Town Square

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Town Square was hosted and produced by Beth-Ann Kozlovich. It was one of the oldest of Hawaiʻi Public Radio's public affairs programs. Since its inception in 1999, Town Square provided an interactive forum for political, social, educational and cultural issues of local, national and international importance. Often the conversation included guests and participants from outside Hawaiʻi, giving access to newsmakers and those yet to make news. Discussions were lively and, almost always, civil.

The final broadcast of Town Square occurred on August 24, 2017.

Talk Show Host Kozlovich Steps Down

Unite Here Local 5 says the prospect of yet more hotels converted to condos is unacceptable. The union is sponsoring legislation in the Honolulu City Council to stop it. We’ll talk about it with our panel including  Local 5's Eric Gill, cosponsor of the bill, Honolulu City Council member, Ron Menor and Joli Tokusato, from Guest Services at the Ilikai Hotel. 

Town Square: Crossover

Feb 27, 2014

Very soon, bills still alive will cross over from each side of the Legislature. Today on Town Square, political analyst and social scientist, Neal Milner, looks at the second act of Session 2014 and what we might expect from it. 

Town Square: Women , Men, and Money

Feb 20, 2014

Recent research shows the trend is up in better-educated breadwinning wives. Next on Town Square, Maui psychologist Brad Klontz and New York based author, Farnoosh Torabi give us a preview of their study and Torabi's forthcoming book. Oahu psychologist. Martin Johnson, head of the Hawaii Center for Psychology, is also on the women, men and money trail and we'll look at his research, too. 

Town Square: Minimum Wage Increase

Feb 13, 2014

For supporters of a minimum wage hike, the counter argument  always seems to be a potential  loss in jobs. Now new research doesn't seem to support that result.  Today at 5pm on Town Square, our panel  looks at the the possible outcomes of an increase in Hawaii's minimum wage. 

Town Square: Access to public recreation

Feb 6, 2014

When the 2014 legislation began we got calls. "Follow the bills that affect our daily lives".. many of you said.  On  this show we look at one of the topics that came up several times.  Access to public recreation.  Every county has places that cause residents and visitors consternation.  The list of reasons is long ranging from limited or no access to competition among users and encroachment by developers.  Senator Laura Thielen joins Beth-Ann Kozlovich on this episode of Town Square.

Town Square: Restructuring the Hawaii Health Connector

Jan 30, 2014

A  legislative package in the state House hopes to restructure the Hawaii Health Connector. Next on Town Square, the lawmakers who introduced the 6 measures, Health Committee Chair,  Della Au Belatti and the chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee,Angus McKelvey. Can the Connector be accountable, transparent and reliable so it can fulfill its purpose?

Town Square: Values in grant-making

Jan 23, 2014

Economic easing in many organizations may have loosened the firm hold on many a grant application. But are organizations staffed by a younger demographic looking for something different from what  their older counterparts seek to fund?  We'll see what some of the research shows about Millennial values in grant-making. Tonights panel: Lisa Maruyama of HANO and two members of  the Hawaii Chapter of  the national organization, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy: Melissa Jackson, of The Zilber Foundation and  Anne Swayne Keir, Co Chair of The Keith and Judy Swayne Family Foundation.

Town Square: The 2014 legislative session

Jan 16, 2014

On this episode of Town Square: The 2014 legislative session is all of a day old and tonight, we'll look at many of the issues that will no doubt take our attention until May.

Town Square - Tax Fairness for Hawaii's struggling families

Jan 9, 2014

Back in November the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice released a report on tax fairness for the Hawaii's low and moderate income families. The report was prepared for Hawaii's lawmakers, and with the opening of the legislation session next week, The center's suggested public policy strategies will be tested. What happens could change the lives of some of Hawaii's struggling families. Tonight on Town Square we'll consider some of the center's strategies. Around the table, Colin Kippen Hawaii State Homelessness Coordinator, Hawaii Appleseed Center's Executive Director Victor Geminiani, and economist Christopher Grandy, Director and Associate Professor of the Public Administration Program at UH Manoa. Although tonight Christopher will speaking only as an individual.

Town Square - Safety of Wireless Technology

Jan 2, 2014

Kerry Crofton, PhD, Executive Director of Doctors for Safer Schools talks about why her organization says wireless tech isn't safe.

Town Square: Preserving Undeveloped Land

Dec 19, 2013

Preserving undeveloped land is at the heart of the argument between the community and the Turtle Bay Resort. One organization says that's why it and the state are working to protect a substantial portion to bring the landowner and opposition groups a little closer together. We'll talk about it with Blake Oshiro, Governor Abercrombie's Chief of Staff and Doug Cole, the executive director The North Shore Community Land Trust.

Town Square: Incarcerated Youth Filmmakers

Dec 12, 2013

Filmmaker Alex Munoz and Kat Bradey from the Community Alliance on Prisons come in to discuss the importance of teaching filmmaking to incarcerated youths. 

Town Square: Neal Milner

Dec 5, 2013

You know him from his political commentary. Now you might get to know Neal Milner better from a collection of stories about several generations of his family. Next on Town Square, some of the memories that start with The Gift of Underpants.

Town Square: Healthcare in Hawaii

Nov 21, 2013

On this show we look at the trajectory of healthcare in Hawaii beyond the ACA and the state's connector.  US Heath & Human Services Region 9 Director, Herb Schultz; The Governor's Healthcare Transformation Coordinator, Beth Giesting; and Hawaii Pacific Health's Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer, Dr. Ginny Pressler join us in the studio.

Town Square: Same Sex Marriage Special Session

Nov 7, 2013

Vanessa Chong, ACLU Executive Director; Prof. Carole Petersen, Director of the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution; and Gov Abercrombie’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and former state representative Blake Oshiro, join Beth-Ann Kozlovich for a talk on the Same Sex Marriage special session.

Town Square: How do you grab a naked lady?

Oct 31, 2013

Forget, what you say to one...the real question is how do you grab a naked lady? Sharon Hicks would know. Her mother had a penchant for tossing off her clothes but it was only one symptom of a mental illness that shaped a family - and it's ability to cover up the real truth. Tonight on Town Town Square,  we'll talk with  Sharon Hicks about her memoir, How Do You Grab a Naked Lady?

Town Square: The Price of Paradise

Oct 10, 2013

The price of paradise revisited...Randy Roth and Paul Brewbaker compare some of the issues of Roth's POP books, then to now. We'll consider whether any has changed after 20 years and what the price of paradise might cost us in the near and long term future.

Town Square: Hawaii Health Connector

Oct 3, 2013

They never expected to be at the very center of a government shut down, and while the fighting words over the affordable care act continue, states with health exchanges - including Hawaii- and the federal site handling inquiries for the 36 states without  an exchange are open for business. Sort of. Traffic and glitches made for a rough opening.  State Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito, Hawaii Health Connector Coral Andrews, Tony Saguibo, VP of government programs for HMSA  and Joan Danieley, Kaiser Permanente Vice President.

Town Square: What do Poll Numbers Mean?

Sep 26, 2013

"In the latest poll..." How many times have you heard that phrase? This week a handful of polls charting the President's approval rating is being bounced around online, in print and over the air...but how much weight should we really give these snapshots in time? And what do poll numbers mean for a Presidency when we look back at them years down the line? UH professor of political science, Colin Moore is teaching the science behind polling to his students this week. Tonight we'll talk with him and Grassroot Institute Executive Director, Tim Lussier, about their take on polling and what we should take away from all the samples.

Town Square: Empty Nest

Sep 19, 2013

So your last - maybe your only- child just left for college and your house has been a little quiet over the last few weeks ...now what? Welcome to the world of the empty nester. This week we'll take a break from the politics of the outside world to look at modern parenting of emerging adults and how their parents are redefining their own inner countries.  Clinical psychologist Martin Johnson and HPU associate professor of psychology, Howard Markowitz guest on this recorded conversation.

Town Square: Congressional War Declarations

Sep 12, 2013

Congress may have the Constitutional power to declare war, but it's incapable. That's the contention of Matsunaga Institute for Peace Associate Professor, Brien Hallett. His series of papers challenge the belief of only  three  primary functions of government:legislative, executive, and judicial, and he says the basis for his conclusion is the congressional  incapacity "to declare war.

Town Square: Micro Loans for Food Sustainability

Sep 5, 2013

So who needs a micro loan? Maybe you do if the bank said no. Or maybe you;ve given a few dollars here and there to help an organization help someone achieve a measure of self sufficiency. Denise Albano is half of Food for Thought. She and her business partner, Patti Chang, offer micro loans to deserving individuals who can't qualify for a bank loan. There is a catch- the loans must be for food sustainability. Both women and Dr. Tin Myaing Thein executive director of the Pacific Gateway Center, often called one of the best community resources for immigrants.

Town Square: Restorative Justice

Aug 29, 2013

Restorative justice may be a trendy topic, but for incarcerated people, it can be a lifeline back to a new normal...if they are willing to do the work. This week, we'll talk with a former inmate who has been involved with reentry circles, and has just had his own. We'll talk with the daughter of an incarcerated woman and with the director of the reentry group project, Lorenn Walker.

Town Square: Hawaii's Sunshine Law

Aug 22, 2013

Chalk one up for Hawaii’s Sunshine Law. This month, Hawaii’s Supreme Court handed down a decision saying the Maui County Council  didn’t exactly follow the rules while it deliberated a development project. Next on Town Square, we’ll look at how this opinion will be guide future councils and whether how to abide by the open meetings law is any better understood now.Today at 5pm on HPR2 

A look at competition

Aug 15, 2013

  What is it about the thought of competition that sets is off? We give every kid on the team a medal. We say everyone is a winner although we know there can only be one winner. Somehow competition has gotten a bad name. That's why journalist Ashley Merryman co-authored Top Dog. She and writing partner Po Bronson have collaborated on several projects including the New York Times best seller,  Nurtureshock.

The way we look at Autism is changing

Aug 8, 2013


From how kids are diagnosed to what treatment they receive, some parents say, life for their kids is getting better…as long as they can find the right doctors, programs and affordable treatment. State Coordinator  for Family Voices, Leolinda Parlin, Marya Grambs, Executive director of Mental Health America of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University psychology professor, Jeff Stern guest.  That's today at 5pm on HPR2.

The Innocence Project

Aug 1, 2013

It's the ultimate nightmare: doing time for a crime you didn't commit. It's also why the Innocence Project exists.Next on Town Square, organization founder Barry Scheck sits down to talk about the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision that DNA can be taken from someone arrested for a crime. We'll also catch up on local cases with UH law professor and Hawaii Innocence Project Director, Ginny Hensch and UH geneticist, David Haymer.

Author and Professor Robert McChesney

Jul 25, 2013

  You've heard the expression "money talks." Well apparently its speaking loudly in Washington these days.   Congress is relegated to the sidelines  as corporate lobbyists do battle for policy making clout.  BIllions of dollars change hands, election are bought and paid for... in short american democracy has turned into a "dollar-ocracy" Author and Professor of Communications of Illinois at Urbana champaign, Robert McChesney joins Beth-Ann Kozlovich to talk about his latest book.

Door to door canvassing with Kanu Hawaii

Jul 18, 2013

  Kanu Hawaii has been busy this summer...one of their projects brought volunteers back to neighborhoods canvassed last fall. This time, they asked whether the issues residents said were important actually got some attention. We'll hear about the door to door  debrief  from the Kanu project volunteers who made it happen. 

Retired Army Reserve Colonel Ann Wright

Jul 11, 2013

Retired Army Reserve Colonel and 29-year veteran, Ann Wright was also an American diplomat in many countries until 2003.  She’s back home in Hawaii following her trips to Yemen, China and Belgium. In Yemen, she met families of Guantanamo prisoners cleared for release and still in prison; China where she spoke at the Nanjing Law School on whistleblowers and Bradley Manning and Belgium where she presented at the international Peace Bureau Conference. We talk about what she heard and why we’re not hearing many of the same messages 

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