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 Monday, August 5 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Clearing debris through the DOE for better mental health

Matthew Bassett is the Litigation Director for Hawaii Disability Rights Center, formally the Protection and Advocacy Agency of the State of Hawaii. He has history with the agency - he’s worked for it since 1997... and the focus of his practice continues to be special education.

Clearing ocean debris for better marine health 

Improving Hawaii Education, Living History Day, Kakaako Development, Planetarium

Aug 2, 2013

It’s an aloha Friday, August 2 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Improving education one classroom at a time

Michael Wooten teaches Literature and Writing at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach. He was a sergeant in the US Army and UC Berkeley graduate. He earned his Master’s in Education from the University of Hawaii and recently started a non-profit Learning First Hawaii.

Teaching history by living it

Innocence Project, Play: "Miss Saigon," GMO Bill 2491, Glass Blowing

Aug 1, 2013

It’s Thursday, August 1 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

What if you’re innocent AND proven guilty?

Barry Scheck, is a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City.  He and Peter Neufeld, Co-Founded and Co-Direct the Innocence Project. It uses DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongly convicted and works to bring about reform in the criminal justice system. 311 individuals have been exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing to date.

It’s Wednesday, July 31 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Cry me a river? No, Waimea River

Isaac Moriwake is an attorney in the Honolulu office of Earthjustice, the public interest environmental law firm which filed the lawsuit on behalf of citizens who want the Waimea River restored.

Because it whines, they walk the slack key's new school

Micro-Loans, Poetry by Steve Shrader, UH Law School, Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon

Jul 30, 2013

It’s Tuesday, July 30 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

When the bank says no, two women on a mission could say yes

Denise Albano is half of Food for Thought. She and her business partner, Patti Chang, offer micro loans to deserving individuals and programs who can't qualify for a bank loan. There is a catch- the loans must be for food sustainability.

Poetry without rhyme: we've got more reasons

It’s Monday, July 29 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Same sex, lots more cash...but is it enough?

Sumner La Croix is Professor in the Dept. of Economics and the Global Health and Population Studies Program at the University of Hawai′i Mānoa and is a research fellow with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

UH Board of Regents, Atherton Concert, Borer Beetle, Waimea Walking Tours

Jul 26, 2013

It’s Friday, July 26 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

In this morning’s show: the tough job that somebody has to do...

UH Board of Regents, Atherton Concert, Borer Beetle, Waimea Walking Tours

Jul 26, 2013

It’s Friday, July 26 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

In this morning’s show: the tough job that somebody has to do...

HPV Vaccine, 32 Well Being Tips, E-Cigarettes, Ukulele Master

Jul 25, 2013

It’s Thursday, July 25 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

  Clearing up myths and concerns about the HPV Vaccine

It’s Wednesday, July 24 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

Are we kidding ourselves about the “safe” use of pesticides?

Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, is sounding the alarm about a perceived link between the use of Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup, and an increase in reported cases of autism.

Homelessness in Hawaii, MAPA “FAME,” High UV in the Summer, Brazilian Jazz Vocalist

Jul 23, 2013

It’s Tuesday, July 23 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

The issue no one wants to address -- are there solutions out there we haven’t thought of?

William Hummell is the former Operations Director at The Institute For Human Services and is currently the Program Director/Social Work Supervisor for the Lighthouse Emergency Homeless Shelter in Waipahu.

HI Dem. Party’s lawsuit, DHT's "Legally Blonde," Peace Bridge, FADO singer

Jul 22, 2013

It’s Monday, July 22 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation

Are Hawaii’s Democrats trying to slam the door on the independent voter?

Race in the Deedy Case, Black Point Shearwaters, SNAP/EBT acceptance, Bossa Nova Boom

Jul 19, 2013

It’s Friday, July 19 – From HPR2, it’s The Conversation.

The place of race in the Deedy case

Justin Levinson is Professor of Law and founding Director of the Culture and Jury Project at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law.  Professor Levinson's research focuses on how the human mind operates in the legal context, including in jury selection, decision-making and biases.  He is the editor of the book, Implicit Racial Bias Across the Law.

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"