General Assignment

Flickr / Alexodus
Flickr / Alexodus

Next summer Hawaii will debut its first medical marijuana dispensary system. But lawmakers say there are still many issues that need clarification. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Governor David Ige announced an extension to allow more time to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act. The special enrollment period will apply to Hawai‘i residents from countries of the Compact of Free Association, including Micronesia. The state now has until February 15 to enroll the 6000 COFA citizens who still need insurance. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

Hundreds of thousands of native ohia trees are dying off because of a new fungus. The disease is spreading across the Big Island and state officials are hoping to contain it before it reaches other islands. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Flickr / Sanofi Pasteur
Flickr / Sanofi Pasteur

The number of cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island continues to climb. Yesterday the Hawaii Department of Health confirmed 170 cases locally acquired since September. Until 2001, when it surfaced on Maui, the tropical disease hadn't been seen in Hawaii in more than 60 years.  As HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, this could mean dengue fever is on the rise in the U.S. and around the world.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The idea of art therapy is not a new concept. One local program has been around for more than two decades, helping 300 new patients this year alone. It’s proving so effective, that even after they finish their treatment, former patients still come back for the art. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Flickr / LuxTonnerre
Flickr / LuxTonnerre

An election to determine a way forward on self-governance for Native Hawaiians has been canceled. Still leaders from the group Naʻi Aupuni say they will go forward with a four-week long constitutional convention next year. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.
 

To avoid what could be years of litigation, organizers have terminated a vote some say may have been a path to Hawaiian nationhood. "No further votes will be accepted," said Kuhio Asam, the President of the group organizing the election, Naʻi Aupuni. "And no votes already cast will be counted."

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The clock is ticking for Hawai‘i residents who want to enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The deadline is tomorrow and the state is scrambling to sign people up in time. That’s a special challenge for more than 7,500 Hawai‘i residents from countries of the Compact of Free Association, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports the transition hasn’t always been easy.

Liquid Robotics
Liquid Robotics

Scientists are turning to new technologies to determine the health of Maunalua Bay. A new ocean robot is collecting data on everything from turbidity levels to pollutants in the water. HPR’s Molly Solomon took a boat tour of the bay and has this report.

Flickr / Marvin Chandra
Flickr / Marvin Chandra

Officials from the state’s biggest industry shared their plans for promoting the islands to key international markets, including China, Southeast Asia, and Korea. HPR’s Molly Solomon was there and has this report.

It was mostly good news at Tuesday’s tourism briefings. For example Hawai‘i saw a 29% increase in travelers from China this year, bringing it up to the fourth most popular destination in the United States.

Thirty Meter Telescope Corp.
Thirty Meter Telescope Corp.

The state’s highest court has revoked a permit for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled that due process was violated when it approved the permit for the telescope before holding a contested case hearing. TMT may now have to go through the process again if they still want to construct the $1.4 billion telescope. 

Kevin Kodama / Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Kevin Kodama / Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Today marks the official end to what’s been a busy hurricane season in Hawai‘i. It’s been a record-breaking year for the islands, with a total of 15 tropical cyclones formed in the Central Pacific. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is right around the corner. And for many that means the return of a favorite local celebrity. Shaka Santa is heading to Honolulu Hale starting next week. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, a lot goes in to preparing him for his holiday debut.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

When it comes to Thanksgiving traditions, nothing is more local than a turkey served up imu-style. Last night hundreds of birds were placed in underground ovens, called imus. They steam overnight on hot lava rocks, covered with layers of banana leaf. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, the results are delicious!

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

There’s new evidence in a case challenging the Honolulu’s stored property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances. That’s according to the American Civil Liberties Union. It’s representing 14 plaintiffs in a suit against the city and county’s response to homeless people and their personal property. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Flickr/Melissa Emmons Photography
Flickr/Melissa Emmons Photography

The state Department of Health has confirmed 4 more people have dengue fever. That brings the total up to 15 cases on Hawai‘i Island. It’s prompted Hawai‘i County to close Hookena Beach Park in Captain Cook. Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira says it’s the first time the county has closed a beach in response to dengue fever.

Flickr/Sanofi Pasteur
Flickr/Sanofi Pasteur

Dengue fever is back in Hawai‘i. So far, the number of confirmed cases has jumped to 11, all of them acquired locally on the Big Island. HPR’s Molly Solomon has the latest.

Flickr / USDAgov
Flickr / USDAgov

Hawai‘i is ground zero when it comes to tackling invasive species. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the Big Island, where residents deal with everything from little fire ants to coqui frogs. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, it’s the focus of an upcoming community forum.

Flickr / Prayitno
Flickr / Prayitno

It’s another record month for tourism in the islands. More than 650,000 visitors traveled to Hawai‘i in September. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, the amount of money they’re spending is beginning to decline.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Governor David Ige announced plans to clear new homeless camps in Kaka‘ako. The 130 people living on state park land will have three weeks to move before sweeps begin in November. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, the Governor’s plan relies on help from those who work with the homeless. 

Oiwi TV / Sam Kapoi
Oiwi TV / Sam Kapoi

Halfway around the world: that’s how far the voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a has traveled since it left the islands last year. The canoe is now making its way down the coast of South Africa toward Cape Town. We caught up with crew member Billy Richards as part of our ongoing series, Hōkūle‘a: Voyage of Aloha.

Follow the two voyaging canoes on Google Maps:

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

All this week we’ve been returning to stories we’ve covered in the past, it’s part of our series “Following Up.” Yesterday we brought you the story of two women and what life has been like for them after prison. Their experiences behind bars sparked a passion to help ease the transition for other women. HPR’s Molly Solomon spoke with them recently and has this report.

TEDxHonolulu
TEDxHonolulu

All this week, Hawai‘i Public Radio is revisiting stories we’ve covered in the past to bring you up to date with the latest developments. It’s a series we call “Following Up.” Today we return to a story of two formerly incarcerated women who are struggling to adjust to life on the outside.

Michele Reynolds/USGS
Michele Reynolds/USGS

Rising sea level and climate change could leave some atolls in the Pacific and Indian Ocean uninhabitable. That’s according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, researchers worry that could happen sooner than you think.

The study was recently published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

It’s been nearly a year since tourism officials funded a plan to tackle Waikīkī’s homeless problem. Now they’re looking to expand the model to neighbor islands, starting first on Maui. HPR’s Molly Solomon has an update.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The U.S. Interior Department is moving forward with a proposed rule that could lead to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. The announcement comes one year after Department officials led a series of listening sessions across the state and on the mainland. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, the decision now lies with the Native Hawaiian community to decide what it wants.

Oiwi TV / Naalehu Anthony
Oiwi TV / Naalehu Anthony

Preparations are underway as voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a plans to embark on the next leg of its sail around the world. We checked in with crew member Billy Richards, who was on the original 1976 voyage to Tahiti and has been involved with Hōkūle‘a ever since. It’s part of our ongoing series: Hōkūle‘a: Voyage of Aloha.

Follow the voyaging canoe online on Google Maps:

Flickr / Eric Rolph
Flickr / Eric Rolph

Sweltering summer temperatures have put the heat on the Department of Education to cool Hawai‘i classrooms. The DOE says they’re installing 250 portable AC units across the state. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, some experts are hoping the department will also consider long term solutions to beat the heat.

Whether it’s a classroom or an office, when you’re talking about hot buildings, a good place to start is the roof, says Stephen Allen, an HPU professor who teaches courses in sustainable building. “Most of the heat gain for the buildings comes in through the roof.”

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The state Department of Health is unveiling an updated plan for the Hawai‘i State Hospital, that would more than double the amount of available beds for patients. The new plan includes a 144-bed state of the art facility, designed to ease overcrowding and improve safety for patients and staff.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Metered parking spaces in Kaka‘ako and downtown Honolulu were temporarily transformed on Friday into public spaces. It’s part of a national initiative called Park(ing) Day, meant to promote awareness of the importance of parks and green space in urban areas. HPR’s Molly Solomon was there and has this report.

Justine Espiritu is at the intersection of Cooke and Auahi Street. She’s fashioning together a set of pallets to create a platform for what’s called a parklet. It’s a public space that can be used as a park, a place to display art…and pretty much anything else.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Exactly how much sewage spilled onto streets near Ala Moana beach last month? A new report reveals a number that’s 200,000 gallons more than what the city last reported to the public. HPR’s Molly Solomon tells us why.

Honolulu officials first said more than half a million gallons of wastewater had spewed from manholes onto streets, after heavy rains overwhelmed the city’s sewage system. Two days later, the city revised its numbers, saying only about 129,000 gallons reached the ocean.

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