Neighbor Island News

Reports from across the Hawaiian Islands

Growth Plans for Kula Agricultural Park

Nov 9, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

“Eating local” is a popular concept across Hawai‘i… as it is in a growing number of communities. But farming in Hawai‘i can be a tough business—and one of the biggest challenges is access to land.  Now in upcountry Maui, farmers may be getting a little help with that.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.  

Flickr/Melissa Emmons Photography
Flickr/Melissa Emmons Photography

The state Department of Health has confirmed 4 more people have dengue fever. That brings the total up to 15 cases on Hawai‘i Island. It’s prompted Hawai‘i County to close Hookena Beach Park in Captain Cook. Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira says it’s the first time the county has closed a beach in response to dengue fever.

Jai Mansson / Flickr
Jai Mansson / Flickr

Governor David Ige’s emergency proclamation to deal with the homeless could sweep camps in Honolulu as early as next week.  1.3-million dollars was issued under the emergency proclamation – with a little less than half of that going to help the homeless situation on neighbor islands.

Maui’s Movie Magic

Nov 2, 2015
Jai Mansson / Flickr
Jai Mansson / Flickr

The natural beauty of Hawai‘i has led to its use in many Hollywood films and television productions.  And while O‘ahu has been the setting for current or recent projects from Hawai‘i Five-O to Jurassic World, another island will soon be getting in on the action.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News. 

Flickr / USDAgov
Flickr / USDAgov

Hawai‘i is ground zero when it comes to tackling invasive species. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the Big Island, where residents deal with everything from little fire ants to coqui frogs. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, it’s the focus of an upcoming community forum.

USFWSmidwest / Flickr
USFWSmidwest / Flickr

The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the north shore of Kauai is one of the most visited national parks in the country.  Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the refuge every year. It’s home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds in Hawai‘i - and now Fish and Wildlife officers are taking a new step to protect some of the most endangered bird species in the world.

Police Cameras Will Patrol Lahaina’s Halloween

Oct 26, 2015
Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Halloween night is less than a week away—it’s this coming Saturday.  On Maui, that means the annual event on Front Street in Lahaina.  And while it’s a family friendly event, as the night wears on it can get a bit rowdy.  So police will be on hand---and this year some will be wearing cameras. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu introduced the idea of police body cameras earlier this year. He says the technology can help protect both officers and civilians by holding them accountable for their actions.

New Approach for Some Maui Homeless

Oct 12, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As Hawai‘i continues to wrestle with the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, one Maui group has come up with a creative solution to alleviate the problem. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Following Up: Fighting to Dance on Maui

Oct 6, 2015
zen panda photography
zen panda photography / www.zenpandaphotography.com

All this week, HPR News is taking another look at stories large and small that we’ve covered over the past year or so, in a series we’re calling “Following Up.”

Maui: The Latest Battleground for Coqui Frogs

Oct 5, 2015
Courtesy of The Maui News
Courtesy of The Maui News

Coqui frogs are small in size - but the impact of their presence is huge. That's been understood for quite some time on the Big Island of Hawai'i…but it's a growing and unpleasant discovery for some residents in upcountry Maui.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News. 

A coqui frog is usually about the size of a coin - but its loud chirps can be heard from nearly a mile away.  Multiply that by thousands and the volume can be brutal.  Homeowners who live in the Upcountry towns of Haliimaile and Haiku report that the coqui infestation along Maliko Gulch is getting out of control.

Maui is State’s Fastest-Growing County

Sep 28, 2015
Tony Webster / Flickr
Tony Webster / Flickr

According to figures from the U.S. Census bureau, Hawai‘i’s population is growing slightly faster than that of the United States.  But not every island is growing at the same pace. We get some details from Eileen Chao of the Maui News.

Maui’s population is growing faster than any other county in the state.

When it comes to overall population, the Valley Isle comes in third—behind Honolulu and Hawaii counties.  The U.S. Census Bureau estimates more than 163,000 are living in Maui County.  That's 5.3% more than the population in 2010.

Rain Poses Unique Challenges for Ranchers

Sep 21, 2015
K. Kendall / Flickr
K. Kendall / Flickr

It's been a rainy summer for Maui.  Nine tropical storm systems have approached the islands so far this season, often bringing heavy downpours.  The rain has helped ease some of the drought conditions in southeast Maui, but for ranchers, it also brings a new set of problems.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Kauaiʻs Power Plants

Sep 18, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Kaua‘i is the only major island in the state that does not get its electricity from the Hawaiian Electric family of companies.  The island relies on the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative—KIUC.  Recently, the cooperative announced a partnership with California-based Solar City to develop a solar electricity farm that will be the first of its kind in the nation.  HPR contributing reporter Scott Giarman has more from Kaua‘i.

Rough Waters for Moloka‘i Ferry

Sep 15, 2015
Eileen Chow
Eileen Chow

The Molokai Ferry has adopted a new sailing schedule. The owner says this month’s changes will help stop the financial “hemorrhaging” the ferry has seen in the last two years.  But not everyone is happy about the new plan.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

Community Park Plans for Kula

Aug 24, 2015
Forest and Kim Starr / Flick
Forest and Kim Starr / Flick

Maui has a lot of hiking trails and a lot of beaches…but when it comes to open park space, that’s another story.  Sports teams often have to double up for practice on soccer and baseball fields.  A proposal to build a new 17-acre park in Kula could make the situation a bit easier, at least for upcountry residents. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Bridge Fixes Along the Hāna Highway

Aug 17, 2015
Jai Mansson / Flickr
Jai Mansson / Flickr

The road to Hana is one of Hawaii's most famous scenic drives.  Thousands of visitors make the three-hour drive to East Maui every year, and now many of the historic bridges along the way are falling apart.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Nogwater / Flickr
Nogwater / Flickr

When people think of traffic issues in Hawai‘i, O‘ahu is usually part of the conversation. But a recent event on Kaua‘i was the latest reminder that the Garden Island also has some challenges on the road. HPR contributing reporter Scott Giarman has more from Kaua‘i.

A couple of Fridays ago, a brush fire just south of the Wailua River closed Kaumuali‘i Highway around three in the morning. Five hours later, the road was re-opened, but traffic didn’t start moving until later in the morning.

Maui's Only Jail Severely Overcrowded

Aug 10, 2015
jai Mansson / Flickr
jai Mansson / Flickr

Maui Community Correctional Center has gotten so crowded that some inmates are now sleeping on the floor. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Public safety officials say Maui's only jail is built to hold 301 inmates. But nearly 500 inmates are currently housed at the facility, which was constructed in 1978.

Campground for the Homeless on Maui?

Aug 3, 2015
Michael Coghlan / Flickr
Michael Coghlan / Flickr

A Maui nonprofit wants to build a state-of-the-art campground facility that can be used by both recreational and homeless campers, but neighbors think it's a bad idea.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

The Ho'omoana Foundation wants to build the facility on two acres of private land in West Maui. Initially, the camp would have eight pods--sites with space for a tent and picnic table.  If the project is successful, it could be expanded to accommodate a total of 26 pods, or 80 campers.

Andrew Turner / Flickr
Andrew Turner / Flickr

The Kauai County Council recently passed a bill requiring negligent adventurers to pay for their rescues. But determining what costs to recover and what sorts of rescues would be included was not so easy.  We get details from HPR contributor Scott Giarman on Kauai.

Saving Fish and Helping Coral Off Maui’s Coast

Jul 27, 2015
NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr
NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr

It's been six years since the state established the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area in West Maui.  Marine experts say it’s a program that’s working, and some fish species are on the rebound. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Herbivores like parrotfish, rudderfish, surgeonfish and urchin are critical for the health of coral reefs, as they keep algae levels in check.  Without them, algal blooms, especially in the summertime, can suffocate entire colonies of coral reef.

Maui’s Next Steps on GMOs

Jul 6, 2015
vagawi  / Flickr
vagawi  / Flickr

Seed companies on Maui are conducting business as usual this week. Last week, a federal judge struck down a voter-approved initiative that would have stopped the growing or testing of any genetically engineered crops. But protestors are not giving up. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

 

International Hydropower Association / Flickr
International Hydropower Association / Flickr

Hawai‘i  has committed to an ambitious goal of using 100-percent renewable energy within thirty years. Part of that picture includes hydroelectric power. And a bill put forth by a representative from Kaua‘i would help increase the adoption of water power. From Kaua‘i, Scott Giarman has more.

Aaron Najera / Flickr
Aaron Najera / Flickr

It’s been two weeks since three men were killed while riding in the back of a pickup truck on Maui. That tragic accident has increased attention on the question of whether new safety laws are needed across the state. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Howard Pruse, Eric Oguma and Tyree Kamaunu were riding in the back of a pickup truck that was turning left into the Maui Raceway Park when an oncoming vehicle sideswiped the truck. All three men were immediately ejected from the truck and pronounced dead at the scene.

Coconut Mite Biting on Moloka‘i

Jun 22, 2015
Tony Donnelly / Flickr
Tony Donnelly / Flickr

Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove on Molokai has long been held as a sacred place for Native Hawaiian residents. But now a devastating pest known as the coconut mite is threatening to destroy the historic site. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Rick McCharles / Flickr
Rick McCharles / Flickr

When adventurers find themselves in trouble on Kauai, rescue personnel are on call to help.  But at what point does a person’s own negligence make it reasonable to require them to pay the cost of their rescue?  That’s a question Kaua‘i’s County Council is considering. We get more on the story from HPR contributor Scott Giarman on Kaua‘i.

Maui’s Hospital Prognosis

Jun 15, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Governor David Ige was on Maui last week to sign a historic bill about local health care. The measure will allow Maui's three public hospitals to partner with a private healthcare provider. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

South Maui Development Plans

Jun 1, 2015
belindah / Flickr
belindah / Flickr

South Maui is home to some of the island’s nicest beaches and resorts, but it may also become a busy downtown hub.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Christopher Michel / Flickr
Christopher Michel / Flickr

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to increase protection for humpback whales. The plan includes an expansion of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. And that drew some sharp reactions at a recent public hearing on Kaua‘i. We get more on the story from Scott Giarman on Kaua‘i.  

More Challenges for Molokai Ferry

May 25, 2015
Eileen Chao
Eileen Chao

Sea Link of Hawaii, which runs the ferry between Maui and Molokai, has been struggling to stay on top of its finances. With increasing airline competition, hopes to sustain boat operations is rapidly sinking. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

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