Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument honors Uncle Mac Poepoe with 2013 Umu Kai Award


Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument News Release

Today, the 2013 Umu Kai Award will be presented to Uncle Mac Poepoe for a lifetime of conservation management along Molokai’s northern coast.

Uncle 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.

Uncle 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.


The presentation coincided with E Molo Nā Kaʻi o Nā Kai Molo, a public lecture on ocean awareness and conservation at the Kulana ‘Oiwi Kauhale in Kalamaula, organized by Ka Makahiki Molokai.

The Umu Kai Award, established by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region, is presented to a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner who “invokes the spirit of traditional fishing practices and management while adapting to modern fishing environments,” said Keoni Kuoha, Native Hawaiian Program Coordinator for Papahanaumokuakea.

The award, named after the traditional Hawaiian practice of enhancing fish habitat, honors the legacy of the late Uncle Eddie Kaanaana, a Native Hawaiian cultural treasure who was the first recipient of the award in 2008.

Other past recipients of the Umu Kai Award include Hawaiian Navigator and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kamehameha Schools Nainoa Thompson, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair William ‘Aila, and Mahina Paishon- Duarte, the principal of Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School in Makiki, Oahu.

A fisherman, educator, Vietnam veteran, and conservationist, Uncle Mac has inspired generations of natural resource managers throughout the State of Hawaii. Through partnerships with organizations like the Castle Foundation, Na Pua Noʻeau, the National Park Service, and the University of Hawaii, Uncle Mac has developed resource materials, programs and curriculum that have in many ways set the standard for small-scale conservation management today.

For instance, his data collection and creation of the 2008 Pono Fishing Calendar — a localized guide on the lifecycles of fish and other natural resources of Moʻomomi, Molokai – has inspired communities on Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii to develop similar calendars for their designated areas and to adopt many other aspects of Uncle Mac’s conservation model.

“I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t really admire him for the kind of knowledge he has and what he’s accomplished, and what he means in terms of inspiring other folks,” says Eric Co, Program Officer for Marine Conservation at the Castle Foundation.

The evening will kick-off at 5 p.m. with a Marine Resource Fair. At 6 p.m., Uncle Mac himself will give a lecture on ocean awareness and conservation. Immediately after his talk, Papahanaumokuakea staff will present Uncle Mac with the 2013 Umu Kai Award for his outstanding efforts in marine conservation, along with a gift of a papa kuʻi ʻai (poi board). A 10-minute congratulatory video will be shown, featuring friends, family, conservation leaders, and students who have been touched by Uncle Mac, and who share their experiences in the Hawaii conservation community. The festivities are free and open to the public.

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Event today commemorates 120 years since overthrow of Hawaii: ‘Ua Mau Ke Ea: Sovereignty Endures’

The Alu Like Native Hawaiian library in Hoolehua will be the site of today's open house and event.

The Alu Like Native Hawaiian library in Hoolehua will be the site of today’s open house and event.


Today represents the 120th anniversary of the overthrow of the lawful Hawaiian government. The Hawaiian sovereignty movement still moves forward politically through the reinstated government and through education, such as the Alu Like-sponsored event going on today.

The Alu Like Native Hawaiian library is sponsoring an open house and event, “Ua Mau Ke Ea: Sovereignty Endures” today from 4–6 p.m. The library is located on the hill behind Lanikeha and the Hoolehua Fire Station.

Guest speaker Dr. David Keanu Sai will offer a Powerpoint presentation from 5-6 p.m. that will revisit the history of the 120 years since the overthrow of the Hawaiian government.

The presentation will be based on historical documents intended to educate the public. (Views expressed by the speaker do not represent the views of Alu Like’s Native Hawaiian library.)

The event is open to the public and provides informational services to Native Hawaiians and others interested in the history, culture and contributions of Native Hawaiians. Help with genealogy is available as is WiFi access. Pupus, music and free giveaways will also take place at the event.

The library is open during limited hours. For more information, call K. Nani Kawa`a at 285-4548 or 560-5466.

Molokai Properties finalizes gift of 1,719 acres at Mokio Preserve to Molokai Land Trust

Shoreline along Mokio Point on Molokai's north shore between Mo’omomi Preserve and Ilio Point will receive permanent preservation protection.

Shoreline along Mokio Point on Molokai’s north shore between Mo’omomi Preserve and Ilio Point will receive permanent preservation protection.


Molokai Land Trust (MLT) has received the deed to 1,719 acres of some of the most pristine and environmentally sensitive land on Molokai, which was gifted by Molokai Properties Limited (MPL) in April 2008.

Known as the Mokio Preserve, the land stretches along the north shore of Molokai between Mo’omomi Preserve boundary and the State’s Ilio Point parcel. The Mokio Preserve comprises five miles of spectacular, remote and rugged coastline and is now known as environmentally significant lands.

In 2008, MPL signed a Letter of Agreement to transfer Mokio to MLT. Under the terms of the agreement, the Land Trust will retain ownership of the land in conservation in perpetuity. As well in 2009, MLT signed a 99-year lease so they could develop plans and begin land restoration. Over four years were needed to complete the subdivision and due diligence to complete the land in fee simple transfer.

The rugged Mokio Point shoreline.

The rugged Mokio Point shoreline.


The Mokio Preserve is a diamond in the rough with significant subsistence gathering areas and an extensive tidal pool system as well as numerous koa or fishing shrines intact with offerings. The area has large ancient adze quarries and habitat complexes. The ecosystem includes bird-nesting locations and over an acre of ‘ihi ‘ihi lauakea, estimated to be the largest remaining site of this endangered endemic Hawaiian fern in the islands.

During the last four years, MLT partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, The Cooke Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, The Omidyar Ohana Fund, Maui Economic Opportunity’s AmeriCorps Program, and The Nature Conservancy, to begin dune restoration at Anapuka near the state’s Ilio Point boundary.

MLT also partnered with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and its Plant Materials Center to restore wildlife habitat and reduce erosion on its interior lands marked by bare patches of red earth. The organization is now looking at protecting Mokio’s unique seasonal wetlands in partnership with the USDA NRCS.

An access system has been implemented for island residents, which supports traditional subsistence activities. Contractors were hired in 2009 to assess and provide reports on the botanical, cultural/archaeological and marine resources within the preserve boundaries.

Information provided through these contractor reports formed the basis for a long-range management plan, which was completed in 2012. Archaeological resources have been documented, with the help of an archaeologist, and staff has followed up on recommendations for invasive species removal from these sites to prevent further damage to stone structures.

In 2010, MLT hired an EOD contractor to sweep for and remove military ordnance in the Anapuka area, as well as all major trails, roads, and restoration sites on the preserve. Then MLT partnered with local schools to provide service-learning opportunities and introduce a part of Molokai that most students had never seen before. Development of a native plant nursery has enabled the organization to produce thousands of plants for its ongoing restoration projects at Mokio, and both children and adults are actively involved in the restoration work.

“The land transfer to the Trust is evidence of MPL’s commitment to partner with community-based groups to protect significant legacy lands,” said Rikki Cooke, president of the MLT Board of Trustees.

The Molokai Land Trust was formed in 2006, and is now recognized by the State of Hawaii and the federal government as a non-profit organization with the stated mission, “to protect and restore land, natural and cultural resources of Molokai and to perpetuate the unique Native Hawaiian traditions of the island for the benefit of future generations of all Molokai, particularly Native Hawaiians.”

Cooke concluded, “Now we own the land, and we can expand our efforts to preserve and restore Mokio for future generations.”

Second annual Alternative Energy Festival to feature members of Quechan Tribe

These members of the  Quechan Tribal Delegation will be attending the second annual Alternative Energy Festival at the Mitchell Pau'ole Center on Friday and Saturday. Shown here, from left, seated: Lucinda and Lucia Polk, standing, Quechan Tribal Administrator Vernon Smith, Quechan Tribal Council member Virgil Smith and Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member. This tribe is currently fighting against a giant wind project in the desert near San Diego. Photo by William Isbell.

These members of the Quechan Tribal Delegation will be attending the second annual Alternative Energy Festival at the Mitchell Pau'ole Center on Friday and Saturday. Shown here, from left, seated: Lucinda and Lucia Polk, standing, Quechan Tribal Administrator Vernon Smith, Quechan Tribal Council member Virgil Smith and Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member. This tribe is currently fighting against a giant wind project in the desert near San Diego. Photo by William Isbell.


I Aloha Molokai — the local group that promotes renewable energy while opposing industrial wind turbines — will hold its second annual Alternative Energy Festival this Friday and Saturday at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center in Kaunakakai.

This year’s festival will focus on “sensible renewable energy” and will take place from 4-6 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs supports this event. Last year, a $92,500 OHA grant helped bring in off-island speakers and presenters offering energy-saving solutions and alternatives.

More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s festival. Featured at the festival will be energy experts, state and county energy officials, exhibitors, workshops, food and, of course, music. IAM’s goal is to find low impact, affordable, island-by-island alternatives to, what the group calls, “the giant, boondoggle wind turbine and cable project proposed by our Governor.”

Special guests at this year’s festival will be the Quechan Tribal Delegation. This Native American tribe is fighting against a giant wind project in the desert near San Diego. This year’s festival won’t be just energy talk, but cultural exchange. It will also offer an opportunity to discuss renewable energy from the perspective of indigenous people.

Molokai drums will welcome the Quechan Tribe members with a Hawaiian protocol at 4 p.m. Friday. Kanoho Helm, president of IAM and recent State Senate candidate, will offer an introduction along with Colette Machado, chairperson and Molokai representative of OHA. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m.

On Saturday will be the main events, including four different panel discussions. Some of the discussions will cover energy and island independence, current Hawaii energy plans (featuring state and county officials) and energy alternatives for Molokai. Click here for a complete schedule of events and workshops.

At last year’s first IAM Alternative Energy Festival, serious panel discussions involved legislators and energy experts. There were also youth contests, live music and information on how to obtain loans for small solar-powered systems.

Helm urges everyone to attend. “Bring your children, bring your friends, bring your questions and bring you ideas,” said Helm in a promotional Youtube video for the event. “Hey Mr. Governor, I hope you come, too!”

IAM believes that renewable energy projects must protect the environment, respect Native Hawaiian culture, provide reliable energy at affordable cost and be supported by the community. IAM’s work involves not just advocacy but public education through films, forums and community outreach on Molokai, around the state and throughout the world.

For more information, go to ialohamolokai.com, email ialohamolokai@gmail.com or call 213-1321.

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.

Hawaii’s first Christmas feast

Chef James Temple is a retired chef, cookbook author, food blogger, golfer and family cook living on Molokai. Temple’s food columns can be found at “Tasting Hawaii.” His page here on The Molokai News will receive regular updates.

Chef James Temple

Chef James Temple



By James Temple

Ancient Hawaiians numbered between 200,000 to as high as a million by the date of the European “discovery” of the “Sandwich Isles,” as they were called then, by Captain James Cook on January 18, 1778.

The Hawaiians during this time did not celebrate Christmas, but considered the four winter months, October through February, a time to celebrate the harvest and Lono, the Hawaiian god associated with rain and fertility. They called this period the “Makahiki” season. During these months, war was forbidden. Games were played. Special days were set aside to do chores, but the time of the Makahiki was for dancing, playing and giving thanks.

"Savage Island Feast." A beautiful lithograph by Eugene Savage. This image was used as a menu cover aboard the S.S. Lurline, operated by Matson Lines in 1955.

“Savage Island Feast.” A beautiful lithograph by Eugene Savage. This image was used as a menu cover aboard the S.S. Lurline, operated by Matson Lines in 1955.


The highest chief of the island acted as host to Lono during Makahiki, performing ceremonies to mark the beginning and end of the festival. The chief collected gifts and offerings – food, animals, kapa, cordage, feathers and other items – on behalf of Lono and redistributed them later amongst lesser chiefs and their followers. Thus it might be thought of as the equivalent of modern Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions.

In 1786 two English merchant ships sailed into Waimea Bay, off of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the day before Christmas, carrying 33 crew members each. The ships were the Queen Charlotte, commanded by Captain George Dixon, and the King George, commanded by Captain Nathaniel Portlock.

Captain Dixon had served under Captain James Cook during Cook’s third Pacific voyage, so he was familiar with the Hawaiian Islands. Once they had anchored, Captain Portlock went ashore to visit the islands people, giving out trinkets to the women and children he met.

The next day, Christmas Day to the English, Kauai Chief Kiana approached the ships in a long double canoe bearing gifts of welcome. He brought the makings of a Christmas feast with him, hogs and fresh vegetables, coconuts and bananas. Captain Dixon was so pleased, he ordered the galley crew to prepare a Christmas dinner.

A Christmas grog was made of rum mixed with coconut water. The island hogs were baked into a sea-pie, a concoction of available meats layered with hardtack and lard and baked in a large iron pot.

The sailors probably celebrated by singing traditional carols of the British Isles. This was the first celebration of Christmas in the Hawaiian islands. It wasn’t until 1862 that Christmas would become an official holiday in Hawaii.

Today, Christmas celebrations in Hawaii include the food, customs, and traditions of all the people who have settled here from around the world.

New book on Kalaupapa’s first church, Siloama Church

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to remembering everyone who was sent to Kalaupapa, has published “Adjourned With a Prayer,” a book based on the minutes kept by the congregations of Siloama and Kanaana Hou Churches from 1866 to 1928

“Adjourned With a Prayer” is the title of the recently published book on the Siloama/Kanaana Hou churches. Cover photo courtesy Hawaii State Archives.


Siloama Church, a member of the United Church of Christ, was the first church organized and built at Kalawao, the original settlement on the Kalaupapa peninsula where people with leprosy were sent beginning on Jan. 6, 1866. Barely six months after the first people arrived, 35 men and women came together to form the Siloama congregation. It is believed that some of these founding members were kama`aina, joining with those who had been taken from their families and their church congregations on their home islands to be sent to Kalaupapa.

The church was built in 1871. A branch of Siloama was established on the Kalaupapa side of the peninsula in 1878. This branch later became Kanaana Hou Church, which was built in 1915.

The book has already become a valuable resource in helping families learn more about their ancestors at Kalaupapa. Molokai resident Timmy Leong was moved to tears when he found the name of one of his ancestors in the book.

“It was a surprise to find my kupuna, Kahooilimoku, in `Adjourned With a Prayer,’ ” said Leong. “I had often wondered what his life was like in Kalaupapa in the late 1800’s. Finding this book was like finding a time capsule. It felt like an old dusty window had been opened offering a fresh glimpse into the past.

“I could picture him in a meeting discussing church related business; accommodating a new minister, finding housing for a family, providing compensation for a janitor and trying to settle a dispute … All of these agenda items would not be out of place at a church meeting today.”

The first Church Secretary was J.D. Kahauliko, who was among the first group of people sent to Kalaupapa and is the first person whose name is listed in the Kalaupapa Admissions Register. Kahauliko and the 15 secretaries who followed him are listed as the book’s authors.

The minutes were kept in Hawaiian and recorded in a ledger that became lost sometime after the last entry in 1928. Ten years later, when cleaning the Siloama Church yard for a wedding, the Reverend Alice Kahokuoluna discovered a vault beneath the building and saw a corner of the book. The minutes were still easily legible and were translated into English by the Reverend Henry P. Judd in the mid-1940s. Judd also copied down the names of hundreds of members of Siloama and Kanaana Hou.

For reasons that are unknown, there is a large gap of the minutes between 1894 and 1927.

‘Ohana historian Anwei Law edited the minutes and wrote additional text with quotes from current or recent Kalaupapa residents. Carol L. Silva provided additional translation. The books were published in association with the United Church of Christ and the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Library with grants from the G.N. Wilcox Trust and the United Church of Christ. Proceeds support the ‘Ohana’s ongoing programs of advocating for the Kalaupapa community, helping families learn more about their ancestors and working in partnership for the preservation of the history.

The book costs $20 each with $6 shipping charges for books ordered through the mail – one or two books can be shipped for the $6 charge (for slower delivery that takes up to six weeks, shipping costs of $3 should be added). Books may be purchased by sending a check to the Hawaii Conference United Church of Christ, 1848 Nu`uanu Avenue, Honolulu 96817. To pick up a book on Oahu without the shipping costs, call ahead to the church offices at 537-9516.

More information on how to purchase the book and the activities of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa can be found at the group’s website. For more information contact Valerie Monson, ‘Ohana Coordinator, at 808-573-2746.