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The Conversation: Kauai Mayor on State of the Garden Island

Courtesy Hawaii Department of Transportation
Kuhio Highway, March 16, 2021

Mayor Derek Kawakami on the state of Kauai; Cashew farmer Frank Hinshaw; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Patchwork vaccine rollout with little policing; Drive-in movies at Campbell High School

Mayor Derek Kawakami on the state of Kauai

Heavy rains caused a landslide that blocked Kuhio Highway last week, cutting off Hanalei from other parts of Kauai. Yesterday, Mayor Derek Kawakami delivered his state of the county address. This morning, we checked in with him before he went down to Hanalei to check the conditions on Kuhio Highway.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami
Credit Abhishek Jacov from Wikimedia

  Cashew farmer Frank Hinshaw

Frank Hinshaw is into niche markets. He runs a skydiving business on Oahu's North Shore but also has a 15-acre farm and has launched an effort to grow cashews. Hinshaw just gave away 1,500 cashew seeds to farmers on Oahu and the Big Island in an effort to encourage more growers to give cashews a try as a second nut crop for the Islands.

Frank Hinshaw, cashew farmer

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Patchwork vaccine rollout with little policing

As Hawaii's vaccing rollout entered a new phase Monday, the effort so far has been governed by a hodgepodge of rules, with the state in some cases screening people individually but in others providing only broad categories of "essential" workers and leaving it up to companies to decide who fits. Civil Beat investigations editor John Hill tells us how this has made difficult of how many people in each category have been vaccinated. Click here to read Eleni Avendaño's story at

Civil Beat investigations editor John Hill
Credit Markus Distelrath from Pixabay

  Drive-in movies at Campbell High School

Drive-in movies have become the rage during the pandemic. This segment is about how a Campbell High School teacher took that idea and ran with it - snagging a $25,000 grant from Farmer's Insurance and the Public School Foundation. Thanks to the Innovation Lab created by Teach For America Hawaii, we applaud the creative energy.

Teachers Mathieu Williams and Wesley Adkins; Emma Tiletile, senior at Waianae High School


We received feedback on recent stories on unemployment claims and automatice voter registration. Let us know what you think by calling the Talkback Line at (808) 792-8217, or recording a voice memo on your smart phone and sending it to

Talkback, March 16, 2021

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.
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