Political news

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.

Honolulu's Information Technology Challenge

Jul 18, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The Mayor’s new Chief Information Officer has been on the job for about a week following his confirmation by the Honolulu City Council. As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the new CIO inherited a daunting challenge that will require the effort of the entire Information Technology Department.



Howard Hughes Corporation


The Hawaii Community Development Authority approved construction plans for another high-rise condominium tower in Kaka’ako today, and also allowed the builder to make a number of modifications.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.   

Expansion of non-emergency back-up services

Jul 16, 2013

The Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Division operates 20 advanced life support ambulances contracted by the State Department of Health for 32-million dollars.  A City Council panel advanced a resolution today to urge the City Administration to look at ways to expand non-emergency back-up services.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports ...…   

Homeless Outreach by Waikiki Health

Jul 15, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

According to the 2013 Statewide Homeless Point-in-Time Count taken in January, 3 out of 4 unsheltered homeless persons on O’ahu are family members...with at least one child under the age of 18. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka accompanied a homeless outreach team from Waikiki Health and filed this report.  



The Symphony Honolulu Luxury Condominium Sales Begin

Jun 20, 2013
Oliver-McMillan Pacific Rim

The Symphony Honolulu is the newest luxury condominium that will be built on the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapi’olani Boulevard across from the Neal Blaisdell Center. In less than a week, the developer has sold nearly 70% of the units being offered for sale to the public. Many real estate agents say the market is on the verge of exploding due to low inventory and pent up demand. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka got one family’s perspective during a Symphony Honolulu purchase.

Two more 400-foot towers proposed in Kaka'ako

Jun 19, 2013
Howard Hughes Corporation

The Hawai’i Community Development Authority conducted back-to-back public hearings today for two condominium projects in downtown Kaka’ako.  An overflow crowd testified in support and in opposition of both projects.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there and filed this report.

Honeybee Industry Supported by Governor and Legislature

Jun 17, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka


Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a proclamation to designate Pollinator Week and a related piece of legislation into law today to bolster the honeybee industry in Hawaii. HPR's Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Manoa Innovation Center Update

Jun 13, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

 The Manoa Innovation Center continues to offer high tech start-up companies a support base and network from which to launch their businesses.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited the center located near the University of Hawai’i for this update. 

East West Center Informal Reunion

Jun 11, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka


The East West Center in Manoa was established 53 years ago by the U-S Congress.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the period between 1970 and 1980 was a time of growth and expansion for the Center.


The Honolulu Rail Transit Project is currently in limbo, awaiting decisions and clearances from Federal and State Courts on a number of environmental and cultural challenges.  But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, these pending actions are not stopping the construction industry from moving forward with its plans to build rail - and more importantly - to take part in the development boom expected to follow.



Wednesday, June 05, 2013:


The Hawai’i Community Development Authority conducted a second public hearing today for a 25-story building … one of the smallest building projects being proposed in the Kaka’ako area.  But…as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … the proposal is running into heated opposition from neighbors who are demanding current H-C-D-A rules be followed and enforced ….  

Planning on Retiring on Social Security?

Jun 4, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

Tuesday,  June 04,  2013:   More than 177-thousand Hawai’i residents over the age of 65 receive social security as part of their retirement income.   That according to the AARP.   About 15 percent of the state’s retirees rely almost entirely on social security … a difficult prospect given Hawai’i’s high cost of living.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …  

Patsy T. Mink Foundation

Monday, June 03, 2013:


A new center to promote the advancement of women in business and other career fields was officially dedicated today …and is named for Hawai’i’s first Congresswoman …  a trailblazer who championed anti-discrimination and equality legislation that continue to touch the lives of many Americans today.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …  

State Leaders Move to Help Living Veterans

May 30, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

Monday was Memorial Day and ceremonies across the nation honored soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who lost their lives in service to our country.   But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … local government and business leaders are trying to honor returning service members by helping them get on with their lives …  SS

Kaka'ako Development Update

May 29, 2013

More than 5-thousand residential units are approved or are being proposed for construction in Kaka’ako in the next couple of years.  The state’s plan for the area has been updated … and is being called by some residents … the good…the bad … and the too tall.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …  

Council on Revenues Issues General Fund Forecast

May 28, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka

The Council on Revenues made its state tax revenue forecast today … and its review of the economy is mixed.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …  

Oahu Housing Prices Set to Skyrocket

May 23, 2013
Hawaii Community Development Authority photo

The prices for residential dwellings on O’ahu are on the verge of another explosion… even though construction of new housing is scheduled to come on-line in a few years.  That’s the conclusion of a Hawai’i Venture Capital Association and Think Tech panel today.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports …   

Wayne Yoshioka

Hurricane Awareness Week begins May 26th in Hawai’i on the heels of a devastating tornado in Oklahoma Monday that killed 24 and destroyed at least 13-thousand homes.   But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … forecasters are predicting a somewhat mild 2013 hurricane season for Hawai’i… 

GOP-Hawaii Develops Strategic Plan for 2014 and Beyond

May 21, 2013
Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

Republican candidates in Hawaii garnered less than one third of the total votes cast in 2012. With less than 18 months remaining before the 2014 General Elections, GOP officials are trying to expand their voter base to make a better showing in future elections. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka

Administrators and representatives for Public Employee Retirement systems nationwide are in Hawai’i this week for their annual 4-day conference.   And, like so many other gatherings here,  conducting a business conference in Hawaii has come under fire once again in some mainland states.    But, as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the Governor was on point and in attack-mode today.  

All Houses 50 years And Older Are Historic Structures

May 16, 2013

The Honolulu City Council is urging the State to exempt certain residential properties over 50 years old from being classified as being historic structures.   But the State says the law is the law and all properties will have to follow stringent guidelines. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.