I Aloha Molokai ‘mahalo’ for show of unity against ‘Big Wind’ and for alternative energy solutions

This view from Kepuhi Beach of what an industrial-scale windmill project would look like has been created by I Aloha Molokai based on the most recent plans by developer Pattern Energy. The community spoke unanimously against this proposal at a public scoping meeting on Molokai held by the U.S. Dept of Energy Sept. 20 to review all alternative energy proposals for Hawaii.

Aloha. On behalf of I Aloha Molokai I would like to personally thank the nearly 200 people who turned out last Thursday (Sept. 20) for the Hawaii Clean Energy PEIS meeting here on Molokai. A total of 68 people testified against the proposed Big Wind/ Undersea Cable project on Molokai and Lanai, and not one person spoke in favor. In eight public meetings on six islands hundreds of Hawaii citizens have testified against the Big Wind/ Cable project. At this point it appears that no one is willing to state publicly that they think it’s a good idea. The more people become informed, the more the opposition grows.

IAM would also like to thank Jane Summerson and the other US Department of Energy staff, as well as Mark Eckenrode of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, for abandoning the narrow industrial wind focus of the earlier PEIS and for now analyzing a broad variety of clean energy alternatives – including solar and distributed generation, which can be far more cost-effective and far less environmentally destructive than industrial wind. As long as we are part of the United States, it is important that state projects meet federal guidelines at every step and at every level.

IAM would also like to thank Mr. Mark Glick and the other members of the Hawaii state energy staff, who did their best to answer often pointed questions with patience and good humor.

It is the hope of IAM that this PEIS process marks the beginning of real dialogue between state energy officials and the communities which are impacted by proposed energy projects. IAM welcomes thorough public discussion of all public issues, and looks forward to a time when energy planning will begin with public input. We also look forward to meeting with state energy staff, so that we can fully understand their concerns and the constraints under which they work.

IAM also wants to thank Henry Curtis of Life of the Land, who continues to provide us with a common sense alternative energy vision; Doug McLeod, who spoke at the Maui meeting on behalf of Mayor Arakawa and connected the dots for everyone on the absolute need for public support; Friends of Lanai and Kupa’a no Lana’i, who not only expressed heartfelt eloquence at their own meeting, but sent thoughtful young speakers to other island meetings as well. Lanai has given us all an example of grace under pressure.

In addition to the scoping comments at the meetings, it is important for everyone to provide written comments. The deadline for submission is October 9th. Here on Molokai we are holding two PEIS comment workshops to help citizens frame and submit their questions. These workshops will be held Monday, September 24th at 6 PM at Kulana O Iwi (OHA) and Tuesday, September 25th at 6 PM at the Maunaloa Community Center. We invite everyone to these meetings. If you are on another island or are unable to attend, we urge you to start with our PEIS film, “When To Wear Your Malo”, which is posted on Youtube, Facebook and ialohamolokai.com. If you have specific questions you can send an email to joann.tool@hawaiiantel.net.

Finally, I Aloha Molokai would like to remind everyone that our second annual Alternative Energy Festival will be held in Kaunakakai on this coming January 11th and 12th. This year we expect more and even better vendors, workshops, food and music. In addition we will be making a special effort to invite, not just elected officials, but also federal, state and county energy staff to share their thinking and expertise with the general public. We hope to see all of you there. Mahalo and God Bless.

Kanohowailuku Helm, President, I Aloha Molokai


Molokai Arts and Media Academy offers intersession for youth to analyze and create social media

“Public opinion can be influential, the media can be influential.” — Noam Chomsky

By Alestra Menendez

Media is essentially a means of communication. The exciting thing about media in the 21st century is that it is in the hands of the beholder, as opposed to being transmitted by few to the masses, as is the case with traditional news, television and radio.

At the Molokai Art and Media Academy youth ages 13-18 can analyze, evaluate and create media, even under water. The Academy has an intersession scheduled for Oct. 1-5. Contact molokaiartandmediaacademy@gmail.com or call 808-646-0340 for more information.

Through access to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or other social media, we can instantaneously broadcast our ideas through the written word, still images or video. Depending upon the individual, we may communicate with a few dozen friends or followers, or to an audience of millions.

As Chomsky put forth, the public has a great deal of influence. This is particularly true today when the public is media literate. A media literate person understands that media messages are constructed and economically, socially, politically and aesthetically contextualized. They also understand that the unique language of any media — be it a blog, tweet or video — serves to communicate to an audience. Ultimately, the representations of media serve to shape an understanding of our social reality.

Though some media can be partisan, racist, sexist or just morally wrong in the opinions of many, the solution is not to get rid of the media. Instead, become a participant in it. As singer/songwriter Jello Biafra urges, “Don’t hate the media, become the media.” This is especially important for today’s youth, since Edison Research reports that youth between the ages of 12-24 are the largest group of social networkers.

Today’s young people are undeniably more technology savvy than many of their older compatriots and regularly use social media to communicate. This is powerful. One Hawaii local, Ryan Higa of Hilo, began his career at the age of 14 while still attending Waiakea High School. Today, Ryan has the second most subscribers to a Youtube channel with 5,683,654 subscribers. In an interview with Leslie Wilcox on PBS’s Long Story Short, Higa remarked, “I just want somebody to make these people realize, these studios and stuff, that new media is important, and it’s continuously growing.”

Higa also shared his dream of starting a YouTube school to teach others. He asked an important question, “So why isn’t there a YouTube school where you can learn how to blog?”

Well, The Molokai Art and Media Academy will be holding a Media Literacy Academy for youth ages 13-18 during the fall intersession. The purpose is to guide youth to analyze, evaluate and yes, create their own media. Participants will create YouTube and Maui Tube videos, post blogs, tweets, and photos. Now, if only we could get Higa on board.

As with all education, it takes a village, and the Molokai Arts and Media Academy will join forces with Akakū Molokai Media Center as well as the Molokai Arts Center, to offer a five-day Intersession Academy from Oct. 1-5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Molokai Arts and Media Center is located in Mapulehu at the 15 mile marker. Youth will also be working out of the Akaku Molokai Media Center in Kaunakakai. The cost is $100 per student. The QLCC and Alu Like are providing scholarships for enrichment.

For more information contact molokaiartandmediaacademy@gmail.com or call 808-646-0340.

Team Bradley regains title after a wild start to Na Wahine o Ke Kai

Sherry Tancayo was standing at the point of Hale o Lono Harbor when she shot these pictures Sunday morning. Ten boats were swamped before the start of the race and even the escort boats were challenged by the conditions. Photos courtesy of Sherry Tancayo.

Team Bradley regained the title of the best women’s paddling team from the Waikiki Beach Boys on Sunday in a tumultuous 34th annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai race.

Rough conditions for the 41-mile race across Kaiwi Channel slowed the winning time to 6 hours, 14 minutes and 47 seconds. Team Bradley, made up of paddlers from Oahu, Maui and Kauai, was almost a full hour slower than the world record of 5:22:05 it set in 2008.

The Waikiki Beach Boys broke the six-year streak of victories for Team Bradley at last year’s event. This year they finished in second place in 6:17:13.

The lone Molokai team entered, Team Boomski of Wa`akapaemua Canoe Club, finishing in 14th place out of 71 boats in a time of 7:02:46.

But the real drama occurred before the start. Canoes battled 8-10 foot high waves at Hale o Lono Harbor to make it out to the start line by 8 a.m. The wave sizes closed out the channel, forcing boats to take on the surf directly.

“The pre-start was intense as the crew studied and watched the sets roll in,” according to observer Clare Mawae of Molokai Outdoor Activities. “There was not much time between the sets.”

Apparently, the boats in front made it out while many of the trailing boats were pounded by the waves. “The first crew to get pounded were bailing constantly and worked their way back into the harbor and then did their change,” said Mawae.

While 10 boats were swamped by the surf, only one was so badly damaged that it could not compete. The Kailua team broke its ama. One member of the team took a hard impact from a wave and had to be transported to Molokai Hospital with shoulder and rib injuries.

“The composure on the beach (of the Kailua team) at the disappointment for not completing the race was quite a sight to see,” Mawae explained. “The women of Kailua perhaps took the biggest hit out of all the canoes that got swamped at the harbor entrance … it just goes to show their huge spirits and courage. Not only did these woman of Kailua take the wave head on, they continued on as far as they could go with a duck tape as a friend, but, alas, had to turn around.”

Lauren Turnbaugh, a paddler on the Kai Opua Canoe Club’s white team, describes the action at Hale o Lono.

“I remember the yellow canoe flying back towards my head,” Turnbaugh wrote. “I grabbed left hard and thankfully it was as if someone from above lifted that yellow canoe out of our way and let us continue our path through the wave, only to meet two more giants behind — the second one we had to punch through with only five paddles, our stroker had lost her paddle.

“Off to a great start,” she went on, “then at first change we had to pull out of the race due to escort boat issues — what an experience! The only thing I wished was the start perhaps should have been delayed to remove the urgency of paddling out to the line. It would have saved a lot of canoe damage.”

Local paddler Kawika Crivello describes the action from an escort boat: “I was a few yards away when these bombs came rolling in. This Na Wahine O Ke Kai will be talked about for a looong time. Crazy! But at the same time beautiful. Their grandkids are gonna hear about this one.”

Imua football! Fans witness blowout win over Hana in first official game on Molokai in over 50 years

Hana got a hand on the jersey of Robert Ortiz-Traxler but could barely slow down the junior running back who ran for three touchdowns in Molokai’s dominating victory.

The 1960 Molokai football team was honored during halftime of Saturday’s game. From left: Milton Haliniak, Billy Buchanan, Larry Helm, Shane Adolpho (representing his father Carl Adolpho) and Larry Rawlins Jr. (representing Larry Rawlins Sr.).

Molokai’s past connected with its present on the high school gridiron on Saturday.

More than half a century ago Molokai hosted its last official, state-sanctioned football game. With the return of football on Saturday the connection to the past came full circle.

Members of the 1960 Molokai team in attendance participated in the pre-game coin toss as well as a halftime ceremony to make the connection complete. The community did its part by packing the high school parking lot with cheering fans.

Junior Noah Caparida ran over, under and through the Hana defense on his way to scoring two touchdowns and leading the team in rushing.

So what does an historic game like this mean to the Molokai community?

“I think it means a whole lot to them in terms of moving in a direction that we haven’t been going for 50 years,” said Molokai Head Coach Mike Kahale. “It was nice to recognize the guys from the 60’s; my father-in-law (Larry Helm) is one of them so that’s real special that he came out to do the coin toss.”

The boys on the field made sure the excited crowd keeps their eyes on the future. While Hana played tough and never gave up, in reality they had very little chance of winning.

The Dragons, playing their first season, brought 17 players, compared to the 30 who suited up for Molokai. While it is the first official season for all the Maui Interscholastic League teams competing in the eight-man football league, Molokai — along with St. Anthony and Seabury Hall — had two seasons of scrimmages to help prepare.

The Farmers controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage from the beginning on their way to a 42-0 win.

The first score for Molokai came on defense when Hana was forced to punt out of the end zone on their first possession. The snap went through the end zone resulting in a safety.

Freshman Alden Abafo had a few long runs and showed off his speed in the second half against Hana.

After losing the season opener 23-20 last week against Seabury, Molokai was taking nothing for granted. “We came in (against Seabury), quite honestly, a little overconfident and we got humbled a little bit,” said Kahale. “We lost a lot of guys from last year but we basically got kicked in the mouth and gave the game away with stupid mistakes and not executing. So when we looked back at the film it told the story of what really happened and we made the adjustments and stepped up and played really well.”

The scoring continued on the first play of Molokai’s first possession. Junior Noah Caparida ran through the middle 45 yards to paydirt. Sheyden-Wayne Kaholoaa made the first extra point through the field’s new goal posts that are less than two weeks old to push the lead to 9-0.

Junior Robert Ortiz-Traxler scored on Molokai’s next possession on a 35-yard reverse run. With 7 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first quarter Molokai already had a 15-0 lead.

Two minutes later a blocked Hana punt was recovered in the end zone by Kilo Kaawa-Gonzales. Another point-after kick made the score 22-0.

At this point, Kahale gave his younger, second string players plenty of game time. “Everyone got an opportunity to play, that’s always nice,” said Kahale.

Before halftime, Ortiz-Traxler would score two more touchdowns on runs of 8 and 40 yards to give Molokai a 36-0 lead.

Hana did a much better job moving the ball in the second half. The Dragons put together a couple of first downs before getting intercepted in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter the coach’s son, Kaimana Kahale, intercepted a Hana pass on the goal line. This made up for a dropped ball Kaimana had in the end zone in the first half.

Caparida capped the Molokai scoring with 33-yard run in the third quarter.

Despite the lopsided victory, Kahale had many kind words for Hana.

“We aloha the Hana team. They are a reflection of us,” said Kahale. “They have the same kind of athletes, the same ethnicity — a bunch of Hawaiians over there a bunch of Hawaiians over here — we really appreciate them. They’re in their first year, they’re just going to get better every year.

“We’re just happy to get our first home win, our first win, it’s nice to do that.”

Kahale also praised his wife Nichole for the work she has done to help return football to Molokai. “Being that my wife has really helped grow this program and build it, it was just nice to have that connection from the past to the present.”

For those unable to attend on Saturday, this coming Saturday is another chance to see Farmer football on Molokai. The team faces St. Anthony starting at noon at the high school field.

Missing canoe paddler found six miles from starting point at Kamalo Wharf

Rescue crews from the Puko’o Fire Station were called yesterday afternoon to search for a vessel in distress on Molokai’s south shore.

At 3:31 p.m. the rescuers responded to Kamalo Wharf, according to a report from Maui County Fire Chief Lee Mainaga. Someone on shore saw what looked like a one-man canoe drifting one mile offshore Kamalo Wharf with no one paddling.

The Puko’o crew was on the scene in 10 minutes and searched for about an hour until a confirmed report of a missing paddler came in to dispatch from the paddler’s partner.

Called to assist with the search were fire department jet skis from Ho’olehua and Kaunakakai fire stations, Rescue Boat 4 out of Kaunakakai Fire Station, Rescue 10, Air 1, Rescue Boat 3 from Lahaina, a Coast Guard helicopter, a 110-foot cutter from Oahu and a 45-foot Coast Guard boat from Maalaea. Also helping in the search was the Molokai Princess ferry, and one private vessel.

At 5:39 p.m. the private vessel found the missing paddler holding onto a capsized canoe about one mile offshore off Kakahaia Beach Park, about six miles west of Kamalo Wharf.

The rescued paddler, Dr. Greg Davis, 66, of Ualapue, was found in good condition with no injuries. His paddling partner found his friend using his own boat that he launched after getting back to shore.

Large waves swamp 10 boats before start of Na Wahine O Ke Kai race

Canoe teams could not avoid the 8-10 foot swells in Hale O Lono Harbor that swamped 10 boats before the start of the Na Wahine O Ke Kai race yesterday morning. Images courtesy of Clare Mawae.

Battling 41 miles of swells across the Kaiwi Channel normally presents the biggest challenge to the women paddlers in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai race.

But yesterday morning, with a shore break at Hale O Lono Harbor measuring 8-10 foot Hawaiian (face height of the wave), just paddling to the starting line proved more hazardous than the race itself.

At 7:46 a.m., six firefighters and two fire rescue jet skis from the Ho’olehua and Kaunakakai fire stations were dispatched to Hale O Lono Harbor. The report came in that five canoes were swamped with 30 people in the water, according to Maui County Fire Chief Lee Mainaga.

But when fire units arrived at 8:38 a.m. they found 10 canoes swamped while attempting to paddle out of the harbor for an 8 a.m. scheduled start. Na Wahine O Ke Kai is considered the world championship that culminates the six-person outrigger canoe racing season for women.

A 30-year-old Kailua woman, from the Kailua Canoe Club, was injured after a large wave swamped their canoe. She complained of pain to her shoulder and ribs. She was transported by the event’s medical escort vessel back to shore where she was taken by ambulance to Molokai General Hospital. There were no other reported injuries.

Of the 10 swamped canoes, nine went on to start the race. One canoe was damaged and was towed back to shore by event boats.

Race results and more details on the race conditions will be reported tomorrow in The Molokai News.

Kanemitsu Bakery fails health inspection, again

Kanemitsu Bakery, an institution on Molokai, has once again failed an inspection based on health code violations. Owner George Kanemitsu has expressed his uncertainty about the bakery’s future.

Kanemitsu Bakery will remain closed after a Wednesday inspection by the State Department of Health found it had not fixed the health code violations found in June.

The order to close the bakery at 79 Ala Malama St. in Kaunakakai came on June 25. Kanemitsu Bakery has been in business on Molokai since 1926. The restaurant in the bakery remains open since it operates out of a separate, permitted kitchen.

The Maui News reported that the business has lost $100,000 since it was shut down in June, according to owner George Kanemitsu. He has also been forced to lay off nine employees.

“Right now, I’m very upset. You get the feeling like you do the best you can and fix the violations, and it’s not good enough,” Kanemitsu told The Maui News. “I definitely feel that the Department of Health wants to close me down — no ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

Kanemitsu claims that the DOH is going out of its way to find new and minor violations with each inspection. As a result, Kanemitsu said he may be forced to shut down the family business.

Both State Rep. Mele Carroll and Maui County Council Chair Danny Mateo attended the inspection. Neither have issued a public comment on the situation.

An inspection on March 7 and 8
uncovered, “serious deficiencies in the maintenance and manufacturing practices at the facility,” including improper cleaning and sanitizing of cooking implements and surfaces, inadequate rodent control, lack of hot water and general unsanitary conditions, the DOH said.

The business was allowed to continue its operations until a customer reported an ant found in a loaf of bread on June 15. This led to the June 20 inspection, which closed the bakery for a second time on June 25.

The violations found in March led to a $90,000 fine levied against the business. Kanemitsu has appealed this fine, which will be reviewed at a November hearing.

The Maui News sought out the health inspection report
and printed a list of the violations that are still apparent as well as the repairs that have been made to date.

Kanemitsu said he wants the DOH to “spell out” the violations in writing before he will make any decisions about the future of the bakery. He said he is also considering reopening the bakery in Oahu.