Political news

VA-Hawai'i Director Trying to Improve Access and Care

Jun 16, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Veterans Affairs director in Hawai’i wants to assure veterans and the public that he is working hard to provide better access to primary care.   But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the problems for one VA patient could highlight how difficult achieving that objective might be.

Hawaii Clean Energy Goal 2030

Jun 12, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative has a goal of achieving a 70 percent reduction of power generated by fossil fuel by the year 2030.  Where we are and how far we have to go was the focus today of a panel discussion at the Hawai’i State Association of Councils annual conference.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

"Affordable Housing" for Extremely Low Income Buyers

Jun 11, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Homeownership for many low-income individuals earning between 20-thousand and 53-thousand dollars annually has been out of reach because of Hawai’i’s high-priced real estate.   Until now.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports on one development in the middle of Honolulu that is truly affordable.    

HCDA Funds Homeless Shelter Job Training Program

Jun 10, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, the shoreline site of the popular Point Panic surfing spot in urban Honolulu, costs the state 438-dollars a day for janitorial and trash removal services.  But, according to the Hawai’i Community Development Authority, the state agency that foots the bill, it’s money well spent.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

VA Care for New Veterans in Hawaii Rated Last

Jun 9, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data released today indicates Hawai’i veterans have the longest waiting period from the time they apply for health care to their first appointment to see a physician.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited the VA Center on O’ahu and files this report.     

Wayne Yoshioka

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs continues to push forward with its state mandate to guide the process to establish self-governance for Native Hawaiians.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Honolulu City Council Passes 2015 Budget

Jun 4, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council passed the executive spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1st.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

Wayne Yoshioka

A multi-million dollar settlement was announced today in the federal discrimination lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of immigrant Thai workers who were abused and mistreated by a labor contractor and local farms for 4 years.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

Wayne Yoshioka

Local government and private/non-profit leaders convened a two-day workshop today to develop plans as part of a 1.6 billion dollar national effort to end homelessness by 2017.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

What Pollsters Might Try to Say

May 29, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate is a historic contest to fill the remaining two years of Daniel Inouye’s term.   Over the next two months, there will be many political and public opinion polls that will attempt to predict the outcome of that race.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka provides this analysis of what to look out for in those polls.    

Wayne Yoshioka

The Navy continues to investigate its underground fuel storage tanks beneath Red Hill in Moanalua.  More than 27,000 gallons of jet fuel remain unaccounted for, raising concerns about the potential contamination of Oahu’s drinking water.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has an update.     

Lt. Governor's Race Steps Up a Few Notches

May 27, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Primary Election is less than 75 days away and the once “sleepy” contest for Lieutenant Governor has been energized by a veteran Democratic challenger now in the race.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka caught up with the current office-holder and opponent.    

Governor Signs Minimum Wage Bill

May 23, 2014

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the bill to raise the minimum wage into law today. The new law will gradually raise the starting pay from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2018. The Governor started the signing ceremony with a bit of humor, beginning his speech at 10:10 am this morning.

The incremental raise goes into effect next year, starting with an increase to $7.75 beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

King Street Protected Bike Lane Project Update

May 22, 2014
Honolulu Department of Transportation Services

The City and County of Honolulu is moving forward with building bike-friendly infrastructure to coincide with the arrival of rail transit in the urban core in less than 5 years.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports on one pilot project that is scheduled to be implemented by year’s end.    

Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council has wrestled with a growing homeless problem in Chinatown for decades and has been made even worse because of the lack of public restrooms.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Governor Signs Turtle Bay Conservation Bill into Law

May 19, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Turtle Bay Resorts hosted a bill-signing ceremony today at the scenic Kawela Bay on the North Shore.  The measure, which was signed into law by the Governor, sets aside undeveloped land for future generations of residents and tourists to enjoy.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Filipino Americans Face the Future

May 15, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

  It’s less than 90 days to Hawai’i’s Primary Election and various pollsters are attempting to align candidates with certain ethnic groups, a practice some say is highly inaccurate because of the diversity within each of these groups.  In the first of a series of reports this campaign season, HPR’s Political Reporter, Wayne Yoshioka, provides an informal look at the changing character of Hawai’i’s largest Asian ethnic group.  

Wayne Yoshioka

The Senate Committee conducting a special investigation of the Hawai’i State Hospital questioned employees about over-time practices today.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.   

Competition for Hawai'i Tourists on the Horizon

May 13, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s $15 billion visitor industry is in the process of diversifying and re-tooling to meet an onslaught of competition from other tourist destinations. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

State Looking for Affordable Housing Options

May 12, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Affordable housing for a growing homeless population on O’ahu must also be an appealing alternative to living on the streets, communal shelters or imprisonment.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the Hawai’i Interagency Council on Homelessness has identified a pilot project that shows great promise.    

Wayne Yoshioka

The State’s 4 County Mayors addressed members of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai’i today during a luncheon in Honolulu.   It was the first event of its kind hosted by the Chamber and some members said it provided a fresh perspective.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Wayne Yoshioka

Plans for President Barack Obama’s official library are years away from being finalized but the first request for qualifications has been announced by his foundation and Hawai’i’s team is putting together an initial proposal due next month.   The team provided an update of its vision today at Hawai’i’s 14th Annual Build and Buy Green Conference in Kaka’ako.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

City Unveils Ala Wai Canal Bridge Proposal

May 6, 2014
City Department of Transportation Services

The Ala Wai Canal was built in 1928 and since then there have been numerous proposals to build a bridge over the iconic waterway to provide greater access into Waikiki.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the idea has resurfaced again as Oahu’s rail transit project makes its way into Honolulu’s urban core.    

Native Hawaiian Rolls Commission Update for Lawmakers

May 5, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Native Hawaiian Rolls Commission provided an update for lawmakers today on its progress in registering members of the state’s recognized indigenous people.  The goal is to form a governing entity and self-governance for Native Hawaiians.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

House Passes Turtle Bay Resort Purchase

May 1, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The Legislature ended its 2014 session today.  But there was a critical last minute vote on a measure to preserve undeveloped North Shore land for future generations.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

Kakaako Development Project Approved

Apr 30, 2014
Hawaii Community Development Authority

Another major development in Kaka’ako was approved today by the Hawai’i Community Development Authority.  This one features more than 600 residential units and space for the community’s first grocery store.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Senate and House Pass State Budget

Apr 29, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Both houses of the Legislature overwhelmingly approved the State Budget today which was less than what the Governor asked for but more for some state departments, including public schools and the University of Hawai’i system.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

Ukulele Bill Still Alive

Apr 28, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

A bill to name the official state musical instrument stalled and died last week in conference committee because both houses could not reach an agreement.   But there is still hope for passage of another measure that could do the same thing before the session adjourns Thursday.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka explains.

Turtle Bay Conservation Agreement Down to the Wire

Apr 24, 2014
Office of the Governor

The outcome of a decades-long battle to protect O’ahu’s North Shore from development will likely be decided on the last day of state budget deliberations at the State Capitol tomorrow.  Lawmakers have yet to decide on whether to fund the state’s portion of the offer to purchase the coastline property.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has this update.    

Aquaculture in Hawaii Discussed

Apr 23, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

A panel of industry experts focused on developing aquaculture on a commercial scale in Hawai’i to feed residents, tourists and eventually sell seafood products in other markets.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.