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Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

The Year of the Monkey is officially underway. This is the first day of the Lunar New Year---and it’s a national holiday across many parts of Asia. Stock markets are closed for two days in Singapore and for three days in Hong Kong. In mainland China, they’re closed all week. And across the region, the holidays are providing some unusual employment opportunities. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

A new homeless shelter in Honolulu is banking on the idea that fewer rules could lead to more people off the streets. The Sand Island facility, called Hale Mauliola, has been in business for three months now. HPR’s Molly Solomon paid a visit to see how things are going.

Patricia Thomas welcomes me into her home, a bright blue shipping container at Sand Island’s Hale Mauliola navigation center. "This is for a couple, two beds," she said. "They supply the furnishings, you're not sleeping on the ground."

Originally from Torino, Italy, Roberta Gambarini is a rising star in contemporary jazz. The vocalist, these days based in New York, is touring behind the collaborative effort "Connecting Spirits" she released with Jimmy and Tootie Heath.

This week on Helping Hand we’re welcoming back the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawai‘i. Honolulu’s two Ronald McDonald Houses are in continual operation for families that must come to the Honolulu area seeking specialized medical treatments for their children’s catastrophic illnesses. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawai`i Public Relations Manager Gene Davis speaks with HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Later this year, Aloha Tower will celebrate its 90th anniversary. For decades, it was the tallest structure in Hawai‘i. But right now in southern India, plans are in development to build the tallest clock tower in the world.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Here’s an old technology idea coming from a new technology company…building a bigger clock tower.  Infosys is India’s sixth-largest company—its market capitalization bigger than Delta Airlines or General Mills.  It’s a technology outsourcing and consulting company…based in Bangalore, in southern India.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

  

  In 1985, Japan’s Prince Hitachi planted the cherry trees fronting Leilehua High School to celebrate the centennial  of Japanese immigration to Hawai‘i.  He was contributing to the hundreds of sakura that now bloom every spring in Wahiawā ---depending on the weather.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found many of the trees trace back to one ancestor from Okinawa via Waipi‘o.

Like many city and states across the country, Hawaii hopes to position itself as a paradise for tech start-ups.  As Pacific Business News has found, there may be another way forward.  Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more.

There’s been a concerted effort of the part of both the public and private sectors in Hawai‘i to create a sustainable tech startup environment.  There are a lot of good reasons to do so.  It would diversify the economy, create more high-paying tech jobs, and who knows, perhaps Hawai‘i could be home to the next Facebook.

The state agency responsible for improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians is asking the legislature to lift a decade-old funding restriction.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Global Reactions / Flickr
Global Reactions / Flickr

Toyota will discontinue its line of Scion cars later this year.

Scion was formed in 2003 to attract a younger American market with experimental designs and easily customizable body kits. You may remember the infamous “toaster shaped” XB model. Although more a million cars were sold nationally, several years of slumping sales and a lack of connection to the intended market are being blamed for the decision.

But here in Hawai‘i, local dealerships sold more than 12,000 Scion cars, with half of those sales going to people under the age of 35.

RMI Education Dept
RMI Education Dept

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina hope to be the first woman elected President of the United States but both still need to secure the nomination of their parties.  Last week, the Republic of the Marshall Islands crossed that barrier with the election of Hilda Heine as its first female chief executive.  We have more on that and another update on Pacific politics from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

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