Neighbor Island News

Reports from across the Hawaiian Islands

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Hawai'i County water users in the North Kona District are being asked to cut back on their water use.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains what's going on, and how long the restrictions will last.

Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

On Hawai'i Island’s west side, a heavily used beach park is open after being closed for two weeks.  On February 24, Kahaluʻu Beach Park was closed after it was discovered that raw sewage had spilled on the beach and into the water.  A broken sewer cleanout was the problem.   Hawai'i County Parks and Recreation Department’s Director, Charmaine Kamaka, thanked the dozens of county workers who got the repairs done so the favorite snorkel spot of locals and tourists could reopen. Kahaluʻu Beach Park reopened this afternoon.

skyseeker / Flickr
skyseeker / Flickr

Hawai'i Island’s Kīlauea Volcano gets a lot of attention with its two spectacular eruption locations. But the island’s dominant active volcano is also under close observation from scientists. We get details from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

A Kīlauea Update

Mar 1, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It's been a dramatic new year so far for one of Hawai'i Island's most spectacular sights. The Kīlauea Volcano has been continuously erupting for 34 years—but there have been some changes since January. As for current conditions, HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken got an update from scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Big Island State Senator Kai Kahele and State Representative Mark Nakashima have introduced companion bills to provide an economic boost for Hilo’s business community.  We have more about the proposals from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

Lyman Museum
Lyman Museum

Hawai'i Island lost a local giant last week. You could call him a businessman, but that’s just one small piece of the story of someone who made Hilo his home for more than nine decades and help shape the island’s economy. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from the Big Island.

Kumu's Cupboard
Kumu's Cupboard

A store providing free school supplies for teachers on Kaua‘i will open its doors this weekend.  An organization called Kumu’s Cupboard in the Kukui Grove Center will provide resources for local teachers who would otherwise be using their own money to buy basic school supplies.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Two years ago, the State Legislature appropriated $90 million dollars to build a new judiciary building in Kona.  Now, Hawai‘i State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald is asking for more funding. He spoke with HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken, who has this report.

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.

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