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The Conversation: Maui Flooding Response Continues

Map of Kaupakalua Dam
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Flooding response continues on Maui

Credit Credit Maui County / Lois Whitney
In 2016, heavy rains and flooding caused a section of the parking lot at Kepaniwai Park to collapse into Iao Stream on Maui.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino is expected to survey the extent of the floooding in east Maui again today. By some estimates, half of the total rainfall that the Valley Isle usually sees in a month fell yesterday, overwhelming the Kaupakalua reservoir. Residents have been evacuated, and emergency crews are working to clear roadways. Mayor Victorino is waiting on the State to approve his request to declare the area a disaster zone.

Maui County Maui Mike Victorino

Reality Check: Feds have questions about HPD's CARES Act spending

The U.S. Treasury is auditing the city and wants the Honolulu Police Department to justify some of its choices in how it spent its alloted CARES Act funding, including over $3 million on vehicles and $150,000 on a robot dog. You can read reporter Christina Jedra's full story at civilbeat.org.

Reality Check, March 9th, 2021

Shalanda Baker weaves Hawaiian history and energy policy together in new book

Credit IslandPress

Law professor Shalanda Baker spoke on The Conversation five years ago about the failed merger between HECO and NextEra. Now she is President Biden's pick for the deputy director of energy justice at the U.S. Department of Energy. She joins us again to discuss her new book, Revolutionary Power: An Activist's Guide to the Energy Transition and what she learned while living in Hawaii.

Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director of Energy Justice for the US Dept. of Energy

Looking to the future of our electric transportation network

Credit Mateo Malo/Wikimedia Commons / cc-by-sa-2.0

Lawmakers introduced some three dozen bills this legislative session that address electric vehicles and green energy. Meanwhile, several large automakers have announced that they will transition away from gas-powered vehicles; Volvo announced this month that it switch its entire catalogue to electric power by 2030, and General Motors wants to do the same by 2035. Hawaiian Electric's Aki Merceau and Blue Planet Foundation's Melissa Miyashiro talk about how to incentivize this new market and prepare Hawaii's powergrid for the transition.

Hawaiian Electric's Aki Merceau and Blue Planet Foundation's Melissa Miyashiro

Su Shin, GM of Hawaiian Telcom, reflects on her upbringing

Credit Yoshi Canopus/Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
CC BY-SA 4.0

Just before the pandemic hit, Su Shin took the mast of Hawaiian Telcom as its president and general manager. She joins us to talk about background and her rise to the top of a communications company that has been in the islands for 138 years.

Su Shin, President and GM of Hawaiian Telcom

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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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