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The Conversation: Thursday, June 14, 2018


Rise in Suicide; Albizia Wood; Manoa Heritage Center; Taimane

Rising Number of Suicide Cases

Credit PxHere

The Center for Disease Control has just released a report on the spike in suicide cases across the country. Joining us to talk to us about Hawaii’s numbers this morning-- is Dr. Jeanelle Sugimoto-Matsuda. She is with the University of Hawaii Department of Psychiatry and the head of the Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Jeanelle Sugimoto-Matsuda

Intro Music: Apricot Princess by Rex Orange County

Outro Music: Heartbeats by The Knife

Credit Ryan Finnerty

Growing Hawaii's Forestry Industry

Hawaii has some of the highest construction costs in the nation. But what if there was a source of cheap, locally produced building material that was also good for the environment? It turns out there may, in fact, be one:  wood.  Joseph Valenti is an architect and Project Leader for the Hawaii Wood Utilization Team. He recently completed a prototype structure built entirely from albizia, a fast-growing invasive. Our Producer Ryan Finnerty went to the unveiling to speak with Joseph and other members of Hawaii’s forest industry to learn what comes next.

Ryan Finnerty

Intro Music: Creature Comfort by Arcade Fire

Outro Music: Ladyfingers by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Civil Beat Reality Check

Our primary election is just two months away and we are learning more about money being spent in the campaigns in some of the more competitive races. That is the subject of today’s Reality Check with our partners at Honolulu Civil Beat. 

Nathan Eagle

To read reporter Nathan Eagle’s full story, visit

Outro Music: Disconnection by Vita Bergen

Credit Catherine Cruz

The Manoa Heritage Center

The closure of Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island has caused school groups planning a field trip as part of their Hawaiian history class to divert to Oahu for their end of the year trip. Catherine Cruz was there when fourth graders from Kauai visited the only intact heaiu in urban Honolulu last month. The Manoa Heritage Center was able to welcome them into their new Education Hale and visitor center.  For Mary Cooke, it was the fulfillment of a decades-old vision she shared with her late husband Sam Cooke for their 3 and a half-acre Manoa estate which includes a historic home.

Mary Cooke

Outro Music: Serenade to Nalani by Jerry Byrd

Credit Taylor Reece

Live “Elemental” music with Taimane

Taimane’s new CD, called “Elemental,” has songs for ‘Water,’ ‘Fire,’ ‘Air,’ ‘Earth’ and ‘Ether...’  and she joins Chris Vandercook for a live studio performance. 


Intro Music: Water by Taimane
Outro Music: Mother (Earth) by Taimane

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Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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