2019-2020 MOP in a Time of Transition

On August 9, 2020, Malama O Puna held a virtual meeting. The program included presentations on restoration efforts in the Halepua’a section of Nanawale Forest Reserve by Diga Kern and Ann Kobsa, a tribute to our recently deceased former president and MOP founder René Siracusa, a report on other Malama O Puna activity, and input from attendees about what they’d like to see MOP doing in the future and how they’d like to be involved.


Ann Kobsa presented on the history and restoration of Halepua’a.

Diga Kern gave a progress report on his work, and maintains an overview of the Halepua’a forest.

Page shared about René Siracusa and MOP’s history. (PDF)

Meeting minutes

1) Introductions of the board members and brief summary of why this meeting is entitled “MOP in transition”

With the passing of long-time Board President and MOP founder René Siracusa, the current board has had to transfer financial management to digital accounting under the guidance of a CPA. Reports on on-going grants and completed grants have to be made. It is time for MOP to re-evaluate where it has been and create a strategy and direction for the future. We hope to attract new board members, new general members, and reinvigorate our organization. MOP has not sent out renewal membership notices but we hope all members will renew, and new members join.

Because of our transitional status, the existing board officers will continue as a temporary MOP board as of this meeting. It is our intention to have another general membership meeting in December 2020, when we will have a new slate of officers and board members to present to the membership. In the interim, those interested in being on our board should email us, or make a presentation during a board meeting (currently held by zoom). These board members can be appointed immediately by the officers majority vote to increase our board and guide the organization’s growth. It is our plan that during the fall the board will work together with our members to identify MOP priorities and new projects.

2) Featured Program: Ann and Diga’s presentation on Halepua`a reforestation involved two separate presentations and highlighted challenges with resources needed for reforestation.

3) Eileen presented on nine grant funded projects that have been handled since Mar 2020:

  • a) Miconia Eradication ($2500) focused on Ginger Patch on Postoffice Rd and Cemetery Rd – final report accepted April 2020
  • b) Pueo Uniforms & Equipment ($4455) for T-ball and Coach Pitch teams – final report accepted June 2020
  • c) Roundabout Beautification ($3,500) focused on median strips with sub agreement with MPA for landscaping center circle. Wrapped up and final report pending approval
  • d) RLWD 6th International Workshop Jan 2020 ($10,100) was funded by 6 different council members. Additional funds provided by DOH and Chinese group. In process of wrapping up to submit final report by Aug. 31 2020
  • e) Pandemic Food Distribution ($8,000) project involved food boxes with basic staples and local farm products – completed and final report due Dec. 2020 or sooner
  • f) Farm land SE of Nanawale access road ($50,000) sponsored per request from R&D in Mar. Permit finally approved in July. More than 1/2 of the nearly 1 mile long access road has already been completed. Expect to be done in Sept or earlier. Report due Dec. 2020.
  • g) 2nd Miconia Eradication grant ($2500). Some funds already expended for herbicide. With around $2000 remaining, recommend requesting a change in scope to the councilmember (Matt) to focus on educational projects around biological controls with local HS and college students. Extended until June 30 2021
  • h) Vacationland public awareness event for lava recovery planning ($2500). Need to work with VHCA board to consider revising scope since large public gatherings may not be allowed for the foreseeable future. Currently extended to June 2021.
  • i) Leilani Kilauea Recovery Grant for roads ($500,000). Application submitted and expecting announcements on awards 28 August. MOP will receive $10,000 plus the cost of 1 year general liability insurance (currently $1,012) regardless of amount awarded.

4) Page made a presentation on René and MOP’s history. (PDF)

5) Open discussion with members offering some historical perspectives and recommendations on things to focus on. Members expressed interest in sustainability models, commercial kitchen, and more. Members encouraged to run for the board and get involved.