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The Conversation: Maui Mayor On New Molokai Cases, Visitors

Casey Harlow

Update from Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino; The latest on Maui's homeless; Rail board concerned about finances; Kokua Council files petition with Hawaii Supreme Court; Turning ulu into vodka

Credit County of Maui

Update from Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino

County of Maui Mayor Mike Victorino tells us how the county is managing the COVID health and economic crisis. We also talked about the recent experience with the Love Has Won cult this past weekend that moved from Kauai and had its sights set on Maui. 

County of Maui Mayor Mike Victorino

The latest on Maui's homeless

According to the 2020 Point in Time Homeless Count, there are 862 homeless individuals in Maui County - about half were unsheltered, and about 200 are homeless in Central Maui. HPR Reporter Noe Tanigawa spoke with service providers Ka Hale A Ke Ola and Family Life Center for the latest on this vulnerable community.

HPR Reporter Noe Tanigawa

Rail board concerned about finances

Board members overseeing Honolulu rail fretted Thursday at the latest uncertainties hanging over the state's largest-ever public works project. Civil Beat Reporter Marcel Honore tells us whether a public-private partnership is still in play and what a "plan B" might look like. Click here to read the story at CivilBeat.org.

Civil Beat Reporter Marcel Honore

Kokua Council files petition with Hawaii Supreme Court

The Hawaii Supreme Court is being asked to step in to deal with a situation involving the state Department of Health's contact tracing program - on behalf of Hawaii's kupuna. The Kokua Council advocates for seniors and this week filed a petition with the high court. Maui attorney Lance Collins tells us more.

Attorney Lance Collins

Credit Royal Hawaii Distillery

Turning ulu into vodka

All this week we have been talking about the possibilities of breadfruit. Today, we wind up our pau hana with a look at ulu spirits. In particular breadfruit vodka - Ulukila, which won gold in a recent competition. Royal Hawaii Distillery is located off Dillingham Boulevard on Oahu and for the past five years has been experimenting with a variety of alcoholic beverages from your locally favorite fruit. The company has won bronze before for its pineapple liquor recently won silver. We talked to master Karel Kon, who used his roots in the Czech Republic and his love for spirits into what he hopes will become the "Tequila of the Pacific." Click here for the website for Royal Hawaii Spirits.

Royal Hawaii Distillery master distiller Karel Kon

Looking for an ulu tree? Click here to visit the Breadfruit Institue at the National Tropical Botanical Garden's website, or call 808-332-7324, ext. 221.

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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 ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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