The Conversation: COVID Update from Hawaii Island

Sep 9, 2020

Hawaii County update from Harry Kim; Prisoner unrest at Hilo jail; State's failure to communicate during the pandemic; The Long View with Neal Milner: Connecting with the dead because of COVID; An interview with mother of the ulu movement

Hawaii County update from Mayor Harry Kim

This morning it was a very somber Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, who shared that another person from the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo has died.  He also shared the latest on COVID-19 on Hawaii Island.  We spoke to him from the Emergency Operations Center.

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Prisoner unrest at Hilo jail

Inmates in one wing of the Waianuenue housing unit of the Hilo jail set a fire and barricaded doors Tuesday in the fourth outbreak of prisoner unrest at a Hawaii correctional facility in less than a month. Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair tells us more about the continuing unrest at Hawaii's prisons and jails. Click here to read reporter Kevin Dayton's story at

State's failure to communicate during the pandemic

What's so important about communications during COVID-19 and what do we know about the people that were missed? Experts say one of the state's biggest mistakes was its inability to effectively communicate with the public. HPR's Ashley Mizuo tells us about the challenges faced by the state Department of Health and what it will take to rebuild the public's trust. Listen to more of the Failure to Communicate series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

The Long View with Neal Milner: Connecting with the dead because of COVID

As COVID deaths rise, there's been more interest in spiritualists and connecting with loved ones who have passed away. HPR Contributing Editor Neal Milner tells us how COVID has changed our rituals and finding closure with loved ones. Click here to read the article, "How the Spirit Mediums of New York Are Dealing with Mass Death."

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An interview with the "Mother of the Ulu Movement"

This week we are celebrating ulu. We introduced you to a baker yesterday who is discovering what's possible for a fruit that just keeps giving. Today, you get to meet who many consider the mother of the breadfruit movement. For Diane Ragone, her passion for ulu started as a college research paper. She divides her time between Kauai and Maui, where she works as director of the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, where numerous varieties of ulu grow.