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The Conversation: Hawai‘i Island Vaccinations; Teacher Appreciation Week

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Encouraging Hawai‘i Island residents to get vaccinated; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Tourism industry; Initiative to reduce waste and create jobs in Hilo; Teacher Appreciation Week

Encouraging Hawai‘i Island residents to get vaccinated | Link

Credit AP Photo/Caleb Jones

State health officials on all islands are urging residents to get their COVID-19 vaccines. We reached out to the state health department on the Big Island where three large clinics are scheduled this week. Jason Dela Cruz, a planner with the Office for Public Health Preparedness, shared the latest. 

Jason Dela Cruz, planner from the Department of Health's Office for Public Health Preparedness in Hawaii County.

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Reshaping Hawai‘i's tourism industry | Full Article

Honolulu Civil Beat’s reality check Monday looked at a major discussion about our number one economic driver--tourism. Business reporter Stewart Yerton shared the story with us.

Stewart Yerton, Honolulu Civil Beat reporter

Initiative to reduce waste and create jobs in Hilo | Link

Credit Hawaii State Capitol

State Senator Laura Acasio represents Hilo, taking over the seat of Kai Kahele at the start of this year. She’s wasted no time in getting down to big changes. Acasio requested funding from the state for a new initiative that would help small business owners reduce their dependence on single-use plastics. The ambitious project didn’t make it to the budget this time around, but we spoke to her about community members in Hilo moving forward anyway. 

State Senator Laura Acasio

Recognizing important educators for Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week kicked off Monday and what better way to recognize the important role teachers play in our lives than to talk to one. Christina Torres teaches eighth grade English at Punahou School. She told us about teaching in current times, what post-pandemic education might look like, and how everyone can show their appreciation for teachers. 

Christina Torres, Punahou School middle school English teacher


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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.
Russell Subiono has been with Hawai‘i Public Radio since 2019. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, TV, and radio. He got his start at HPR as a Production Assistant on The Conversation from 2016-2017. Prior to his return, he spent two years as a producer at KITV4 Island News, where he oversaw Hawai‘i’s only hour-long evening broadcast. He also served as HPR’s Fund Drive Producer for two years before returning to The Conversation as Executive Producer. In the moments when he’s not working at the station, you can find him visiting donut shops, making top-5 lists, and developing comedy videos that never get made.
Savannah Harriman-Pote rejoined The Conversation in 2021 after interning for Hawaiʻi Public Radio in the summers of 2018 and 2019. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, during which time she worked for WMHC and Mount Holyoke News. She has also worked with the audio documentary series Outer Voices and National Geographic.
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