Hawaii Island

Reports from Sherry Bracken

Closing the Hilo Landfill

Oct 27, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Waste disposal is a challenge for residents of any island. On Hawai‘i Island, county officials have been talking about the potential closure of the Hilo Landfill for more than three decades. Now, county officials say the closure will happen—and this time there’s a definite timeline. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has an update.

Big Island Artist Salutes the Ohia

Oct 2, 2017
Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

Hawai'i Island has the most ohia trees in the state – more than 800,000 out of 1 million trees estimated to exist in the state.  But it also is the home to a fungus that is killing the trees off.  A local artist is documenting the trees in the best way he can. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken provides this update.

Big Island Tourism: Fastest Growing in the Islands

Sep 20, 2017
Governor David Y. Ige / Flickr
Governor David Y. Ige / Flickr

This week, we’ve been looking at the tourism industry throughout the state, in our series “Traveling Money: Managing Hawai‘i’s Tourism Future.”  Today we get an update about Hawai'i Island, where tourism is the best it’s been in a decade. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona. 

Updates to Hawaiʻi Island's Flood Maps

Sep 18, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

If you live on Hawaiʻi Island, your property insurance may be changing, and very soon.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has taken a new look at the island’s flood zone maps and that could have an impact on your flood insurance.  We get an update from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken in Kona.  

Mauna Loa Alert Still in Effect

Sep 13, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It’s been 33 years since Mauna Loa last erupted, but an alert level remains in place at the world’s largest active volcano. Scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory raised the alert level two years ago. HPR Contributing Reporter Sherry Bracken says that although scientists say no eruption is imminent, they want Hawai'i Island residents to be aware of the likelihood of a future eruption.

Hawai‘i Island’s Tent City for the Homeless

Sep 7, 2017
Ken Lund / Flickr
Ken Lund / Flickr

Just over a month ago, Hawai'i County Mayor Harry Kim and his team moved most of the homeless out of Old Airport Park on the west side of the island. That meant around 68 people who had been living in the park had to leave. About half of them are now living in the County’s new tent city. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has an update.

World’s Biggest Outrigger Canoe Race

Aug 29, 2017
624rsg.afrc.af.mil
624rsg.afrc.af.mil

As many as five thousand people are expected to descend on Kona this week. They'll be there to watch or to paddle in what organizers call the largest outrigger canoe race in the world. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken got details from officials of the sponsoring canoe club and has this report.

Kona Wells Update

Aug 17, 2017
R/DV/RS / Flickr
R/DV/RS / Flickr

Hawai'i County water users in North Kona have been under tight restrictions since January. Nearly 40 percent of the wells serving that area are currently out of service.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked to county officials about plans for a short-term fix as well as a long-term solution.

lawdawg1 / Flickr
lawdawg1 / Flickr

A memorial service will take place tomorrow on Hawai'i Island for a person who changed the way people look at local sport fishing. Jim Rizzuto passed away last month, but left a legacy that lives on well beyond the waters of Hawai'i. We get more from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

A New Long Distance Canoe Race

Aug 10, 2017
tpsdave / Pixabay
tpsdave / Pixabay

A new long-distance canoe race is coming to Hawai'i Island this Saturday. It will not only provide paddling experience but will also benefit a significant historical site on the island.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains.

Hawai‘i Island: Old Airport Homeless Update

Aug 8, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Hawai'i County started clearing homeless people from Old Airport Park. It was the first step of a process that continues this week—with a more extensive cleanup.  The County and private agencies have made significant progress in helping resolve the issue of where people can live.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains.

Homeless on Hawai‘i Island

Aug 1, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The challenges of homelessness differ on each island---for those who experience it, those who try to help them, and those who enforce the law. On Hawai‘i Island, Mayor Harry Kim has made it a priority to clean up a West Hawai‘i Park where many have been living illegally. Right now around 60 people live there, and authorities are making some changes. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has the story.

Wells Coming Back on Hawai‘i Island

Jul 26, 2017
Steve A Johnson / Flickr
Steve A Johnson / Flickr

The west side of the Big Island has had water trouble all year. Customers in North Kona remain under mandatory restrictions—cutting their use by 25 percent. But relief should be on the way in a couple of months.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park / Flickr
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park / Flickr

Two native plant species are thriving today in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

Homelessness in Hawai'i County

Jul 12, 2017
daveynin / Flickr
daveynin / Flickr

The entire state is trying to come up with solutions to address homelessness. In Hawai'i County, the annual Point in Time Count showed a reduction in homeless individuals from last year to this year of about a third. But that still leaves nearly a thousand unsheltered people on the island by the official count. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked with county and state officials about how the issue is being addressed.

Hawai‘i Island Pictures Future in Film and Video

Jul 11, 2017
Pacific Air Forces
Pacific Air Forces

It’s been a long-time goal for business and government to broaden Hawai'i’s economy beyond its main driver of tourism. One growth area in recent years: film and television production.  That’s true across the state—and also on Hawai'i Island.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona.

Story Behind the Tiananmen Square Tank Man Photo

Jun 5, 2017
Courtesy Jeff Widener
Courtesy Jeff Widener

28 years ago, the city of Beijing was in chaos. Two nights earlier, Chinese authorities had cleared Tiananmen Square. On June 5, 1989, news outlets around the world showed an Associated Press photo showing someone who has come to be known as “Tank Man.”  The photographer who took that photo was on Hawai'i Island recently working on his new book about the parts of Hawaii tourists often do not seeand talked with HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken about what it took to get the shot.

A Better Idea for Juvenile Crime on Hawai‘i Island?

May 30, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Hawai'i County Prosecutor Mitch Roth started a program on the east side of the Big Island aimed at working with young offenders. It links actions and consequences – and it’s been so successful he wants to start a similar program on the west side.   HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken tells us more from Kona.

West Hawaii's Purple Heart Memorial

May 29, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Today is Memorial Day, remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. On the Big Island, there are commemorations in Hilo, Kona and Volcano.  But the week of remembrance started earlier with a special installation at the island’s newest Veterans Cemetery. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken was there and has this report.

Mayor Kim’s Mauna Kea Vision

May 4, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Astronomers say the best place on earth to practice their science is on Hawai‘i Island: Mauna Kea. The mountain is also important to cultural practitioners, hunters, hikers, and sightseers.    The Mayor of Hawai'i County has been sharing his vision for the mountain.   HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more.

Water Restriction Continues for North Kona

Mar 15, 2017
Travisthurston / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Hawai'i County water users in the North Kona District are being asked to cut back on their water use.  HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains what's going on, and how long the restrictions will last.

Kahaluʻu Beach Park Reopens

Mar 10, 2017
Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

On Hawai'i Island’s west side, a heavily used beach park is open after being closed for two weeks.  On February 24, Kahaluʻu Beach Park was closed after it was discovered that raw sewage had spilled on the beach and into the water.  A broken sewer cleanout was the problem.   Hawai'i County Parks and Recreation Department’s Director, Charmaine Kamaka, thanked the dozens of county workers who got the repairs done so the favorite snorkel spot of locals and tourists could reopen. Kahaluʻu Beach Park reopened this afternoon.

Monitoring Mauna Loa

Mar 8, 2017
skyseeker / Flickr
skyseeker / Flickr

Hawai'i Island’s Kīlauea Volcano gets a lot of attention with its two spectacular eruption locations. But the island’s dominant active volcano is also under close observation from scientists. We get details from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

A Kīlauea Update

Mar 1, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

It's been a dramatic new year so far for one of Hawai'i Island's most spectacular sights. The Kīlauea Volcano has been continuously erupting for 34 years—but there have been some changes since January. As for current conditions, HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken got an update from scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Kanoa Withington/Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0 License

Big Island State Senator Kai Kahele and State Representative Mark Nakashima have introduced companion bills to provide an economic boost for Hilo’s business community.  We have more about the proposals from HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken.

Passing of a Big Island Giant

Feb 8, 2017
Lyman Museum
Lyman Museum

Hawai'i Island lost a local giant last week. You could call him a businessman, but that’s just one small piece of the story of someone who made Hilo his home for more than nine decades and help shape the island’s economy. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from the Big Island.

Courthouse Funding on Hawai‘i Island

Jan 26, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Two years ago, the State Legislature appropriated $90 million dollars to build a new judiciary building in Kona.  Now, Hawai‘i State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald is asking for more funding. He spoke with HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken, who has this report.

Honokaʻa's Cultural Heritage Center

Jan 3, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

One of Hawai‘i’s learning centers is near the northeast coast of Hawai‘i Island. The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo offers courses for credit and for lifelong learning at its adjunct location in Honoka‘a. But it’s also home to some remarkable cultural and historical artifacts of North Hawai‘i. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Hawai‘i Island. 

Girls Dive into Math and Science on the Big Island

Dec 12, 2016
Idaho National Laboratory / Flickr
Idaho National Laboratory / Flickr

For more than 20 years, a special program has connected girls on Hawai‘i Island with math and science. It’s called “Girls Exploring Math and Science.” HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Kona.

Rep. Richard Creagan Facebook
Rep. Richard Creagan Facebook

When Hawai‘i’s legislature convenes its next session in January, the state House of Representatives will have a new chair of the Agriculture Committee. Former chair Clift Tsuji of Hilo died earlier this month, and the new chair is also from Hawai‘i Island. He recently spoke to HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken about some of his policy priorities.

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