Neighbor Island News

Reports from across the Hawaiian Islands

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

One of Hawai‘i’s learning centers is near the northeast coast of Hawai‘i Island. The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo offers courses for credit and for lifelong learning at its adjunct location in Honoka‘a. But it’s also home to some remarkable cultural and historical artifacts of North Hawai‘i. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Hawai‘i Island. 

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The last remaining sugar mill in Hawai‘i wrapped up its final harvest yesterday. Hundreds of workers, families, and community leaders gathered at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company to say goodbye to a crop that shaped the islands. HPR’s Molly Solomon was there and has this report.

Idaho National Laboratory / Flickr
Idaho National Laboratory / Flickr

For more than 20 years, a special program has connected girls on Hawai‘i Island with math and science. It’s called “Girls Exploring Math and Science.” HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hawai‘i’s Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a one-year permit to Alexander and Baldwin that will allow them to continue diverting water from streams in East Maui. 

Rep. Richard Creagan Facebook
Rep. Richard Creagan Facebook

When Hawai‘i’s legislature convenes its next session in January, the state House of Representatives will have a new chair of the Agriculture Committee. Former chair Clift Tsuji of Hilo died earlier this month, and the new chair is also from Hawai‘i Island. He recently spoke to HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken about some of his policy priorities.

Hawaii County
Hawaii County

A week from Monday, Hawai‘i County will swear in a new Mayor. But until noon that day, Billy Kenoi remains the chief executive of Hawai‘i County.  He spoke with HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken about his 8 years in office.

Since 2009, the current administration has completed more than 160 major projects on Hawai'i Island.  That’s more than 630 million dollars on roads, parks, sewers, housing—even rodeo arenas. Mayor Kenoi says he’s proud of the transformative nature of that spending.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The crop that once defined Hawai‘i is facing its final harvest. Next month, Hawai‘i Commercial & Sugar Company will close its operations. For many, the industry was more than just a place to work—it represented an entire way of life. HPR’s Molly Solomon recently visited Maui and has this report.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Plastic bags have been a point of political contention around the islands for years. In May of 2015, O'ahu became the last island to ban the use of most plastic bags at store check-out counters. This week, the Maui County Council considered toughening its ban on plastic bags—and extending it to other items that wind up in landfills. We get more on the story from Colleen Uechi of The Maui News.

 WWW.SOEST.HAWAII.EDU
WWW.SOEST.HAWAII.EDU

The last time the United States put an astronaut on the moon, Richard Nixon was president and Elvis Presley played a concert in Honolulu. That was 1972—and while moon shots are part of history, a mission to Mars is still in the future. NASA is working on it—and Hawai‘i Island is playing a role. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more on the story from Kona. 

Five time space shuttle astronaut Jeff Hoffman once helped repair the Hubble Telescope in space. Now he’s spending some time at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park….representing NASA.

Concerns about pollution often center on the kind you can see—from garbage dumps to litter on beaches. But on Moloka‘i, a different kind of pollution is leading to testing and eventually cleanup. It’s a property once used by the local electric company—and we get more on the story from Catherine Cluett Pactol of the Moloka‘i Dispatch. 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

There’s new movement on plans to restore the Old Maui High School.

A company called TEACH Development has been tapped by Maui County officials to rebuild remaining structure. Teach stands for technology, education, agriculture, community and health.  In a meeting last week they pledged to work closely with the community to achieve plans to create an environmental education center within the historic architecture.  The limited liability corporation was formed for the project, and was chosen by Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration through a request for proposal process.

Green Light for Jaws

Nov 10, 2016
WSL / Kelly Cestari
WSL / Kelly Cestari

The large surf hitting the Hawaiian Islands is a welcome sign for big wave surfers competing in the Peahi Challenge at “Jaws” in north Maui.

The competition was put on “Green Alert” by organizers, and first heats are expected to begin as early as 7 this morning if favorable conditions hold.   Forecasts call for light winds and surf around 30 feet, which is considered “medium” for the competition.

The competition is also hosting a women’s division for the first time in event history.  Peter Mel is the Commissioner the World Surf League’s Big Wave Division.

Kanani Ah Van
Kanani Ah Van

For the second year in a row, the Maui Interscholastic League football champions come from Moloka‘i. It’s an eight-man team—with a long road to success. Catherine Cluett Pactol has more on their story from the Moloka‘i Dispatch.

Catherine Cluett Pactol
Catherine Cluett Pactol

The Moloka‘i Ferry made its final trip between Kaunakakai and Lahaina yesterday, carrying Moloka‘i’s football team to its last game of the season. Catherine Cluett-Pactol reports from The Moloka‘i Dispatch.

MAUI MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER
MAUI MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER

A date has been set for the transition of three state-run medical facilities on Maui. The Board of Directors of the Maui regional Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation voted that starting July 1, 2017, Kaiser will take over operations. 

Maui is getting a taste of Portuguese folk music this weekend with a performance by Fado singer Ramana Vieria.

Fado, which roughly translates to “Fate”, is a style best known for very delicate, melancholy, ballads about love and loss.  It’s often described as the Portuguese equivalent of “The Blues”… and went on to influence Bossa Nova and some Hawaiian music. with roots traced back  to the 1920’s.

HOLLYN JOHNSON
HOLLYN JOHNSON

Hawai‘i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi testified in his own defense Wednesday. The criminal trial against the Big Island mayor for the alleged misuse of his government issued purchasing card entered its fifth day. Kenoi took the stand, appearing emotional, as he recounted his family and upbringing in Kalapana.

Andre Raine / kauaiseabirdproject.org
Andre Raine / kauaiseabirdproject.org

A few weeks ago, a helicopter was sent on a rescue mission to a remote location deep in Limahuli Valley on Kauai’s north shore.  This time, it wasn’t a hiker in distress needing rescue.  The mission was part of an on-going effort to save the endangered Newell’s Shearwater from extinction.  From Kaua‘i, HPR contributing reporter Scott Giarman has more.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

Maui County is contributing money and resources for the eradication of coqui frogs.  $1.2 million has been allotted to the Maui Invasive Species Committee to increase efforts to stop the spread of coqui during over a five-year plan.

Officials say if nothing is done, the tiny frogs will multiply to population levels that were previously seen on the Big Island.  Maui Invasive Species Committee Manager Adam Radford says the 80 to 90 decibel screech is a threat to communities as well as tourism.

Eileen Chao
Eileen Chao

A ferry service on Moloka‘i is struggling to stay afloat and may have to shut down. The company that has been operating the service for nearly 30 years says low ridership and competing air fares are to blame. 

Mālama Olowalu
Mālama Olowalu

The State Department of Transportation has scrapped a plan to construct a seawall in West Maui following a week long protest.  The plan was to build a wall of boulders near mile marker 16 along the shoreline of Honoapi‘ilani highway to protect the road from erosion.  But environmentalists say the wall would threaten coral reefs and surf breaks by altering the natural flow of sand.  They added that it would ruin beach access, and not truly alleviate the road’s safety issues.  

Maui County / Lois Whitney
Maui County / Lois Whitney

Major flooding and heavy rain prompted an emergency proclamation Wednesday in Maui County. The wet weather knocked out a water line, flooded parks and homes, and caused several mudslides. HPR’s Molly Solomon says it’s just the latest in what’s been a wetter than normal couple of months.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

One of key questions hanging over the state is what happens to the Alexander & Baldwin land on Maui after HC&S closes for good at the end of the year.  While the phrase diversified agriculture seems to be on everyone's lips, what that means could be anybody's guess. We'll take up that up with Alexander & Baldwin President & Chief Executive Officer Christopher J. Benjamin, HC&S General Manager Rick Volner, & Scott Enright, Chair of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

More than 17 years in the making, Kaua‘i’s first traditional voyaging canoe is ready to set sail. The island plans to celebrate with a launch party Sunday, September 11. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the Garden Isle recently and has this report.

hokulea.com

Experienced Teacher Turned Down by DOE; Learning Polynesian Wayfinding; The Future of A&B Land on Maui


Wikimedia Commons

Pay Raise for DOE Administrators; 2016 Greek Festival; From The Farm; Ho’olaule’a In Hana

Pay Raises for DOE Administrators: Corey Rosenlee

Maui Memorial Medical Center
Maui Memorial Medical Center

A standoff over control of three Maui hospitals appears to be over.

A settlement between the United Public Workers Union and the state was announced Friday.  The state run Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community Hospital will transfer to the supervision of Kaiser Permanente.  Employees represented by the union will work under Kaiser until their contracts expire next June.

Marlene Hapai Facebook
Marlene Hapai Facebook

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been taking a closer look at some of the candidates and issues involved in Hawai‘i County’s mayoral race. As Saturday’s election nears, we bring you the story of Marlene Hapai. As HPR’s Sherry Bracken explains, this candidate’s background does not include time in local government or politics.

Kenneth Lu / Flickr
Kenneth Lu / Flickr

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a better way to forecast vog….help may be on the way.

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $750,000 grant to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop Vog sensors on Hawai‘i Island.  Volcanic Smog or “Vog” is a mixture of sulfur dioxide and fine particulate matter which has negative impacts on human health, as well as agriculture.

Harry Kim Facebook
Harry Kim Facebook

Hawai'i County has a contentious race for Mayor, with 13 candidates running for the office.  Between now and Saturday’s primary election day, we’re taking a closer look at some of the candidates and their priorities.  One of the candidates has held the job before.  From Kona, HPR’s Sherry Bracken reports.

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