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.

Community bids ‘aloha’ to Aunty Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo

Courtesy of Sust’ainable Molokai

Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo was a special individual who was a key person at the Sust’aina ble Molokai conference in 2009 and integral to the start up of the Sust’ainable Molokai non-profit organization. Her presence, passion and kindness motivated our community and her light will be dearly missed.

Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo

Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo


Annette Mililani Chieko Pauole-Ahakuelo, 65, passed away on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. Annette was born on February 19, 1947 in Hoolehua to Robert and Helen Pauole.

Annette grew up on Molokai and was a proud graduate of Molokai High School in 1965. After high school she moved to California where she worked for Levitz Furniture of the Pacific, which was one of the largest furniture retailers in the nation. This opened the door for her to return to Hawaii and work for the well-known, family-operated furniture store, C. S. Wo & Sons on Oahu. She became the Warehouse Operations Manager and Special Projects Coordinator.

When Annette moved back home to Molokai with her more than 30 years of experience in retail, operations, and business management, she was the perfect candidate to serve as the Molokai Small Business Specialist for the County of Maui – Office of Economic Development – Kuhao Business Center. In this capacity, Annette used her leadership skills, business acumen, engaging demeanor, and special brand of aloha to not only put her clients at ease, but also empower them to build their own successful enterprises.

Her clientele included people of all ages, from school children to kupuna. She ascertained what was needed in her community and provided it through various projects, workshops, and programs. Whether her client was a farmer, artist, inventor, value-added food producer, or someone with just an idea, Annette drew on the strengths of her clients encouraging them to dream, be realistic, and acquire the skills they lacked in order to succeed.

She transformed the face of the community and strengthened the island’s economy, having directly inspired more than 100 business start-ups on Molokai. In 2007, she was awarded the Hawaii Financial Services Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In addition to this, Annette was an active Realtor Associate and served as a private design consultant for a number of years. She volunteered her design and planning skills to help organize a number of community events such as the annual Business Expos, agricultural fairs, and the Sustainability Conference. Annette left an indelible imprint on her island community. She is dearly loved and will be greatly missed by the many lives she has touched.

Annette is survived by her husband Clarence Ahakuelo, daughter Michelle (Quentin) Brown, grandson Ivan (Elizabeth) Pauole, twin sister Beverly (Dale) Pauole-Moore, sisters Irene (Charles) Kaahanui, Roberta “Cookie” Helm, Melinda Talon, brother Stanley “Mickey” (Nadine) Pauole, many nieces and nephews, cousins and extended ohana.

A Celebration of Life service for Annette took place at the Lanikeha Community Center in Hoolehua last Saturday.

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.”

Molokai residents energized by Alternative Energy Festival

Quechan Tribal members at the Mitchell Pau'ole Center on Friday, from left, Lucinda Polk, Vernon Smith, Lucia Polk and Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member. These tribal members told the story of how they have fought Big Wind projects in the deserts of Southern California.

Quechan Tribal members at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center on Friday, from left, Lucinda Polk, Vernon Smith, Lucia Polk and Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member. These tribal members told the story of how they have fought Big Wind projects in the deserts of Southern California.



I Aloha Molokai News Release

The Mitchell Pau’ole Center in Kaunakakai transformed into an alternative energy learning center for over 500 people this past weekend at the second annual Alternative Energy Festival.

On Friday and Saturday, those in attendance learned to construct solar water heaters; how to do a no-cost energy audit; learned about a home’s costly vampire energy; compared options for buying or leasing a home PV system; and listened to panels discuss alternative generation options so that Molokai can wean itself off of fossil fuel. Participants also reflected on future challenges they will face if the Big Wind project or undersea cable project moves ahead and discussed Molokai “home rule” at the I Aloha Molokai-sponsored festival.

Helen Wai teaches energy conservation as a process of money management.

Helen Wai teaches energy conservation as a process of money management.


Exhibitors shared information on a variety of topics, including: energy saving devices, changing habits, a tree giveaway, biking as transportation, sustainable food, recycled products and new financing programs to help Molokai families install PV panels without a huge financial investment upfront.

“New programs for residential PV make solar more affordable for Molokai families and people on fixed incomes to stabilize their electrical bills,” said Matt Yamashita, Rising Sun.

Entertainment delighted the crowd. The Quechan Tribe representatives from Ocotillo, Calif. enthralled the audience throughout the festival with haunting chants and flute solos. Quechan members, Lucinda and Lucia Polk, demonstrated a Native American dance while Quechan Tribal Administrator Vernon Smith chanted. Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member, played the flute with soothing songs about birds and the love of family. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chair, Colette Machado, officially welcomed the tribal representatives Friday evening and presented them with a Hawaiian artifact.

Darlene Toth grows and donates trees.

Darlene Toth grows and donates trees.


The Saturday morning panel topics was called “State and County Energy Initiatives.” Members consisted of Henry Curtis, Life of the Land; Pat Gagin, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative; Robin Kaye, Friends of Lanai; and Doug Macleod, Energy Commissioner, Maui County Energy Office.

Molokai spends $13 million annually on electricity and gasoline.

“If Molokai becomes energy self-sufficient, then millions of dollars would be kept circulating on island versus offshore,” said Curtis. “Current HECO’s Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Committee is focused on Oahu generation and not solving neighbor island generation concerns; therefore, Molokai will have to plan its own energy future,” said Robin Kaye.

Gagin provided an overview of how Kauai bought its island utility and how an energy cooperative operates with major input from both cooperative members and customers.

Guest speaker Harry Kim, former Mayor of Hawaii Island, reminded residents that government is “our” government and adults have a responsibility to make good decisions with the next generation in mind. “Decisions today will determine the future for many generations,” said Kim.

Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member, plays a moving song on his flute.

Allen Paquin, a Navajo Tribal member, plays a moving song on his flute.


The second panel consisted of the five members of the Quechan Tribe and their opposition to a Big Wind project in Ocotillo. Already several years into the skirmish, the Quechan tribe is refusing community benefits and is now suing the Big Wind developer. The developer is proposing to destroy sacred cultural areas and the ancestral home of many tribe members. These tribe members are currently fighting against the same Big Wind developer as the Big Wind project proposed for Molokai.

The afternoon panel members focused on energy and island independence and consisted of Moses Haia, staff attorney for Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation; Dr. Noa Emmett Aluii, practicing physician on Molokai and long-term activist for Native rights; Naalehua Anthony, Native Hawaiian Roll Commission; and Kaleikoa Kaeo, University of Hawaii, Maui Community College.

The panel agreed that issues in one place in Hawaii have impacts on all places because of precedent. As well, a sense of urgency exists because parts of Hawaiian culture can be lost forever if inappropriate choices are made today. The main advice: Molokai must plan its future and plan it wisely.

The last panel focused on energy alternatives and included Henry Curtis; Davianna McGregor, professor and founding member of Ethnic Studies at University of Hawaii, Manoa; Pat Schellerup, Lite Solar Corporation; and Robert Petricci, Pele Defense Fund.

Participants agreed that decentralized generation with rooftop solar is in Molokai’s immediate future and other fuels, such as biofuels, could be one of several nighttime generation options. To do this type of planning, the community, and especially Hawaiians, need to be at the table versus just government bodies.

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization formed to oppose the industrial wind turbines and undersea cable proposed for Molokai. The group supports renewable energy projects but insists that theses projects protect the environment, respect native Hawaiian culture, provide reliable energy at affordable cost, and are supported by the community. The work of IAM involves not just advocacy but public education through films, forums and community outreach on Molokai, around the state and throughout the world.

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.

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!

Integrated resource planning meeting on Thursday will help forecast state energy demand

I Aloha Molokai announced that Hawaiian Electric Company, and its subsidiary Maui Electric Company, will hold statewide meetings beginning this week to receive public comment on plans to forecast energy demand as well as meet it.

The I Aloha Molokai staff will be at the group's open house on Friday at their office at 2130 Maunaloa Highway from 5-8 p.m.

The I Aloha Molokai staff will be at the group’s open house on Friday at their office at 2130 Maunaloa Highway from 5-8 p.m.


The Molokai meeting is Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5-7 p.m. at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center in Kaunakakai.

The Public Utilities Commission said that the goal of the process is to develop an action plan that governs how the utility will meet energy objectives and customer energy needs consistent with state energy policies and goals, while providing safe and reliable utility service at a reasonable cost. The Integrated Resource Planning Report will provide a long-term perspective as well as consider possible future scenarios.

The utilities will consider comments in preparation of energy resource action plans that will be presented for further public comment in the spring.

The utilities’ goal is to file an Integrated Resource Planning Report for each company with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission by June 28.

I Aloha Molokai has also planned an open house at its office at 2130 Maunaloa Highway (at Kalae Highway) on Friday from 5-8 p.m. Office hours for IAM are Monday through Friday, 9a.m.-noon except holidays. The phone is 808-213-1321.