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The Conversation: Wednesday, November 11th 2015


Rate of Care for Hawaii Veterans; Kennedy Theatre’s Clowns After Hours; Hawaii Women Veterans Conference; Art of Peace

Rate of Care for Hawaii Veterans: Dr. James Spira

James Spira

Last year, Hawaii’s veterans were found to be waiting months, sometimes for just a primary care visit. They were not unlike their counterparts across the country, whose reality did not sync with what the Veterans Administration reported. The ensuing scandal brought the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. Later the Veteran’s Choice program authorized by Congress allowed vets to see non-VA doctors. So are veterans getting the services they need within 30 days? Today we’re checking back with Dr. Jim Spira, now recently retired from his post as the Director of the Department of Veteran's Affairs' National Center for PTSD, Pacific Island Division. He’s now in private practice and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine.

  • Intro Music:  The Veterans March by United States Navy Band
  • Outro Music:  Casualties of War by Christopher Lennertz

Clowns After Hours: Michael Donato

Michael Donato

Clowns are all too easily misunderstood.  Maybe it’s the outfits or the hapless persona, or the way they have been turned into scary monsters in recent horror movies. That’s too bad, because clowning is about the oldest, purest form of entertainment there is… one where words are unnecessary.   Students at the UH Department of Theatre and Dance are getting back to the non-verbal basics of clown craft with the new show Clowns After Hours, and Michael Donato, the Lead Clown, joined The Conversation to tell us about it. Clowns After Hours will be presented at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre, this Friday and Saturday, as well as the following weekend.

  • Intro Music:  Let's Play Clowns by Minus The Bear
  • Outro Music:  L'apprentissage du clown (From "Le cirque) by ABC Paramount Orchestra

Hawaii Women Veterans Conference: Ann Greenlee

Ann Greenlee

Turn on a screen today or go out to your local mall and you’re likely to see ad campaigns and special offers to thank veterans for their service. While that’s nice, many veterans say they want more help to find jobs, places to live, healthcare, etc. Those needs are especially acute for women veterans who often have to fit into a man’s VA and a society that doesn’t recognize the realities they specifically face. This weekend women veterans will get the opportunity to polish their business and financial skills, and get more information about benefits and resources at the Hawaii Women Veterans Conference. Ann Greenlee is a retired brigadier general with over 32 years of military service and is the conference chair. She’s also the Director of the US Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) for Hawaii and Guam and the founder of  Hawaii Hires Heroes, a partnership between businesses, government agencies, and military organizations to increase job opportunities for Hawaii’s veterans and service members.  The Hawaii Women Veterans Conference is this Saturday in the Kaiser auditorium at Tripler.

  • Intro Music:  We Were Soldiers by L'Orchestra Cinematique
  • Outro Music:  Dandelion by Dorena

Art of Peace: Pegge Hopper

Pegge Hopper

Hawaii’s Domestic Violence Action Center gets calls all the time from people asking how they can help. Theirs is a mission everyone can embrace, in an area where there is much work still to be done.  More than fifty artists are finding a way to help, on the occasion of the Center’s 25th Anniversary, by contributing their work to an exhibit called the Art of Peace. Pegge Hopper is one of them and her Nu’uanu Avenue Gallery in Honolulu is hosting the show, which runs until December 13th.

  • Intro Music: Waking Up by Explosions in the Sky
  • Outro Music: The Only Moment We Were Alone by Explosions in the Sky
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