Sherry Bracken

Hawaii Island Reporter
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Hawai'i County’s Mayor has about three weeks to send a budget to the County Council. Since 2000, the budget has increased more than 250 percent. That’s a concern for county property owners, who are the primary source of funds. From Hawai'i Island, Sherry Bracken has more.

Sherry Bracken

Ambulance services on every island have a number of clients who are frequent callers—some more than 50 times a year.  On Hawai'i Island, the 300 most frequent 9-1-1 callers make up eleven percent of their total calls, at a cost to the health care system of around $7 million dollars. Hawai'i County’s Fire Department is now using a new system to improve the situation. From Hawai'i Island, Sherry Bracken has more.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on earth and makes up more than half of Hawai'i Island's land mass. Its last eruption was nearly 34 years ago, but over a longer time frame time. It’s erupted every 5 to 6 years with the potential to reach far flung parts of the island. As part of “Volcano Awareness Month,” scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are hosting workshops to inform the community. From Hawai'i Island, contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more.

Marlena Dixon / State Department of Health
Marlena Dixon / State Department of Health

The State Department of Health has created a Rat Lungworm Task Force to look at this daunting disease. Also known as angiostrongyliasis, it is a concern for people throughout the state.  It causes severe pain, brain swelling, and often, ongoing neurological problems. Hawai'i Island contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked to members of the Task Force to find out what they know about some of the most frequently asked questions about the disease.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Rat lungworm disease can be devastating. The overwhelming majority of cases have been on Hawai'i Island. State legislators on that island have made several requests to fund ongoing research and outreach efforts at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy and Hilo Medical Center. In the last legislative session, funds WERE allocated—but not to institutions on the Big Island. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken follows the money.

Rat Lungworm Update

Nov 23, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The number of rat lungworm cases confirmed by the State Department of Health has been growing since the department began tracking them a decade ago.  For the first 8 years, there were 65 cases in the state.  But numbers are increasing – 12 last year, and 17 so far in 2017.  Most of the cases have been on the Big Island—65 out of 78. But this year there have also been 6 cases on Maui and one on O'ahu. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken spoke with a pair of medical professionals working on the spread of rat lungworm on the Big Island, and has an update.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Hawai'i County Water Supply has had numerous well failures in North Kona for the past year. In early October, the situation seemed to be getting better. But as HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains, wells continue to fail.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Waste disposal is a challenge for residents of any island. On Hawai‘i Island, county officials have been talking about the potential closure of the Hilo Landfill for more than three decades. Now, county officials say the closure will happen—and this time there’s a definite timeline. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has an update.

Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

Hawai'i Island has the most ohia trees in the state – more than 800,000 out of 1 million trees estimated to exist in the state.  But it also is the home to a fungus that is killing the trees off.  A local artist is documenting the trees in the best way he can. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken provides this update.

Governor David Y. Ige / Flickr
Governor David Y. Ige / Flickr

This week, we’ve been looking at the tourism industry throughout the state, in our series “Traveling Money: Managing Hawai‘i’s Tourism Future.”  Today we get an update about Hawai'i Island, where tourism is the best it’s been in a decade. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona. 

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

If you live on Hawaiʻi Island, your property insurance may be changing, and very soon.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has taken a new look at the island’s flood zone maps and that could have an impact on your flood insurance.  We get an update from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken in Kona.  

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It’s been 33 years since Mauna Loa last erupted, but an alert level remains in place at the world’s largest active volcano. Scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory raised the alert level two years ago. HPR Contributing Reporter Sherry Bracken says that although scientists say no eruption is imminent, they want Hawai'i Island residents to be aware of the likelihood of a future eruption.

Ken Lund / Flickr
Ken Lund / Flickr

Just over a month ago, Hawai'i County Mayor Harry Kim and his team moved most of the homeless out of Old Airport Park on the west side of the island. That meant around 68 people who had been living in the park had to leave. About half of them are now living in the County’s new tent city. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has an update.

624rsg.afrc.af.mil
624rsg.afrc.af.mil

As many as five thousand people are expected to descend on Kona this week. They'll be there to watch or to paddle in what organizers call the largest outrigger canoe race in the world. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken got details from officials of the sponsoring canoe club and has this report.

Kona Wells Update

Aug 17, 2017
R/DV/RS / Flickr
R/DV/RS / Flickr

Hawai'i County water users in North Kona have been under tight restrictions since January. Nearly 40 percent of the wells serving that area are currently out of service.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked to county officials about plans for a short-term fix as well as a long-term solution.

lawdawg1 / Flickr
lawdawg1 / Flickr

A memorial service will take place tomorrow on Hawai'i Island for a person who changed the way people look at local sport fishing. Jim Rizzuto passed away last month, but left a legacy that lives on well beyond the waters of Hawai'i. We get more from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

tpsdave / Pixabay
tpsdave / Pixabay

A new long-distance canoe race is coming to Hawai'i Island this Saturday. It will not only provide paddling experience but will also benefit a significant historical site on the island.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Hawai'i County started clearing homeless people from Old Airport Park. It was the first step of a process that continues this week—with a more extensive cleanup.  The County and private agencies have made significant progress in helping resolve the issue of where people can live.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The challenges of homelessness differ on each island---for those who experience it, those who try to help them, and those who enforce the law. On Hawai‘i Island, Mayor Harry Kim has made it a priority to clean up a West Hawai‘i Park where many have been living illegally. Right now around 60 people live there, and authorities are making some changes. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has the story.

Steve A Johnson / Flickr
Steve A Johnson / Flickr

The west side of the Big Island has had water trouble all year. Customers in North Kona remain under mandatory restrictions—cutting their use by 25 percent. But relief should be on the way in a couple of months.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona.

daveynin / Flickr
daveynin / Flickr

The entire state is trying to come up with solutions to address homelessness. In Hawai'i County, the annual Point in Time Count showed a reduction in homeless individuals from last year to this year of about a third. But that still leaves nearly a thousand unsheltered people on the island by the official count. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked with county and state officials about how the issue is being addressed.

Pacific Air Forces
Pacific Air Forces

It’s been a long-time goal for business and government to broaden Hawai'i’s economy beyond its main driver of tourism. One growth area in recent years: film and television production.  That’s true across the state—and also on Hawai'i Island.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona.

Courtesy Jeff Widener
Courtesy Jeff Widener

28 years ago, the city of Beijing was in chaos. Two nights earlier, Chinese authorities had cleared Tiananmen Square. On June 5, 1989, news outlets around the world showed an Associated Press photo showing someone who has come to be known as “Tank Man.”  The photographer who took that photo was on Hawai'i Island recently working on his new book about the parts of Hawaii tourists often do not seeand talked with HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken about what it took to get the shot.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Hawai'i County Prosecutor Mitch Roth started a program on the east side of the Big Island aimed at working with young offenders. It links actions and consequences – and it’s been so successful he wants to start a similar program on the west side.   HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken tells us more from Kona.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Today is Memorial Day, remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. On the Big Island, there are commemorations in Hilo, Kona and Volcano.  But the week of remembrance started earlier with a special installation at the island’s newest Veterans Cemetery. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken was there and has this report.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Astronomers say the best place on earth to practice their science is on Hawai‘i Island: Mauna Kea. The mountain is also important to cultural practitioners, hunters, hikers, and sightseers.    The Mayor of Hawai'i County has been sharing his vision for the mountain.   HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Hawai'i County water users in the North Kona District are being asked to cut back on their water use.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains what's going on, and how long the restrictions will last.

Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

On Hawai'i Island’s west side, a heavily used beach park is open after being closed for two weeks.  On February 24, Kahaluʻu Beach Park was closed after it was discovered that raw sewage had spilled on the beach and into the water.  A broken sewer cleanout was the problem.   Hawai'i County Parks and Recreation Department’s Director, Charmaine Kamaka, thanked the dozens of county workers who got the repairs done so the favorite snorkel spot of locals and tourists could reopen. Kahaluʻu Beach Park reopened this afternoon.

skyseeker / Flickr
skyseeker / Flickr

Hawai'i Island’s Kīlauea Volcano gets a lot of attention with its two spectacular eruption locations. But the island’s dominant active volcano is also under close observation from scientists. We get details from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

A Kīlauea Update

Mar 1, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It's been a dramatic new year so far for one of Hawai'i Island's most spectacular sights. The Kīlauea Volcano has been continuously erupting for 34 years—but there have been some changes since January. As for current conditions, HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken got an update from scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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