Ku`uwehi Hiraishi

General Assignment Reporter

Ways to Connect

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.

Catherine Cruz/Hawaii Public Radio

An independent audit of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has identified as much as $7.8 million in potentially fraudulent, wasteful or abusive spending.

U.S. Census Bureau

The upcoming 2020 census involves the same participation challenges as it does every 10 years. But Hawaiʻi has a few unique challenges of its own that could put Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders at risk of being undercounted. One coalition is working to help ensure an accurate count.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi/AP

A former University of Hawaiʻi regent is suing the state over what he says is a backroom deal struck by legislators to downsize the university’s governing board.

Hui O Na Wai 'Eha

One of Hawaiʻi’s largest water rights cases has come to an end on Maui, possibly signaling a turning point in the stateʻs management of public streams. 

 

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi/HPR

There’s been a noticeable spike in Hawaiian flags seen on roads and highways. Many of the drivers are showing support for the protest on Mauna Kea and other land disputes. But authorities' crackdown on the flags on vehicles, along with parking tickets on the mountain and arrests in Kahuku are raising the question: where is the line between the law and free speech?

Ray_LAC/Flickr (CC by 2,0)

Museums and archives are often celebrated as rich repositories of culture and history. But for the communities whose culture and history are on display, having a say over what should become of these items is an ongoing battle – one that some native Hawaiian advocates and scholars are tackling head on.

Deborah Ward

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents on Wednesday approved the latest draft of rules governing activities on Mauna Kea and a resolution that calls for a plan to improve management of the mountain.

 

Office of Mauna Kea Management

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents today is considering a proposal to review possible new management options for Mauna Kea in the wake of a three-month protest against the planned Thirty Meter Telescope. Some working models could broaden the role of native Hawaiians in directing the mountain's future.

 

Gerardo Lazzari/Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License 2.0

Hundreds of owners on the Big Island are seeking exemptions to operate short-term vacation rentals legally in residential neighborhoods but their neighbors have flooded officials with letters of objections.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi/HPR

For centuries, native Hawaiians fed themselves by developing sophisticated systems of fishponds and irrigated taro patches. But societal changes disrupted their connection to traditional food sources, leading to high health risks for diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. Now a community intervention is underway in Waimānalo using backyard aquaponics. 

Hawaii State Archives

Much of the discussion surrounding the protests on Mauna Kea has focused on historical injustices experienced by native Hawaiians. Some events are well-known, like the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. But others have only recently been rediscovered.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope may be at the forefront of Mauna Kea protests, but some native Hawaiian practitioners are questioning the cumulative effects of development on the mountain.  Is the construction of 13 telescopes on the summit an appropriate use of conservation lands? The state Land Use Commission takes up that issue beginning today at its hearing in Hilo. 

Hui O Na Wai 'Eha

One of Hawaiʻi’s largest water rights cases is coming to a close on Maui next month after more than 16 years. The resolution is up to the state Water Commission—which will decide who gets water and how much. 

Dalisays/Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0 License

As many as 150 Central American migrants seeking asylum have found their way to Hawaii from the U.S. Mexico border.

But to remain in the U.S., they must appear in immigration court in Honolulu and make their case for asylum, and that’s not been easy.

 

Flickr - University of Hawaii West Oahu

Enrollment at University of Hawaiʻi campuses fell for the seventh year in a row, and UH is hoping a statewide media campaign can help reverse that trend. 

User:Avriette/Wikimedia Commons / GNU Free Documentation License

The state’s commitment to remove five existing telescopes on Mauna Kea to build the Thirty-Meter Telescope remains part of the effort to resolve the protest on the mountain. But most of these telescopes are still operating and even TMT opponents see the value of keeping them online until their lease expires.

Hokuao Pellegrino

A group of East Maui taro farmers is urging the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court to overturn a ruling allowing continued use of public water by private users without environmental reviews.

 

Catherine Cruz

Protesters on Mauna Kea are on high alert preparing for what they say could be police action to clear them out this week. The group sent out a call-to-action to reinforce their numbers on Hawaiʻi Island, while supporters on O’ahu mobilized a cross-island convoy from Maunalua to Māʻili without major disruption.

 

Daniel Ramirez

Oʻahu motorists should expect traffic delays Sunday morning heading west from Hawaiʻi Kai to Waiʻanae. 

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

There’s no denying the power of music to inspire passion and spark social change – such has been the case throughout Hawaiʻi’s history. From the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom to the current conflict on Mauna Kea, songs have inspired activism and activism has inspired songs.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

A Kauaʻi helicopter company is facing fines of up to $10,000 a day for structures that lack permits on its property in Port Allen. The tour company’s initial request for the Kauaʻi County permits was met with strong opposition from traditional salt makers who practice in nearby Hanapēpē.

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