Neighbor Island News

Reports from across the Hawaiian Islands

Caracas1830 / Wikimedia Commons

Kauaʻi’s electrical utility has a different history from the rest of the islands and different opportunities. Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier has more on what that has meant for its customer-owners.

Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i ka Pono / Instagram

Applications are being accepted for a Maui-based conservation leadership program this summer.

U.S. Geological Survey

As Hawaiʻi’s state legislature prepares to open its session next week, counties are weighing in with some of their priorities.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

This past April, Kūhiō Highway on Kaua‘i’s North Shore was devastated by heavy flooding. Road repairs are now nearing completion. The state Department of Transportation plans to reopen the highway to the public by the end of January or early February. But HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports local residents are concerned the coast isn’t ready for the increased traffic.

menehune hale
menehune hale

Hawai‘i’s Menehune are not very much like Christmas elves, but children in the islands all knew stories about them, growing up.  Menehune were said to be about 3 feet tall.  They lived in the mountains and when they felt like it, they helped Hawaiians of old to build temples, roads, walls and fishponds.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, the island of Kaua‘i is rich with Menehune stories, and evidence of their industriousness.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

The last several miles of road along Kauaʻi’s North Shore remain closed to the public since the April flood. Local residents are limited to commute along one lane of the highway and only during scheduled convoy times. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi hopped on a recent convoy up the coast and filed this report.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

A new community-driven initiative on Kaua’i’s North Shore aims to ensure residents have a say in rebuilding their coast after the massive flooding earlier this year. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi recently visited the Garden Isle and filed this report.

George / Wikimedia Commons

Vivid images of volcanic eruptions captured the world’s attention this year, but frightened off visitors. 

Doug Fine

  This morning we heard from farmers on Kauai and Maui in advance of an upcoming Hemp Conference this weekend. What is the way forward? What are the barriers in the way of success? What other states have pulled out in front of Hawaii in the search for an alternative crop here in the islands now that the sun has set on sugar? What are the downsides of growing hemp? How much water does it use? Some states are wrestling with the noxious smell, or regulations that are slow to materialize.

Our guests today were:  

Rick©Kent / Wikimedia Commons

Hawai'i Island and Kona are well known for the Ironman Triathlon, a 140 mile swim, bike run event that takes place each October.  But starting tomorrow, an even more grueling endurance event will begin.

Pixabay

The State Department of Health is holding a public hearing in Hilo on Wednesday regarding the future of a new power plant. The Hu Honua Bioenergy facility on the Hamakua Coast would burn eucalyptus trees to generate electricity. Some say that its clean, renewable energy, but other community members have serious environmental concerns.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrea Anderson / U.S. Coast Guard

Hawai'i Island has had housing shortages for years.  When hundreds of homes were destroyed in the lava flow this spring and summer, that problem got worse. The county government has been taking steps to help — including a housing fair later this month.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

On Monday, power was temporarily knocked out across the island of Kaua‘i. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is still investigating. But meanwhile the cooperative is also continuing to push for the use of more renewable energy. And there’s a new program to make clean energy more accessible to individuals and groups who have faced challenges in getting access to it in the past.

U.S. Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey recently released its “Volcanic Threat Assessment.” That’s an indicator of the potential severity of impacts that could result from future eruptions at various volcanoes. Hawai'i Island’s Kīlauea Volcano was number one on the list – with the greatest potential impact. But that does not mean a new eruption is imminent, even though the volcano erupted continuously from 1983 until early August of this year.

U.S. Geological Survey

The eruption of Kīlauea earlier this year destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes. Lava also swept through more than a thousand acres of farmland. 

Sherry Bracken

One of the world's most grueling athletic events is in Kona this weekend. It also brings a boost to tourism. That's something the Big Island can use, after visitors have slumped following May's lava flow.

Pixabay

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released an environmental assessment of a major project: the replacement of a large cesspool on the Big Island that serves thousands of people in the Pahala area. 

W.H. Shipman Ltd.

On Hawaiʻi Island, Pahoa’s emergency shelter closed this week — after helping local residents since the latest lava flow broke out in May. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the Puna District — the fastest-growing community on the Big Island. That makes a housing shortage there even worse, but now there are plans for a new development that may include 900 homes in Puna.

The Edge of Paradise Film

Taylor Camp was the name given to a commune built Kauai’s hippie community in the 1960’s. A documentary about it called "The Edge of Paradise" has now been updated and renamed. It debuted on the Garden Isle and now heads to the Big Island.

creative commons
creative commons

Maui seems to be getting a handle on its homeless population, but finding affordable rentals is still the main problem, whether you’re on the street yet or not.  A recent study concluded Maui will need 14,000 more housing units by 2025, and while that target may be hard to hit, new ideas in neighborhood living are starting to take root on the Valley Isle.

creative commons
creative commons

The latest word is, homeless numbers on Maui may be going down after recent storms, as several families and individuals have decided to seek permanent housing.  At last count, there were about 900 people homeless on the Valley Isle.  HPR’s series about housing on Maui continues with a look at what is working to shelter the homeless, and what is ahead to create housing they can afford.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

VAPES / Flickr

The Food and Drug Administration has told top makers of popular vaping devices they have 60 days to come up with a plan to keep their flavored products away from teenagers or face removal from the market. In Hawai'i, the problem is even more rampant than on the mainland — especially among young people. And statistics show that Hawaii Island has the highest youth vaping rate in the state.

creative commons
creative commons

Family life has changed on Maui, according to Maude Cumming, Executive Director of the Family Life Center, Maui’s primary homeless outreach agency.  Changing families, population growth, and high flying real estate are all factors in the spread of homelessness, but Family Life Center is finding ways to rebuild community.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

West Maui Hospital Foundation

Despite receiving approval from the state in 2009, a community hospital development project in West Maui has struggled to obtain funding for the past 9 years. That is a big deal for a community where it can take as long as two hours to reach the nearest hospital.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

In this segment, it’s a pleasure to take you to an amazing homeless shelter and affordable housing complex on Maui. 

United States Department of Defense

Despite some glowing heat from fissure 8, the Kīlauea lava flow has slowed down, at least for the time being.  But the destruction and displacement from the flow into lower Puna which began May 3rd is still being addressed by county, state and federal agencies.  We get an update on the federal response from HPR Contributing Reporter Sherry Bracken.



West Maui Hospital Foundation / Twitter

 There just might be a new hospital in West Maui— if the non-profit that got it designed and approved could only find some big financial backers. 

Ryan Piros / Photo Courtesy of Maui County

As Hurricane Lane approached the islands, West Maui residents prepared for wind and rain. Instead, they were awakened by three brush fires that burned more than 2,000 acres. Since then, the community has come together to help the hardest-hit families rebuild.

Ken Lund / Flickr

It’s been a little more than a week since Hurricane Lane passed by Hawaii. The storm brought torrential rains to some parts of the state—especially certain areas of Hawaii Island. The Kona districts were fairly unscathed, while districts from South Kohala through Ka’u were hit hard--especially in East Hawaii. The recovery has begun, but it’s moving in stages.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The recent Lahaina brush fire burned down thirteen houses and threatened residents all the way to Kā‘anapali.  The fire advanced to the perimeter of Ka Hale A Ke Ola, a homeless housing center, whose 300 residents felt the heat on their backs as they evacuated.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports that center, which emerged without a scorch, is part of Maui’s housing safety net.

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