General Assignment

Flickr / jdnx
Flickr / jdnx

When it comes to Honolulu condominium sales, Ala Moana and Kaka‘ako remain king. That’s according to a new report that compares housing trends in neighborhoods across Oahu. HPR’s Molly Solomon explains.

The report, issued by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, found that condo sales in Ala Moana and Kaka‘ako were particularly strong last month. Compared to June of last year, sales for units rose by 42 percent. And the median sales price jumped nearly $300,000 —a 71 percent increase.

Flickr / Gildenjen
Flickr / Gildenjen

For the second year in a row, Hawai‘i longline fishermen are on course to hit their annual limit for bigeye tuna. And again, it’s much earlier than expected. The island’s longline fleet will close in Western and Central pacific waters this Friday, and larger vessels in the Eastern region will also be halted a few days later. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Summer is upon us and that means one thing for fruit lovers: mango season. HPR’s Molly Solomon paid a visit to an O‘ahu farm to learn more about this local treat.

On a one acre-plot of land, Mark Suiso has made the most of his backyard in Mākaha. That’s where he tends dozens of mango trees, some planted by his father more than 60 years ago. His business, Makaha Mangoes boasts more than 70 trees and 12 different varieties.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

According to the latest Point in Time Count, homelessness in Hawai‘i is up 4 percent from last year, the 5th consecutive year it’s increased. That’s nearly 8,000 individual stories. HPR’s Molly Solomon has one of them.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Today Governor David Ige, plans to sign a bill that will clarify many aspects of the state’s medical marijuana dispensary system. Before Hawai‘i cannabis can hit the market, it will have to be tested. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited one lab that’s hoping to be the state’s first.

Flickr / Daniel Ramirez
Flickr / Daniel Ramirez

A campaign is raising funds for a solution to the Ala Wai’s pollution problem.  HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on how an innovative approach could be coming to Hawai‘i.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

More than 100,000 Hawai‘i students receive free or reduced price meals during the school year. But, as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, when summer hits, only a fraction continue to take advantage of the program. 

It’s lunchtime at Jarrett Middle School. Kids file in and line up to fill their trays. Today’s menu is chicken teriyaki, a scoop of rice, mixed vegetables, and peaches.

Flickr / U.S. Pacific Fleet
Flickr / U.S. Pacific Fleet

Starting today, the largest international maritime exercise begins in Hawai‘i. The Rim of the Pacific, also known as RIMPAC, is in its 25th year since the military training exercise begin in 1971. Parts of it involve explosives and underwater sonar -- a point of concern for environmental groups. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Flickr / Starr Environmental
Flickr / Starr Environmental

A national environmental group is worried that bright lights at a Kaua‘i military base are harming the island’s native seabirds. The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking legal action after more than 120 endangered shearwaters and petrels were harmed or killed by artificial light at Kōke‘e Air Force Base over a two-week period last year. 

The Newell’s shearwater spends most of the day burrowed in the mountains of Kaua‘i. It’s not until the sun goes down that the endangered seabirds take flight. Shrouded in darkness, it’s hard to see them. But you can definitely hear them.

XL Catlin Global Reef Record
XL Catlin Global Reef Record

A week-long symposium on coral reefs wrapped up with a call to action. A letter sent to the Australian Prime Minister on Saturday urged the government to take steps toward curbing fossil fuel consumption. It was signed by the 2,500 attendees of the International Coral Reef Symposium…held in Honolulu. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

XL Catlin Seaview Survey
XL Catlin Seaview Survey

The bigger picture surrounding the state of our reefs just became a bit clearer. New technology and imaging data are helping scientists quickly survey coral reefs from around the world. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Equipped with a 360-degree underwater camera and three powerful processing units, a collaborative research project has become a coral data goldmine.

Flickr / hawaii
Flickr / hawaii

UPDATE: As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Hawaiian Telcom says they have resolved the issue that caused intermittent phone service issues across the state. The problem stemmed from a glitch in the call routing equipment, which allowed only some voice calls to complete. 

Hawaiian Telcom is experiencing technical problems that have caused intermittent phone outages across the islands. Hawaiian Telcom spokesperson Ann Nishida Fry says the problem started this morning at 6 a.m.

The phone outages have also affected 911 lines on Maui, Hawai‘i Island, and Kaua‘i.

Flickr/Geoff Livingston
Flickr/Geoff Livingston

Hawai‘i residents have to earn $34.22 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental.  That’s according to a new study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. They ranked Hawaii the most expensive state in the nation when it comes to renting an apartment. HPR’s Molly Solomon explains.

Flickr / madmarv00
Flickr / madmarv00

On this Memorial Day, thousands of paper lanterns will illuminate the waters off Ala Moana Beach Park. 50,000 people are expected to attend tonight’s annual Floating Lantern Hawaii festival. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

NASA
NASA

Weather officials say Hawai‘i will see normal to above normal activity this hurricane season, predicting between four and seven tropical cyclones. 

The 2016 outlook comes on the heels of last season’s record-setting El Niño year. That’s when 15 named storms entered the Central Pacific, the highest in recorded history. 

Kauai Fire Department
Kauai Fire Department

Officials are investigating the cause of a fiery plane crash on the south shore of Kauai that killed all five people on board. 

The crash happened at Port Allen Airport shortly after takeoff in Hanapēpē. Sarah Blane, a spokesperson for the County of Kaua‘i, says the plane, a single engine Cessna, is owned by the company Skydive Kaua‘i.

Four of them were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. One adult male was transferred to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where he was then pronounced dead.

DLNR
DLNR

Scientists are getting a better idea of how sharks behave and why so many attacks have occurred off Maui. The study, commissioned by the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources monitored more than 40 tagged sharks in waters off Maui and Oahu. HPR’s Molly Solomon shares their findings.

Carl Meyer is used to getting up close and personal with one of Hawai‘i’s apex predators. He’s spent the past two years tagging tiger sharks in Hawai‘i to study their behavior. He cues up a video from a camera he attached to a shark off Maui in January, peak mating season for tiger sharks.

Flickr / albertogp123
Flickr / albertogp123

Student test scores may no longer be linked to a teacher’s job performance.

The Hawaii State Board of Education unanimously approved recommendations that would get rid of standardized testing from the evaluation process. That’s a big deal for educators, who say the evaluations are unfairly tied to teacher pay and impact retention.

Amy Perruso is the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association secretary-treasurer and a social studies teacher at Mililani High.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Little rainfall and an ongoing drought suggests that Hawai‘i is in for a hot, dry summer. It’s also stoking concerns that the islands will experience a busy fire season.

Back in March, Joseph Momoa was heading home to Nānākuli. As soon as he stepped out of his truck, he knew something was wrong: he could smell it.

“When I turned around and faced the mountain, there was a cloud of smoke coming over the top,” said Momoa.”I knew the wind was coming around this area and sweeping over to my side. I was thinking this fire’s going to be here in about five minutes.”

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

This corpse flower is no shrinking violet. And anyone who caught a whiff of it in bloom this week at Foster Botanical Garden certainly knows the pungent blossom lives up to its name.

Scot Mitamura, a horticulturist at the gardens, said the corpse flower, or Amorphophallus titanium, started to open Thursday afternoon. The plant, originally from Sumatra, Indonesia, takes 10 years to blossom from seed. It then unleashes its signature smell when it reopens every two to five years.

Flickr / NOAA's National Ocean Service
Flickr / NOAA's National Ocean Service

Hundreds of the world’s top ocean scientists will gather in Honolulu next month for the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium. It’s the first time the conference will be held in Hawai‘i. 

Leading coral experts say it’s a critical time for our reefs. Warming sea temperatures and increased ocean acidification are continuing to stress these ecosystems. Human activity has also taken a toll: overfishing, runoff of sewage and sediments from the shore.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Retention of new teachers continues to be a problem for Hawai‘i. The state Department of Education recently said it anticipates hiring as many as 1,600 vacancies for next school year. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, educators are looking at creative solutions to keep those positions filled.

On a recent evening, teachers swapped their textbooks for yoga mats. That’s right -- it’s stress-relief night at the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Transgender advocates are calling on the Hawai‘i State Department of Education to move more quickly on creating specific guidelines for transgender students. An online petition supporting those plans has already received more than 5,600 signatures over the past two weeks.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The Hawai‘i state health department has named the first eight licensees who will grow and sell medical marijuana. The winning companies now face the challenge of cultivating the product in time for dispensaries to open as early as July 15.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

So far this year, there have been eight pedestrians killed on O‘ahu’s roads. Advocates say one solution includes revamping streets to make them safer for all users, whether on bike, car or foot.

Jared Christenot meets me on a busy Kalihi street, outside Kaewai Elementary. He works at Kōkua Kalihi Valley, a nonprofit community health center. That busy street we’re on, Kamehameha IV Road, connects Likelike highway with North School Street. Big semis and trucks whizz by the largely residential neighborhood. Next door is a middle school and a district park.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Next month is graduation season, a good time to look back at how Hawai‘i students are making their way through college. It can be a lot harder for some, especially if you’re the first in your family to go to college. HPR’s Molly Solomon spoke with someone who knows this first hand.

Carolyn Phapakdy was always headed out of Wai‘anae. The 20 year old has big dreams, that include being the first in her family to get a college degree. "I'm just that way because I'm motivated to get somewhere."

DBEDT
DBEDT

About one in four residents in Hawai‘i speak a language other than English at home. That’s according to a new report by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, it offers a different look into the state’s diverse community.

The report shows more than 130 languages are spoken across the islands. The top three include Ilocano, Tagalog, and Japanese.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

After nearly nine months on the ground, a solar-powered plane will return to the skies. The Solar Impulse 2 will continue its flight around the world, possibly as early as April 15th. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited Kalaeloa Airport for a test flight and has this report.

At an altitude of more than 7,000 feet, pilot Andre Borshberg glides the solar plane over parts of west O‘ahu early one morning. It was the first time he’s returned to the cockpit since last July, when he made history flying solo from Japan to Honolulu, a nearly 118-hour trip.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hula’s most prestigious festival Merrie Monarch begins tonight. For more than 50 years, hula hālau from across the islands have descended on Hilo for the three-day competition. But some traditions are being altered this year, in light of a rapidly spreading disease that’s killing Hawai‘i’s ‘ōhi‘a trees. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Music fills the empty gym of St Francis School in Mānoa. Dancers line up for one last practice before heading to Hilo to compete in Merrie Monarch. One of their kumu, Robert Keano Ka‘upu, yells out notes as they glide onto the floor.

Flickr / Edmund Garman
Flickr / Edmund Garman

If you’re a Hawai‘i resident, this may come as no surprise: Hawai‘i is an expensive place to live. A new study highlights that reality and exactly how many of Hawai‘i’s working families are living paycheck to paycheck. HPR’s Molly Solomon explains.

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