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The Conversation: U.S. Agriculture Secretary on Loan Forgiveness for Minority Farmers

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary on loan forgiveness for minority farmers; Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on Big Island bioenergy plant; Surveying domestic travelers; Early childhood behavioral health

U.S. Agriculture Secretary on loan forgiveness for minority farmers | American Rescue Plan Link

Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

In less than a week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will roll out a program to forgive the debt of some 16,000 minority farmers. About 300 farmers of Pacific Islander and Asian descent are here in Hawai‘i. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke with us from Washington. 

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Supreme Court ruling on Big Island bioenergy plant | Full Article

The Hawaii Supreme Court has remanded the case involving a Big Island bioenergy plant back to the Public Utilities Commission. We talked to Warren Lee, head of Honua Ola--formerly known as Hu Honua--about what this could mean for the green energy project that has been delayed for two years due to legal challenges.

Warren Lee
Warren Lee, head of Honua Ola

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Oahu's agricultural lands | Full Article

Honolulu Civil Beat’s featured story has to do with a process to protect Oahu’s best agricultural lands. But "many property owners are angry, saying they’ve been caught by surprise and that the city has blundered," reporter Stewart Yerton reported. 

Reality Check on May 25, 2021
Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Stewart Yerton

Surveying domestic travelers

Credit jed_ant from Pixabay

The steady stream of travelers seems to indicate that the rebound of our visitor industry may happen sooner than expected. We reached out to Chris Kam, the head of Omnitrak--a market researching group that surveys travelers and gathers information about tourism trends. 

Chris Kam
Chris Kam, president and COO of Omnitrak

Early childhood behavioral health | The Parent Line | Aloha United Way | Family Hui Hawaii | Nest for Families

Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close next week Monday, but the work to bring awareness to the importance of mental health, especially with our keiki, will continue. One effort that’s just getting started is the rollout of the “Integrated Infant and Early Childhood Behavioral Health Plan.” It’s a collaboration between several local government and non-government agencies, to centralize the information for services available to help parents address their child’s mental, social and emotional health. Kerrie Urosevich from Hawaii’s Early Childhood Action Strategy told us more.

Kerrie Urosevich
Kerrie Urosevich of Hawaii’s Early Childhood Action Strategy


If you have any comments or feedback, let us know by calling the Talkback Line at (808) 792-8217, or recording a voice memo on your smart phone and sending it to talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.

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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.
Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation and host of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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