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The Conversation: VA Gears Up For Veteran Vaccination Plan


Veterans Vaccine Plan; Reality Check: Vaccine Skepticism; Hawaii Small Business Woes; Kalaupapa Concert; “Allegiance” Memoir


Veterans Vaccine Plan

The Veterans Affairs office just hosted a virtual town hall meeting to take questions from its members about when they will be offered the chance to be vaccinated. Amy Rohlfs is the Public Affairs officer for the VA. We talked to her yesterday afternoon while the first of the Pacific Islands VA staff in Guam was getting the first doses.

Amy Rohlfs, Public Affairs Officer for the VA

Reality Check: Vaccine Skepticism

Honolulu Civil Beat’s reporter Brittany Lyte joins us with a story about growing skepticism around the COVID-19 vaccines.

Civil Beat Politics and Opinions Editor Chad Blair


Credit AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Hawaii Small Business Woes
As 2020 comes to a close, many small business owners are looking back on a devastating year. While various programs have offered support in the ways of payroll protection or pivot grants, more entrepreneurs are asking the question “why isn’t our government doing more?” The Conversation’s producer Harrison Patino reached out to various members of Hawaii’s small business community to see what they had to say.

Melissa Pavlicek, Ron Heller, Tamrin Amantiad

Kalaupapa Concert
Today we turn our attention to the remote settlement of Kalaupapa which up until this month was the only county that was Covid-19 free. We talked to Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa Executive Director Val Monson about a virtual concert that is part music-event part documentary about the musicians of the Hansen’s disease settlement.

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa Executive Director Val Monson



“Allegiance” Memoir

Earlier this week, we talked about a new memoir writing program from Watermark Publishing called the Halia Aloha Series.

The series editor is Darien Hsu Gee, who also produced a new memoir called “Allegiance” using the micro-narrative techniques in the program. Here’s an excerpt from the book, titled “Photograph: Poolside Selfie at the Four Seasons Hualalai.”

Author Darien Hsu Gee

Catherine Cruz is the Host of The Conversation and a member of HPR’s news team. She has been a television reporter in Hawai‘i since 1983 and has won a number of awards and respect from a statewide audience. She spent more than thirty years at KITV, covering beats from government to education and health. Originally from Guam, Cruz is also a co-founder and former Board member and programming chair of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Catherine is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Jason Ubay is HPR's news editor. Send your story ideas to him at
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