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The Conversation: Hope on the Horizon for Hawaii Air Travel

Yuichi Kosio / Flickr
Yuichi Kosio / Flickr

State of Hawaii's airline industry; Checking in on Hawaii's small businesses; Addressing Hawaii's illiterate population; Public access in the time of COVID; Hawaiian Soul, a new film on George Helm

State of Hawaii's airline industry

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has released data to show Hawaii saw 2.3 million visitor arrivals from January to October 2020. That number was 8.5 million last year. Hawaii's airlift - the industry term for the number of available airline seats - is down from all markets and some routes have been cut. Peter Forman is an aviation expert and the author of two books on flying in Hawaii. He tells us about the current state of affairs and why he's optimistic about travel in the future.

Peter Forman, aviation expert
Wikimedia Commons
Credit Wikimedia Commons

  Checking in on Hawaii's small businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic crisis has had a partciularly strong effect on small business. According to Melissa Pavlicek, the Hawaii state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the scope of small business is much broader than what the average resident might think and the resources needed to help different affected businesses across the board vary from operation to operation. She spoke with The Conversation producer Harrison Patino and breaks down the plight of small business in Hawaii, and what can be done to help.

Melissa Pavlicek, Hawaii state director, National Federation of Independent Businesses

Addressing Hawaii's illiterate population

One in six adults in Hawaii struggle with reading English, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The means that they may be able to read simple texts but have trouble understanding more complex material. Civil Beat Politics & Opinions Editor Chad Blair tells us about a problem that advocates say has persisted for decades. Click here to read the story at

Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair
Credit jdnx / Flickr

  Public access in the time of COVID

What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2019, the Hawaii State Capitol was open to the public and people could visit their lawmakers or share oral testimony in person. They could also swing by the Public Access Room on the fourth floor. PAR's mission is to provide information, facilities and services to help citizens participate in the state legislative process. The Conversation Producer Lillian Tsang spoke with Public Access Coordinator Virginia Beck on the changes made due to the COVID crisis. Click here to visit the State of hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau Public Access Room website.

Virginia Beck, public access coordinator, Hawaii State Legislature LBR Public Access Room

  Hawaiian Soul, a new film on George Helm

Few stories in Hawaii's recent history have the mythcial lore of George Helm, the charismatic Native Hawaiian activist who mysteriously vanised at sea in the 1970s. His life was captured in a short film called Hawaiian Soul, which won multiple awards at this year's Hawaii International Film Festival. HPR Reporter Kuuwehi Hiraishi tells us more.

HPR Reporter Kuuwehi Hiraishi

Click here to listen to this week's edition of the Manu Minute.

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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
Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at
Jason Ubay is a news editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at
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