Town Square

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Town Square was hosted and produced by Beth-Ann Kozlovich. It was one of the oldest of Hawaiʻi Public Radio's public affairs programs. Since its inception in 1999, Town Square provided an interactive forum for political, social, educational and cultural issues of local, national and international importance. Often the conversation included guests and participants from outside Hawaiʻi, giving access to newsmakers and those yet to make news. Discussions were lively and, almost always, civil.

The final broadcast of Town Square occurred on August 24, 2017.

Talk Show Host Kozlovich Steps Down

Town Square: The Hawai‘i Conservation Conference

Jul 30, 2015

This year marks the 23rd annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference – and unlike in past years, this year, conferees will meet in Hilo. Our panel of some of the presenters will consider the issues the conference hopes to address – and the action items they’d like to see come after it. 

Intel Free Press / Flickr
Intel Free Press / Flickr

  HECO wants a different rate schedule for new solar customers and the company says it's about fairness to all ratepayers and growing Hawai‘i solar.  Some in the solar industry agree, some don’t.  We'll talk with our panel about their differing perspectives. Today on Town Square, 5pm on HPR-2.

Town Square: Charitable Giving in 2014

Jul 16, 2015
contemplativechristian / Flickr
contemplativechristian / Flickr

  Last month, the Giving USA report touted American charitable giving at an estimated $358.38 billion in 2014 - the highest total annual amount in the report's 60-year history.Tonight, a comparison of national and Hawaii giving, pre-recession to now. In studio: Kelvin Taketa, President and CEO of Hawaii Community Foundation and Lisa Maruyama,President and CEO of the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations.

Town Square: Intergenerational Issues

Jul 9, 2015

  Today on Town Square, the phrase “It takes a village” usually refers to raising children, but what about other people in the village? In about a week, “The Generations United” conference will be held in Hawaii. And our panel will consider why generations, related or not, need each other now more than ever. Today at 5 on HPR-2.

Town Square: Japan and South Korea Relations

Jul 2, 2015
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

  You would figure that two countries with democracy and open-market economies would be able to work closely together. But that’s not the case between Japan and South Korea. And although they have specific values in common, how they deal with one another and the U.S. deals with both is often a case of national identity. We talk to two scholars who call for a grand bargain in their new book. That’s today at 5 on HPR-2.

Town Square: Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Jun 25, 2015

Former Governor Neil Abercrombie sits down with Guest Host Colin Moore to reflect on his legacy and discuss current policy challenges that face the state.  They will discuss his biggest achievements during his time in office and the decisions he regrets.

Town Square: Urban Design in Honolulu

Jun 18, 2015
Flickr / lotzmana
Flickr / lotzmana

Most want to live in a people-friendly environment with open space, affordable quality housing, and even preserved farmland for sustainable agriculture. Urban design can be a grassroots activity, with communities participating with design professionals. In Honolulu, that doesn't always seem to happen. Join us as we look at who is shaping Honolulu. Panelists: Jennifer Darrah, UH Lecturer and Graduate Faculty Affiliate,  UH Department of Urban and Regional Planning Prof. Luciano Minerbi, and from the same department, PhD Candidate, Annie Koh.

Town Square: HSTA's Future

Jun 11, 2015
Kris Coffield / Twitter
Kris Coffield / Twitter

 The contentious HSTA election is over. We talk with HSTA's newly elected president Corey Rosenlee and his leadership team about what they plan to do in this transition period and how they plan on moving HSTA in a different direction.

Town Square: Maui Film Festival Special

Jun 4, 2015
Jen Russo / Flickr
Jen Russo / Flickr

  A special annual look at some of the Maui Film Festival's crop of documentaries. They all ask viewers to look at issues through a different lens and are driven by changes or would be changes in public policy. That's today at 5 on HPR2.

Town Square: The TMT Project

May 28, 2015

  The TMT project is often characterized as Science versus the Hawaiian Community. What that simplification doesn’t show is the varied and nuanced perspectives with in the Hawaiian Community. We’ll talk about them this week on Town Square with Annelle Amaral, Peter Apo and Williamson Chang.  

Town Square: Prostitution in Hawaii

May 21, 2015

  Host Beth-Ann Kozlovich talks about prostitution in Hawaii with guests Kathryn Xian and Dr. Melissa Farley.

Town Square- What's Next for Medical Marijuana?

May 14, 2015

  15 years after its medical pot law, Hawaii has a legislatively approved system for dispensaries. Chances are good the Governor will support it. But what happens after the dispensary bill becomes law? Our panel looks at how the plan is made real this week on Town Square.

Town Square- Help For the Homeless Strategy

Apr 30, 2015

  Hawaii is getting some input from experts in crafting its strategy to help the homeless. This week on Town Square, State Homelessness Coordinator, Colin Kippen and Lloyd Pendelton, Director of the Utah Homeless Task Force look at how Utah has significantly decreased its homeless population - and how Hawaii might emulate its success.

Town Square: University of Hawaii

Apr 23, 2015

Walk back through the years and the headlines about the University of Hawaii, and clearly the school has had a boatload of issues. But the UH system is still the state’s only public institution of higher education.  And it's the school that will continue be the only affordable choice for many Hawaii' families. So what do you want from the U? We'll talk it over with David Lassner president of the 10-campus University of Hawai‘i System, UH Board of Regents Chair Randy Moore and UHPA incoming Executive Director, Kris Hanselman

Town Square- "Gut & Replace" Bill Revisions

Apr 9, 2015

  HB145 has gone through a handful of revisions since its introduction, making supporters, opponents - and spotlighting issues of gut and replace and special funds creation. We look at those issues with Janet Mason of The League of Women Voters, Tom Yamachika head of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii and the leader of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii, Jessica Yamauchi.

Town Square: Care-giving in Hawaii

Apr 2, 2015

  You’ve heard the message, but maybe you’re not paying enough attention to it.  There’s a good chance you or someone you love will need a caregiver. Next on Town Square we look at care-giving in Hawaii.  What you can and cannot expect from the state, and what help is available to navigate to the best solution for you and your family. Join our panel. Guests: Founder & Executive Director of the Caregiver Foundation, Gary A. Powell; Private pay caregiver,  Karla Kral; and Ramon Sumibcay, carehome operator and officer of the Alliance of Residential Care Administrators. 

Town Square: Agriculture Bills

Mar 26, 2015

 On this episode of Town Square... The farmers' views of what's happening at the Legislature. Our panel looks at the agriculture bills still in play and growing attention- and what they could mean in practice for those on the front lines, Hawaii's farmers. 

Town Square- Homeless Assistance

Mar 19, 2015

A chat with the front line in Homeless assistance.  Bill Hummel, HPU Professor of Social Work, and Heather Lusk, of the C.H.O.W. project which provides statewide needle exchange. 

Town Square: Crossover Legislation

Mar 12, 2015

Colin Moore and Neal Milner take a look at the bills are crossing over this legislative session.

Town Square: STEM Education

Mar 5, 2015

  We hear so much about STEM education, but what makes it effective? According to the National Science Foundation, it's connecting STEM to real life questions. The NSF-funded  Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) project does that. Our panel tonight explores what's happening with partner schools and how  Hawaii could become a SENCER model state. Guests: Amy Shachter, co-principle SENCER investigator; Denise Konan, Dean of the College of Social Sciences at UH Manoa and SENCER Fellow; and Robert Franco, Director, Office for Institutional Effectiveness at Kapiolani Community College.

Town Square: Medical Marijuana

Feb 26, 2015

Many bills dealing with medical marijuana are still on the move at the Legislature. Proponents hope that this is the year when lawmakers finally pass measures to create a system of functional dispensaries and associated laws to support access, transport, and use 14 years after Hawaii got its medical marijuana law. Our panel looked at what's still alive as crossover is just a few weeks away. 

Town Square: NextEra purchase of HEI

Feb 19, 2015

What’s in it for Hawai‘i ratepayers if the NextEra purchase of HEI actually happens? Part of the answer is we don’t know, but panelists Ted Peck, President of Tian Shan Renewable Energy, Blue Planet Foundation Executive Director, Jeff Mikulina and Life of the Land Executive Director Henry Curtis consider the possibilities on this edition of Town Square.

Town Square: Considering the plight of the homeless in Hawaii

Feb 12, 2015

  Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith is an ordained minister who took her vow of poverty and put it into action. She spent the past four years living with the poor, the marginalized and the homeless. She lived for three years in the U.S. “under the stars” and for the past year has been on a global journey. She's in Hawaii to consider the plight of the homeless here - and with us on Town Square.

Town Square: Autism

Feb 5, 2015

For parents of autism spectrum kids nationwide, the big issue after diagnosis is where to get treatment and how to pay for it…and Hawai‘i is no different in that…with this exception: Hawai‘i is NOT one of the 38 states with legislation to make sure autism diagnosis and treatment are covered by insurance. That may change if one of a pair of bills moves to a successful conclusion this session. Our panel tonight: Big Island Sen. Josh Green MD, Lorri Unumb, the head of state government affairs for the New York-based non-profit Autism Speaks. And Neurodevelopmental pediatrician Ryan Lee from Honolulu’s Shriners Hospital.

Town Square: Fossil Fuel Investments at UH

Jan 29, 2015

  Should the UH jettison fossil fuel investments from its endowment fund? That’s the question a task force appointed by the UH Regents will consider…and so will our panel.

Town Square: 2015 Legislative Session Issues

Jan 22, 2015

  The 2015 legislative session opened for  business this week - next on Town Square our annual look at the issues that Neal Milner, Colin Moore and I will be watching. So what's on your list?

Town Square: Rail Progress Report

Jan 15, 2015
Credit Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation / Credit Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation


On this Town Square, a progress report on Honolulu's rail project with Mayor Kirk Caldwell and HART Executive Director & CEO, Daniel Grabauskas. 

Climate Change with Stuart Scott (Deputy Director General of the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization and Founder of the United Planet Faith & Science Initiative), John J. Marra (NOAA Regional Climate Service Director, Pacific Region; East-West Center Adjunct Fellow), and Eric Enos (co-founder and Executive Director of Ka‘ala Farm, Inc., a Wai‘anae based community organization that has operated the Cultural Learning Center at Ka‘ala for nearly three decades.)

Town Square: Race and justice in America

Dec 18, 2014

  Tonight another run at a difficult conversation: race and justice in America - and in Hawaii. Our panel looks at a new study now underway to measure conscious bias. It's a project of UH law professor Justin Levinson. He and other guests consider what few of us want to imagine: that we all may hold some deep seated prejudice.

Town Square: Rent Control in Hawaii

Dec 11, 2014

On this edition of Town Square we take another look at the affordable housing issue.  We’ll discuss Rent Control with Jenny Lee from the Hawaii Appleseed Center, and Civil Beat Deputy Editor Eric Pape.