News Bites

Ginny / Flickr
Ginny / Flickr

The 11th annual Honolulu Book and Music Festival takes place this weekend on the grounds of Honolulu Hale. The two day event mixes books, storytelling and music to promote literacy and culture.

More than fifty authors, poets, and storytellers will discuss their recent work on a variety of panels.  On the main stage… Hawaiian musicians and hula hālaus will entertain festival goers. New this year is a wellness discussion with leaders from the Buddhist community.  Dave Deluca is the board chair of the Honolulu Book and Music Festival.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Governor David Ige says the biggest outbreak of dengue fever ever recorded in Hawai‘i appears to be over.

Ige says state officials still need to be vigilant about controlling mosquitoes….but he thanked lawmakers for restoring funding for positions to battle the outbreak.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority CEO George Szigeti said the today’s announcement is a vote of confidence for visitors to the state and to Hawai‘i Island.

The outbreak of dengue fever started in September….and sickened a total of 264 people. The last case was reported on March 17th.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

In Hawai‘i, five-percent of children under the age of 18 has a parent who’s behind bars…that’s around 16,000 kids.

These findings come from a new report from the Anne E. Casey Foundation, which addresses the impact of children whose parents are incarcerated. 

According to the study, more than five-million-children in the US are separated from a parent who is behind bars.  As a result… children are financially and socially impacted… making them prone to repeat bad habits.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

If a major catastrophe would ever hit Hawai‘i and we exhausted our supply of medication there is a fall back plan.  The US strategic national stockpile of medicine and supplies could be tapped and delivered within 12 hours.

The Department of Health would distribute that medication to the public through “points of distribution” or “pods” spread out across the state.

Honolulu City and County
Honolulu City and County

Honolulu City and Council officials are looking for the public’s feedback on a renovation plan to Ala Moana Beach Park.

A nine point plan announced last year has already made improvements to the park.  But last week the city released a draft plan that would redesign the 948 existing parking, switching to angled stalls near the McCoy Pavillion.

Arne Hendriks / Flickr
Arne Hendriks / Flickr

A UH Manoa Engineering team says microorganisms in wastewater grease traps may be contributing to a clogged sewer system.  Restaurant grease traps are designed to trap fat, oil, and grease (FOG) from getting into the sewer.

Colbert Matsumoto
Colbert Matsumoto

Mayor Kirk Caldwell has picked Colbert Matsumoto to serve on the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit.

Matsumoto is the executive chairman of Island Insurance Company, and also helped to steer the Bishop Estate in the late 90’s.  He’ll serve out the remaining term of former chair Don Horner who resigned last week following growing criticism over the rising cost of the project.

http://tastyislandhawaii.com
http://tastyislandhawaii.com

Hawai‘i’s capital city has debuted as one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the country.  That’s according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—which ranked Honolulu as number seven of the top ten.

Hubert Figuière / Flickr
Hubert Figuière / Flickr

Each year jellyfish stings kill more people than shark attacks.  Although most jellyfish stings are not lethal, their stings can lead to a painful lasting burn. 

There are also conflicting opinions on how to properly treat them.  But researchers from the University of Hawai‘i’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center say soothing a sting with ice may not be the solution.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A change at the top of the Honolulu train project.

Don Horner has resigned as chairman of the board of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit Authority.  He submitted his resignation to Mayor Kirk Caldwell today….after a meeting of about 20 minutes at Honolulu Hale.

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, his letter read in part, “Too often in politics the focus becomes shooting the messenger of unpleasant news rather than collaboratively working on solutions.”  City Council Chair Ernie Martin had called on Horner to resign in the face of rising costs of the rail project. 

Tom Quach
Tom Quach

If you see a large groups of people dressed as comic book heroes near Ala Moana this weekend… here’s why.

It’s time for the Kawaii Kon- Hawai‘i’s longest running animation convention.  The three day event celebrates Japanese anime and manga and video games and the social culture that surrounds them.

Sean Davey
Sean Davey

468 acres of North Shore land across the street from the Turtle Bay resort will be forever preserved from development.

State officials and landowners of the resort announced an “agricultural conversion easement” to permanently reserve the land for agricultural uses.  The deal prohibits future subdivision, changes in zoning, and residential or resort development.  Twelve farmers are currently working the land by growing fruits, vegetables, and taro.

Mayor Kenoi Arrested

Mar 29, 2016
Hawaii County Police
Hawaii County Police

Hawai‘i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi turned himself in to authorities this morning at the Puna police Station.  A bench warrant for his arrest had been issued for Kenoi’s arrest following a Hilo Grand Jury’s indictment following eight criminal charges.

The mayor is charged with two counts of felony theft, and two additional counts of misdemeanor theft stemming from the misuse of his county issued purchasing card.  He’s also charged with three misdemeanors for tampering with government records and one petty misdemeanor for false swearing.

Ari Wibowo-WWF Indonesia
Ari Wibowo-WWF Indonesia

Big news from a part of Borneo today - Kalimantan - in the Indonesian part of Borneo – where a Sumatran rhinoceros has been found in the wild there for the first time in 40 years.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A Hawai‘i County grand jury has indicted Mayor Billy Kenoi on seven different counts stemming from the misuse of his county issued purchasing card.

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

The Honolulu Zoo has lost its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace

The public will get a glimpse into the lives and fashions of Hawai‘i’s monarchs.

The Friends of Iolani Palace are unveiling the first dress in their Ali‘i Gown Reproduction project.  Big Island historic dress designer Iris Viacrusis was commissioned to reproduce the clothing based on photographs and artifacts.  There are currently three gowns being reproduced including the lei hulu and peacock gowns worn by Queen Kapi‘olani, and ostrich feather gown worn by Queen Lili‘uokalani.

www.bishopmuseum.org
www.bishopmuseum.org

Two significant pieces of Hawai‘i’s cultural history are returning to the islands this week. They are a very special ‘ahu‘ula and mahiole—or feathered cloak and helmet. In 1779, they were presented to Captain James Cook by Kalaniōpu‘u—the paramount chief of Hawai‘i Island.  HPR guest commentator Noelle Kahanu says the return is important not only because of history, but also because of timing.

HURL/ University of Hawaii.
HURL/ University of Hawaii.

Scientists with UH’s School of Ocean, Earth Science and Technology have recovered the bell from a Japanese WW2 submarine sunk off of O‘ahu.

5chw4r7z / Flickr
5chw4r7z / Flickr

Hawai‘i’s largest brewery is getting bigger.

Kona Brewing Company has broken ground on a new $20-million dollar facility that will occupy a space near its current factory.

oceanexplorer.noaa.gov
oceanexplorer.noaa.gov

A new species of octopus has been discovered in deep waters further up the Hawaiian chain.

Researchers aboard the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos discovered the creature at a depth of 4,000 meters.  Scientists were studying a connection between Necker Island and its ridge when they came upon the animal sitting on a flat rock.

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

For the last two-decades the Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center has sat on outskirts of the Kona airport.  It’s a tribute to astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who was killed in the Challenger accident after becoming the first Asian American to reach space.

Around 15,000 people visit the center each year to see exhibits which teach the principles of space and physics as well as memorabilia from Onizuka’s life.  But the center plans to close its doors at the end of the month to make way for a seventy-million dollar renovation to the Kona Airport.

Larry Loos / FLickr
Larry Loos / FLickr

This Friday marks five years since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck northern Japan. More than 16-thousand people were killed and another 7,000 were injured. The estimated $235-billion in damages makes it the costliest natural disaster in human history.  It was also a life-changing experience for HPR guest commentator Ray Tsuchiyama who now works with a national disaster training center in Honolulu.

Matthew Kent
Matthew Kent / redringstudio.com

As people like to say… “Eddie Went”

After a six-year wait and one false alarm… The “In Memory of Eddie Aikau” big wave surf competition was a “Go”. 

Marufish / Flickr
Marufish / Flickr

Homeowners frustrated over Hawaii Electric’s reluctance to add more solar power systems to their grid may soon have another option.

SolarCity announced the addition of battery sustained photovoltaic systems into the residential market.  Their design lets customers gather and store solar power throughout the day in batteries, using it at night when it’s most needed.  Homes would still be connected to the Hawaii Electric grid, but only drawing power if it were needed.

The Eddie Is On

Feb 24, 2016
Nick Yee
Nick Yee

After a six-year wait, and one false alarm… The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is on.  Contest organizers gave the “green alert” warning early Wednesday morning following a forecast for another round of record-breaking surf.  The contest commenced early this morning and is now underway.

Randy Rerick is the former director of the Triple Crown and acting Beach-Master for the Eddie. 

UPDATE - 10:00

Updates:

Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Exactly how much land in Hawai‘i is used for agriculture?

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has released an agricultural land use study which provides information on the location of commercial agriculture activities statewide.

The 2015 baseline study updates the last survey done in 1980 and provides current information and maps of the locations of Hawaii’s farms and ranches. The 1000 page report published under contract with UH Hilo is intended to help the community to make decisions about agricultural land use in the state.

The Eddie Will Go

Feb 9, 2016
Noyle
Noyle

6:30am update: The Eddie has been called off. Event officials say the big wave surf contest will not run at Waimea Bay today due to slowly building conditions. 

5:30am update: The Eddie MAY Go.  Swell has shifted, with Waimea no longer getting a direct hit.  Start of contest may be delayed till noon.  Officials are contemplating running a modified heat format. 

Parking in Waimea valley has been filled for hours, and there are reports of heavy traffic delays. 

After a six-year wait…Eddie will GO.

Global Reactions / Flickr
Global Reactions / Flickr

Toyota will discontinue its line of Scion cars later this year.

Scion was formed in 2003 to attract a younger American market with experimental designs and easily customizable body kits. You may remember the infamous “toaster shaped” XB model. Although more a million cars were sold nationally, several years of slumping sales and a lack of connection to the intended market are being blamed for the decision.

But here in Hawai‘i, local dealerships sold more than 12,000 Scion cars, with half of those sales going to people under the age of 35.

Duncan Hull / Flickr
Duncan Hull / Flickr

Here's a story to take you back to high school biology class.

You may recall that the "Y" chromosome is present in all males.  While a lot remains unknown about that gene, a recent study shows that it can be mimicked or replaced. The application of that knowledge could lead to advances in fertility treatments.

A team from the Institute for Biogenesis Research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine spent the last 2 years researching replacements for the Y chromosome.

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