2012 in review: Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou to all!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

In 2012, there were 263 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,066 posts. There were 320 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 48 MB. That’s about six pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was Sept. 24 with 966 views. The most popular post that day was “Large waves swamp 10 boats before start of Na Wahine O Ke Kai race.”

The most popular story of the year was “Ke Nani Kai residents receive $3.87 million jury award against condo association” with 2,640 views and 13 comments since it was posted March 27, 2012.

Here’s a list of the next four most popular stories of 2012:

Large waves swamp 10 boats before start of Na Wahine O Ke Kai race, 1 comment, 1,143 views

Oregon man dies on Papohaku Beach, 6 comments, 594 views.

Kanoho Helm to challenge Kalani English for Senate seat, 4 comments, 560 views.

Demands to repeal Public Land Development Corporation voiced at public hearing, 15 comments, 518 views.

Since The Molokai News began publishing in July of 2009, the site has received 202,305 views and 1,118 comments. In 2011 the site received over 61,000 views and in 2012 over 100,000 views.

Mahalo to all our loyal readers and commenters, and even to our casual readers who believe Molokai needs another choice for its news coverage.

Mahalo nui loa and hauʻoli makahiki hou to everyone!

— David Lichtenstein, Editor and Publisher of The Molokai News

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Fireworks permits available at County Parks Permit Office

Public fireworks displays will be on Maui and Lanai at midnight New Year's Eve but not on Molokai.

Public fireworks displays will be on Maui and Lanai at midnight New Year’s Eve but not on Molokai.


Fireworks and firecrackers went on sale Wednesday at two locations on Molokai in preparation for New Year’s Eve.

Fireworks permits are required to purchase the firecracker type of fireworks and are good for 5,000 firecrackers. Permit applicants must be 18 years or older and show proof of age at the time of permit processing. There is no limit to the number of permits a person may purchase and the cost of each permit is $25 payable by check or money order to the County of Maui.

A permit can be obtained at the Maui County Parks Permit Office in Kaunakakai.

Novelty fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, fountains and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground do not require permits. Firecrackers and fireworks can be purchased at Misaki’s and Take’s Variety Store on Molokai.

The Maui Fire Department would also like to remind residents of the following rules: Fireworks and firecrackers can only be legally set off from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day. Setting off fireworks outside designated times is punishable by law. Violations are subject to fines up to $2,000.

Aerial fireworks are illegal and extremely dangerous. Importing and selling aerial fireworks without a permit is a Class C Felony.

“Because this past year has been very dry, the threat of wildfires is a major concern,” said Molokai Fire Inspector Rick Schonely. “When using fireworks, please follow the safety tips provided, use common sense, be sure all children are supervised, and watch out for each other. Hopefully, we can all have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration and continue to celebrate every new year with fireworks.”

Safety tips regarding fireworks use

• Fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.
• Young children and fireworks do not mix. Never give fireworks, even sparklers to young children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Older children should only use fireworks under the direct supervision of an adult.
• Always read and follow all warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer for the safe use and handling of fireworks.
• Make sure you have a clear, flat area to use the fireworks; away from structures, dry grass or brush, and readily ignitable materials.
• Have a water hose or bucket of water readily available in case of a fire.

The Maui Fire Department recommends that the best way to stay safe is not to use fireworks at all. Consider leaving fireworks to the professionals. Enjoy one of the public fireworks displays at midnight on New Year’s Eve at Hana, below Fagan’s Cross; Kihei, barge offshore fronting the Grand Wailea Hotel; and Lanai, Manele Bay Hotel.

For additional information on the fireworks permits, contact the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau at 808-244-9161 or visit http://www.co.maui.hi.us and review the fireworks rules at the Department of Fire and Public Safety or Fire Prevention Bureau web pages.

General prohibitions

• It is unlawful to remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.
• It is unlawful to throw any ignited fireworks from a moving vehicle.
• It is unlawful to set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of health care facilities and facilities for animals.
• It is unlawful to set off fireworks by schools.
• It is unlawful to set off fireworks on public roads, in county parks, at county facilities, cane fields, or places of worship.
• It is unlawful for any person without a permit to set off, ignite, discharge or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks within 500 feet from any hotel.
• It is unlawful for any person to offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minors to possess, purchase, or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except that the parents or guardians may allow the minor to use fireworks while under the immediate supervision and control of an adult.

Brian Schatz sworn in today to replace Inouye in U.S. Senate

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz on Molokai for the confirmation aha’aina with Gov. Abercrombie. He was sworn in today at 9:30 a.m. Hawaii time as the newest U.S. Senator from Hawaii.

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz on Molokai for the confirmation aha’aina with Gov. Abercrombie. He was sworn in today at 9:30 a.m. Hawaii time as the newest U.S. Senator from Hawaii.


Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz will be sworn in today to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the passing of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment yesterday. “I make this decision with full confidence that Brian’s appointment is in the best interest of the State of Hawaii and the nation,” said Abercrombie.

Schatz was one of three finalists, along with Esther Kiaaina and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, to fill the position that Sen. Inouye held for the past half a century. He will serve in the U.S. Senate — at least until he is up for election in 2014 — alongside Mazie Hirono who recently won election to fill Sen. Daniel Akaka’s seat.

“I look forward to partnering with Senator-appointee Brian Schatz, Representative Colleen Hanabusa and Representative-elect Tulsi Gabbard as Hawaii’s federal delegation,” said Hirono in a prepared statement. “With the important issues facing our nation and state, including taking responsible action to avoid the fiscal cliff, it is imperative that Hawaii’s voice be represented in the United States Senate.”

It is unclear where Schatz stands on Molokai issues. While he has been a strong advocate for environmental issues, he has not made any statements regarding the labeling of GMO foods, the presence of Monsanto on Molokai, the proposed undersea power cable or the industrial-scale wind power projects for Lanai and Molokai.

When Schatz visited Molokai on Dec. 8, 2010, for the governor’s confirmation aha’aina, he did pledge to make state politics less focused on only the interests of Oahu.

“I want you to know it was intentional that we were here first,” said Schatz at the confirmation, “because we do feel that the leadership in the state of Hawaii ought to be coming from Molokai, not to Molokai.” This statement was greeted with hearty applause at the Kalanianaole Hall.

Schatz was inaugurated as the 11th Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii On Dec. 6, 2010. Before being elected Lieutenant Governor, he served for eight years as the CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii, one of Hawaii’s largest non-profit community social services organizations.

From 2008 to 2010, Schatz was the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. He also chaired President Barack Obama’s campaign in Hawaii in 2008.

From 1998 to 2006, Schatz was a member of the State House of Representatives, representing the state’s 25th district. During this time, he served as the House Majority Whip, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Vice-Chair of Water, Land and Ocean Resources, Vice-Chair of Consumer Protection and Commerce, and as a member of the Hawaiian Affairs, Higher Education, Energy and Environmental Protection, and Agriculture Committees.

Schatz was raised in Hawaii, and graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. He is married to Linda Kwok Schatz, an architect. They have a son and daughter.

Holiday wishes from Friends of Lanai

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy No Big Wind on Lanai New Year!

On the first night of Christmas, Governor Abercrombie announces that Big Wind will NOT be going to Lanai or Molokai. “Ghosts of Christmas past and future have convinced me,” he said, “that we will solve our energy challenges without destroying our two most rural islands.”

A possible view of the proposed Lanai windmills.

A possible view of the proposed Lanai windmills.


On the second night of Christmas, Lanai’s new majority landowner announces that the land previously targeted for an industrial wind power plant for Oahu will be turned over to a consortium of nonprofits to manage as a cultural and educational preserve, with an established endowment.

On the third night of Christmas, the Public Utilities Commission announces its new policy for 2013: complete transparency of information relevant to public policy issues. “No more secret documents that hide the State’s energy policies,” said PUC spokesperson Kringle.

On the fourth night of Christmas, the ILWU announces that its theme for 2013 will be to work for their members, not their bosses. No longer will they fight to enhance corporate greed, but instead, will work to preserve the economic lifeblood of their members with a long-term perspective, focused on re-training programs.

On the fifth night of Christmas, the Federal Department of Energy announces that the recent statewide PEIS testimony unequivocally convinced them that there should NOT be any undersea transmission cable to Lanai and/or Molokai. “Other ways to secure Oahu’s fossil fuel dependence can be found that do not harm those two very special, fragile islands,” said the DOE spokesperson.

On the sixth night of Christmas, the County of Maui, in partnership with a major national long-term healthcare provider, announced plans to build a community hospice and long-term care facility on Lanai, enabling residents to live out their last days on their home island.

On the seventh night of Christmas, a consortium of Hawaii’s major statewide nonprofit organizations announced their collective, overwhelming opposition to Big Wind on Lanai and Molokai. Groups including The Nature Conservancy (which has a project directly in the path of Big Wind), Sierra Club and Blue Planet said that they, “… now recognize that the extraordinarily expensive, irreparably destructive Big Wind on Lanai and Molokai was really just about enriching one already rich mainland real estate developer. Better solutions exist to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.” Instead, these organizations pledged to work with Larry Ellison in efforts to make Lanai a world-class model of energy self-sufficiency.

On the eighth night of Christmas, the Legislature announces its intention to revisit the Renewable Portfolio Standards and the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, acknowledging that these standards have unfortunately driven HECO and our energy policymakers to a one-big-project solution approach. “Turning Lanai and Molokai into industrial parks for Oahu is not how we should meet these goals,” said the Legislature’s spokesperson. “Better we turn Oahu’s air conditioners down 3 degrees.”

On the ninth night of Christmas, Larry Ellison announces plans to make Lanai completely energy and food self-sufficient. Seeking proposals from around the world, the new majority landowner announces: “Lanai will be a world-class model of sustainability. Surrounded by water and enriched with a creative and industrious population, together we can show the world how to do this.”

On the tenth night of Christmas, Governor Abercrombie announces that rather than seek a replacement for Senator Inouye from the “same old, same old,” he would reach out to our younger generation of leaders by appointing Kanohowailuku Helm of Molokai to complete Senator Inouye’s term.

On the eleventh night of Christmas, Friends of Lanai says farewell to Big Wind on Lanai!

And on the twelfth night of Christmas, the world is at peace …

Happy Holidays to All from Friends of Lanai!

Michael Kikukawa earns place at Harvard University

Mufi Hanneman awards Michael Kikukawa with the Harvard book Award last year when Michael was a junior, along with Molokai High School Principal Stan Hao.

Mufi Hanneman awards Michael Kikukawa with the Harvard book Award last year when Michael was a junior, along with Molokai High School Principal Stan Hao.


Molokai High School senior Michael Kikukawa recently received his acceptance into next year’s freshmen class at Harvard University.

Congratulations, Michael, on being the first Molokai High grad to attend the esteemed Ivy League university in Cambridge, Mass.

Having worked with both his parents — Phillip Kikukawa at Molokai Middle School and Sue Forbes at Kualapu’u Elementary School (now teaching math at the middle school) — and having taught his brother Luke and sister Genevieve, I am not surprised at Michael’s success. Both parents are accomplished athletes and educators who work every day to support Molokai students.

Over the past few years, Michael has been mentioned in 20 different stories on The Molokai News. Most are simple notices on the MHS honor roll. But he has gained attention for placing in the 100-meter breaststroke as a swimmer for the MHS swim team; earning first place at the Hawaii History Day competition to advance to the national competition; participating in the Maui Schools Science and Engineering Fair and attending the Akamai Wall Street Field Study in New York City.

A story about Michael appears in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, written by Education Writer Mary Vorsino. Because the Star-Advertiser requires an online subscription to view the full text, I am reprinting the story here:

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 24, 2012)
Senior is Molokai High’s first to be admitted to Harvard

By Mary Vorsino

Molokai High School will send one of its 65 graduating seniors to Harvard University next fall.

The state Department of Education said Michael Kiku¬kawa is believed to be the first Molokai High student in the school’s 84-year history to be admitted to the prestigious Ivy League campus.
Kikukawa, who was born and raised on Molokai, plans to study pre-law.

“I really wanted to get a new experience,” said the 17-year-old, who started thinking about the possibility of attending Harvard in 10th grade.

He said he hopes he will inspire his peers to aim high.

“I wanted to kind of set a precedent and show the other students that it was possible,” he said.

Kikukawa’s family is no stranger to the Ivy League.

His mother, Susan Forbes-Kiku¬kawa, attended Dartmouth College. His paternal grandmother attended Yale University, and his paternal grandfather went to Cornell University.

Kikukawa said he was notified Dec. 13 that he had been accepted to Harvard as part of the early-decision program.

Not surprisingly, his parents were elated.

“My mom actually cried tears of joy,” he said.

Now Kikukawa is beginning the work of finding scholarships to help pay for college.

His parents, who are both teachers, have also agreed to help as much as they can.

Kikukawa said he applied to Harvard with little expectation of being accepted.

“I’d always looked at Harvard as this place of excellence,” he said. “I didn’t think I had a chance, really.”

Molokai High Principal Stanford Hao said the school has sent students to Yale and Brown University. But Harvard always seemed out of reach.

Of Kikukawa, Hao said, “I’m excited for him. I think it’s well deserved.”
Kikukawa started asking what it would take to get into Harvard when he was a sophomore, said Earl Naka¬mura, a retired Molokai High teacher and vice principal who volunteers at the school.

Nakamura, who mentors students and helps them navigate through college admissions, jumped online to get Harvard’s requirements and reached out to the university.

It was immediately clear Kiku¬kawa would have to show he wasn’t just a stellar student, but a well-rounded person.

Nakamura said Kiku¬kawa has clearly demonstrated that. The senior volunteered with Mufi Hannemann’s congressional campaign during the summer, and in the Governor’s Office. He also attended summer courses at ‘Iolani School.

During the school year, Kiku¬kawa loaded up on Advanced Placement courses and earned college credits through the Running Start program at the University of Hawaii.

Nakamura said since Kiku¬kawa’s acceptance was announced, other Molokai students have already come up to him to say they want to set a course for Harvard, too.

“It’s like a door open for other kids coming up,” Naka¬mura said.

Boys basketball team drops two games at Lahaina tournament

The Molokai boys basketball team: front, kneeling: Kalei Davis, Ena Victorino; second row: Haaloa Hamakua, Hauoli Faleali'i, Tani Faleali'i; third row: Lekeke Schonelly, Kaimana Kahale, Moses Espaniola. Not pictured: Thomas Tamanaha, Paka Adolpho, Dallas Arce, Isaiah Ruiz, Hanalei Dudoit-Enos, Jordan Boswell. Photo courtesy of Hauoli Faleali'i.

The Molokai boys basketball team: front, kneeling: Kalei Davis, Ena Victorino; second row: Haaloa Hamakua, Hauoli Faleali’i, Tani Faleali’; third row: Lekeke Schonelly, Kaimana Kahale, Moses Espaniola. Not pictured: Thomas Tamanaha, Paka Adolpho, Dallas Arce, Isaiah Ruiz, Hanalei Dudoit-Enos, Jordan Boswell. Photo courtesy of Hauoli Faleali’i.


The Molokai boys basketball team was treated roughly by the Pailolo Channel on the ferry ride over to the 2012 Lahainaluna Winter Classic and again by Curtis High School from Washington State on Wednesday.

An aggressive Curtis defense held the Farmers to only 4 first half points at the Lahaina Civic Center. Molokai attacked more in the second half but lost the game 79-21. The Curtis team members were all over six feet and slam-dunking the ball at every opportunity.

Despite the blowout, Molokai Head Coach Lester Delos Reyes said he was impressed with how his team never gave up. “The challenge today, along with the teams we face in this tournament, will help us prepare for the MIL season,” said Delos Reyes.

The next day, a Molokai team motivated to prove itself jumped out to a lead on Pitt Meadows High School out of British Columbia, Canada. Hauoli Faleali’i scored the first 5 points for the Farmers to help them to a 5-0 start and a 26-22 halftime lead.

Pitt Meadows shut down Molokai in the third quarter, outscoring them 22-2 to take a 44-28 lead. The Farmers played hard to the end but came out on the short end of a 54-43 loss.

Coach Delos Reyes attributed the loss to Pitt Meadows ability to control the boards and get many second chance points off of offensive rebounds. David Rapanot led the way for Molokai with 19 points while Faleali’i finished with 15 points.

Girls top Lanai

The Molokai girls’ basketball team had a better outing Wednesday night, defeating the visiting Lanai team 48-21 at The Barn. Hepuakea Faleali’i led the way with 14 points along with Lehiwa Pedro’s 12 points.

Senator Inouye receives final Capitol tribute today

Hawaii’s Senior Senator gave much to Molokai, State of Hawaii

The honorable Senator Daniel Inouye lies in state today at the Capitol Rotunda where a service is being held to honor the late Senate President Pro Tempore who died Monday at the age of 88.

Sen. Daniel Inouye makes remarks for the opening of Paschoal Hall in Kalaupapa on Oct. 29. It was his last visit to Molokai.

Sen. Daniel Inouye makes remarks for the opening of Paschoal Hall in Kalaupapa on Oct. 29. It was his last visit to Molokai.


Only 31 people have lain in the Capitol rotunda; the last was former President Gerald R. Ford nearly six years ago. Today’s service includes remarks from Congressional leadership preceding the laying of wreaths. A viewing in the Rotunda takes place from noon-8:00 p.m. EST. This viewing will be open to all members of the public.

Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., Sen. Inouye will depart the Rotunda and be escorted to the Washington National Cathedral, where a public memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. EST.

On Saturday Sen. Inouye will return home to Hawaii on at Noon EST and arrive in the state just prior to 8 p.m. Hawaii time. A final public service will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 10 a.m.

Sen. Inouye, the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history, last visited Molokai on Oct. 29 of this year when he participated in the rededication of Paschoal Hall in Kalaupapa. The senior senator from Hawaii, who has served in the upper house for 50 years, was crucial in obtaining the original funding for the stabilization and restoration of the hall in 1998.

As the longtime Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Inouye did much to bring federal funding to many worthy projects in Hawaii. These were not simply pork barrel projects designed to win reelection. He fought for efficiency within the projects he supported and never gave Hawaii a project it didn’t deserve.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a resolution honoring Sen. Inouye for his service. It says, in part, “Senator Daniel K. Inouye served the people of the state of Hawaii for over 58 years in the Territorial House of Representatives, Territorial Senate, United States House of Representatives, and United States Senate

“… Whereas, Senator Daniel K. Inouye served as the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense, the first Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, Chairman of the Democratic Steering Committee, Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Chairman of Rules Committee, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, and Secretary of the Democratic Conference.”

Rob Stephenson, president of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce, with Sen. Daniei Inouye in August of 2010 when the Senator came to Molokai for the groundbreaking of the Molokai Community Health Center. Photo courtesy of Rob Stephenson

Rob Stephenson, president of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce, with Sen. Daniei Inouye in August of 2010 when the Senator came to Molokai for the groundbreaking of the Molokai Community Health Center. Photo courtesy of Rob Stephenson


Sen. Inouye received Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with cluster, and 12 other medals and citations for his service during World War II, at a time when, “Japanese Americans were being systematically discriminated against by the nation he volunteered to defend,” the resolution states.

Sen. Inouye helped expand health care options on Molokai with his support of the Molokai Community Health Center. He came to Molokai in August of 2010 to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Health Center.

Please feel free to use the comment section to share memories of Senator Inouye and his contributions to Molokai, the State of Hawaii and the United States of America.