Neighbor Island News

Reports from across the Hawaiian Islands

When Hōkūao Pellegrino was growing up in the ahupua‘a of Waikapū on Maui, he often played on an overgrown piece of family land, building clubhouses in the jungle of invasive species that crowded it. But when he became a young man—after he’d embraced ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, studied native plants and woken up to his genealogical connection to the ‘land—he discovered that it had a powerful history: Buried deep beneath the jungle were lo‘i kalo his ‘ohana had cultivated for centuries, until the 1940s. Hōkūao decided to restore them.

Hōkūao Pellegrino is a kalo farmer on Maui in the region of Nā Wai ‘Ehā, The Four Great Waters.

“Nā Wai ‘Ehā is the poetic name for the moku, or division, that encompasses four ahupua‘a—Waikapū being the first, Wailuku being the second, Waiehu being the third, and the fourth Waihe‘e. These four streams, pre-Western contact, encompassed the largest kalo growing region in all of Hawai‘i.”

Kauaʻi Coqui

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The Coqui frog threat is far more serious than mere noise pollution. It dines on unique species of spiders and insects and competes with endemic birds and other native fauna. On the Garden Isle, the Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee has successfully managed to eradicate an army of invading Coqui frogs.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Robert Linsdell / Flickr
Robert Linsdell / Flickr

The popular Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai closed its gates to the public on January 17th.  It’s not expected to re-open until the end of April.  Scott Giarman on Kauai has more on the reasons for the closing and the Refuge’s plans for visitors during the closing period.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Officials of Maui County and Alexander and Baldwin are putting together a task force to assist workers displaced by the closing of the state’s last sugar mill.

Last week Alexander and Baldwin announced they would cease cane operations on Maui---affecting nearly seven-hundred workers. Beginning in March- half of the HC&S workers will be laid off, with the rest staying until the end of the 2016 harvest.

Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr
Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr

On Maui, a piece of history is scheduled to be destroyed….on purpose.

The Hana Pier was built in the early 1920’s.  It was fenced off in 2010 after falling into disrepair with exposed holes and rebar in the deck.  The Department of Transportation reviewed various options for rebuilding the pier but settled on its removal following public feedback.

Tim Sakahara is the spokesperson for the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Voters on Kauai elect their County Council members at-large. That means all seven members represent the entire island.  But every other county in Hawaii has some form of district voting and Kauai may be about to move in that direction.  Scott Giarman has more from The Garden Isle.

Kauai voters have considered changing the system of choosing County Council representatives from at-large to district voting since the ‘80s.  Proponents say if Council members represent specific regions of the island they would be more responsive to voters in their area. 

Maui’s Jail: Overcrowded and Deteriorating

Dec 21, 2015
Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Maui is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. But it’s not only the streets or the beaches that are getting crowded, it’s also the jail.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Overcrowding continues to plague Maui's only jail.  The warden of Maui Community Correctional Center gave media a tour of the facility last week. He said that the Kahului center is more than 150 inmates over capacity.  What's worse, there's no space to expand, and efforts to build another jail on Maui appear to have stalled.

Land Deal Rejected on Maui

Dec 14, 2015
Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr
Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr

A proposal for a 15-hundred home development on Maui has come to a screeching halt—at least for now.  The plan was for Olowalu town---and it faced opposition from many environmentalists on the island. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

The intentions might have been good, but the plan is incomplete. That's what the state Land Use Commission told Maui developers Bill Frampton and David Ward last week.

Maui’s Water Wars: The Next Stage

Dec 7, 2015
Will Scullin / Flickr
Will Scullin / Flickr

Eight years ago, the Maui County Council was concerned about the impact of new construction on water supplies. The result was the “Show Me the Water” ordinance—a provision ensuring new subdivisions would have access to water. But now the council is considering repealing the law. From the Maui News, Eileen Chao explains why.

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