News Bites

Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Exactly how much land in Hawai‘i is used for agriculture?

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has released an agricultural land use study which provides information on the location of commercial agriculture activities statewide.

The 2015 baseline study updates the last survey done in 1980 and provides current information and maps of the locations of Hawaii’s farms and ranches. The 1000 page report published under contract with UH Hilo is intended to help the community to make decisions about agricultural land use in the state.

TravelingOtter / Flickr
TravelingOtter / Flickr

A project to measure sediment runoff on Lāna‘i is connecting the effectiveness of watershed restoration techniques used on land. Runoff is caused by soil erosion, allowing dirt to flow downstream where it empties onto coral reefs.

Alejandro Forero Cuervo / Flickr
Alejandro Forero Cuervo / Flickr

The State Department of Health has selected the on-line “seed-to-sale” tracking system that will manage Hawai‘i’s medical marijuana inventory.

Florida based BioTrackTHC was awarded the contract yesterday.  Their system will track every plant with a unique number, measuring each fraction-of-a-gram of cannabis from seed, through sale. Patrick Vo is the CEO of BioTrack THC. He says the system is important to bring transparency and accountability to cannabis operations.  

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Brian Shimkovitz was on a Fulbright scholarship in Ghana when he got hooked on the cassette culture of the region.

There street vendors hawk West African recordings in a variety of genres, from highlife to African disco, old left-field soul to curious local pop.  As he explored the region- he found an Africa much richer and more diverse than the version usually presented in American media.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

For some families in Hawai‘i the end of the year brings the tradition of Mochitsuki or mochi pounding.

Glutinous rice is steamed, and then put into a mortar where it’s pounded.  It’s then cut, formed into balls, and filled with sweet beans or covered in soybean powder.

HPR visited the Kubo family for their annual gathering.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Two locations of a popular Honolulu café chain are suddenly closing their doors.

Brett Levin / Flickr
Brett Levin / Flickr

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has released operation guidelines for the medical marijuana licensing program.

Under the current law, the DOH will establish eight dispensaries – three on O‘ahu, two for both Maui and Hawai‘i Island, and one for Kaua‘i. The rules explain the process for awarding dispensary licenses, and outlines security, safety, and tracking requirements.

Earlier this month the department announced that an on-line “seed to sale” system will be installed to track all marijuana in the islands.

Kyle Nishioka / Flickr
Kyle Nishioka / Flickr

Thousands of runners have already made their way to O‘ahu…as the Honolulu Marathon takes place this weekend.

It’s the 4th largest race in the country and attendance for this year is expected to be even larger than last year- with more than 32,000-participants already signed up- and more expected throughout the weekend.  13,000 runners are coming from Japan alone and participants from the US mainland are up 30% with more than 1,000 coming from California alone.  The event is expected to bring $130-million into the local economy.

Tony Webster / Flickr
Tony Webster / Flickr

The deadline for comment on a proposed bridge between Native Hawaiians and the US Government is closing soon.

In the fall the US Department of the Interior proposed establishing a formal government-to-government relationship as part of the reconciliation process.  The proposal would give Native Hawaiians a legal framework that would help the native Hawaiian community work with the US government.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Steel guitars have played an essential role in Hawaiian music since they were pioneered by musicians like Joseph Kekuku and Sol Ho‘opi‘i.  In the early nineteen-hundreds - Herman Weisseborn developed a new type of instrument by creating a square hollow neck on the guitar that increased the volume of the steel strings.  But the introduction of electric amplification made that acoustic style obsolete.

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