Political news

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

The Native Hawaiian Health Center at the U.H. John A. Burns School of Medicine presented its findings to Joint Legislative Committees at the Capitol today. The report outlines the assessment and priorities needed to improve the health and well-being of the state’s Indigenous and Pacific islander populations. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

New Study on Hawaii residents of Mexican Heritage

Sep 23, 2013
Migration Policy Institute
Migration Policy Institute

A new study takes a look at Hawai’i residents of Mexican ancestry. The report was released today at the State Capitol and focuses on a rapidly growing sector of the state’s population, those of Mexican heritage up 165% since 1990. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Transit Oriented Development Plans Move Forward

Sep 19, 2013
City & County of Honolulu

Construction on Honolulu’s 5.6 billion dollar rail transit system resumed Monday … and City Leaders are forging ahead with plans to guide development along the entire route.  The City Administration presented an update today on Honolulu’s Transit Oriented Development plan to the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …   

Hawaii ranked #1 in welfare benefits by Cato Institute

Sep 18, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

Welfare recipients in Hawai’i receive benefits that are equal to more than four times the amount a person can earn working at minimum wage. That, according to a national study published last month, which ranks the state number one in terms of handing out the most generous public assistance packages in the nation. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka went on the road for a look at the situation. 

Officials Launch Hawai'i Health Connector

Sep 17, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Health Connector is scheduled to go online in two weeks for a 6-month open enrollment period, prior to implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Government, health insurance and community group leaders participated in a news conference today to launch a public awareness campaign to help residents and businesses navigate the complex and sometimes confusing program. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there and has this report.

Honolulu Rail Construction Resumes

Sep 16, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

Construction on the Honolulu Rail Transit system resumed today following a year-long delay to complete archeological studies ordered by the Hawai’i Supreme Court. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended the early morning start-up in West O’ahu and filed this report.

Matson Assumes Full Responsibility for Molasses Spill

Sep 16, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

The week-long recovery effort following a devastating molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor that has killed more than 25,000 fish continues. Today state lawmakers, departmental directors and Matson officials toured the spill sites, and Matson President and CEO Matt Cox explained that the company is taking full responsibility. 

Aquaculture Expanding in Hawai'i

Sep 12, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

U.S. Dietary Guidelines in 2010 recommended that Americans eat at least two seafood meals per week for better nutrition and overall health. But many fisheries and fish populations in the world have collapsed and industry officials are attempting to increase farm-raised seafood to make up for dwindling supplies in the open ocean. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited an aquaculture operation and filed this report. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council granted its initial approval of a bill today that is designed to curb sleeping on City sidewalks.   The measure has a long way to go for passage but is proving to be a contentious one.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports  …  

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Update

Sep 10, 2013
OTEC International Brochure

You have heard these figures before: Hawai’i burns five billion dollars worth of fossil fuel each year for 85% of the state’s energy needs. But, the Blue Planet Foundation has set a goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2030, more than double the state’s clean energy objective. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit today to look at an old but promising technology that could lead Hawai’i to true energy independence.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

The State House and Senate have been called to a Special Session next month to deliberate and address a bill on marriage equity. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended the state’s chief executive news conference today.   

Kewalo Basin Harbor upgrades on hold

Sep 4, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Community Development Authority, or HCDA, postponed making a decision today on a proposal to lease Kewalo Basin Harbor to a private operator. The plan was approved 2 years ago but has been met with opposition from current harbor users. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

IBM Building to be Development Icon

Aug 29, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

Development plans for 8 high-rise towers in Kaka’ako have been approved, with at least 3 more in the pre-application process. Older warehouse-type buildings will be demolished to make way for the new 400-foot towers. But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, one classic structure in the area has been spared from demolition and will serve as a headquarters for redevelopment.


State lawmakers met today to determine if they could convene a special session to pass same-sex marriage legislation. Hawaii would then be in line to become the 14th state to approve marriage equality. But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the House of Representatives failed to muster the pivotal votes it needed.

Senate Committee Reviews Sequestration Impacts

Aug 27, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

A State Senate Committee conducted a hearing today on the impact of federal cuts on departmental operations and state jurisdiction over Hawaiian waters. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Hawaii Tourism Authority Hosts 2013 Conference

Aug 22, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority opened its annual conference today, following a year of record growth.   But, as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the conference theme --“Defining the Next Chapter”--is an attempt to position the industry to withstand the next downturn in tourism.

Two more high-rises approved for Kaka'ako

Aug 21, 2013
Howard Hughes Corporation

Plans to build 2 more high-rise buildings in Kaka’ako   won unanimous approval today, bringing the total to eight 400-foot towers approved for construction in Honolulu’s so-called “Third City.” As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the developer won major concessions or modifications to state building rules.

Sales Brisk for The Collection in Kaka'ako

Aug 19, 2013
Alexander & Baldwin

Sales were brisk Monday for the newest Kaka’ako high-rise development project, The Collection, scheduled to be built on the corner of South Street and Ala Moana Boulevard, site of the old CompUSA building. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard oral arguments from both sides in the federal rail transit lawsuit today. The proceeding was transmitted via live video feed to the Honolulu Federal Courthouse. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there and filed this report.

State Launches Juvenile Justice Working Group

Aug 14, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The State launched a bi-partisan, multi-departmental effort today to analyze and develop legislation to curb juvenile crime and reduce cost for taxpayers. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  

Offshore Wind Generation Technology Update

Aug 13, 2013
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to produce 40% of the state’s energy from renewable sources is the most ambitious plan in the nation.  But, disputes over limited land and environmental impacts continue to hamper the state’s ability to fully develop wind power in the islands.

HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended a renewable energy workshop and learned the situation could change in the future.  

Affordable Care Act Update

Aug 12, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

Health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act are scheduled to be announced in less than one month, prior to the October 1st start date for open enrollment for uninsured residents. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended an “Aging in Place” workshop and asked attendees what they thought about the new mandate.

Halekauwila Place Update

Aug 8, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Housing Finance and Development Corporation estimates the state needs more than 30,000 affordable “for-sale units” or rentals to meet current demand. One state-backed venture in Kaka’ako, in the heart of O’ahu’s construction boom, is nearly half way to being completed. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Another Kaka'ako Highrise is Approved

Aug 7, 2013


The Hawaii Community Development Authority approved another permit application today, marking the 8th high-rise in Kaka’ako to be granted a green light by the state agency in less than one year. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

HHSC Photo

A Joint Senate-House Committee on Health conducted the first of several hearings on the status of state-funded hospitals on the neighbor islands. As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the initial assessment was not an encouraging one.

Transformation Internship Summer Program Completed

Aug 1, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The Legislature appropriated $100 million over the next two years to upgrade the state’s aging information technology system. The state’s IT infrastructure is more than 30 years old in most departments, and the Governor has been reaching out to student volunteers to lend their time and talents to improve the system. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Thomas Square Park Ceremony Draws Another Protest

Jul 31, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

A ceremony was conducted at Thomas Square today to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the reinstatement of the Hawaiian Kingdom following a British siege. But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the DeOccupy Honolulu group--which has tried to take over the park for the last 2 years--made their presence known at the freedom celebration.

Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu’s Mayor is moving to jump-start future development along the planned 20-mile rail transit line.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended a news conference today and filed this report …  

Hydrogen Powered Vehicles Being Tested in Hawaii

Jul 24, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

This fuel can power a motor vehicle, produce energy without combustion, and release pure water vapor through the exhaust pipe. As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, it’s the cleanest alternative fuel technology ever---and it’s being demonstrated in Hawai’i.

He'eia Fishpond Restoration Update

Jul 22, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The 21st annual Hawaii Conservation Conference was conducted last week and ended with a couple of tours for attendees to food and cultural sustainability projects. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka went on one of the field trips to Kaneohe to visit one of O’ahu’s premier Native Hawaiian resources.