Portal:Hawaii

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Hawaii (/həˈw.i/ (About this soundlisten) hə-WY-ee; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi] or [həˈwɐjʔi]) is a state in the Western United States located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from the U.S. mainland. It is the only state outside North America, the only state that is an archipelago, and the only state in the tropics. Hawaii is also one of a small number of U.S. states that was once an independent nation.

Hawaii comprises nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, 137 volcanic islands spanning 1,500 miles (2,400 km) that are physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. The state's ocean coastline is consequently the fourth longest in the U.S., at about 750 miles (1,210 km). The eight main islands, from northwest to southeast, are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi, after which the state is named; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaii Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands make up most of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the nation's largest protected area and the third largest in the world.

Settled by Polynesians some time between 1000 and 1200 CE, Hawaii was home to numerous independent chiefdoms. In 1778, British explorer James Cook was the first known non-Polynesian to arrive at the archipelago; early British influence is reflected in the state flag, which bears a Union Jack. An influx of European and American explorers, traders, and whalers arrived shortly thereafter, introducing diseases that decimated the once isolated indigenous community. Hawaii became a unified, internationally recognized kingdom in 1810, remaining independent until Western businessmen overthrew the monarchy in 1893; this led to annexation by the U.S. in 1898. As a strategically valuable U.S. territory, Hawaii was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941, which brought it global and historical significance, and contributed to America's decisive entry into World War II. Hawaii is the most recent state to join the union, on August 21, 1959. In 1993, the U.S. government formally apologized for its role in the overthrow of Hawaii's government, which spurred the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

Of the 50 U.S. states, Hawaii is the fourth-smallest in land area and the 11th-least populous, but with 1.4 million residents ranks 13th in population density. Two-thirds of the population lives on O'ahu, home to the state's capital and largest city, Honolulu. Hawaii is among the country's most diverse states, owing to its central location in the Pacific and over two centuries of migration. As one of only six majority-minority states, it has the nation's only Asian American plurality, its largest Buddhist community, and the largest proportion of multiracial people. Consequently, it is a unique melting pot of Southeast Asian, East Asian and North American cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian heritage. (Full article...)

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Hurricane Iniki (/ˈnk/ ee-NEE-kee; Hawaiian: ʻiniki meaning "strong and piercing wind") was the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Hawaii in recorded history. Forming on September 5, 1992, during the strong 1990–1995 El Niño, Iniki was one of eleven Central Pacific tropical cyclones during that season. It attained tropical storm status on September 8 and further intensified into a hurricane the next day. After turning north, Iniki struck the island of Kauaʻi on September 11 at peak intensity; it had winds of 145 mph and reached Category 4 status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale. It had recorded wind gusts of 225 mph (360 km/h) as evidenced by an anemometer that was found blown into the forest during clean up. It was the first hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Iwa in the 1982 season, and the first major hurricane since Hurricane Dot in 1959. Iniki dissipated on September 13 about halfway between Hawaii and Alaska.

Iniki caused around $3.1 billion (1992 USD) in damage and six deaths, making it the costliest natural disaster on record in the state. At the time, Iniki was the third-costliest United States hurricane. The storm struck just 18 days after Hurricane Andrew, the costliest tropical cyclone ever at the time, struck Florida. (Full article...)

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Ko Olina Station and Ko Olina Center make up a lifestyle center in the resort town of Ko Olina, a neighborhood in Kapolei, Hawaii. The shopping mall opened in 2009 and consists of two centers located across a street from each other. Ko Olina Station debuted in 2009, while the more recent Ko Olina Center finished construction in 2010. The centers contain a total of approximately 31 retail tenants, with the majority of them being native Hawaiian businesses, such as ABC Stores and Peter Merriman's MonkeyPod Kitchen.

The center was modeled after a "rural" Hawaiian community, with its grocery store modeled after a "country store". It is located directly north along the old Oahu Railway and Land Company tracks, and includes a mix of dining and retail options. (Full article...)
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Wildfire generated by a Pāhoehoe Lava flow on the coastal plain of Kīlauea, The Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The new lava is moving across the old surface ,which is covered with a layer of moss about an inch thick. This moss is burning, generating the smoke visible in the image.

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This section is here to highlight some of the most common words of the Hawaiian Language, ʻŌlelo, that are used in everyday conversation amongst locals.

Haole

White person, American, Englishman, Caucasian; American, English; formerly, any foreigner; foreign, introduced, of foreign origin

A common usage:

"Did you see all the haole that were at the beach today? Ho, da choke brah!."

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Aerial view of Niʻihau looking southwestward from the northeast

Niʻihau (Hawaiian: [ˈniʔiˈhɐw]), anglicized as Niihau (/ˈn.h, ˈn.ˌh/ NEE-how, NEE-ee-how), is the westernmost main and seventh largest inhabited island in Hawaii. It is 17.5 miles (28.2 km) southwest of Kauaʻi across the Kaulakahi Channel. Its area is 69.5 square miles (180 km2). Several intermittent playa lakes provide wetland habitats for the Hawaiian coot, the Hawaiian stilt, and the Hawaiian duck. The island is designated as critical habitat for Brighamia insignis, an endemic and endangered species of Hawaiian lobelioid. The United States Census Bureau defines Niʻihau and the neighboring island and State Seabird Sanctuary of Lehua as Census Tract 410 of Kauai County, Hawaii. Its 2000 census population was 160; Its 2010 census population was 170.

Elizabeth Sinclair purchased Niʻihau in 1864 for $10,000 from the Kingdom of Hawaii. The island's private ownership passed on to her descendants, the Robinsons. During World War II, the island was the site of the Niʻihau Incident, in which, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese navy fighter pilot crashed on the island and received help from residents of Japanese descent. (Full article...)

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"I am always telling our federal agencies and contractors that if they bring work to Hawaiʻi, they need to hire Hawaiʻi residents." — Senator Daniel Akaka

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