The Conversation: The Latest from the 2020 Kilauea Eruption

Dec 23, 2020

Update on the 2020 Kilauea volcanic eruption; Local epidemiologist on mutating coronavirus; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Honolulu police double salaries with overtime pay; Honolulu sustainability report; New novel features unexpected journey of a rock star and a runaway

Credit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

 Update on the 2020 Kilauea volcanic eruption

Thousands of visitors have made the trek to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to catch a glimpse of a new volcanic eruption at Halemaumau Crater. HPR Reporter Kuuwehi Hiraishi gives us an update on the new eruption, Hawaii County's preparedness, and residents' reactions.

Credit pxhere

 Local epidemiologist on mutating coronavirus

We have been watching the flurry in Europe around the news that the coronavirus is morphing into a more infectious strain. So what does this mean for us here, across the Pacific? We reached out to Dr. F. DeWolfe Miller to help put it in context. Other national experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci say they wouldn't be surprised if the same thing is already happening here in the U.S., as coronaviruses morph all the time. Miller has been involved in the launch of Hawaii's Safe Travels program and is an emeritus professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Honolulu police officers double salaries with overtime pay

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard has criticized her officers' overuse of federally funded overtime during the pandemic, but she's been allowing her officers to double their salaries with overtime for years, according to city data obtained by Civil Beat. For example, in the first nine months of 2020, Sgt. Robert Cavaco earned $71,607 in regular pay and $119,014 in overtime. That's a total of $190,622 - more than Mayor Kirk Caldwell makes in an entire year. Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair tells us how some police officers are making more than top city officials. Click here to read Christina Jedra's story at

Credit Wikipedia Commons

 Honolulu sustainability report

A long overdue upgrade to the City and County of Honolulu's energy code, reducing our energy bill an dmoving toward an all-electric transportation fleet: just an overview of progress we are making toward a more sustainable community. We talked to Josh Stanbro, the city's Chief Resilience Officer, about the highlights of the efforts being made to deal with climate change and Hawaii's green goals. Click here to read the sustainability report.

 New novel features unexpected journey of a rock star and a runaway

Earlier this week we talked about the efforts to boost travel between Hawaii and Canada. Turns out one of the first passengers on a flight from Vancouver this past week was author Andrea Fehsenfeld. She just released a new book called, "A Rainbow Like You." It's a story of a traveling rock star who happens to be color blind. He develops a friendship with a teenage stowaway with an uncanny ability to see music in color. It is an actual condition called senesthysia. It's a kaleidoscope of a story that forces its rock star character to, as Fehsenfeld says, face the music. We talked to Andrea about how her experiences at rock concerts and her day job as a TV producer converged in this novel. Click here to learn how to purchase the book.

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