The Conversation

Weekdays at 11am on HPR-1

Whether you live in our state or far from our shores, you’ll know what’s happening in Hawaii with a daily hour of locally-focused discussions of public affairs, ideas, culture and the arts. Guests from around the block and around the world provide perspectives on life in the islands and issues that have not yet reached Hawaii. 

Have something to say? Send a comment, conversation suggestion or a Backyard Quiz to You can also reach us on our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Remember to tell us your name and where you're from. Share your comments about the show in a short 30-second message and then we'll play some of them in future shows.

The production team is Lillian Tsang, Harrison Patino, and Jason Ubay.  

Click the photos for individual stories and their audio!

*Audio and digital content will be posted daily by 2 pm.

It’s Friday, August 23 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Good Beginnings Alliance Poll: Jacce Mikulanec

Jacce Mikulanec is the Policy and Community Partnerships Director of Good Beginnings Alliance.

The Nanjing Massacre, Poems: Wing Tek Lum

Wing Tek Lum is the author of The Nanjing Massacre: Poems, published by Bamboo Ridge Press. He’s doing a series of readings around O’ahu in September, starting a week from Sunday at UH-Mano’a.

Maui Special-Ed teacher, Justin Hughey

GMOs in 2 Parts, Hawaii Pops, The Brien Matson Project

Aug 22, 2013

The Conversation - Thursday, August 22nd

Kauai GMO, Part 1: Karl Haro Von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel is a plant biotechnologist and chair of independent science nonprofit Biology Fortified, Inc., based in Wisconsin. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics with a minor in Life Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Hawaii Pops: Steve Jones

It’s Wednesday, August 21 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Work vs. Welfare Trade-off: Dr. Keli`i Akina

William Keli`i Akina Ph.D, is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute Hawai`i. He says his mission is to develop the public policy think tank into a society-transforming champion of freedom in Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific.

Saving Earth in the Age of Man: M. Sanjayan

MDVIP, Artist John Nichols, Rainwater Catchment, Planetarium Art

Aug 20, 2013

It’s Tuesday, August 20 – From HPR2

MDVIP Business Model: Dr. David John

Dr. David John is now converting his former practice to MDVIP. The personal wellness-focused program operates in 39 states and is for members only.    

John Nichols: Artist

John Nichols’ art is part of a current exhibit at Honolulu Country Club called “Good Things Pouring In.”   The show runs until the end of September.

Rainwater Catchment: Billy Kniffen

How We Discuss Race, A Korean Cinderella, Nahenahe Singing

Aug 19, 2013

It’s Monday, August 19 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

How We Discuss Race: J. Stanford Parker

J. Stanford Parker AKA Bootsie was the first African-American writer hired to write for the Redd Foxx television comedy “Sanford.” He’s the screenwriter for the Jamie Foxx film “Booty Call” and the former head writer of “The D.L. Hughley Show,” among many other film and television credits. He remains active as a screenwriter, with several projects in the works.

HTY’s “A Korean Cinderella:” Alvin Chan

It’s Statehood Day, Friday, August 16

Kauai Home Rentals: Joan Conrow

Joan Conrow is a longtime Hawaii freelance journalist now based on Kauai. She's reported for the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Reuters. Her blog is Kauai Eclectic and she says that when it comes to transient vacation rentals, it's not so much caveat emptor for renters as just google a little for law enforcement to find obviously illegal accommodations that wouldn't get a permit.

Atherton Concert: Dion Scott AKA Boogie

Restorative Justice in Two Parts, HI Shakespeare Festival, Underwater Blogging

Aug 15, 2013

It’s Thursday, August 15 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Restorative Justice Pt. 1: Frank Garcia

Frank Garcia has been clean, sober and productive for ten years... all following a difficult past with drugs and crime starting at age 17. He has participated in three reentry circles and continues to help other incarcerated people making a transition to life on the outside.

HI Shakespeare Festival “As You Like It”: Owen Bleach

Maui Island Plan, 200 Years of HI Coffee, Coral Disease Update, Waikiki Aquarium Kelpers

Aug 14, 2013

It’s Wednesday, August 14 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Maui General Plan: Dick Mayer

Professor (Emeritus) Dick Mayer taught World Geography and Economics at Maui Community College for 34 years. In 1971, he was appointed to the Maui County Planning Commission. In 2006, Mayor Arakawa appointed Professor Mayer to the Maui Island General Plan Advisory Committee and he continues to serve as its vice-chair.

Celebrating 200 years of HI Coffee: David Gridley

It’s Tuesday, August 13 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Geothermal Critics Plan Multi-day March: Steven Sparks

Steve Sparks is the co-organizer of the march on HELCO. He has lived on Hawaii Island since 1995 and in Puna since 2001. He is semi retired although he's still is the Business Manager for the Pahoa based Center for Magnesium Education & Research.

Transgenic Rabbits: Stefan Moisyadi

Cane Burning on Maui, Joy of Sake, Media Teacher, Waipa Foundation

Aug 12, 2013

It’s Monday, August 12 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Follow-up on Cane Burning on Maui: Irene Bowie

Irene Bowie is the executive director of the Maui Tomorrow Foundation. She is  a 33-year resident of Maui and has seen more than a few cane fields burning. Her organization will continue to press for green harvesting.

Joy of Sake Sommelier: Christine Parkinson

UHERO Annual Forecast, Operatic Vocal Coach, Harkin-Schatz Bill, Culinary Romp

Aug 9, 2013

It’s Friday, August 9 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Some welcome financial news: the UHERO annual Hawaii forecast is out today

Carl Bonham is the executive director and co-founder of the UH Economic Research Organization and is Professor of Economics. He’s also a member of the State of Hawaii Council on Revenues.

Operatic Vocal Coach Timothy Shaindlin

It’s Thursday, August 8 – From HPR2

A new cool for an old school

Bernard Ho is a retired HMSA vice president and in 2007' succeeded Brother Greg O'Donnell as President of Damien Memorial School. That made him the first "lay" president - meaning he was not a member of the Christian Brothers order of monks. Even so, with a 66% jump in coed enrollment and new facilities in the works, the turnaround of Damien just might be just shy of miraculous.

A Hawaii Sand Festival

DMV Innovations, High Schooler's Trip to China, GMO Bill 79, Portraying Father Damien

Aug 7, 2013

It’s Wednesday, August 7 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Towing the line in comfort at the DMV

Sheri Kajiwara is the Director of Customer Services for the City & County of Honolulu.  It's her second stint with the city - she returned this year following a real estate marketing career.

A Hawaii high school senior’s take on Bureaucracy lines in Beijing

Erin Carroll is a senior at Mid-Pacific Institute who has just returned from a 10-day trip to Beijing.

License Plate Surveillance, Youth Improv, Hawaii Island Incinerator, Contemporary Music

Aug 6, 2013

It’s Tuesday, August 6 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

A fishing license for your privacy

Vanessa Chong is the executive director of the ACLU of Hawaii. The national organization is leading the counter movement to stop license plate surveillance.

The art of performing without a plan

Kat Pacheco-Wolf is a veteran of the Youth Improv Learning Experience, a summer program sponsored by Mr. Aaron Presents.

Hawaii County Council has a message for the mayor: Incinerate this!

It’s Monday, August 5 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Clearing debris through the DOE for better mental health

Matthew Bassett is the Litigation Director for Hawaii Disability Rights Center, formally the Protection and Advocacy Agency of the State of Hawaii. He has history with the agency - he’s worked for it since 1997... and the focus of his practice continues to be special education.

Clearing ocean debris for better marine health 

Improving Hawaii Education, Living History Day, Kakaako Development, Planetarium

Aug 2, 2013

It’s an aloha Friday, August 2 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Improving education one classroom at a time

Michael Wooten teaches Literature and Writing at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach. He was a sergeant in the US Army and UC Berkeley graduate. He earned his Master’s in Education from the University of Hawaii and recently started a non-profit Learning First Hawaii.

Teaching history by living it

Innocence Project, Play: "Miss Saigon," GMO Bill 2491, Glass Blowing

Aug 1, 2013

It’s Thursday, August 1 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

What if you’re innocent AND proven guilty?

Barry Scheck, is a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City.  He and Peter Neufeld, Co-Founded and Co-Direct the Innocence Project. It uses DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongly convicted and works to bring about reform in the criminal justice system. 311 individuals have been exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing to date.

It’s Wednesday, July 31 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Cry me a river? No, Waimea River

Isaac Moriwake is an attorney in the Honolulu office of Earthjustice, the public interest environmental law firm which filed the lawsuit on behalf of citizens who want the Waimea River restored.

Because it whines, they walk the slack key's new school

Micro-Loans, Poetry by Steve Shrader, UH Law School, Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon

Jul 30, 2013

It’s Tuesday, July 30 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

When the bank says no, two women on a mission could say yes

Denise Albano is half of Food for Thought. She and her business partner, Patti Chang, offer micro loans to deserving individuals and programs who can't qualify for a bank loan. There is a catch- the loans must be for food sustainability.

Poetry without rhyme: we've got more reasons

It’s Monday, July 29 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Same sex, lots more cash...but is it enough?

Sumner La Croix is Professor in the Dept. of Economics and the Global Health and Population Studies Program at the University of Hawai′i Mānoa and is a research fellow with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

UH Board of Regents, Atherton Concert, Borer Beetle, Waimea Walking Tours

Jul 26, 2013

It’s Friday, July 26 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

In this morning’s show: the tough job that somebody has to do...

UH Board of Regents, Atherton Concert, Borer Beetle, Waimea Walking Tours

Jul 26, 2013

It’s Friday, July 26 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

In this morning’s show: the tough job that somebody has to do...

HPV Vaccine, 32 Well Being Tips, E-Cigarettes, Ukulele Master

Jul 25, 2013

It’s Thursday, July 25 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

  Clearing up myths and concerns about the HPV Vaccine

It’s Wednesday, July 24 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Are we kidding ourselves about the “safe” use of pesticides?

Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, is sounding the alarm about a perceived link between the use of Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup, and an increase in reported cases of autism.

Homelessness in Hawaii, MAPA “FAME,” High UV in the Summer, Brazilian Jazz Vocalist

Jul 23, 2013

It’s Tuesday, July 23 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

The issue no one wants to address -- are there solutions out there we haven’t thought of?

William Hummell is the former Operations Director at The Institute For Human Services and is currently the Program Director/Social Work Supervisor for the Lighthouse Emergency Homeless Shelter in Waipahu.

HI Dem. Party’s lawsuit, DHT's "Legally Blonde," Peace Bridge, FADO singer

Jul 22, 2013

It’s Monday, July 22 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Are Hawaii’s Democrats trying to slam the door on the independent voter?

Race in the Deedy Case, Black Point Shearwaters, SNAP/EBT acceptance, Bossa Nova Boom

Jul 19, 2013

It’s Friday, July 19 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

The place of race in the Deedy case

Justin Levinson is Professor of Law and founding Director of the Culture and Jury Project at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law.  Professor Levinson's research focuses on how the human mind operates in the legal context, including in jury selection, decision-making and biases.  He is the editor of the book, Implicit Racial Bias Across the Law.

It’s Thursday, July 18 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

When nature acts, be ready to React...

John Cummings III is the Public Education and Information Officer for the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management.  He joined the department in 1997 when you might have known it as the Oahu Civil Defense Agency. He and more than 25 City, State, Federal and non-government agencies will be at Pearlridge Center on Saturday.

It’s Wednesday, July 17 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

She's starting to turn blue and this time, that's good.

Elyse Petersen is the Founder of Tealet, a startup connecting tea growers and tea drinkers. She works with farmers in Japan, Hawaii and across the U.S. Time as a food scientist  with the Peace Corps taught her a lot about food security, natural resource management and sustainable food preservation -- and thanks to Blue Startups, those skills are being bundled with her entrepreneurial venture.

Solar, Flipster Furry Sketch Comedy, Making Sense of Micronesia, Women Behind Bars

Jul 16, 2013

It’s Tuesday, July 16 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Solar companies sweating out regular customers?

Henry Curtis is  the executive director of Life of the Land. His response to the Civil Beat article about HECO’s claim that solar is making power more expensive for non solar customers is in Civil Beat today.

It’s like a trashy movie...only better...