The Conversation: Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Apr 26, 2016
Flickr - Baborigen

Hawai‘i as a Sinkhole State; Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids; Neal Conan; Common Ground Dance Festival

Hawaii Taxpayers Not Getting Truthful Financial Information: Sheila Weinberg

The Conversation: Friday, April 15th, 2016

Apr 15, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

State Education Budget; Art from Trash; Hula Honeys

What’s in the Education Budget: Jim Shon

The Conversation: Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Apr 13, 2016
Flickr - Hawaii Savvy

Gender Wage Gap; "Born to Be Wild" at La Pietra; All Girl Paddleout on Maui

Hawaii’s Gender Wage Gap: Rachel Lyons

The Conversation: Monday, March 28th, 2016

Mar 28, 2016

Honolulu Zoo; "As Time Goes By..."; Maui Organic Farming Initiative; Hawaii Sketch Comedy Festival 

  Honolulu Zoo’s Loss of Accreditation: City Councilmember Trevor Ozawa

Maui Sugar Workers Eligible For Federal Assistance

Mar 15, 2016
Flickr / tavarua
Flickr / tavarua

Federal money is on the way to employees at Hawai‘i’s last sugar plantation. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced that the 685 Maui workers who will lose their jobs at the end of this year will qualify for financial help. Benefits include up to $2,000 a month, free tuition and books and other job training support. Schatz says the federal money is in addition to already existing state benefits for unemployment.

The Conversation: Thursday, March 10th 2016

Mar 10, 2016

Inter-Island Ferry, Musician Benny Rietveld, Displaced Sugar Workers, Haleakala Service Trip

Superferry Appropriations Feasibility Study: Michael Hansen

When Hōkūao Pellegrino was growing up in the ahupua‘a of Waikapū on Maui, he often played on an overgrown piece of family land, building clubhouses in the jungle of invasive species that crowded it. But when he became a young man—after he’d embraced ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, studied native plants and woken up to his genealogical connection to the ‘land—he discovered that it had a powerful history: Buried deep beneath the jungle were lo‘i kalo his ‘ohana had cultivated for centuries, until the 1940s. Hōkūao decided to restore them.

Hōkūao Pellegrino is a kalo farmer on Maui in the region of Nā Wai ‘Ehā, The Four Great Waters.

“Nā Wai ‘Ehā is the poetic name for the moku, or division, that encompasses four ahupua‘a—Waikapū being the first, Wailuku being the second, Waiehu being the third, and the fourth Waihe‘e. These four streams, pre-Western contact, encompassed the largest kalo growing region in all of Hawai‘i.”

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Officials of Maui County and Alexander and Baldwin are putting together a task force to assist workers displaced by the closing of the state’s last sugar mill.

Last week Alexander and Baldwin announced they would cease cane operations on Maui---affecting nearly seven-hundred workers. Beginning in March- half of the HC&S workers will be laid off, with the rest staying until the end of the 2016 harvest.

Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr
Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr

On Maui, a piece of history is scheduled to be destroyed….on purpose.

The Hana Pier was built in the early 1920’s.  It was fenced off in 2010 after falling into disrepair with exposed holes and rebar in the deck.  The Department of Transportation reviewed various options for rebuilding the pier but settled on its removal following public feedback.

Tim Sakahara is the spokesperson for the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation.

Maui’s Jail: Overcrowded and Deteriorating

Dec 21, 2015
Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Maui is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. But it’s not only the streets or the beaches that are getting crowded, it’s also the jail.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Overcrowding continues to plague Maui's only jail.  The warden of Maui Community Correctional Center gave media a tour of the facility last week. He said that the Kahului center is more than 150 inmates over capacity.  What's worse, there's no space to expand, and efforts to build another jail on Maui appear to have stalled.

Land Deal Rejected on Maui

Dec 14, 2015
Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr
Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr

A proposal for a 15-hundred home development on Maui has come to a screeching halt—at least for now.  The plan was for Olowalu town---and it faced opposition from many environmentalists on the island. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

The intentions might have been good, but the plan is incomplete. That's what the state Land Use Commission told Maui developers Bill Frampton and David Ward last week.

Maui’s Water Wars: The Next Stage

Dec 7, 2015
Will Scullin / Flickr
Will Scullin / Flickr

Eight years ago, the Maui County Council was concerned about the impact of new construction on water supplies. The result was the “Show Me the Water” ordinance—a provision ensuring new subdivisions would have access to water. But now the council is considering repealing the law. From the Maui News, Eileen Chao explains why.

Ashley Takitani Leahey
Ashley Takitani Leahey


  Maui's Island Plan, adopted in 2012, makes it a priority to preserve the unique character of Maui's small towns.  The idea is to be able to drive through largely agricultural or undeveloped areas between these distinctive centers.  

A Housing Question on Maui

Nov 23, 2015
Eileen Chao
Eileen Chao

As Maui's population continues to grow, so does the need for housing.  A proposed development in West Maui could go a long way in meeting some of the island's housing needs, but some say the tradeoffs aren't worth it.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

The project has been in the works for nearly a decade, but now opposition has grown.

Future of Maui Sugar Plantation Unclear

Nov 16, 2015
Matt Thayer / Maui
Matt Thayer / Maui

Sugar cane was once Hawaii’s most important crop - but today only one sugar plantation remains in the state.  That’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar on Maui, but they are now considering changing their crop.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

Growth Plans for Kula Agricultural Park

Nov 9, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

“Eating local” is a popular concept across Hawai‘i… as it is in a growing number of communities. But farming in Hawai‘i can be a tough business—and one of the biggest challenges is access to land.  Now in upcountry Maui, farmers may be getting a little help with that.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.  

Jai Mansson / Flickr
Jai Mansson / Flickr

Governor David Ige’s emergency proclamation to deal with the homeless could sweep camps in Honolulu as early as next week.  1.3-million dollars was issued under the emergency proclamation – with a little less than half of that going to help the homeless situation on neighbor islands.

Maui’s Movie Magic

Nov 2, 2015
Jai Mansson / Flickr
Jai Mansson / Flickr

The natural beauty of Hawai‘i has led to its use in many Hollywood films and television productions.  And while O‘ahu has been the setting for current or recent projects from Hawai‘i Five-O to Jurassic World, another island will soon be getting in on the action.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News. 

Police Cameras Will Patrol Lahaina’s Halloween

Oct 26, 2015
Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Halloween night is less than a week away—it’s this coming Saturday.  On Maui, that means the annual event on Front Street in Lahaina.  And while it’s a family friendly event, as the night wears on it can get a bit rowdy.  So police will be on hand---and this year some will be wearing cameras. Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News.

Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu introduced the idea of police body cameras earlier this year. He says the technology can help protect both officers and civilians by holding them accountable for their actions.

New Approach for Some Maui Homeless

Oct 12, 2015
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

As Hawai‘i continues to wrestle with the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, one Maui group has come up with a creative solution to alleviate the problem. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Following Up: Fighting to Dance on Maui

Oct 6, 2015
zen panda photography
zen panda photography /

All this week, HPR News is taking another look at stories large and small that we’ve covered over the past year or so, in a series we’re calling “Following Up.”

Maui: The Latest Battleground for Coqui Frogs

Oct 5, 2015
Courtesy of The Maui News
Courtesy of The Maui News

Coqui frogs are small in size - but the impact of their presence is huge. That's been understood for quite some time on the Big Island of Hawai'i…but it's a growing and unpleasant discovery for some residents in upcountry Maui.  Eileen Chao has more from the Maui News. 

A coqui frog is usually about the size of a coin - but its loud chirps can be heard from nearly a mile away.  Multiply that by thousands and the volume can be brutal.  Homeowners who live in the Upcountry towns of Haliimaile and Haiku report that the coqui infestation along Maliko Gulch is getting out of control.

Maui is State’s Fastest-Growing County

Sep 28, 2015
Tony Webster / Flickr
Tony Webster / Flickr

According to figures from the U.S. Census bureau, Hawai‘i’s population is growing slightly faster than that of the United States.  But not every island is growing at the same pace. We get some details from Eileen Chao of the Maui News.

Maui’s population is growing faster than any other county in the state.

When it comes to overall population, the Valley Isle comes in third—behind Honolulu and Hawaii counties.  The U.S. Census Bureau estimates more than 163,000 are living in Maui County.  That's 5.3% more than the population in 2010.

Rain Poses Unique Challenges for Ranchers

Sep 21, 2015
K. Kendall / Flickr
K. Kendall / Flickr

It's been a rainy summer for Maui.  Nine tropical storm systems have approached the islands so far this season, often bringing heavy downpours.  The rain has helped ease some of the drought conditions in southeast Maui, but for ranchers, it also brings a new set of problems.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Rough Waters for Moloka‘i Ferry

Sep 15, 2015
Eileen Chow
Eileen Chow

The Molokai Ferry has adopted a new sailing schedule. The owner says this month’s changes will help stop the financial “hemorrhaging” the ferry has seen in the last two years.  But not everyone is happy about the new plan.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

Community Park Plans for Kula

Aug 24, 2015
Forest and Kim Starr / Flick
Forest and Kim Starr / Flick

Maui has a lot of hiking trails and a lot of beaches…but when it comes to open park space, that’s another story.  Sports teams often have to double up for practice on soccer and baseball fields.  A proposal to build a new 17-acre park in Kula could make the situation a bit easier, at least for upcountry residents. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Bridge Fixes Along the Hāna Highway

Aug 17, 2015
Jai Mansson / Flickr
Jai Mansson / Flickr

The road to Hana is one of Hawaii's most famous scenic drives.  Thousands of visitors make the three-hour drive to East Maui every year, and now many of the historic bridges along the way are falling apart.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Maui's Only Jail Severely Overcrowded

Aug 10, 2015
jai Mansson / Flickr
jai Mansson / Flickr

Maui Community Correctional Center has gotten so crowded that some inmates are now sleeping on the floor. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News.

Public safety officials say Maui's only jail is built to hold 301 inmates. But nearly 500 inmates are currently housed at the facility, which was constructed in 1978.

Campground for the Homeless on Maui?

Aug 3, 2015
Michael Coghlan / Flickr
Michael Coghlan / Flickr

A Maui nonprofit wants to build a state-of-the-art campground facility that can be used by both recreational and homeless campers, but neighbors think it's a bad idea.  Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. 

The Ho'omoana Foundation wants to build the facility on two acres of private land in West Maui. Initially, the camp would have eight pods--sites with space for a tent and picnic table.  If the project is successful, it could be expanded to accommodate a total of 26 pods, or 80 campers.