Ku`uwehi Hiraishi

General Assignment Reporter

Ways to Connect

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging President Donald Trump to stop all non-essential travel coming to Hawaiʻi in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Caldwell made the announcement yesterday after expressing frustration over visitors continuing to arrive to the islands without any plans for self-quarantine.

Flickr

Molokaʻi currently has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, and local residents and businesses are taking precautions to keep it that way.

Harry Kim

Counties around Hawai’i have closed public gathering spaces as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. But one county remains an exception.

Cruise Ship Mapper

Big Island residents are breathing a sigh of relief after state authorities canceled a cruise ship’s emergency plans to unload hundreds of its passengers at Hilo Harbor. State transportation officials say the Holland America Line vessel is now set to arrive in Honolulu Friday, but none of its more than 800 passengers will be allowed off.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

See yesterday’s updates: Hawaii schools closed until April 7, Kauai imposes a curfew, Maui and Honolulu close dine-in.

Updated: 3/19/20, 7:00 p.m.

House Speaker Scott Saiki, calling the response to the pandemic "utterly chaotic," implored Gov. David Ige to shut down the state for 15 days.

County of Kaua'i

Updated: 3/12/2020, 11:59 a.m.

Hawaiʻi’s mayors are not getting the help they’ve sought from the state Legislature this year to tackle a growing problem – abandoned cars. Transportation is a legislative priority for the Hawaiʻi Council of Mayors, but none of the measures the group proposed this year to deal with junk cars made it out of its originating chamber. Counties are now seeking solutions to this mounting problem on their own.

Kurt Edblom / Flickr

Thousands of acres of watershed land in the West Maui Mountains are up for sale and state lawmakers are considering buying the property. 

Sandwich Isles Communications

Sandwich Isles Communications began auctioning off its assets last week to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. The once-exclusive provider of telecom services to Hawaiian home lands also faces legal trouble, and Hawaiʻi lawmakers are worried services to homesteaders could be interrupted.

Kokua Council; Sandwich Isles Federal Court Action; Minimum Wage Legislature; Domestic Violence Awareness; Monk Seal Death

Protect Kahoolawe Ohana

Native Hawaiians say their calls for rain have been answered on the island of Kahoʻolawe. A week-long brushfire scorched more than 9,000 acres there before it was contained last Saturday and fire crews extinguished a flareup earlier this week. A group headed to Kahoʻolawe Thursday to assess the damage and begin restoration of the land.

Kanaeokana

Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, citing the stalemate over its construction on Mauna Kea. While this doesn’t mean the country is pulling out of the multi-nation project as opponents urged it to do, the country does supply key components for the telescope.

Eric Tessmer/Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0 License

Molokaʻi may become the first island in Hawaiʻi where new short-term vacation rentals are banned and old ones phased out. The Maui County Council quietly approved a measure last month to do all that and it’s now awaiting Mayor Michael Victorino’s signature. This comes as Maui planners consider extending a ban to the entire county.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi/HPR

Updated: 2/20/20, 6:30 a.m.

Gov. David Ige returned from a Japan trip this week after reaffirming Hawaii's commitment to the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Mauna Kea.

The governor told reporters Wednesday that he reassured the head of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology that Hawaii is committed to the rule of law and ensuring peaceful and safe access to the project site.

Christopher P. Becker

February has been declared Hawaiian Language Month here in the islands. Its aim is to encourage the use of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. But which Hawaiian language?

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi/HPR

A group of Native Hawaiians is suing the state for what they say is its failure to pay for decades of using Hawaiian home lands on Mauna Kea, including the access road to the mountain summit.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of three home lands beneficiaries, Pua Kanahele, Halealoha Ayau and Keliʻi “Skippy” Ioane.

The lawsuit is seeking compensation to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) for the state’s use of the land under the access road. No dollar amount was cited.

Dan Dennison / Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

A bill making its way through the Hawaiʻi State Legislature aims to prohibit the attorney general from investigating a nonprofit that helped raise funds for opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Mauna Kea.

Hawaiian Language Newspaper Translation Project

Languages often adapt naturally to the world around them. Speakers create new words to communicate new concepts. But when a language isn’t spoken widely enough to adapt on its own – as with Hawaiian – it may need help to move things along.

Associated Press

Police are still piecing together the events that ended with two Honolulu officers fatally shot and seven homes on Hibiscus Drive near Diamond Head burned to the ground last week.

What is known is that the suspected gunman and arsonist was being evicted after repeated attempts, raising the question: could it have been handled differently?

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

UPDATED: 1/28/20, 5:33 p.m.

A new land deal in Mōʻiliʻili struck by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands could take potentially hundreds of Native Hawaiians off the homestead wait list in urban Honolulu.

Catherine Cruz/HPR

Human remains were recovered Tuesday in the rubble of a fire that followed the fatal shooting of two Honolulu police officers near Diamond Head on Sunday.

Marina Lohbach / Shuttershock

More than 26 percent of the food in Hawaiʻi goes uneaten each year – that’s nearly one billion dollars’ worth of food likely ending up in the landfill. But Kauaʻi wastes a lot less food, and thanks to a backyard effort that could prove a solution to problem of food waste statewide.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Recycling is a good goal. It reuses materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill. But the world market is changing and, for Kauaʻi, this means rethinking whether exporting recyclables to other countries is sustainable.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is asking the Legislature for more than $40 million this year to deliver homestead lots to qualified native Hawaiians.

County of Kaua'i

Kauaʻi's rural landscape and small-town charm are characteristics residents here enjoy and strive to protect. But small-island living also means limited space and fewer options. As garbage continues to pile up at the island’s only landfill, Kauaʻi is looking to turn its small size into its biggest advantage. 

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Hawaiʻi Island Mayor Harry Kim met with Thirty Meter Telescope officials this week to discuss next steps in resolving the Mauna Kea dispute.

Alex Schwab/Flickr

Bad weather and rugged terrain are preventing federal investigators from recovering the wreckage of a Kauaʻi tour helicopter that crashed last week. The pilot and all six passengers were killed.

Catherine Cruz/Hawaii Public Radio

The state is suspending its performance review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs after OHA’s board of trustees refused to release records to the auditors.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Consumers across the country are expected to spend more than $727 billion this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. But for tens of thousands of Hawaiʻi residents without a bank account, shopping means high-interest loans, prepaid cards with fees, and sometimes a continuing cycle of debt.

Dan Dennison/DLNR via AP

Updated: Dec. 20, 6:45 a.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Thursday he is withdrawing state law enforcement officers from Mauna Kea after informed that the $1.6 billion Thirty Meter Telescope won't proceed with construction at this time. Protesters who have stopped construction of the telescope say they were told to move out by Dec. 26 or face arrest.

Trisha Kehaulani Watson

The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court recently ruled in a landmark case that the state is constitutionally required to provide reasonable access to Hawaiian immersion education. The ruling may be a game changer for advocates of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language.

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