The Conversation: Friday, November 18th, 2016

Nov 18, 2016

Hilo Homelessness Update; “The Ghosts of Hiroshima”; State House Leadership Shakeup; Opioid Addiction; Lyman Museum

'Hilo from the Bay', oil on canvas painting by James Gay Sawkins, 1852.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Homelessness in Hilo: Janice Ikeda

Credit Hope Serices Hawaii Facebook

Island to island, homelessness in Hawaii looks different.  The numbers of singles, families and chronically homeless people battling addiction and mental illness shift with the other variables, rural and urban areas, and an island’s general population. What doesn’t shift is the need to help the people for whom a tent or makeshift pallet on concrete is home.  And while it can be tempting to see homeless people through numbers on reports, the clearer picture emerges from the firsthand experience of the people who know their clients best: the outreach workers. Today we’re in Hilo with Janice Ikeda, Operations Director for Hope Services. Last year, she helped the organization align with the Housing First model, and made East and West Hawaii operations more cohesive.

Intro Music: New Slang by The Shins
Outro Music: Cold December Rain by Steve Mills

UH Hilo Stages “The Ghosts of Hiroshima”: Jackie Johnson 

Credit UH Hilo Performing Arts Center

The August, 1945 bombing of civilian targets in two Japanese cities claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and cast a shadow over the world that may never go away… and if we lose sight of the lessons it left behind, we’ll be doomed to repeat them.    The UH Hilo Performing Arts Center production of “The Ghosts of Hiroshima” will bring those lessons to the stage tonight. Jackie Pualani Johnson is the director of “The Ghosts of Hiroshima,” written by Deborah Lubar with Diane Wickes Roose.  It will be performed at 7:30 pm in the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

Intro Music: Music Box by Jake Shimabukuro
Outro Music: The Flame Burns Bright by Andrew Martin and Nick Coler

Civil Beat Reality Check: Hawaii Union Works To Overthrow State House Leaders

Hawaii State Legislature, 2008

Since 2012, a coalition of lawmakers headed by Speaker Souki has led the State House. And that's just why a union works to unseat them. Civil Beat’s Chad Blair has today's reality check.   

Outro Music: Kaulana Na Pua by Cindy Combs

Opioid Addiction Epidemic: Dr. Frederick Nitta

Credit Dr. Frederick Nitta

For years, research has often focused on the effects and social impact of one addictive substance at a time. Alcohol, meth, heroin...Yesterday, the US Surgeon General took on all of them. Dr. Vivek Murthy estimates that 20 point 8 million Americans struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction cuts through all socioeconomic levels and geographic areas-- and while still regarded by many as a moral failing or evidence of poor character, leading edge researchers counter that addiction changes how the brain works and should be treated like any other preventable disease. Dr. Frederick Nitta is a Hilo obstetrician-gynecologist in Hilo. He received his medical degree from University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years, during which he says the addiction epidemic in Hilo has exploded.

Outro Music: Another Cigarette and Drink Shot by Dizzypack

Lyman Museum: Bruce McClure

Bruce McClure giving a presentation to school children.
Credit Lyman Museum and Mission House

The Lyman Museum and Mission House in downtown Hilo’s stated mission is to “Tell the story of Hawaii, its Islands, and its People…” and it’s in a unique position to do just that.   It’s built around one of the oldest houses in the islands, the Mission House itself, and is a repository for priceless memories of the past two centuries. Bruce McClure is a retired civil engineer who joined the Lyman Museum as a docent and later became a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees,  positions he still holds today.

Intro Music: I'll See You In Hawai by Kulua Beach Boys
Outro Music:  Seven Steps to Heaven by Miles Davis

Lyman Mission House, circa 1850
Credit Lyman Museum and Mission House