Politics

Political news

Wayne Yoshioka

The State is looking for additional revenues following a projected 300-million dollar shortfall in tax collections this year.   Lawmakers are targeting online vacation rental companies again this year as a potential source of millions in revenue.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

State Lawmakers were briefed today on the latest plan to replace the 40-year-old O’ahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi.  The Department of Public Safety has picked 4 main sites with construction costs ranging from 400-to-600 million dollars.  House Public Safety Committee Chair, Greg Takayama, says there is no justifiable reason to build a facility that’s larger than the current OCCC.

Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature is considering spending billions of dollars in a statewide effort to ease homelessness and provide permanent housing.   Some key leaders also want to provide 7 million dollars more over the next 2 years to continue the Coordinated Statewide Homeless Initiative.   Aloha United Way Chief Operating Officer, Norm Baker, says preventing homelessness works.

TAG:  Baker says nearly half of all the individuals helped are children.  If fully funded, an additional 2,200 households or 74-hundred individuals can be helped.

Wayne Yoshioka

The six lone Republicans in the State Legislature ousted their leader today in a House Resolution Vote.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

Congress is taking steps to repeal part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare.   Hawai’i lawmakers are also advancing legislation to protect residents who might lose their medical coverage.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Department of Education

The State Legislature has more than 3 months to decide on funding levels for Hawai’i’s public school system.   But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, lawmakers are questioning some of the program cuts being proposed by the governor.

Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor delivered his annual State of the State address to the Legislature today.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there and filed this report. 

Trump for President Campaign

Last November, Donald Trump lost Hawai’i’s General Election by more than a 2-to-1 margin.   Now, on the eve of his inauguration as the 45th President of the U-S, HPR talked to local voters about their hopes for the country in the next 4 years. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i State Legislature officially opened its 60-working day session today.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was at the Capitol and files this report.

Wayne Yoshioka

Women legislators across the country are launching a bi-partisan effort to address the opioid abuse epidemic.    Local lawmakers conducted a news conference today on their proposed legislation and HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor announced an increase in homeless shelter beds statewide over the next 12 months.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the increased capacity will also meet new state and federal standards.

Clare Hanusz

The Governor’s top budget priority for this upcoming legislative session is Public Education.   But will his increased spending really make a difference?   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

The new State Moped Law is currently being implemented on all islands with a focus on illegal modifications for speed and noise.  The cost for moped registration and safety check statewide is 40-dollars plus a one-time payment of 5-dollars for a license plate.  Honolulu Department of Customer Services director, Sherry Kajiwara explains.  (Maui and the Big Island already have moped safety check rules.   For more information go to Hidot.Hawaii.Gov/mopeds).

Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu City Council Members were briefed on the status of the City’s Police Chief today.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

giphy
giphy

Hawaii Public Radio will air President Obama’s farewell speech live, today at 4pm on HPR-2, and fact check it with NPR’s political team. http://bit.ly/2jfTAvJ

Wayne Yoshioka

State tax collections are below Council on Revenue projections this year and lawmakers are looking elsewhere to make up the difference. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The leaders of the United States and Japan visited the USS Arizona Memorial together for the first time since the December 7 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid a wreath of Anthuriums at the USS Arizona Memorial.  Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to visit the sunken battleship while in office.   Addressing dignitaries and survivors through an interpreter, he expressed his sorrow for all who died in World War II and reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to peace.

Wayne Yoshioka

Former Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi is now a private citizen, having completed his 2nd term December 5th.   A month earlier, he was found not guilty of any wrongdoing in connection to use of his County credit card.  But, what about Kenoi’s political future?    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu Ethics Commission considered a request today to curb the unfair influence of Super PACs.   HPR's Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu’s Police Chief voluntarily stepped down yesterday following notification that he’s under federal investigation.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …

Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor submitted his two-year budget request to the legislature today and his overall spending plan is up.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

Donald Trump has officially won the presidency with the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the office.  Voting proceeded mostly according to tradition… despite some efforts to persuade Republican Electoral College members to vote rogue.

Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers were briefed today on the status of sexual assault kits that have not been tested and county plans to resolve the backlogs.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Wikipedia

A pilot program to grow Industrial Hemp locally is moving forward, in part, to address the end of sugar production on Maui.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has this update. 

Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s last sugarcane harvest ended on Maui today and state leaders are asking, “What Next?”   That was the focus of a panel discussion.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Pacific Aviation Museum

A little known incident following the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack occurred on the privately-owned island of Ni’ihau.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has that story. 

The Battle of Ni’ihau began on December 7th, 1941.  Burl Burlingame is the historian for the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor.

U.S. Navy

The 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony was conducted today.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there and filed this report.

Wayne Yoshioka

The December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago resulted in 54 civilian casualties on O’ahu, mostly caused by friendly fire.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

(Japanese school students reciting phonetic alphabet)

First graders sing their phonetic alphabet at the Fort Gakuin Japanese Language School on Pali Highway, much like their counterparts did 75 years ago at the Hawai’i Chuo Gakuin on the corner of Nu’uanu Avenue and Vineyard Boulevard.   Historian and Author, Nanette Napoleon, researched what happened at the school on December 7, 1941, following the first wave of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

“The bell rang at 9 o’clock for the kids to come in and the teachers and the students on the way to school had seen planes flying in the air already.  The head teacher was Take Ogawa.   She welcomes the students into the class in Japanese and as they came in she’s handing out song books.  And then when everybody is seated, Take goes to an upright piano and they start singing the school song.  In the middle of singing the school song, the hear a loud, thundering, crashing sound a couple of blocks away.”

Napoleon says the special Sunday morning class was held in the auditorium with glass windows on both sides.  The students could see smoke rising in the distance, from an area where many of them lived.    

“Not that long afterwards a big flash occurs right in the schoolyard.  A shell hits and the shrapnel from the shell itself and all that dirt and rocks and everything goes flying and its shattering most of the windows.  And then it starts hitting everybody.   And everything goes flying; papers and schoolbags and people are strewn everywhere.  And benches fall on the kids so Take Ogawa, the head teacher,  and the other two teachers extricate the kids.  And they’re under benches  and crying and the tell them, ‘Go outside; go downstairs and run home.’”

As the auditorium cleared, one student remained, lying on the floor.

“Sensei Ogawa sees a girl that had not gotten up.  She’s in a pool of red blood, on her back facing upwards with her hands at her side, but her eyes are closed.  And she’s barely breathing.  And her name was Nancy Masuko Arakaki.   And she was 7 years old.”

The girl died on the way to Queen’s Hospital.  Another student,

8-year-old Yoichi Sakai, had his hand nearly severed at the wrist by a piece of shrapnel.  He was taken to a Japanese Hospital on Kuakini Street.   Doctors there amputated Sakai’s hand and part of his forearm.  And he survived.   Then there was 8 year-old Jacky Yoneto Hirosaki.

“He ran to his grandmother’s saimin shop, the Cherry Blossom Restaurant.  And, okay, he’s safe.  And not long after that, a shell hits in the street sending shrapnel and earth and debris everywhere again.  And it penetrates the saimin store and kills seven single men – many of whom were amateur boxers.  It injured Yoneto’s mother; it killed his father; it killed his two younger siblings and him.  So it’s kinda ironic that he survived the impact at the school and then he gets killed at the saimin store.”

Fifty-four civilians were killed or injured during the Dec. 7th attack.  The explosions were later determined to have been caused by U-S anti-aircraft shells fired from some of the 66 military installations on O’ahu.    

“At the time it was never reported - where the civilians were killed -  the shells were not bombs.  Not totally confidential but they didn’t say,  ‘Friendly fire.’   Which became a political issue because the families of those that died – civilians – they were saying, that after the attack, the military personnel were all getting reparations and getting money because their loved one died and things like that; and some of the families were going to the local Marshall Law officials and saying, ‘You know, can we have some money to bury or do the cremation and they got turned down, every single one of them.  It was sad, sad stories.”

Today, Napoleon stands next to a monument at the Foster Botanical Garden marking the original Chuo Gakuin site, the first Japanese Language School on Oahu established in 1899 and closed by the U.S. military in 1941.

(Japanese school students sing a song)

Seventy-five years later and one mile away from the monument, Fort Gakuin kindergarten students recite Japanese.  The Hongwanji Mission School and the Honpa Hongwanji Hawai’i Betsuin re-established the language school after World War II.  Teddi Yagi is the Principal.

“At one time there were over a hundred schools of our type throughout all the islands.  Now there’s nine:  one on Maui; the other one in Hilo; and the rest in Honolulu.  So it’s dwindling.  More and more the children are more interested in getting into soccer, football,  baseball – more sports.  (The children say), ‘Mom, I don’t want to go study two more hours after school.’  And the parents are giving into their desires to be in those areas.  So each year is less children.”

(Students singing)

For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.

Wayne Yoshioka

The State announced the re-establishment of the Kona International Airport yesterday with the arrival of the first foreign flight from Japan scheduled in less than 3 weeks.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i Republicans lost key races for Honolulu Mayor and the last GOP seat in the State Senate.   GOP leaders are now focusing on local races in 2018 and developing a strategy to win.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Pages