November 13, 2013 - Volume 29, Issue 43 The Molokai Dispatch p M o lo k a i n e w s , M o lo k a i S t y l e - w w w. t h e m o lo k a i d i s patc h . co m Since 1985 $3.1M Battery Proposed for Power Plant Photos by Jessica Ahles and Catherine Cluett By Catherine Cluett | Editor-In-Chief I n i ’ n Ro p i ain r e th By Jessica Ahles and Catherine Cluett C ompetition got a little dirty during the first day of the eighth annual Molokai Stampede at Kapualei Ranch. Squinting through pouring rain, gripping slippery ropes as their horses sent mud flying across the arena, cowboys toughed it out through stormy conditions last Saturday. Eightyfive teams were narrowed down to eight by the final round of stiff competition in the # 11 team roping events, while the afternoon’s keiki and barrel events were postponed from the downpour. “Rain changes strategy and game plan -- anyone can rope under perfect conditions, but who can rope [when it’s not perfect]?” said emcee Zhantell Dudoit during the event. Bringing dozens of contestants of all ages from around the state, and -- for the first time -- the continental U.S., the annual two-day rodeo features events like team roping, barrel racing, branding and dummy roping for kids. The crowd took cover under canopies and umbrellas, thunderously cheering and applauding over the sound of rain for their paniolo favorites, while the weather put the ropers’ skills to the test. Kili Galam of Molo- This Week’s Dispatch Working Women Suds for Service Pg. 2 Pg. 5 kai he said the wet and muddy conditions were tough for both him and his horse. “The horse kept sliding so he couldn’t run as fast,” he said. “If I felt the horse slip, I didn’t want to control him but let him do his thing.” But despite the challenges of the day, the rules of the game remain the same. As each team of cowboys back their horses up, one nods for the steer to be released from the chute and flies into action. The “header” paniolo ropes the horns and turns the steer while the heeler follows close behind, catching the two back legs for a “clean run.” Teams are penalized 10 seconds for “breaking the barrier” or coming out of the box too soon, five seconds for roping one hoof instead of two, and are disqualified if unable to complete both tasks. It all happens within seconds. “Team roping is mostly a mental game of staying in the game,” said Hawaii Island cowboy Travis Gomes, who won the # 11 team roping event with Molokai’s Rex Kamakana. “When the conditions change, you change the game.” For Gomes, that meant taking his time when roping the steer in the final round after the arena became slick. Gomes said this is his second year competing at the Molokai Stampede, adding that he plans to keep coming back. The Stampede Continued on pg. 10 By Catherine Cluett | Editor-InChief M artin Stepanek can dive more than 400 feet on a single breath of air. He’s set 13 freediving world records and knows more than anyone how dangerous the sport can be. But with the proper safety education, he said freediving has minimal risks -- and with the goal of sharing that knowledge, he’s become a pioneer in modern freediving education. Last month, Stepanek visited Molokai to offer a series of safety courses free of charge to local divers. Having been raised in Czech Republic, a country without ocean access, didn’t dampen Stepanek’s passion for diving, and when he was 20 years old, he relocated to the U.S. to pursue the sport more actively. To dive 400 feet on a single breath of air is not something you’re born with, said Stepanek. It’s the result of a lot of training, and there’s not much time for anything else. Because he couldn’t make a living from the sport, he decided to share his knowledge after moving to the U.S. “The biggest problem with freed- Battery Continued pg. 3 Body Smarts Those natural responses, said Stepanek, called mammalian dive reflex, are something that everyone is born with but without regular practice, they become weak. Infants’ bodies will naturally turn over in the water so their airways are clear, explained Stepanek. But the bodies of adults normally float face first, requiring someone to be there to turn them over and assist by ensuring the Molokai divers participated in safety airway is clear of water. training offered by Freediving Instructors Diving Continued pg. 8 International. Photo by Catherine Cluett Richard Schuman, President (808) 834-1111 | MakaniKaiAir.com Eight round trips to Honolulu daily | Makani Kai Air | 130 Iolana Place | Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 The The majority of Molokai’s power is generated by three, 2 megawatt (MW) diesel generators and six smaller 1 MW generators at the Pala`au Power Plant. When a generator at plant shuts down, iving wasn’t that people didn’t know how to do it, but they didn’t know how to do it safely,” said Stepanek. “In the ‘normal world,’ freediving is perceived as dangerous… but done the ‘right’ way, the risk is nearly eliminated. “The whole attitude that it’s a game of luck or fate was unacceptable,” said Stepanek. So he set about to change that perception, starting an organization called Freediving Instructors International (FII) to educate divers about safety and proper dive techniques by using their own inborn reflexes. The government is asking for your opinion. It is considering keeping Makani Kai Air servicing the community of Kalaupapa. If you, your family or friends are happy with our air service to Kalaupapa, please let the government know. Your opinion means a lot. Please e-mail Mr. Scott Faulk at the DOT: email@example.com Thank you, P.O. Box 482219 Kaunakakai, HI 96748 The Problem Diving to the Depths of Safety Your Opinion Counts Molokai Dispatch f you’ve noticed a lot of temporary electricity outages and lights dimming lately on Molokai, you’re not alone -- and energy researchers have proposed a multi-million dollar project they hope will help stabilize the island’s electricity supply. About one fifth of Molokai’s electricity comes from photovoltaic (PV) energy from business and residential solar panels, according to Mathew McNeff, Maui Electric manager of Renewable Energy Services Department. However, that high percentage is causing instabilities in the flow of electricity. Because energy generated from PV depends on conditions like the weather and daylight, it doesn’t provide a steady source of electricity to Molokai’s electric grid. “For two years in a row, Maui Electric has been highest in the nation for number of PV [installations] so we’re having to come up with these solutions ourselves,” said McNeff. The grid is divided into five circuits that provide energy to various areas of the island -- about 2,000 customers in total. The peak load for Molokai -- when the most electricity is used -- is 5.4 MW, almost 200 times less than Oahu’s energy demands. But the smaller the grid, the greater the impact sudden changes in frequency can have, like the shut-down of a generator at the power plant or a tree falling on a power line, said McNeff.