HD Radio Scene Report: Hawaii

From the new-lows-in-translator-abuse-department: HHawaii Media, owner of nine stations throughout the island chain, has begun quadcasting in HD on its adult-contemporary station, KORL. The three additional subchannels are smooth jazz, Korean pop, and Japanese pop.
KORL owner George Hochman launched the multicasts exclusively for feeding analog FM translators, and each HD subchannel already has its own translator.
All of the analog relay stations signed on the air within the last year (one in May, two in September) and all broadcast at maximum power (250 watts).
KORL’s a big stick: when moved its transmitting site five years ago, it displaced KXRG, the only low-power FM station in Honolulu. KXRG remained silent until April of 2010, when it returned to the air on a second-adjacent channel granted under a Special Temporary Authority waiver by the FCC.
LPFM stations can’t (yet) be sited two clicks away on the dial from a full-power station, although FM translators can. This why KORL and its owners can dot Oahu with multiple translators, launching “new” radio stations that are nothing more than an analog repackagement of an HD signal nobody’s listening to, while live-and-local niche radio such as KXRG must exist at the special pleasure of the FCC.
In a place where land is at a premium and the spectrum is already congested, this greedy proliferation of translators effectively makes any meaningful LPFM expansion impossible.