Local students dominate Maui Science and Engineering Fair

Both Molokai students and teachers were honored last Thursday at the 54th annual Maui Schools’ Science and Engineering Fair. Photo courtesy Kimberly Svetin.

Both Molokai students and teachers were honored last Thursday at the 54th annual Maui Schools’ Science and Engineering Fair. Photo courtesy Kimberly Svetin.


The commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education on Molokai has never been more evident than it was at last week’s 54th annual Maui Schools’ Science and Engineering Fair. Three of the top 10 projects advancing to the state competition come from Molokai. Out of the 15 honorable mention winners, seven come from here.

By placing second overall at the Fair, Sarah Jenkins, a Molokai High School 10th grader, earned a trip to the Intel International Science Fair in Phoenix from May 12-17.

Jenkins showed her project, titled “Artificial Nesting Structures For Hawaiian Coot Nesting Success,” last Thursday at the fair held at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center on Maui. Jenkins also will be attending the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair from April 7 to 9 at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu.

Molokai teachers were honored as well. Judges for the Maui science fair recognized four Maui teachers for their outstanding efforts to support students in science, engineering and technology. This year’s winners were Jennifer Ainoa and Scott Hemenway from Molokai Middle and Lee DeRouin and Malia Lee from Molokai High.

Three other Molokai students advanced to the state Science and Engineering Fair. Eleventh graders Xrystina Bicoy and Shella Keahi from Molokai High showed a project called “Turning Erosion Into Accretion.” Middle School eighth grader Lily Jenkins will go to state because of her project “Effects of Non-Native Water Lettuce in Canal at Puko’o Pond.”

Honorable mention winners from Molokai, with their grade and project name, included:

• Momi Afelin, ninth grade, Molokai High School, “It’s Electric.”
• Edel Mae Alvarez, 10th grade, Remelie Manuel, 11th grade, MayRose Ragonton, 12th grade, Molokai High School, “Okra Mucilage in Handmade Paper.”
• Kea’a Davis, 9th grade, Molokai High School, “Relationships Between Personality Type and Learning Type.”
• Noah Keanini, 7th grade, Molokai Middle, “The Antenna Test: A Test to Find the Best T.V. Antenna.”
• Erik Svetin, 8th grade, Molokai Middle, “Additional Stitch Effect on a Baseball.”

Specialized awards were presented to these Molokai students:

• Monsanto Hawaii Award, Edel Mae Alvarez, Remelie Manuel, May Rose Ranontan.
• American Psychological Association, Kea’a Davis.
• Association for Women Geoscientist, Xrystina Bicoy and Shell Keahi, Molokai High.
• Yale Science & Engineering Association, Caulin Angelesa, Paul Parker, Molokai High.
• Air Force, Sarah Jenkins.

Both Molokai High School and Middle School would like to acknowledge financial support from Dow AgroSciences (Molokai High) and Goodfellow Bros. (Molokai Middle School). Both companies gave substantial donations, which helped with travel expenses to Maui.

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West Maui community groups show appreciation to Mayor Arakawa

A group presentation to Mayor Arakawa of a Proclamation of Appreciation. From left, Joe Pluta, May Fujiwara, Mrs. Arakawa, Liz May, Mayor Arakawa, Lynn Donovan, Don Lehman, Vivian Ichiki, Theo Morrison, Bob Pure, Pat Endsley, Richard Endsley, Ruth McKay. Photo by Joe Makarewicz of MSI.

A group presentation to Mayor Arakawa of a Proclamation of Appreciation. From left, Joe Pluta, May Fujiwara, Mrs. Arakawa, Liz May, Mayor Arakawa, Lynn Donovan, Don Lehman, Vivian Ichiki, Theo Morrison, Bob Pure, Pat Endsley, Richard Endsley, Ruth McKay. Photo by Joe Makarewicz of MSI.


West Maui Taxpayers Association News Release

During the Jan. 10 West Maui Taxpayers Association (WMTA) annual meeting at the Lahaina Civic Center, nine West Maui community groups proclaimed their appreciation for Mayor Alan M. Arakawa’s support for and interest in West Maui activities.

After a short business meeting to install WMTA directors, WMTA President Don Lehman asked the mayor to come forward for a special presentation. After President Lehman read a West Maui Mid-term Appreciation Proclamation for the mayor, nine representatives of West Maui community groups came forward to express their thanks and to present lei to the mayor and Mrs. Arakawa. The mayor seemed genuinely surprised and gratified.

The groups represented were Lahaina Bypass Now!, Lahaina Complex After School Tutoring Project, Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Lahaina Town Action Committee, Rotary Club of Lahaina, Soroptomists International of West Maui, West Maui Improvement Foundation, and the West Maui Taxpayers Association. The Proclamation is posted to the WMTA web site at westmaui.org, and the entire WMTA annual meeting will be rebroadcast several times on Akaku Community Television.

The mayor thanked all the groups for what they do to make West Maui such a unique and extraordinary community. He explained he was especially impressed by the effort to completely remodel the Lahaina Library with no public funding. He continued his remarks with some discussion of his agenda for the coming year. Senator Roz Baker and House Member Angus McKelvey followed the mayor with their legislative updates.

In the special presentations segment of the WMTA annual meeting, Stanford Carr of Stanford Carr Development LLC, gave an update on the Kahoma Village affordable housing project; Joe Pluta, President of the West Maui Improvement Foundation, gave an update on the West Maui hospital; and Charlene Shibuya from the State Department of Transportation presented an update on the bypass and the many DOT projects in West Maui.

WMTA is very proud to be a part of the West Maui community, and to be able to serve as a conduit of information to the community and as an advocate for West Maui. Learn more about WMTA by visiting our website. We encourage anyone who wants to join the effort to promote the WMTA goals and objectives shown on the website to consider joining WMTA. See the website for more information. The investment is small, and will be well spent.

High winds knock out power on Molokai and Maui

A tree that had fallen across power lines near the construction for the new Kawela Bridge had to be removed Sunday morning.

A tree that had fallen across power lines near the construction for the new Kawela Bridge had to be removed Sunday morning.


High winds across Maui County over the weekend kept crews from Maui Electric Company busy on Maui and Molokai.

A tree fell across electrical lines near Kawela Bridge on Kamehameha V Highway at 8:42 a.m. Sunday cutting off power to customers in East End Molokai.

The sudden loss of electrical power caused by the fallen tree set in motion an automatic load shed procedure, which turned off power to customers in Hoolehua and Kualapuu to protect the electrical system.

Approximately 400 customers in Hoolehua and Kualapuu were affected for an hour and power was restored at 9:40 a.m. East End, which included about 900 customers, was brought back on-line at 10 a.m.

After power was restored at 10 a.m., customers of Oceanic Time Warner Cable were left without cable television service until 12:30 p.m. According to a supervisor at Oceanic Time Warner, MECO will restore electricity for residential customers first before recovering service for businesses. This delay caused the additional two-and-a-half hour cable TV outage.

A statement released from MECO said the company, “thanks our Molokai customers for their patience.”

On Maui, Shortly after 8 a.m. on Friday morning, high winds brought trees down on power lines at Haleakala, cutting off power to 10 customers at the summit. Repairs were completed and power was restored at 4:15 p.m.

At about the same time on Friday morning, approximately 100 customers in Olinda lost power when trees fell across power lines on Olinda Road. Power was restored by early afternoon and shortly thereafter, another tree came down, cutting off power again to about 200 customers in Olinda and Piiholo.

MECO crews worked through the night and all day Saturday trying to keep up with the high winds and falling trees. Power was restored incrementally throughout the day on Saturday and the last customers were brought back on-line at 5 p.m.

Approximately 150 customers in parts of Makawao lost power at 6:40 p.m. Friday evening due to fallen trees and power was restored to these customers shortly after midnight.

On Saturday evening, trees came down on power lines at about 7:30 p.m. near Kailua on Hana Highway, cutting off power to 800 customers from Huelo to Hana. MECO’s Distributed Generators at the Hana Substation provided power to about 300 customers in Hana while MECO crews worked to repair the lines in Kailua. Gusty winds hampered efforts but crews were able to complete repairs and restore power to remaining customers on Sunday evening.

At about noon on Sunday, areas of Lahaina, Olowalu and Launiupoko lost power affecting about 400 customers. Power was restored at 1 p.m. A forced power outage was issued this morning in Ukumehame and from Ololwalu to Launiupoko to enable crews to safely replace four utility poles that came down late Sunday night. Work was completed and power restored to 75 customers at 4:45 p.m.

Christmas Day surfing accident ends in death of local resident

The Puaoi ‘ohana of Molokai was met with tragedy on Christmas Day when 49-year-old Herman Puaoi drowned while surfing at Kepuhi Beach on the West End.

Herman Puaoi

Herman Puaoi with Carolyn Crumpley as they prepare for a day on the ocean.


Surf was large and rough Dec. 25 at the break at Kaluakoi near the old golf course. Police dispatch received a call at 12:40 p.m. about an unresponsive male.

Based on witness reports received by Maui Police Department officers, Puaoi had lost his surfboard after his leash came off. He tried to swim to the beach when he was picked up by a wave that crashed him onto the rocky shore. About 30 to 60 seconds later, witnesses saw his body come above the water face down.

Witnesses quickly pulled Puaoi out of the water and began CPR until medics arrived. He was transported to Molokai General Hospital and later pronounced dead.

Over the past 15 years, Puaoi has worked with Arleone Dibben-Young, Molokai water bird researcher. “He was my right hand man,” said Dibben-Young. The two worked together on various wetland projects that included fencing, caring for sick birds and mowing lawns. “Losing him was like losing a son,” she added.

Funeral services for Herman Edward Kalani Puaoi Sr. are planned for Jan. 11 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at 6 p.m. A scattering of ashes will take place Jan. 12, 8 a.m., at Mo’omomi and Kepuhi Beach. A pa’ina will follow at the Puaoi homestead, Lot 99 Farrington Avenue, Ho’olehua.

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.

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.

Three brush fires in Kalamaula extinguished quickly

brush fire

Above: Flames can be seen on the top left of this image. Maui County fire crews filled a portable pool with water for helicopter water drops. Good job MFD! Photos by Rick Schonely.

Above: Flames can be seen on the top left of this image. Maui County fire crews filled a portable pool with water for helicopter water drops. Good job MFD! Photos by Rick Schonely.


Three separate brush fires in the Kalamaula area yesterday were extinguished in under three hours.

Engines 4, 9 and 12 responded to the alarm at 11:36 a.m. Two helicopters, Wildland 4 and Air 1, participated in water drops over the multiple brush fires. Firefighters found the fires in the area of Hoomalu Drive and Likelike Avenue west of Kaunakakai.

Also assisting in the firefight were two Maui County public works tankers and a bulldozer.

Maui County officials estimated the first fire covered half an acre, the second fire one acre and the third fire 20 acres.

By 2:15 p.m. the third fire was considered contained. Crews stayed on the scene to conduct mop up operations.