The Conversation: Chasing Rainbows in Hawai‘i

The push to vaccinate hospitality workers; Maui healthcare workers honor those lost during the pandemic; An innovative renewable plastic project kicks off on the Big Island; UH Mānoa professor Steven Businger on Hawai‘i's status as rainbow capital of the world

Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association's Mufi Hannemann on vaccinating hospitality workers

Over 20,000 travelers were screened by the Safe Travels program on Saturday, March 13 - a record high since the pandemic began. As more travelers arrive and the economy opens up, hospitality workers need to be protected, Mufi Hannemann, former Honolulu mayor and head of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, told Hawaii Public Radio. Hanneman said he was pleased to hear hospitality workers, particularly hotel workers, included in stage 1C of vaccinations.

Maui healthcare workers honor those who have died during the pandemic

Candlelight vigil on Maui, March 15, 2021
Credit UNAC/UHCP

Community members at Maui Memorial Medical Center gathered Monday night to remember those lost to the coronavirus. The candelight vigil began with the sound of a conch shell blown 35 times, one for each life lost on Maui. Maui Memorial case manager Liz Linares and nurse Leimomi Melamai reflected on the trials and tribulations of the past year. 

Cheering on healthcare workers from Mānoa

In Mānoa, you may hear a nightly chorus of bells and claps as Steven Scott-Hosaka, a longtime resident and retired nurse, and his neighbors cheer on healthcare workers. Scott-Hosaka started this 7 p.m. tradition about a year ago when the pandemic began. The cheering supports those on the frontline and helps lift spirits, he said.

  

An innovative renewable plastic project kicks off on the Big Island

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i is host to an innovative project using solar technology to manufacture reusable plastic products. Laurence Sombardier, deputy director of NELHA, and Karl von Kries of LightManufacturing spoke to us about the outdoor factory using 100% solar energy to mold plastic products such as kayaks and aquaculture tanks. 

UH Mānoa professor Steven Businger on Hawai‘i's status as rainbow capital of the world

Credit Steven Businger

UH Mānoa atmospheric professor Steven Businger's recent publication states Hawaii is the best place on Earth to see rainbows of all shapes and sizes. Specific conditions such as the sun's angle, frequent rain showers, and daytime heating make Hawaii a rainbow paradise. Businger and his colleague Paul Cynn created a phone application, RainbowChase, to alert users of nearby rainbows. Read Businger's "The Secrets of the Best Rainbows on Earth" here.

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