The Conversation: Public Defender Who Flagged Kealoha Case Reacts to Verdict

Dec 1, 2020

Federal public defender on Kealoha verdict; Mayors and public health executives disagree on travel restrictions; Court ruling can help rein in Hawaii's aquarium fish trade; Virtual field trips to Hawaiian Mission Houses; Santa's strange 2020

Federal public defender who raised suspicions to FBI talks Kealoha verdict

It's the morning after Judge Michael Seabright sentenced Katherine Kealoha to 13 years in federal prison. Her husband Louis got seven years. The disgraced former Honolulu Police Chief and the former City & County of Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor will spend time behind bars for their part in trying to frame a relative, in addition to a list of financial crimes. We talked to Alexander Silvert, who just retired from the federal public defender's office. He was the one who got the FBI to take a closer look at the case involving Gerald Puana and his mother, the late Florence Puana.

Credit Yuichi Kosio / Flickr

  Mayors and public health executives disagree on travel restrictions

Hawaii's mayors are advocating for tigther restrictions on travelers coming into the state. Starting tomorrow Kauai is opting out of the state's pre-test program. HPR Reporter Ryan Finnerty monitoried the state's legislative briefing and tells us what the mayors want.

Court ruling can help rein in Hawaii's aquarium fish trade

A new state environmental court ruling is exepected to rein in Hawaii's aquarium fish trade and give a boost to opponents of the controversial commercial practice in local waters. Civil Beat Reporter Marcel Honore tells us about some of the concerns still remaining and what the ruling means. Click here to read the story at

Filming a virtual field trip at Hawaiian Mission Houses
Credit Courtesy Hawaiian Mission Houses

  Virtual field trips to Hawaiian Mission Houses

If you are looking for enrichment programs to help supplement your child's learning during this time of remote learning, we spotlight one group's efforts to showcase Hawaii's rich history. The Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives marks its centennial this year. It has launched a new interactive series for children and parents, too. The curriculum covers Hawaii's history, particularly between 1820-1863. Offered in both olelo Hawaii and in English, participants can view live tours, historical theater performance videos and interactives Q&As online. Click here to visit Hawaiian Mission Houses' website.

Credit Catherine Cruz/HPR

  Santa's strange 2020

Christmas 2020 will go down as a strange one for the Santa diaries. For 25 years, Don Kennedy has stood in for Santa at homeless shelters and on military bases. He has written a couple of books about his experiences. But Santa in the time of COVID-19 is like no other. He just returned from the West Coast, where he paid visits to families - evacuees of the wildland fires in California. This contactless Santa experience has been in his words - rather "odd." He is in his 70s, so he is at risk for the coronavirus, but that hasn't stopped him from doing what he loves during this holiday season. Kennedy is a retired casino marking executive so he knows a thing or two about gambling. He talked to us about the strangeness of this season.