Civil Beat – Big Island

  • Jason Armstrong
  • Alan D. McNarie
- Jason Armstrong

HILO, Hawaii Island – Mauna Kea’s summit could be closed to private vehicles, large religious ceremonies and playing in the snow under rules the University of Hawaii wants to implement on public land it leases atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain. The restrictions would apply to the hundreds of thousands of people Mauna Kea attracts annually. The […]

The post Big Island: UH’s New Rules Would Bring Big Changes Atop Mauna Kea appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Jason Armstrong

PUNA, Hawaii Island – After surviving Kilauea volcano’s summer-long wrath of destruction, area residents have started returning to a reformed coastline that now features the world’s newest beaches. Molten lava that began flowing into the ocean in early May has recently stopped, prompting the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to reopen its MacKenzie […]

The post Big Island: You Need To Be Tough To Explore These New Volcanic Beaches appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Jason Armstrong

WAIPIO VALLEY, Hawaii Island – Overuse of the historic Waipio Valley and an effort to sell much of the land have created an uncertain future for the hearty people who live, work and play here. In addition to taro fields, the valley near the northern tip of the Big Island holds a black sand beach […]

The post Big Island: Waipio Valley’s Beauty, Danger And Uncertain Future appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Jason Armstrong

PEPEEKEO, Hawaii Island – It’s a good thing East Hawaii receives a lot of rain because a massive amount of water will be needed to cool a wood-burning power plant scheduled to open here in December. Hu Honua Bioenergy’s 21.5-megawatt plant will extract 21.6 million gallons of nondrinkable water daily from wells, circulate it once […]

The post Big Island: Wood-Burning Power Plant Raises Environmental Concerns appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Jason Armstrong

HILO, Hawaii Island – A departing Hawaii County Council member has ramped up her recent bizarre behavior, restating publicly this week that she can no longer do her job because she’s afraid she’s committing “war crimes” against sovereign Native Hawaiians. Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles is not the first unorthodox lawmaker to represent people who affectionately […]

The post Big Island: Am I A Criminal? Puna Councilwoman Questions Her Legitimacy appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Alan D. McNarie

PUNA, Hawaii Island — The Pohoiki boat ramp, which until the recent Kilauea eruption played a key role in supplying a lot of the Big Island’s locally caught fish, is now separated from the ocean by about 14,000 cubic yards of black sand. Puna’s only boat ramp nearly didn’t survive at all. Lava came within […]

The post Big Island: Why A New Beach Created By Lava May Doom A Popular Boat Ramp appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Alan D. McNarie

OOKALA, Hawaii Island — Big Island Dairy’s website claims that its milk comes from “the happiest cows on earth.” But the people of Ookala, the former sugarcane town downhill from the dairy on the Big Island’s rainy Hamakua coast, are very unhappy. They’ve formed a nonprofit organization called Kupale Ookala, which has partnered with the Center for […]

The post Big Island: Residents Say Dairy Is Still Polluting Their Small Town appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Alan D. McNarie

Assuming the Kilauea volcano does nothing unexpected, Puna’s one remaining shelter for lava evacuees, in Pahoa, is scheduled to close Sept. 17. When it does, it will have been open 138 days — the longest that an evacuation shelter has been in continuous operation in the history of Hawaii, according to County Managing Director Will […]

The post Big Island: The Lessons Learned In Puna As Lava Shelters Shut Down appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Alan D. McNarie

VOLCANO VILLAGE, Hawaii Island — A packed hall of Volcano villagers has been a frequent sight at Cooper Center, the village’s community center, in recent months. Usually the meetings have been for briefings on the latest volcanic activity. Wednesday night was different. Scores of villagers convened with hot dishes, salads and desserts to thank and […]

The post Big Island: As Fire And Lava Diminish, Volcano Village Still Struggles appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

- Alan D. McNarie

Editor’s Note: This is the second of two columns about the Hawaii County Council races playing out in volcano country. Part 1 looked at Council District 4. The Big Island’s County Council District 5 stretches from the Keaau-Pahoa Road along the coast to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and up Volcano Highway to the edge of […]

The post Big Island: Incumbent’s Surprise Withdrawal Opens Up Council Race appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

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