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The Conversation: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

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The Future of Geothermal in Hawaii; Mililani Middle School Beekeeping Club; Grid Defection from HECO; Public Private Partnerships in Hawai‘i Schools

What's Next for Geothermal Oversight? Sen Russell Ruderman

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Russell Ruderman
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Geothermal power station in the Philippines

Hawai‘i Island has had geothermal energy as part of its energy portfolio since the Puna Geothermal Venture plant opened in 1993. Since then, discussion has expanded and contracted over whether it should operate. At opposite ends of the discussion are vocal community opposition to geothermal development and ideas to better use geothermal energy. In the legislative session just ended, a bill that would have given the state sole regulatory control failed to pass out of conference committee. And that pleased Senator Russell Ruderman who supported a home rule approach to geothermal regulation. So now, what’s in the geothermal future of the Big Island, and will there be a study, complete with an environmental psychologist to assess the impacts on Native Hawaiians? Senator Russell Ruderman joins us now by phone.

Intro Music: Circadian Rhythms (Dusk) by Stop Light Observations

Outro Music: Volcano by Damien Rice

Marshall Sharpe: Founder of Mililani Middle School Beekeeping Club

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Marshall Sharpe and Naia Hogan
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Members of the Mililani Middle School Beekeeping Club in action

Fear of potentially dangerous critters seems to be part of our DNA. Turning such instinctive fear into healthy respect is the mark of a very good teacher, and what better way to effect that change than through careful hands-on experience. Mililani Middle School 8th Grade English Teacher Marshall Sharpe steps outside the classroom with his Mililani Beekeeping Club students to do just that, and he’s here today with one of his young Apiarists, Naia.

Intro Music: The Bee Keeper by The Lickets

Outro Music: No Rain (Instrumental) by The Hit Co.

HECO Grid Defection: Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
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The Solar Sttlement in Freiburg, Germany

Consider this: could you produce and store electricity more cheaply than you can purchase it from HECO? With new systems on the market that answer is yes. And as more competition for the market for the systems offers consumers a choice, could that mean significant grid defection from the utility? That’s a cleaner energy future Robert Harris sees. The public policy director for solar company Surun and the representative for the Alliance for Solar Choice joins us now.

Intro Music: I Blew It Off by Punch Brothers

Outro Music: Electricity by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark

Public Private Partnership, Turnaround School: Lei Ahsing

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Lei Ahsing
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Kalihi Kids with Hawaii musician Jake Shimabukuro

Last June, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities selected three Hawaii school districts to participate in the Turnaround Arts Program. It’s a three year project, and what a difference the first year has made for Elementary School Keiki at Kalihi Kai, Kamaile, and Waianae. Hawaii Arts Alliance Education Director Lei Ah Sing joins in studio this morning.

Intro Music: Upside Down by Jack Johnson

Outro Music: Everything Is Better With You by Jake Shimabukuro

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