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The Conversation: Honolulu Rail Critic; Foster Care System

Catherine Cruz

Criticisms of the Honolulu rail; Foster care system facing challenges; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Vaccinating young teens; Resuming LDS missions; 60th anniversary of the Peace Corps

Criticisms of the Honolulu rail from UH Manoa professor Panos Prevedouros | Full Article

Credit Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit

One of the most vocal critics of Honolulu’s rail project, UH Manoa civil engineering professor Panos Prevedouros hasn't held back on his criticism of the decision to build the steel-on-steel project--which has an estimated price tag upwards of $12 billion. 

Panos Prevedouros, University of Hawaii civil engineering professor

Hawaii foster care system facing challenges

Hawaii’s foster care system is facing big challenges. Hale Kipa works with at-risk youth and their families on Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii Island. The organization said they have seen a dramatic increase in the need for temporary foster services for families over the past year. Program coordinator Michelle Rocca and therapist Jason Redick spoke with us about the new needs of their 50-year-old foster program. Makana, who has gone through Hale Kipa’s transitional family homes, also joined the discussion. 

Hale Kipa program coordinator Michelle Rocca and therapist Jason Redick

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Vaccinating young teens | Full Article

Credit AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool

Honolulu Civil Beat’s reality check looked at the move to vaccinate younger teens across the state. Public health reporter Eleni Avendaño had the latest.  

Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Eleni Avendaño

Resuming LDS mission trips amid the pandemic

With the increase in vaccinations and travel in and out of Hawaii ramping up, will churches now resume mission work? That’s what The Conversation’s Russell Subiono set out to find when he spoke with Oahu-based Elder Nolan Michael Hicken, a missionary with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Elder Nolan Michael Hicken, missionary with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Peace Corps celebrates 60th anniversary | Event Calendar

The Honolulu Star Advertiser recently featured an article to mark volunteer week and the 60th anniversary of the Peace Corps. We reached out to Caroline Mackenzie, who leads a group called Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawaii

Caroline Mackenzie, president of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawai'i


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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 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.
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