General News

News reports from Ku`uwehi Hiraishi

Hawai‘i residents were stunned Saturday morning by what turned out to be a false alarm of an incoming ballistic missile. While state emergency officials have apologized for the error, the emergency alert sent residents into a panic. Many scrambling to figure out what to do next. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Hawai'i residents were stunned this morning by what turned out to be a false alarm of an incoming missile launch. Hawai'i Public Radio confirms there was never a threat. While details about how this happened continue to unfold, there is no danger to Hawai'i and there never was.

Report Skims Surface on Hawaiʻi Cesspool Mess

Jan 11, 2018

Kahalu‘u and Upcountry Maui top the state’s list of priority areas for cesspool replacement. The state Department of Health shared its latest assessment of Hawai‘i’s nearly 88,000 cesspools with legislators yesterday. The report found half of those cesspools pose a potential risk of contaminating drinking water or coastal ecosystems and should be replaced as soon as possible. But exactly how to replace them and who’s going to pay for it remains in question. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi reports.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi

Year after year, Hawai‘i’s physician shortage continues to grow. A 2017 report on the state’s physician workforce shows a shortage of more than 400 doctors, and the largest shortfall on all islands is in primary care. The good news is there is a health care model rising in popularity across the country, and it may be just what Hawai‘i needs to help meet its primary care needs. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi reports.

Flickr

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to roll back protection of cannabis businesses last week left a cloud of uncertainty over Hawai’i’s medical cannabis dispensary program. The state’s two-year-old program is still trying to find its foothold in the islands – with only four of the eight dispensaries open for business. Despite the slow roll out, patients and providers are wasting no time to ensure the medicine gets to where it needs to go. HPR reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Department of Public Safety

The state’s plan to tackle overcrowding at Hawaiʻi’s largest correctional facility is receiving pushback. A proposal to replace the aging O‘ahu Community Correctional Center by building a new jail has been on the table since last fall. With the deadline for public comments on the proposal just days away, one group is petitioning the state to seek alternatives to new construction. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

UH Sea Grant College Program

For the past two years, the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Program has been recruiting citizen scientists from across the Pacific. They were trained to document high water levels or King Tides in an effort to understand and adapt to sea level rise. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi sat down with project coordinators who saw an uptick in citizen participation in 2017.  

Sen. Maile Shimabukuro

As Hōkūleʻa continues its Mahalo Hawaiʻi sail across the island chain, school kids are getting a taste of this floating classroom. The voyaging canoe will spend another week on the leeward coast before continuing its statewide journey. Fortunate enough for aspiring voyagers in Waiʻanae, that community is working on its own voyaging canoe. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Tony Heff / World Surf League

The world title showdown continues for top surfers on the North Shore. Competition kicked off Monday for the Billabong Pipe Masters. Surfers and surf fans alike are anxiously waiting to see who comes out on top. But as HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports, this may be one of the last opportunities to see a world champion crowned at Pipeline.

Honolulu Habitat for Humanity

A home for the holidays is a gift that can seem next to impossible here in the islands, especially for those of us with limited budgets.  Affordable housing remains one of the biggest issues facing Hawaiʻi residents. But one organization is dedicating a home this holiday season, and vows to build more homes than ever in the coming years. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Polynesian Voyaging Society

The voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa is making its final stop for the year in Waiʻanae. The Worldwide Voyage continues as the canoe visits community ports around Hawaiʻi to celebrate its homecoming. HPR's Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

World Surf League

A showdown on the North Shore will crown the next champion of the surfing world. The final event of the 2017 surf season features the top male surfers from around the globe vying for a win at Pipeline. The Billabong Pipe Masters could see action as soon as today. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi reports.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i

Most tourists come to Hawaiʻi on vacation for rest and relaxation, but there’s a popular trend in visitors coming to Hawaiʻi to volunteer their time and labor. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi steps into the world of volunteer tourism or “voluntourism.”

Tis’ the season to buy local. Campaigns encouraging holiday shoppers to support local businesses are in high gear. But for one of Hawai’i’s few remaining locally-owned grocery chains “buy local” is a year-round effort, and has been for nearly three decades. What started out as a strategy to help the local workforce transition after sugar plantations started shutting down has now become one of the most successful buy local campaigns in the islands. HPR reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Project-based learning may be a buzzword in education, but the idea is anything but new. Before textbooks, ancient Hawaiian traditions were passed down generation to generation through hands-on learning. Educators at Roosevelt High School are hoping to find student success in applying this same approach. HPR reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

University of Hawai'i

It’s Hawaiian Independence Day tomorrow. November 28th marks the day in 1843 when Great Britain and France formally recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as independent. Fast forward to today…college students across the island chain are seeking that same recognition. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi reports.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Black Friday is expected to generate billions of dollars in sales this year. According to the National Retail Federation an estimated 164 million of us will be shopping this weekend. But this shopping bonanza also generates greater volumes of waste. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports on Hawai‘i’s conscious consumer and where they’re going to be shopping this holiday season.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

We are less than a day away from Thanksgiving, and if you’re a conscious consumer, you’re preparing that mindful holiday meal. Is it all locally-sourced? Did you meticulously calculate portions to eliminate waste? Perhaps you went vegan? In Hawai‘i, an increased awareness of our food choices is also giving way to a raised consciousness about this American holiday and what it means. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Disney

You’ve probably heard the news. The Walt Disney animated film Moana has been translated into Hawaiian. Most Disney productions are officially dubbed in more than 46 global languages after appearing in English. But this is a first for Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiian speaking community. So what does it take to translate a Disney movie? HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has the answer.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Winston Churchill once said, “History is written by the victors.” But Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre thinks we can do better. Eyre is best known for directing the award-winning film “Smoke Signals.” He is the current Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals at UH Mānoa. HPR's Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi sat down with Eyre to discuss his new documentary exploring the role of statues in history.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

In Japanese tradition, mid-November marks a rite of passage celebration for the youngest of Japanese. The centuries-old tradition was brought to Hawaiʻi with the influx of Japanese laborers in the late 1800s. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Nathan Fitch

This coming Veterans’ Day, we will likely hear stories of service from those who have been to the frontlines of war. As America honors those who served in the U.S. military, the conversation also centers on how the U.S. can serve its veterans.  HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi shares the story of an often overlooked group of veterans who are hoping the country they served will return that obligation.

Cliff Kapono

Oʻahu’s North Shore is the mecca of surfing. Everybody who’s anybody in surfing comes here every winter to surf – and to show the world that they are the best. A pair of surfers is taking advantage of this high-profile backdrop to raise awareness not just about the sport but also about the environment. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

Ray Jerome Baker / Hawaii State Archives

One of Hawaiʻi’s famous native plants is under threat. The hala or pandanus tree can grow up to 30 feet tall and is characterized by its long, sharp and spiny leaves. Those trees are now being attacked by an invasive predator. And the cultural practitioners whose traditions depend on hala are feeling the impact. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

An indigenous people with a history of dispossession and a struggle for self-determination. A familiar narrative to Hawai’i and to Palestinian-American author Steven Salaita. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi sat down with Salaita for his first ever visit to the islands.

What was first seen as a harrowing tale of survival for two Hawai’i women is now coming into question. After being lost at sea for five months, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava are safe and healthy. But the U.S. Coast Guard continues to uncover a growing list of inconsistencies in their stories. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

Kuuwehi Hiraishi

2017 is being dubbed the Year of Sustainable Travel by the World Tourism Organization. “Sustainability” may seem like a buzzword for an industry historically known for making a profit at the expense of the local environment, culture, or community. So what makes tourism sustainable? HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi looks at a local organization setting that standard for Hawai’i’s visitor industry.  

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

The number of patients registered under Hawai’i’s medical cannabis program has grown by 54 percent since 2015. That’s according to the state Department of Health. As patient demand continues to grow, so too will the demand placed on doctors and nurses tasked with serving these patients. With no courses dedicated to medical cannabis at Hawaiʻi’s medical school, a local nurse is on a mission to educate health care professionals about this emerging industry. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Wikimedia Commons

The concept of private property was introduced to Hawaiʻi with the Great Māhele of 1848. That action is often blamed for a lack of land ownership among native Hawaiians…a situation that lasts to this day. Some also say it plays a role in explaining why Native Hawaiians are statistically at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality of life. HPRʻs Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports on research that sheds new light on this complex history of land in Hawaiʻi.

Wayne Yoshioka

Stolen money, falsified police reports, planted evidence – what sounds like a plot for a police drama is playing out in real life in Hawai’i. Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, his wife, and a handful of HPD officers were released on bond after being indicted by a federal grand jury in a public corruption case. Allegations of corruption at the HPD following a case of a stolen mailbox led to a two-year federal investigation that uncovered much more. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi reports.

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