Ku`uwehi Hiraishi

General Assignment Reporter

Ways to Connect

Hawai‘i is often referred to as one of the most racially-diverse states in the union, a melting pot of humanity. But some combinations in the pot are rarer than others – like African-American Native Hawaiians, whose ancestors on both sides have struggled with identity through history. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Professional soccer is once again trying to find a foothold in Hawai‘i. Organizers of this week’s Pacific Rim Cup hope to make Hawai’i the international east-meets-west sporting venue. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi reports.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Kūpuna in an affordable housing complex in Kaka‘ako were given quite the scare last week. They received notices that their rent would soon increase – some would even double. HPR Reporter Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi has more.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

City officials are hoping a new program will help the Honolulu Zoo recover from a series of setbacks in recent years. Over the last five years, Hawai’i’s largest zoo has suffered drops in attendance and revenue, and even lost accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Last month, the city launched a sponsorship program encouraging community involvement in zoo operations. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi reports.

Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat

February is Hawaiian language month in the state of Hawai‘i. Nearly 40 years ago, the Hawaiian language was recognized as one of two official languages in the state. While the Hawaiian language speaking community has grown, recent events in a Maui courtroom have led to questions about what it really means to have Hawaiian as an official language. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

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Statewide, almost half of the detainees in our jails are accused but not convicted, many because they cannot afford bail. That’s according to a new study released today by the Hawaiʻi American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU report paints a picture of a justice system where the wealthy go free, while the working poor sit in jail. Not everyone sees it that way. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has more.

Today, a majority of Hawaiian fishponds have been lost to coastal development and urbanization. But a growing, community-based movement is working to restore these fishponds as a foundation for sustainable fish production.  Researchers at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa are now looking to Hawaiian language newspapers for help. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Hundreds of volunteers have been canvasing streets statewide this week surveying Hawai’i’s homeless population. The annual Point-In-Time Count is part of a nationwide effort to document the number of homeless people. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi joined the count and has this story.

Bryan Berkowitz

There’s a court case that’s drawing a lot of attention and not just for the reason the defendant is on trial but because he is insisting on defending himself in his native Hawaiian language. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

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The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the latest challenge to the Trump Administration’s third version of the travel ban. Hawai‘i continues to be at the forefront of this legal challenge, and another half dozen lawsuits against President Trump’s policies. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has more.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Thousands of native Hawaiians turned out for the ʻOnipaʻa Kākou march yesterday. The event commemorated the 125th Anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi was there and has this story.

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.

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.

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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.

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