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.

Living In America; Teaching Kids; Congressional Reaction;

Sep 11, 2013

It’s Wednesday, September 11 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Living In America Post-9/11: Prof. Carlos Juarez

Carlos Juarez is a professor of political science at Hawaii Pacific University, where he specializes in diplomacy and international relations.He has been a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico and to the Czech Republic, and travels extensively.

Teaching Kids Post 9/11: Marion Lyman-Mersereau

Senior Hunger; Aloha Festivals; ASCES; Toxic Avenger

Sep 10, 2013

It’s Tuesday, September 10 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Hawaii's Senior Hunger: Lyn Moku

Lyn Moku is the director of Lanakila Meals on Wheels, Hawaii's largest and only island wide meal provider for seniors. Annually the organization serves over 200 thousand meals and sees senior hunger up close.

Aloha Festivals 2013: Aunty Momi Cazimero

Kauai Bill 2491; Sea Level Rise; Air Conditioned Classrooms; BOLD

Sep 9, 2013

It’s Monday, September 9 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Pesticide Expert Testifying on Bill 2491: Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox is Research Director of the California-based Center for Environmental Health. She has served as an advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on pesticide policy, and she has Kauai connections . Her grandfather was an engineer who helped build the breakwater at Port Allen, and her father grew up on the McBryde sugar plantation. Today she’s back on Kauai to testify in support of Bill 2491.

Council on Revenues; Hanafuda; Kauai Coral/GMO; Gemini Observatory

Sep 6, 2013

It’s Friday, September 6 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Council On Revenues: Chris Grandy

Economist Chris Grandy is a member of the State Council on Revenues. He’s Director and Associate Professor of the Public Administration Program at UH Manoa.  

Hanafuda Intergenerational Tournament: Wil Tottori

Military Might; Mesophotic Research; GMO Feed; MACC Artist

Sep 5, 2013

It’s Thursday, September 5 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Constitution and America's Military Might: Brien Hallett

HuffPost Hawaii; Big Love; Marine Environment; Mai Poina

Sep 4, 2013

It’s Wednesday, September 4 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Huffington Post Hawaii Launch: Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington launched the Huffington Post in May 2005, and today in partnership with Civil Beat is unveiling Huffington Post Hawaii.  The parent Huffpost captures the attention of more than 75 million unique global visitors every month and last year the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

UH Kennedy Theatre’s BIG LOVE: Karissa Murrell Myers

Military Health; Hawaii Cuisine; GMO Bills; Kauai Chorale

Sep 3, 2013

It’s Tuesday, September 3 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Behavioral Health Community Summit: Dr. David Brown

Dr. David Brown is the U.S. Army's Director of Psychological Health for the Pacific region. He and about 450 Behavioral Health professionals serve more than 470 thousand beneficiaries throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim. Dr. Brown came to the Pacific from the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he was the lead Clinical Psychologist and subject matter expert for suicide prevention.

Same Sex Marriage; Hawaii Woodshow; UNITE HERE!; Victorian Tea Party

Sep 2, 2013

It’s Monday, September 2 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Same Sex Marriage Bill: Governor Abercrombie

The  question that's been hanging over the weekend: will we or won't we decide the issue of same sex marriage now. Governor Abercrombie submitted a draft of a bill to recognize it...and is weighing whether to call a special session or wait until the legislature reconvenes next January.

Hawaii Woodshow, Na La`au o Hawai`i: Andy Cole

Honolulu Budget Shortfall; Art of Photography; Campaign Spending; Kapiolani Medical Center

Aug 30, 2013

It’s Friday, August 30 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Honolulu Budget Shortfall: Mayor Kirk Caldwell

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell was born in Waipahu and raised in Hilo before leaving Hawaii to study Urban Planning and Economics at Tufts University. He came home to attend the UH Law school, was Managing Partner at Ashford and Wriston and since 2002 has been in public service.

Lens = Brush, Camera = Canvas...: Vincent Versace

Act 163 Ruling; Charlie Chan Play; Na Wai Eha Lawsuit; Keiki Picassos

Aug 29, 2013

It’s Thursday, August 29 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

9th Circuit Court Ruling, Act 163: Louis Erteschik

Nuuanu Garden Co-op; Santana Musical Director; Same Sex Marriage; Maui Music Festival

Aug 29, 2013

It’s Wednesday, August 28 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Nuuanu Garden Co-op: Andrew Dedrick

Andrew Dedrick is the owner and executive director of Geobunga, a grower of water plants and a local resource for landscapes and hardscape. He hosts free weekend workshops where gardening topics range from sustainable living and organic farming, to water plants and bamboo, rock gardens and container gardening.

Social Security; Artsong Appreciation; Deedy Mistrial; Ardente Duo

Aug 27, 2013

It’s Tuesday, August 27 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

National AARP Talks Social Security: Cheryl Matheis 

  Cheryl Matheis is policy strategist and senior counsel with AARP and heads the national conversation to engage Americans about the future of Social Security and Medicare.

Artsong Appreciation: Gary Hickling

Gary Hickling is the host of Singing and Other Sins, which airs Sunday nights at seven on HPR1.

Deedy Hung Jury: Ken Lawson

Honolulu Budget Shortfall; Korean War Novel; Veterans' Readjustment; Hawaii Meth Project

Aug 26, 2013

It’s Monday, August 26 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Discussing Honolulu Budget: Ann Kobayashi

Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi represents District 5 on the Honolulu City Council. She and the Honolulu City Council will continue to grapple with the shortfall announced last week to the budget.

Brothers Under the Same Sky: Gary Pak

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.