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 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...

It’s Monday, July 15 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

From STEM to STEAM - Now that’s art!

Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, Ph.D is  head of school at Hilo's Ka'Umeke Ka'eo Charter School  She also taught physics and physical sciences for 15 years. Her research writings and practice bridge science with ancestral knowledge. She’s the granddaughter of Edith Kanakaole, she was ritually elevated to the status of Kumu Hula of Halau o Kekuhi in 2007 and recently performed at the opening of the Merrie Monarch.

It’s Friday, July 12 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Buddy, can you spare a mortgage?

Anders Hostelley is the Executive Vice President of Loan Production for Honolulu HomeLoans. He has been in the local mortgage industry for 20 years, real estate bubbles included. Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Mortgage / Tips for working with lenders

Look sharp, take sharp, print sharp

It’s Thursday, July 11 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Shared secrets from the socially just

Nancy Aleck is the Executive Director of Hawaii People’s Fund. She has a 30 year history in Hawaii promoting volunteerism for social justice and progressive community development. Hawaii People's Fund is sponsoring a best practices exchange for social justice nonprofits.

Looking at Hawaii without tinted lenses

GMO Flowers, Young Archaeologist, Adopt A Farm, TRANSPAC

Jul 10, 2013

It’s Wednesday, July 10 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Garden GMOs that grow, grow, grow.

Eric Tanouye is Vice-President and General Manager of Green Point Nurseries on Hawaii Island. He's also  the president of the Hawai'i Floriculture and Nursery Association. The nursery grows and exports Hawaiian tropical flowers, foliage and plants...which one day soon may include GMO anthuriums.

Does changing history start with changing your mind?

It’s Tuesday, July 9 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Edna Educating...

Edna Hussey is the former head of Epiphany School, which merged with Mid-Pacific Institute in 2004. MPI started  the Reggio-inspired preschool  in 2005. She is currently working on a doctorate of education in professional practice. Mid Pacific Institute is the only Reggio-inspired preschool in Hawaii at the time. Follow this link for more.

The Miracle on Moloka’i

Raising Your Financial Bar, The Little Mermaid, Ochestre Sein du Wun, Let Me Back In

Jul 8, 2013

It’s Monday, July 8 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

On today's show: A paystub checkup

Heather Moir-Dangler is the principle of Moir Financial & Insurance Services. She came home to Honolulu in 1990 to open her consulting firm after spending part of her growing up years in the Phillipines and Oregon, where she started her career.

From behind the curtain to under the sea: a techie gets an audience

Coral Disease, John Cruz, GMO, Keiki Art Camp

Jul 5, 2013

It’s Friday, July 5 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Today: A slice of our past: the Northwest Hawaiian Islands

Randall Kosaki is NOAA's Deputy Superintendent of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. He studies the behavioral ecology, the taxonomy and biogeography of Pacific coral reef fishes.

A big success in a smaller venue

It’s Thursday, July 4 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation


Downsizing the upscale celebrations.

Kathy Ferguson is a UH professor of political science and the undergraduate advisor for the Women’s studies program. She’s also an author- Emma Goldman: Political Thinking in the Streets is her latest book... but tonight she’ll be enjoying fireworks and no doubt some good conversation about civic engagement.

Taking a trip to Lana’i, where aloha is never hard to find.

It’s Wednesday, July 3 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Two words to set an advocate’s heart on fire: possible veto

Monsanto on GMO, Effective Energy Usage, Kauai Music Festival, Snowden, Kaulana Ka Inoa

Jul 2, 2013

It’s Tuesday, July 2 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

You’ve heard the cons - How ‘bout some pros for GMOs?

Dr. Fred Perlak is Vice President of Research and Business Operations for Monsanto Hawaii. He has made his career at the company since 1981 as a plant molecular biologist, and especially with groundbreaking cotton biotechnology. He arrived in Hawaii in 2008, and has been involved with several projects including establishing the Kunia Ag Park.

Kanu Hawaii

Mental Health Hospital, Therapeutic Riding, Councilman Budget Clash, Maui's "Rent"

Jul 1, 2013

It’s Monday, July 1st From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Mental health stress for patients, docs and hospitals.

Peter Sybinsky is President and CEO of Hawaii Health Information Corporation. His healthcare career spans three decades and he was once the Director of Hawaii's Department of Health. Statistics regarding HHIC.

Changing children - one horse at a time.

It’s Friday, June 28 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Can’t afford to save energy? Look at these GEMS.

Traci Ho Kim is the Branch Chief of the Innovation, Planning & Policy Branch of the State Energy Office. It's part of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.  She's also the board of WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy) and is a 2012 Pacific Century Fellow.  More about the GEMS program.

End of DOMA, Doug Fitch, Lahainaluna Special Education, Maui Pink Paddlers

Jun 27, 2013

It’s Thursday, June 27 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

The defense of marriage act...act 2?

Jacce Mikulanec serves on Equality Hawaii’s board, is the co-chair of the organization’s Action Fund and is the Policy and Community Partnerships Director of Good Beginnings Alliance.

If you gotta believe in something-- Why not love?

Doug Fitch plays guitar, ukulele, and bass, and sings his original tunes on the CD “Believe in Love.”

Mud Damage to Coral, a Hot Tin Roof, GMO's in Kona Coffee, Blues Piano in Kaua'i

Jun 26, 2013

It’s Wednesday, June 26 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Army Corp Killing Hanalei Reefs

Terry Lilley is a biologist, diver and videographer. Researchers from the UH, the US Geological Survey and  NOAA are working to find ways to curtail the growth of the disease. View Terry Lilley's website.

“Cat On a Hot Tin Roof"

Rail Station Designs, Youth Opera, Defend Oahu Coalition, MVT's Godspell

Jun 25, 2013

It’s Tuesday, June 25 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.


Off the rails or on track to better decide...

Hawaii Kids Count, Model UN Delegate, Grantmakers Failures, Partners In Time

Jun 24, 2013

It’s Monday, June 24 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Counting kids climbing into poverty

Ivette Stern is a Junior Specialist with the University of Hawaii – Center on the Family and the director of the Hawai‘i KIDS COUNT project. Her work focuses on assessing and evaluating the conditions of children and families in Hawai‘i to create or adjust public policy and programs.  The link to the 2013 Data book.

Homeless Teacher, Teddy Bears Picnic, Honeybees in Hawaii, Juneteenth

Jun 21, 2013

It’s the longest day of the year, the summer solstice Friday, June 21 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

The homeless teacher is nameless no more

Michael Wooten, AKA David Gardner , is a former sergeant in the U.S. Army and a University of California Berkeley graduate. He came to Hawaii with Teach For America in 2008 and earned his master's degree in education from the University of Hawaii. He still teaches English and film at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach under his real name.

ACLU on NSA, Tango, EPA Zero Waste, Actors Audition Workshop

Jun 20, 2013

It’s Thursday, June 20 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

NSA never “Metadata” it didn’t like-- ACLU Hawaii wonders why...

Scholar on NSA, Endangered Culture, Healthcare Changes, Battle of Gettysburg

Jun 19, 2013

It’s Wednesday, June 19 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Hey Fourth Amendment, can they do this? Search me

Ken Lawson teaches criminal justice and procedure at the Richardson law school. He has practiced civil rights and criminal defense law for 18 years. Many of his cases challenged the Government on 4th amendment claims of right to privacy, wiretapping, and illegal searches and seizures.

Endangered Language? We really need to talk

It’s Tuesday, June 18 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

The best advice for seniors:“Don’t get sick and keep working?”

Gerry Silva is the volunteer state president of AARP Hawaii. He's a retired Army colonel and was Chief-of-Staff of the Hawaii Army National Guard; he was also the COO of Olelo Community Television and Deputy Director of the Customer Services Department for the City and County of Honolulu.

Joe Moore and Anna Pearce? Heaven Allow!

Hawaii's NSA Activity, Big Band Singer, Natatorium Historian, Blue Man Group

Jun 17, 2013

It’s Monday, June 17th – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

NSA: National Snooping Association?

Dr Carlos Juarez is Chair of the Department of Social Sciences at Hawaii Pacific University. In 1998, he helped to establish the Masters degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies.  He teaches courses on comparative politics of developing nations, global governance, and peace and conflict studies, and many of his HPU students work in the intelligence community.

Anti-GMO, ChiRunning, Megamalls on Maui, Barter Bar

Jun 14, 2013

It’s Friday, June 14 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Science against GMO

Travis Rice is  a dad of a 2 1/2 year old, a doctor's  husband and a social scientist focusing on quantitative and qualitative primary research methods and analysis, database design and implementation with non-profit organizations and collaboratives.


Maui Invasive Species, Pa'u Rider, Akaku, Raymond Kane Concert

Jun 13, 2013

It’s Thursday, June 13 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

A visit to Maui's Don't Visit Us Bureau

Teya Penniman is a Maui based lawyer-manager-biologist-writer....protecting the island from invasive species is her ongoing project.

Why the popularity of the Pa`u Rider will never be pau

Sue Lincoln is the past pa’u committee chair for the annual Na Kamehameha Pa’u Parade and Ho’olaule’a, which will be held in Lahaina, Maui, on Saturday from 9 to 5.


Olowalu Reef Filming, Burlesque Roadshow, Maui Bees, Jeff Hamilton Trio

Jun 12, 2013

It’s Wednesday, June 12 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Preventing a different KIND of Olowalu Massacre...

Cynthia Matzke is a Maui- based marine biologist, Scripps masters candidate and Director of Trilogy’s Blue ‘Aina Campaign. She has advocated for ocean wildlife for 20 years. The fight and documentary to keep Olowalu undeveloped and home only to wildlife is her ongoing project.

Burmese Journalist, Volcano Art Show, Buzz for Peace, Waikamoi Tour

Jun 11, 2013

It’s Tuesday, June 11 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

 Where the sun comes up like new journalistic thunder

Mr. Zayar Hlaing [Ziyah Hleng] is an editor at Maw Kun magazine, which he and some of his colleagues founded in 2012 as the media began to open up. Maw Kun (The Chronicle) is a monthly news magazine that focuses mainly on in-depth, investigative stories.

Truth in art is beauty, and beauty is the layered look

Teen Suicide, Hawaiian Monarchs, Sustainable Landscape, Clutterers Anonymous

Jun 10, 2013

It’s Monday, June 10th – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Convincing troubled teens that life IS worth living in Paradise.

Bridget Arume is the youth mentor for the Kauai Leaders Against Suicide. She's also a trainer for parenting and domestic violence programs.

Hundreds of Hawaiian Monarchs not named Kamehameha

Hepatitis A, A Breath to Survive, Kamali'i Park, Magic of Dance

Jun 7, 2013

It’s Friday, June seventh – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Hepatitis A

Sarah Park is the Hawaii State Epidemiologist and Chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division. She directs all activities  emerging infections, disease surveillance, investigations, immunizations, and public health preparedness.

Financial CPR to kickstart a film breath