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The Conversation: Chasing Rainbows in Hawai‘i

Steven Businger
Rainbow over east O?ahu"

The push to vaccinate hospitality workers; Maui healthcare workers honor those lost during the pandemic; An innovative renewable plastic project kicks off on the Big Island; UH M?noa professor Steven Businger on Hawai‘i's status as rainbow capital of the world

Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association's Mufi Hannemann on vaccinating hospitality workers

Over 20,000 travelers were screened by the Safe Travels program on Saturday, March 13 - a record high since the pandemic began. As more travelers arrive and the economy opens up, hospitality workers need to be protected, Mufi Hannemann, former Honolulu mayor and head of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, told Hawaii Public Radio. Hanneman said he was pleased to hear hospitality workers, particularly hotel workers, included in stage 1C of vaccinations.

Mufi Hannemann, former Honolulu mayor and head of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association

Maui healthcare workers honor those who have died during the pandemic

Candlelight vigil on Maui, March 15, 2021

Community members at Maui Memorial Medical Center gathered Monday night to remember those lost to the coronavirus. The candelight vigil began with the sound of a conch shell blown 35 times, one for each life lost on Maui. Maui Memorial case manager Liz Linares and nurse Leimomi Melamai reflected on the trials and tribulations of the past year. 

Maui Memorial Medical Center case manager Liz Linares and registered nurse Leimomi Melamai

Cheering on healthcare workers from M?noa

In M?noa, you may hear a nightly chorus of bells and claps as Steven Scott-Hosaka, a longtime resident and retired nurse, and his neighbors cheer on healthcare workers. Scott-Hosaka started this 7 p.m. tradition about a year ago when the pandemic began. The cheering supports those on the frontline and helps lift spirits, he said.

Steven Scott-Hosaka of M?noa


An innovative renewable plastic project kicks off on the Big Island

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i is host to an innovative project using solar technology to manufacture reusable plastic products. Laurence Sombardier, deputy director of NELHA, and Karl von Kries of LightManufacturing spoke to us about the outdoor factory using 100% solar energy to mold plastic products such as kayaks and aquaculture tanks. 

Laurence Sombardier, deputy director at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, and Karl von Kries, founder of LightManufacturing

UH M?noa professor Steven Businger on Hawai‘i's status as rainbow capital of the world

Credit Steven Businger

UH M?noa atmospheric professor Steven Businger's recent publication states Hawaii is the best place on Earth to see rainbows of all shapes and sizes. Specific conditions such as the sun's angle, frequent rain showers, and daytime heating make Hawaii a rainbow paradise. Businger and his colleague Paul Cynn created a phone application, RainbowChase, to alert users of nearby rainbows. Read Businger's "The Secrets of the Best Rainbows on Earth" here.

Steven Businger, professor at the UH M?noa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology


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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.
Savannah Harriman-Pote rejoined The Conversation in 2021 after interning for Hawaiʻi Public Radio in the summers of 2018 and 2019. She also produces HPR's podcast Manu Minute in collaboration with The University of Hawaii at Hilo. She was born and raised on the Big Island, and she collects public radio mugs.
Lillian Tsang is Senior Producer with The Conversation. She has been a part of the talk show team since TC first aired on February 14, 2011. Born and raised in Honolulu, she received her BFA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her art career melded with radio after her glass-blowing partner, Anthony Borgioli, introduced her to the college radio station, KTUH. Bitten by the broadcasting bug, Lillian went on to produce and host a her own show “Planet of Sound” for almost a decade. It was a fellow KTUH DJ who told her about a job opening at Hawaiʻi Public Radio as an overnight/weekend board operator. She's since transitioned to a full-time day job and happily part of the HPR ʻohana.
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