Big Island

HeungSoon / Pixabay

A Big Island composer has created several musical works highlighting events and people in Hawaiian history. This weekend, he is premiering a symphonic suite that recalls one of the most significant battles in Hawaiian history.

U.S. Geological Survey

It’s been more than ten months since a lava flow devastated parts of lower Puna on Hawaiʻi Island. More than 700 structures were lost, and the event disrupted other parts of life for many residents. And that includes small businesses in the area – which are now getting some help from a unique combination of organizations.

U.S. Geological Survey

A new webpage will connect Big Island residents affected by last year's Kīlauea eruption with recovery resources.

Big Island Video News
Big Island Video News

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim last Friday submitted his proposed budget of nearly $574 million for the next fiscal year, which begins in July. 

Kim’s proposed budget is more than $55 million or nearly 11 percent larger than the current budget. Kim attributes nearly half the increase, or $26 million, to employee salaries and benefits plus the addition of 35 new employees for Hawaiʻi County police. 

The budget is a first cut.  The Hawaiʻi County Council will now do its analysis, and has scheduled  departmental budget reviews for April.      

USGS

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently put out a preliminary lava thickness map, based on last summer’s Kilauea lava flow. They’ve created similar maps before, but mostly for official publications. Now this map is on the HVO web site.

Travisthurston / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Some Big Island residents are asking how they will be able to afford sewer systems connections after large-capacity cesspools are shut down.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The East Hawai‘i Cultural Center is in a stately stucco building, white with green roof, that used to house Hilo’s police headquarters.  On the Wailuku River side of Hilo, this active community art center now offers art classes, a gallery, plus a theatre and café.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, over the past couple of years, a slow regeneration has been underway.

Senior Master Sgt. Burke Baker / U.S. Air Force

Garbage disposal is a huge issue for our entire state. On Hawai’i Island there are two landfills, and one is running out of space. Recycling has become more complicated with China’s decision to stop accepting recycled materials. And that’s left many community members wondering what’s happening with their trash.

Marlena Dixon / Department of Health

The State Department of Health has confirmed a visitor and a resident have contracted rat lungworm disease on Hawaiʻi Island.

Denise Emsley | NAVFAC / Flickr

Hawai‘i Electric Light crews have been scrambling to restore power to customers hit by the weekend wind storms. And while that work continues on the ground, there is change at the management level. Earlier this month, the president of Hawaiʻi Electric Light retired. And the new president of Hawaiʻi Island's electric utility is Sharon Suzuki — who is also president of Maui Electric. That's led to questions about how the needs of the state's largest yet least populated island will be handled.

Big Island Video News

Hawaiʻi County is facing a number of significant challenges this year. That includes recovery from the summer 2018 lava flow and the 50 inches of rain from Hurricane Lane. Another challenge is figuring out how to manage the budget in a period with many competing financial demands.

Casey Harlow

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim has set up a task force to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on the island.  With 32 traffic fatalities in 2018, and two so far this year, Hawaiʻi County has the highest per capita death rate from car crashes in the state. And another 1,200 people have suffered serious injuries. 

Sherry Bracken

Hawaii Island’s electric utility, HELCO, has had a year of challenges.  In the 2018 lava flow, HELCO lost lines and poles that served more than 940 structures. The company lost the 30 megawatts of power being supplied by Puna Geothermal. But as HELCO deals with this work, it will do so under new leadership.

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.

George / Wikimedia Commons

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

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.

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.

Ben Gaddis / U.S. Geological Survey

Itʻs been six months since lava erupted in the residential community of Leilani Estates on the Big Island. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi returned to Puna to check-in on recovery efforts. 

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.

This Saturday, I'm DJing at the Earthdance Festival in Pahala on the Big Island. So I'm using tonight's show to pick out music that I may (or may not) play out there. It's going to be fun, upbeat and filled with global beats.

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.

VAPES/Flickr / Creative Commons License 2.0

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.

Wikimedia Commons

Public Comment of Vacation Rentals; Hanauma Bay Capacity; OHA Masterplan; Puna Recovery

OK Farms

Hawaiʻi Island is still drying out from record-breaking rainfall it received during Hurricane Lane. But as HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports prolonged wet weather could have a lasting impact on Big Island farmers.

Global Virtual Studio

This was a big weekend for a special export from Hawai‘i. A movie produced and shot on the Big Island debuted in mainland theaters. It’s the latest product from a collaboration involving state funding and private investment.

Mark Wasser / National Park Service

A brushfire continues to burn inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and now threatens critical habitat for the endangered ʻiʻiwi birds.

U.S. Geological Survey

If you’re facing damages from the lava flow on the Big Island, the government wants to hear from you. But the clock is ticking. Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration have been on Hawai'i Island since shortly after the lava flow began. But authorities are concerned that not everyone eligible for help has signed up.

Navin75 / Flickr

An unknown disease is killing wild horses in Waipiʻo Valley on Hawaiʻi Island.

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