News Bites

University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu Center for Labor Education and Research
University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu Center for Labor Education and Research

A new documentary is capturing the music of Hawai‘i’s plantation history.

Japanese workers cutting sugar cane passed the time and dealt with difficult conditions by improvising songs called “Holehole Bushi”.

The name roughly translates to “dried cane leaf song”, and they became musical windows into the hardships of early plantation life

But the songs were almost forgotten as workers left the fields for the city.  Their memory was preserved in recordings from a music teacher named Harry Urata who recorded hundreds of examples in the early 80’s.

National Tsunami Warning Center
National Tsunami Warning Center

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has dropped the tsunami advisory for Oʻahu and Maui County as officials saw conditions were no threat to the state.  

Based on all available data, a major tsunami is not expected to strike the state.  However - sea level changes and strong currents may occur along all coasts and could be a hazard to swimmers and boaters as well as to people near the shore.  The threat may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival. 

Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith / Flickr
Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith / Flickr

The US Navy has agreed to limit its use of sonar and explosive training off the coast of Hawai‘i and Southern California that may harm marine life.

A lawsuit filed in 2013 by environmental group Earthjustice challenged the National Marine Fisheries’ five-year permit for testing. 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra is generating dialogue about what Hawai‘i’s sustainable energy future should look like.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

The muggy weather and soaring temperatures are setting records across the state.  And inside ‘Ewa Beach schools – classroom temperatures hover around 93-degrees and can go upwards of 108-degrees.

Parents of students at James Campbell High School are organizing a drive this Saturday called “Be Cool 4 Campbell” to gather new (or gently used) fans for classrooms.  Fans can be dropped off at the school from 9am till 1pm or the Kapolei K-Mart from 9am till 5pm.

Michelle Barbieri
Michelle Barbieri

An abandoned monk seal pup is now being cared for in Kona.

The emaciated pup was found on Monday during a survey being conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Ni‘ihau.  Rescue workers who discovered the seal waited to see if the seals mother would return.  When it was clear she was gone, they arranged for the seals transport.  The Robinson family and the US Coast guard transported the pup to the Ke Kai Ola monk seal rehabilitation facility in Kona.

ChefSteps / Flickr
ChefSteps / Flickr

Kapi‘olani Community College has broken ground for a new culinary school campus.  The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head is located at the former site of the Cannon Club.

The school will offer students an advanced professional certificate in culinary management.  The 25-million-dollar first phase includes two classroom buildings, parking, and an outdoor cooking area. Future plans include pastry and confectionary classrooms… as well as a teaching restaurant.  John Morton is the Vice President of the U-H Community College systems. 

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

Campbell estate heiress Abigail Kawānanakoa has filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu to re-address the City Council’s approval of the rail project.  The lawsuit seeks to invalidate key votes of two former Honolulu City Council members who favored the rail project.  Former city council members Romy Cachola and Nestor Garcia agreed to pay fines to the city ethics commission for accepting gifts from lobbyists who profited from rail construction.

Bridget G. Morgan is an attorney representing Kawānanakoa. 

billsoPHOTO / Flickr
billsoPHOTO / Flickr

Today is the 177th birthday of Queen Lili'uokalani.  She was Hawaii’s last monarch, and witness to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  

be808 / Flickr
be808 / Flickr

A Hawaii congressman has a new idea to help a couple of major roadways on Oahu. The financial impact of light rail construction has slowed repairs to Kamehameha and Farrington Highways.  The two corridors serve as vital links between Aiea and Waipahu for residents, and require improvements brought on by the rail.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the next step in addressing questions about the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility.  More than 140 comments were received during the public comment period over the Navy’s Administrative Order on Consent to repair and maintain the facility.  Early last year an estimated 27-thousand gallons of jet fuel leaked from the tanks, igniting concerns about threats to drinking water.

Kyle Nishioka / Flickr
Kyle Nishioka / Flickr

The first partial sweep of the Kaka‘ako homeless encampment will take place the day after Labor Day.  Mayor Kirk Caldwell says notices will be given to people living there next Monday—telling them to leave.  The area is a small portion of the Kaka‘ako Waterfront where about 20 to 25 people are living.  Earlier this week, city officials announced 28 people had been moved from the Kaka‘ako homeless encampment into shelters. 

Waikiki Beach Reopens

Aug 25, 2015
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The State Department of Health issued an all clear notification for Ala Moana Beach Park and Waikiki beach.  Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director for the Hawaii Department of Health made the announcement. 

More than 500,000 gallons of water overflowed from manholes near Ala Moana Center and spilled into nearby parks and waterways.  A faulty water pump and miscommunication over repairs are being blamed for the flood.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The life of Hawaii’s ambassador of aloha is being celebrated in a new exhibit at the Bishop Museum.

A retrospective of the life and accomplishments of Duke Kahanamoku is the museum’s first exhibition about a single person.  Kahanamoku is remembered as an Olympic champion who popularized the sport of surfing.  He was also a sheriff, a businessman, and an ambassador for Hawaiian culture.  Michael Wilson is an exhibit designer for the Bishop Museum. 

Raphael Ritson-Williams
Raphael Ritson-Williams

Researchers with the University of Hawaii at Manoa are being honored for their work to understand and reverse coral bleaching. The team headed by Ruth Gates and Madeleine van Oppen from the Australian Institute of Marine Science attempts to grow coral that’s resistant to the effects of global warming and rising levels of acid in the water.

www.theoceancleanup.com
www.theoceancleanup.com

The first leg of the largest ocean clean-up in history kicked off this weekend from Honolulu.

“The Ocean Clean-up” began as an idea by 17-year-old Boyan Slat.  His idea was simple… use the ocean’s current to clean out plastic debris.  He came up with a catch system designed to be moored to the sea-bed.  The floating design traps debris circulating in the great pacific gyre and collects it in a V-Shaped barrier for recycling.  The stationary design uses minimal energy… and allows marine life to swim free of the debris.

  

Hawaii’s live jazz scene will be getting a well-known venue next year with the addition of a Blue Note Jazz Club. The 300 seat venue will occupy the former Society of Seven showroom inside the Outrigger Waikiki.  Barbara Campbell is the Vice President of Retail Leasing and Property Management for Outrigger Hotels.

A Different View of ‘Aloha’

Jun 4, 2015
Neal Preston/Columbia Pictures
Neal Preston/Columbia Pictures

The movie “Aloha” had a disappointing first weekend at the box office, coming in number six in terms of ticket sales. The reviews have not been good either, and the film has sparked controversy in part because a cast that’s almost entirely white. We sought out a local perspective from Noelle Kahanu, who works in American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and is currently a commissioner of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.  

Tim&Elisa / Flickr
Tim&Elisa / Flickr

The Hawaii Farm Bureau is opening a new farmers market beginning this Sunday in Hale'iwa. The market will run weekly from 8am till noon and feature more than twenty-five vendors will be selling an array of locally grown products, produce and plants. The market will be located on the “Backyard Hale'iwa” lot behind the North Shore Marketplace.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency and the US Navy have reached a tentative deal about the Red Hill fuel storage facility. Early last year an estimated 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from the tanks, igniting concerns about threats to drinking water.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

Meteorologists with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center are predicting a busy storm season. In their pre season press conference officials predicted 5 to 8 tropical cyclones could form in the central pacific basin this year.  The busiest months for hurricanes are July thorough October, and models point to a 70% chance for an above normal season because of El Nino conditions. Tom Evans is the acting director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.  He says it only takes one storm to produce devastating results.  

Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission Facebook
Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission Facebook

The Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission is asking the public for donations to continue restoration efforts on Kaho'olawe. They’ve started a GoFundMe account to make up some of the money lost in the last legislative session. The organization needs $100,000 by June 15th to maintain regular access to the island.

badassoftheweek.com / CC
badassoftheweek.com / CC

  

Today is Cinco De Mayo, a celebration that’s come a long way from its historic roots in Mexico.  In the US, May 5th is often mistakenly associated with Mexico’s Independence Day….which actually falls on September 16th.  But historically, the 5th of May marks the Mexican Army’s brief victory over French forces during the battle of Puebla in 1862.  The French occupation of Mexico continued for the next three years until support was cut by Napoleon III, leaving French occupiers to fight on until their slaughter.

Highways England / Flickr
Highways England / Flickr

The University of Hawaii has launched a new mobile app aimed at keeping students safer on campus.  The app is being called "The Manoa Guardian" and allows students to set a timer that notifies a designated contact person or campus security if the user doesn’t check in, or cancel the timer.  Students can also report incidents on campus, alerting security to the time and location of the witness by allowing campus security to respond using the senders GPS location.  Sarah Rice is the Community Programs Manager for the Department of Public Safety for the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

Andy Arthur / Flickr
Andy Arthur / Flickr

In our series this week “Trashing Paradise” we’ve been looking at a number of issues involving waste in Hawaii, and many of them differ from island to island.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

All this week we’re taking a closer look at ‘ōpala across the islands, in a series we call “Trashing Paradise.” Today we shift our focus to the Big Island of Hawai‘i—where earlier this year, Mayor Billy Kenoi announced a change in plans for the island’s future. HPR’s Bill Dorman reports.

You can find our entire "Trashing Paradise" series here.

NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr
NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr

HPR’s "Trashing Paradise" series continues with a look at the dangers of plastic runoff.

Steven Guerrisi / Flickr
Steven Guerrisi / Flickr

As we continue our series “Trashing Paradise,” we wanted to take a look at what happens to garbage near the ocean when it doesn’t go where it’s supposed to go.

Smabs Sputzer / Flickr
Smabs Sputzer / Flickr

In our continuing series "Trashing Paradise," we take a look at the continuing fight against littering and the illegal dumping of personal garbage.

friendsofqueentheater.org Via historichawaii.org
friendsofqueentheater.org Via historichawaii.org

A historic theater in Kaimuki may be getting an encore.

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