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The Conversation: COVID-19 Crisis Affecting Hawaii's Homeless

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COVID-19's effect on Hawaii's homeless; Art takes a hit in crisis but organizations pivot; Environmentalists fear plastic return amid coronavirus crisis; Author Kawai Strong Washburn discusses debut novel; Serenity now

COVID-19's effect on Hawaii's homeless

In 2019, the annual Point in Time count showed 6,448 homeless individuals statewide. We talk with Partners in Care, the Institute for Human Services and Hawaii Gov. David Ige's Coordinator on Homelessness to see how the crisis is affecting those on the streets and in shelters. Click here for the Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Respons Group's website. 

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Laura Thielen, executive director, Partners in Care; Connie Mitchell, executive director, Institute for Human Services; Scott Morishige, Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness

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Art takes a hit in crisis but organizations pivot

Local art institutions have not been immune to the coronavirus crisis. Honolulu Musem of Art has had to lay off staff. Bishop Museum is holding firm for now, but have secured federal monies from the CARES Act. Honolulu Theatre for Youth has pivoted to a media company, and Hawaii Opera Theatre made changes before the crisis that will help them now. Click here for the broadcast schedule for HTY's The HI Way.

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Eric Johnson, artistic director, Honolulu Theatre for Youth; Andrew Morgan, general director, Hawaii Opera Theatre

Environmentalists fear plastic return amid coronavirus crisis

This week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. At the end of last year, environmental activists were elated by the passage of Bill 40 on Oahu, the nation's strongest plastics containment law. But as the COVID-19 crisis rages on, the County of Hawaii has suspended its plastic bag ban, and plastics producers see an opening. Click here for a link to Zero Waste Oahu's Instagram for a chance to win a free bokashi composting system.

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Rafael Bergstrom, executive director, Sustainable Coastlines

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Author Kawai Strong Washburn discusses debut novel

Kawai Washburn, born in Honokaa, is the author of Sharks in the Time of Saviors, which has garnered positive reviews in the New York Times, Vanity Fair and the LA Review of Books. It's a book about a boy with gifts and how the rest of his family is affected. The author will be discussing his novel in a virtual talk story from Da Shop at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Click here to register for the virtual event.

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Kawai Strong Washburn, author

Serenity now

Medical researchers and institutions like the Mayo Clinic agree: mindful meditation can ease anxiety, depression and pain. Mindful Hawaii explains the concept, and Dr. Amy Brown of the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine tells us how it can help during this crisis. Click here for more info on Mindful Hawaii, and click here for more information on mindfulness.

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Jimmy Toyama, founder, Mindful Hawaii; Dr. Amy Brown, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine

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Noe Tanigawa covered art, culture and ideas for two decades at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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