Catherine Cruz

Catherine Cruz is the Co-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.

Wikimedia Commons

Port Disaster Vulnerability; Youth Suicide Prevention; Mobile Hygiene Buses; Historic Home Preservation

Hawaiʻi's Disaster Vulnerability: Electrical Grid

Mar 27, 2018
Denise Emsley | NAVFAC / Flickr

Hawaiʻi's position as the most remote population center in the world leaves the islands uniquely vulnerable to a disaster. This week, The Conversation explores the vulnerability of Hawaiʻi's people and infrastructure. The first installment of the five-part series takes a look at the electrical grid - where 60% of power plants lie in an inundation zone.

Master Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts / U.S. Air Force

Disaster Vulnerability; Cesspool Task Force; Challenges of Low Unemployment; Emotional Learning

A New Strategy for Combating the Opioid Epidemic

Mar 26, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

President trump delivered strong words about how to approach the opioid epidemic across the nation. Some 2 million people are estimated to be addicted to the drug. It is a public health crisis, but the question is how to best deal with it. However, Hawaii's rate of opioid prescriptions is one of the lowest in the country. The U.S. Surgeon General and the CEO of a local rehab clinic shared a national and local perspective on the crisis.

Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency's New Administrator

Mar 23, 2018
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency

January's false missile alert laid bare flaws in training, procedure, and leadership at the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. Last week, a new Administrator was appointed to the agency after Major General Verne Miyagi resigned from the position in late-January. 

USDA / Flickr

Strategy for Opioid Epidemic; New HI-EMA Leadership; Future of Social Security; Saxophonist Boney James

Former Hawaiʻi Governor Defends OHA

Mar 22, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

A critical management audit of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is continuing to ripple. The office has no comment about a possible FBI probe. The OHA Board met in an executive session earlier today to talk about the employment contract of CEO Kamanaʻopono Crabbe. 

Tom Mirenda

OHA Situation, STEM Education and Research in Okinawa, AARP President, Author and columnist for Orchids Magazine

State, Counties Weigh Options for Abandoned Vehicles

Mar 21, 2018
Frank Schulenburg / Wikimedia Commons

Complaints about junked cars in neighborhoods across the state hit a crescendo last year. The eyesore threw light on a dilemma over automobiles left on the sides of roads. State lawmakers have been hearing measures to try and solve the complaints. One bill to require removal of cars within 10 days is getting push-back from the counties. The real issue is lack of space to store derelict and abandoned vehicles.

NOAA

House Speaker Souki, Abandoned Cars, Ewa Field Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Healthcare, Entangled Whales

Wayne Yoshioka

An Update with HPD's New Police Chief, Susan Ballard

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

March for Our Lives, Invasive Species Control, Civic Clubs, Title IX, Esports in Hawaii

Snorkel Safety Workshop

Mar 19, 2018
Tom Hart / Flickr

The recent spate of drownings across the state has brought together key people from the state and the counties to try and to address what if anything we can do to keep our visitors and residents safe in the water.

New Sprinkler Laws for Honolulu

Mar 16, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Honolulu has a new sprinkler law in place - 8 months after the deadly Marco Polo fire. Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed two bills into law yesterday afternoon. They do not mandate sprinkler installation but do provide tax breaks to encourage installation.  At the signing, Mayor Caldwell expressed his desire to one-day see a mandatory sprinkler law.

Wikimedia Commons

New Sprinkler Laws; City Council Shake-Up; Snorkel Safety; From Bach to Bowie

Hawaiian Group Clashes with State Over Waimanalo Land

Mar 15, 2018
Catherine Cruz

A group of Native Hawaiians claiming to be descendants of King Kamehameha I is headed for a clash with the state -- the second time in two years.  The group had been evicted from a 5 acre parcel in Waimanalo, after a judge threw out their claims and blocked them from filing frivolous suits. The land is in an Agricultural park which the state has unsuccessfully tried to lease out for almost a decade and when the group moved in.

The Conversation: Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Mar 15, 2018
wiki

Waimanalo Land Lease; Mail-In Voting; Waikiki Liquor Laws; Chef Vivian Howard

Ryan Finnerty

30 Meter Telescope Update; Community Para-Medicine Program; Fake News on Social Media; Local Students Walkout

Local Students Walkout in Support of Shooting Victims

Mar 14, 2018
Ryan Finnerty

Wednesday was National Walkout Day at schools across the country. Thousands of students left class at 10 AM to remember the recent victims of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Students here in Hawaii organized events at their own schools. University Laboratory School students organized a walkout at their school and shared their motives and hopes for the event with HPR's The Conversation.

State Relaxing Animal Quarantine Rules

Mar 13, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

For decades, Hawaii had some of the strictest animal quarantine rules in place, in an effort to keep the islands rabies-free. However, the rules are relaxing with restrictions being front-loaded avoiding months of quarantine. 

Flickr

Diplomatic Thaw on the Korean Peninsula; 17 Minutes/17 Lives; New Animal Quarantine Rules

The Challenges of Temporary Vacation Rentals

Mar 12, 2018
Pixabay

Unpermitted vacation rentals have been blamed for everything from sky-high housing prices to overcrowded hiking trails. But what is really going on with Hawaii’s short-term rental market? How many properties are permitted for vacation rentals? And how many are actually being used that way?

Flickr

Unpermitted vacation rentals have been blamed for everything from sky-high housing prices to overcrowded hiking trails. But what is really going on with Hawaii’s short-term rental market? How many properties are permitted for vacation rentals? And how many are actually being used that way?

Wikimedia Commons

March is national social work month. It’s one of the toughest jobs out there: high stress, low pay, and long hours. Here in Hawaii, the Child Welfare Services program just received failing grades across the board for the second time. Today’s panel examines the state of social work in Hawaii.

Judge Rules in Red Hill Lawsuit

Mar 8, 2018
Commander, Navy Installations Command

A recent court decision is casting new light on what to do about Red Hill. It's where the military has 20 massive underground steel tanks; one, which leaked 27,000 gallons. A circuit court judge ruled that the state Department of Health improperly gave the military an exemption from underground fuel storage rules. The Sierra Club hopes the ruling will now give state health officials more reason to press for an expedited schedule to upgrade the facility.

Flickr

Red Hill Lawsuit; Invasion of Privacy Suffered by the Poor; Trees for Hawaii’s Future Growing our Urban Forest; Hawaii Symphony Orchestra’s Latin Pops Revolution Show

State Auditor Discusses Reviews of OHA, HTA

Mar 7, 2018
Catherine Cruz

The State Auditor’s most recent report flags a failing documents system and short-staffing at the Public Utilities Commission. Another flagged a communications breakdown in the Department of Health as well as problems with the state energy office. But it’s the findings of two agencies - the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaii Tourism Authority that Les Kondo is particularly concerned about.

Public Domain Pictures

Auditing State Government; Rethinking South Point Management Practices; Politics of the Korean Conflict

Regulating Emotional Support Animals

Mar 6, 2018
Molly Hayden / U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs

Dogs in service vests are an increasingly common sight in public spaces. But it may surprise you to learn that there is little legal regulation over the training and certification of service dogs and emotional support animals. Lawmakers here in Hawaiʻi are considering a bill that would begin to change that.

Molly Hayden / U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs

Dogs in service vests are an increasingly common sight in public spaces. But it may surprise you to learn that there is little legal regulation over the training and certification of service dogs and emotional support animals. Lawmakers here in Hawaii are considering a bill that would begin to change that.

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