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.

Little Agreement Over Toxoplasmosis Solution

Apr 3, 2018
5459357 / Pixabay

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite-borne infection that can wreak havoc on wildlife, humans with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women. The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis comes from cats, specifically their faces. It has been blamed for the death of at least eight Hawaiian monk seals, the endemic Hawaiian crow, and several other vulnerable bird species. However, there is little agreement over a solution to the problem. The debate largely boils down to one question: should feral cats be eradicated?

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Toxoplasmosis is a parasite-borne infection that can wreak havoc on wildlife and humans with compromised immune systems. The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis comes from cats, specifically their feces. It has been blamed for the death of at least eight Hawaiian monk seals, the endemic Hawaiian crow, and several other vulnerable bird species. It was the subject of a forum this past weekend sponsored by the University of Hawaii Law School. We wanted to continue the conversation about how to manage the situation. 

Waikiki The Film

Chinese Labor in Saipan; Kauai’s Russian Fort; Kaka’ako Walking Tour; Waikiki the Movie

National Park Service

Wildfire Risk; Female Legislators and #MeToo; Made in Hawaii Movie; Hawaii Pickleball League

flickr

Young Brothers President/CEO; Female Crane Operators; PBS Digital Innovator/Educator; Kettle Bells World Record

Pixabay

Hawaii is the most isolated island chain in the world. Home to a permanent population of 1.4 million and tens of thousands of visitors on any given day, Hawaii and its inhabitants are highly dependent on imports of food and fuel from elsewhere in the world. With help potentially days or weeks away and minimal redundancy, Hawaii's systems and people are highly vulnerable to a major disaster. This series explores those vulnerabilities and how the community can become more resilient.

Wikimedia Commons

Resiliency of Healthcare Systems; Tariffs & Trade; Surviving School Shootings; Technology in Education

Buonasera / Wikimedia Commons

In Hawaiʻi, there is a lot that ties the state to the Asia-Pacific. Part of that is geography, but it's also culture and economics. Although Hawaiʻi doesn't export much in the way on physical goods, the trade policy set in motion by the Trump Administration could have ripple effects for the Aloha State. Dr. Adam Posen, President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared his perspective on trade issues with The Conversation.

Hawaiʻi's Disaster Vulnerability: Healthcare Challenges

Mar 28, 2018
Maui Memorial Medical Center
Maui Memorial Medical Center

What happens to patients in dialysis centers when there isn't water or power, and they can't stay open? How do patients get their medicines if pharmacies are closed? What about our stockpile of medical supplies? Those scenarios and more were posed to Chris Crabtree, Director of Hawaiʻi Healthcare Emergency Management as part of The Conversation's ongoing look at Hawaiʻi's vulnerability and resiliency during a disaster.

Hawaiʻi's Disaster Vulnerability: Honolulu Harbor

Mar 27, 2018
Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

Hawaiʻi needs to import 3,000 tons of food per day to keep grocery store shelves stocked around the state. All of those goods come into one place: the Port of Honolulu. If damaged, it could take weeks to reopen the harbor after a disaster event. That could leave Hawaiʻi residents in big trouble.

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
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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
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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. 

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