoto. “That’s really the key. With our shrinking budget we have to learn to do more with less.”

One challenge Yamamoto successfully faced was the potential closure of the school last year. He was part of a 10-member Consolidation Task Force charged with making a recommendation to the State Board of Education about closing the school. The task force concluded that closing the school did not make sense for economic, social or educational reasons and the BOE agreed.

Because of the small size of Maunaloa, Yamamoto has the opportunity to visit every class every day. While observing the instruction and mood within the class, Yamamoto will generally take time to talk to individual students just to check in.

“Principal Yamamoto has a wonderful rapport with the children,” said Wendy Espaniola, sixth grade teacher at Maunaloa School. “He strives to support their needs by making sure we have the proper resources and services, professional development, and time, to continuously build a learning environment that not only meets student needs but also challenges learning,” she said.

If he wins the prize, Yamamoto said he is considering two options. The first one would use the award as seed money to start a sustainable scholarship fund to be overseen by a local committee.

The second idea is to develop a more “project-based” school that would undertake more activities similar to the Ho’okuleana project. Last year for the Ho’okuleana, three grades were involved in a scientific investigation of water quality on Molokai. Field trips to different beaches taught students proper methods for studying, collecting and presenting data on this important issue.

“We would like to do something similar to PRISM (education program which stands for Preparation for Instruction of Science and Math) and turn it into action instead of just a collection of data,” said Yamamoto. The award, he said, would help cover professional development and any type of equipment staff would need to pursue this goal.

“We have a fine location and access to different regions,” he said. “We should utilize the resources we have on this island. We look at the deficit model too often and not what we actually have to take advantage of.”

The winner of the $25,000 award will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation dinner on April 29 in Honolulu.

Baseball: Farmers head to state tourney after winning MIL title

The Molokai baseball team will be heading to the state tournament after defeating Seabury Hall 10-2 in the MIL Division II tournament Friday night at Maehara Stadium.

Star of the game was Kaoli Place, who not only struck out 12 batters in his complete game win, but also added three hits — a double, an RBI and scored three runs — to help his own cause.

First-year head coach Mike McCutcheon was tempted to take out place, a senior, in the sixth inning. McCutcheon — who once threw 240 pitches and struck out a state-record 23 for Molokai in a 16-inning loss to Baldwin in 1995 — decided to leave him in. “I’m glad I did,” said McCutcheon.

Place’s 12 strikeouts set an MIL record for the year. He was also helped with five runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Kamakana Duvauchelle-Andrade and run-scoring single by Maverick Dela Cruz.

Molokai is now 7-1 on the season. Although the Farmers did not participate in the state tournament last year, they were a final four team in 2008 and 2009.

Softball loses MIL tourney to Hana

The undefeated Lady Farmers defeated Seabury 14-3 in the semifinals for the MIL tournament held on Lanai, but could not hold off Hana in the Division II finals or playoff game.

After beating Hana twice last weekend to finish the regular season with an 8-0 record, the Farmers could not handle Hana Friday in the tournament championship. Hana scored 9 runs in the first two innings and held on to win 13-8. For Molokai, Amanda Makaiwi went 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple and two RBIs, while Larriley Rawlins and Genessa Puaoi both went 2-for-3.

A second game was played to determine seeding in the state tournament. Hana won that game 14-4 in five innings. Jasmine Borden hit a home run for Molokai in the loss.

Volleyball takes two from Maui High

Molokai boys volleyball team swept Maui High twice in straight sets over the weekend.

On Friday at The Barn, the Farmers won 25-22, 25-13 and 25-18 led by Austin Maliu Calairo with six kills. Brahunson Kaai had five kills and four blocks while Paka Adolpho added four kills and two blocks and Claude Kapuni had five blocks. Nainoa Langer finished the match with 25 assists, three kills, three blocks and three aces.

On Saturday, it was more of the same as Molokai overpowered Maui in straight sets, 25-21, 25-22 and 25-14.
For Molokai, Kaai led the way with eight kills and three blocks. Dayson Gomes finished with five kills, while
Langer dished out 30 assists and Kapuni had four kills and four blocks.

Molokai Energy 2.0: Building on island efficiency

Molokai Earth Day Fair today at Mitchell Pau’ole Center, 5-10 p.m.

Press Release by Blue Planet Foundation

Building on the success of the “Go Green & Carbon Clean” project, where 36,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) replaced incandescents, Blue Planet Foundation plans to introduce a series of energy efficiency programs that will maintain momentum for the island of Molokai to achieve energy independence in the years to come.

The Molokai Project 2.0 will focus on further educating the public and engaging with the youth of Molokai. “Hui Up” is an ENERGY STAR appliance bulk-purchasing program that will allow residents to replace their inefficient refrigerators with energy-efficient models at affordable, substantially discounted prices. The foundation will partner with Hawaii Energy (, Servco (, SustAINAble Molokai ( and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (

Molokai 2.0 will also focus on tracking the energy consumption of each household by using Blue Planet Foundation’s Energy Tracker, launching this summer. The Energy Tracker is an online app that enables residents to monitor their household energy use, compare it to others, and even challenge each other to energy reduction competitions.

The students of Molokai will catalyze residents to adopt energy solutions by monitoring energy use in Molokai households and providing guidance for reducing their energy consumption in the months to come. Blue Planet Foundation will provide the necessary tools for the students to implement this program.

Beginning April 2011, Blue Planet will conduct a community survey to learn more about existing refrigerators and energy use of each household. Those interested in participating can find more information and apply to participate at Molokai’s Earth Day Fair today, April 22, at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center. Blue Planet Foundation will also provide more information at the Molokai Ag Fair on April 30 at Lanikeha Community Center.

To learn more, visit or you can reach Emillia Norrdhoek at 808-216-3663 or Francois Rogers, Special Projects Director, at

Makani Ikaika O Molokai faces no wind and low turnout for race #4

Ekolu Kalama coaches Alex Mawae during race four in the series on Saturday.

By Clare Seeger Mawae

Race four and not a breath of wind in sight. The seas were calm and many of the competitors had other commitments on Saturday with family, work, baseball, and fractured wrists.

Eha Kamala and Alex Mawae were the two lone Stand Up Paddlers that chose to take on the calm elements and the test of endurance.

Slater Oswald followed in the footsteps of Josie Mawae fracturing his wrist at the skate park, and Kekai Adachi was batting the ball with his baseball game at the park.

No matter how many showed up, the event continued as this race series is just the beginning for many more to come. World champion Ekolu Kalama graced us with his presence encouraging both the boys as they took to the start at Rice Patch.

Eha was wanting to race despite the bursting blister on his hand and sore rib. Eventually Eha’s blister took its toll and Alex Mawae took the lead with a much needed confidence booster.

Alex Mawae, who is only 8 years-old, paddled the close to four-mile stretch with a light headwind in a very respectable time of one hour, 37 minutes. Alex earned every point of his victory as his determination and steady strokes took him to the finish line at Hotel Molokai.

Thanks must also go to Ekolu Kalama who shadowed Alex to the finish line giving him words of encouragement and helpful stroking techniques.

Another excellent day in the race series despite the low turn out.

The next race is April 30, which is also the grand finale of the short course. The final event of the season will be on Saturday May 28 with a double duo of points with the Molokai Ohana Surf club’s event; the Molokai Holokai.

For more information or to register, go to or call Clare Seeger Mawae at 808-336-0946 or email