The Conversation: Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Jan 23, 2017

A Second Chance for Bioenergy; Keeping the East-West Center Relevant; Inside the Mind of a Modern Inventor

Napier grass, also known as elephant grass, could provide a sustainable source of energy and economic growth for Hawaii.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Maintaining Relevancy at the East-West Center: Richard Vuylsteke

Dr. Richard Vuylsteke, President of the East West Center said that the center needs to maintain its relevancy as an intellectual crossroads of cultures, rather than a geographic one.
Credit ICAC Hong Kong

There can be no doubt that we are in an era of change. Under the title of President, the US commander in chief is clear; what is perhaps less obvious is the change at the federally funded East West Center. Richard Vuylsteke recently began his tenure as President - he is also an East West Center alumnus now back after 30 years in Asia. He says NGOs, businesses, and governments at all levels are going through transformations, and that will include his organization for one very important reason.

Intro Music: Sting Me by The Black Crows

Outro Music: Life Itself by Glass Animals

Modern Adaptation of Twelfth Night: Paul Mitri

Emily Hoadley as Olivia, Anna Hamaguchi as Viola/Cesario and Kodee Martin as Duke Orsino in UHM's Twelfth Night.
Credit John Wells

Twelfth Night might just be the most light-hearted of Shakespeare’s plays, as its subtitle, “Or What You Will,” should be an indicator. Nothing is meant to be taken too seriously, but behind the identity-shifting and the dancing, there are some ideas about love that might just stay with you. Paul Mitri is the show’s director.

Intro Music: The Earl of Essex Galliard by John Dowland

Outro Music: Take The “A” Train by Duke Ellington

Civil Beat Reality Check: Imprisonment Alternatives

Homeless encampments at Kakaako Gateway Park.
Credit Civil Beat

Last week we spoke with Kris Nyrop of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion or LEAD as it’s known. He came from the National Support Bureau based in Seattle to talk with lawmakers and stakeholders about keeping minor offenders off the streets and out of jail and Governor Ige is convinced. Civil Beat reporter Chad Blair picks up the reality check.    

Outro Music: Keyholes and Birds by The Modern Times

Second Chance for Bioenergy in Hawaii: Susan Crow

Credit Susan Crow

For over a decade, Hawaii has engaged in a debate about what best to grow. Fuel stock has been pitted against food, while many in agriculture have said Hawaii’s future is about both. You may remember that in 2006, we had the requirement that gas sold here have at least 10% ethanol – and tax credits to provide incentive for Hawai‘i production. Still, Hawaii continued to import blended fuel and the tax incentive was repealed in 2015.  Now there’s a new study over the possible industrial application of Hawaii biofuel. Susan Crow is one of the co-authors. She says we are at a critical point to get it right this time, and Hawaii could be the leader in creative solutions to get to 100% renewable energy. Susan Crow is a professor at UH Manoa and co-author of the paper.

Outro Music: Verona by Geographer

Big Island Toy Inventor: Marlin

Marlin testing out one of his "slingerzz."
Credit Mind of Marlin

Theater artist Marlin (one name only) describes himself as a Wizard of Whimsy and he can back that up with performances that include juggling, comedy, and stories that originated back when he ran away to join the circus. So you could say that toy design was a logical extension of his theatrical persona. His new creation is a 21st Century iteration of the lasso called a “Slingerzz.”

Intro Music: Moving On and Getting Over by John Mayer
Outro Music: Talking Backwards by Real Estate