News Bites

Jackie Young
Jackie Young

Oʻahu’s largest food pantry is being forced out of its current location. Feeding Hawaiʻi Together serves as a lifeline for about 2-thousand needy people each week—providing food and household goods.  But right now, the nonprofit is in trouble.  HPR contributing reporter Jackie Young has more on the challenges facing Feeding Hawaiʻi Together.

Oahu Community Correction Center
Oahu Community Correction Center

One of the last and most notable executions to take place in Hawai‘i occurred 87 years ago tomorrow.   The case attracted national attention and divided ethnic communities.

In September of 1928… Myles Fukunaga confessed to abducting and killing 10-year-old George Gill Jamieson, the son of a prominent white businessman.  He told police he wanted to use the ransom money to send his parents back to Japan….and save them from a life of poverty in Hawaii.

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.

Kathy Swendiman / Flickr
Kathy Swendiman / Flickr

Health care access just got more convenient for veterans living on the Leeward coast of O‘ahu.  The Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center has started a care partnership with the Veterans Choice Program.

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.

Tim Pierce / Flickr
Tim Pierce / Flickr

Protests across the country are springing up following the election of Donald Trump. Thousands filled the streets in at least 25 US cities on Wednesday and Thursday.  Major demonstrations were focused outside Trump properties.

Activist group World Can’t Wait Hawai‘i is hosting a rally this afternoon (Friday) on O‘ahu.  Organizer Liz Rees says it was enlightening to see protests happening across the country. 

The World Can’t Wait rally against Trump’s takes place this afternoon from 4-6pm at the Entrance to Ala Moana Beach Park.

Outrigger Hotels Sold

Nov 8, 2016
clohr / Flickr
clohr / Flickr

One of Hawai‘i’s largest hotel chains has been sold.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts will be purchased by K-S-L Capital Partners—a private equity group. Although terms were not disclosed.  The transaction includes all of Outrigger's hotels, condominiums, and vacation resort properties.

Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit at UH
Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit at UH

The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has completed work on a 5 mile fence to protect native birds from feral animals, especially cats.  Around 75 pairs of the endangered Hawaiian petrel live on Hawai‘i Island… and make their nests in lava rock burrows.  Parents take turns incubating a single egg, and sometimes forage for food in very distant places.  Jessica Ferracane is the Public Affairs Officer for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

HSO
HSO

The Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra is having an interplanetary weekend of classical music.

This Saturday the “Pops” symphony is performing the music of Star Trek… pulled from both the series as well as films.  On Sunday the Masterworks series presents ‘The Planets’, written by Gustav Holst.  Both performances will use video projected above the performers, showing clips of Star Trek and footage from NASA.  Jonathan Parrish is the Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra.

baldeaglebluff / Flickr
baldeaglebluff / Flickr

Hawaiʻi’s oldest food festival is celebrating its 46th anniversary next month in Kona.

Jackie Young
Jackie Young

A neighborhood bookstore in Honolulu’s neighborhood of Mō‘ili‘ili will be closing down soon. It’s been part of the university community for nearly 40 years. The store's manager says it's because of financial pressures--but the enterprise isn't disappearing entirely.  Jackie Young has more on the changing times for a familiar store.

Revolution Books opened in 1976, near Tamashiro Market in Kalihi. Within 2 years, it moved to the university area and has been there ever since—specializing in a wide range of topics, including politics, feminism, religion and the environment.

FHKE / Flickr
FHKE / Flickr

A Shinto shrine has provided downtown Honolulu with small slice of tranquility for more than a century.  The Izumo Taishakyo Mission is celebrating its 110 birthday on Sunday with an annual Omatsuri festival of thanksgiving.  Daiya Amano is the Bishop of the Izumo Taishakyo Shrine. 

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

This fall the Bishop Museum is expanding its programming with the return of laser shows and children’s stories with a scientific twist.

The J. Watumull planetarium is hosting a children’s play entitled “The Boy who fell in Love with a Star” which combines the building’s technology and live theater.  The play is written and performed by Adela Chu and storyteller Jeff Gere.  Performances run from October 15th until mid-November, with shows at 9:00 and 10:30.  Gere says it’s a science lesson woven into a children’s story.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The U.S. Navy's plan to repair leaks at its Red Hill fuel storage facility on Oʻahu has been rejected by state and federal officials. 

A letter from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health found 11 inadequacies in the proposal.  The Navy has been given 30 days to correct problems which range from including more monitoring wells to providing more details in the plan.

The fuel storage complex in Red Hill is located 100-feet above the groundwater aquifer that serves 600-thousand people.

The Little Fire Ant infestation on Hawai‘i Island may be hurting dogs and cats.  Reports say that bites from the ants may be causing a clouding of the eyes of pets, sometimes leading to partial blindness.  Animal advocates say the condition is called tropical keratopathy and is found in tropical and semi-tropical places, especially where there are Little Fire Ants.  While the link has not been proven, advocates say more research is needed.

Matthew Shepard, Xerces Society
Matthew Shepard, Xerces Society

It’s a historic but sobering event for Hawai‘i’s native bees.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has added seven species of Native Hawaiian yellow-faced bees to the endangered species list.  It’s also the first time any bees in the US have been added to the list.

United States National Trust
United States National Trust

Downtown Honolulu’s Historic Hawai‘i Theater has announced their 2016 through 2017 season.

The lineup is filled with notable and adventurous acts from Hawai‘i and around the world.  

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.

Ward Villages
Ward Villages

There’s a lot of new development coming to The Ward Village in Kaka‘ako.

International Pacific Research Center
International Pacific Research Center

Our ancient ancestors may have migrated from Africa a lot earlier than previously thought.

Scientist with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa are using computer simulations to show how climate change influenced migration for Homo sapiens over the past 125,000 years. The model simulates ice-ages, abrupt climate change and captures the arrival times of Homo sapiens in the Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, Southern China, and Australia in close agreement with paleoclimate reconstructions and fossil and archaeological evidence.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

A new study is trying to find the missing puzzle piece in the effort to curb homelessness in Hawai‘i.

The Aloha United Way and the Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice are using part of a $5 million state grant to study entry points to homelessness.  Research will focus on understanding how people slip through incarceration, hospital emergency rooms and the foster care system using different research methods, data collection, and focus groups.

_e.t / Flickr
_e.t / Flickr

Whole Foods has stopped buying longline caught fish from auction following concerns over labor practices conducted by some fishing vessels. 

Paul Downey / Flickr
Paul Downey / Flickr

One in six Hawai‘i residents lives in poverty.  That’s according to new figures from the US Census Bureau….which includes the cost of living as part of the calculation.  The traditional measure of poverty is based only on income.

When you figure in the cost of living, Hawai‘i’s poverty rate skyrockets from 11% of the population to nearly 17%.  Nicole Woo is the senior policy analyst with the Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.  She says the latest figure is a reminder that Hawai‘i’s relatively low unemployment rate only tells part of the state’s true economic story.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

Oh the rain.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for most of the state as more heavy showers are expected.

Dr.Farouk / Flickr
Dr.Farouk / Flickr

Hawai‘i is still experiencing a shortage of doctors… but help may be on the way.  A survey conducted by the John A. Burns School of Medicine says just under 3,000 doctors are licensed to treat patients in Hawai‘i. 

Last year yielded some good news, the state lost 45 doctors to retirement, but gained 97 new doctors…a huge jump from just four new recruits the year before.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Hawaiian Island authorities are urging the public to keep a safe distance from lava entering the ocean.  Lava from the Pu‘u ‘ō‘ō vent continues to flow into the water near Kamokuna, and its attracting a lot of visitors.

But scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say the new earth can build a fragile platform known as a “lava delta”.  The shelf can break off without warning… sending steam, boiling water and football sized molten rock in all directions.  Janet Babb is a scientist with the Hawai‘i Volcano Observatory. 

GoFarms Hawaii
GoFarms Hawaii

Gov. David Ige has pledged to double local food production in Hawai‘i by the year 2030.  To help meet that demand the University of Hawai‘i is expanding its “GoFarm Hawai‘i” agriculture program to Hawai‘i island.  The program currently maintains teaching fields on O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i.

Salvation Army USA West / Flickr
Salvation Army USA West / Flickr

One of O‘ahu’s largest assistance food pantries could shut down if it doesn’t find a new home in the next few months.

For nearly two decades Feeding Hawai‘i Together has provided free goods and food on a daily basis to around 400 clients living below the poverty level.

Richard Fisher / Flickr
Richard Fisher / Flickr

Several species of humpback whales have been removed from the endangered species list.

This week, the National Marine Fisheries Service reclassified humpback whale species into 14 different categories.  9 of those were removed from the list or reclassified as threatened and that includes species found in Hawaiian waters.

The agency had previously classified all humpback whales as a single population… saying they were all endangered.

Manoa Valley Theater
Manoa Valley Theater

Mānoa Valley Theater...Honolulu's 150 seat, Off-Broadway playhouse, opens its 48th season next week with a story about a wedding gone wrong.  The musical comedy “It Shoulda Been You” runs from next Friday until October 2nd.  The story revolves around a Jewish-Catholic wedding that is derailed by ex-lovers and alcoholic parents.

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