Change

Distancing While Convening … in This Time of COVID-19

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

We’re all still absorbing the many ways that life has changed since COVID-19 broke into our vocabulary as a double-whammy threat to personal health and the economy.

 

Here’s just one way: The fast-changing seating configurations on our live editions of INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I. Week by week, the program morphed – from an in-person gathering place to a mostly virtual meeting.

 

For decades, the program’s centerpiece was a single table around which the host and guests took seats.

 

The evolution of the INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I seating arrangement: The original one-table set-up, from February; the “V” configuration, from March 19; the individual tables, with one guest via computer screen, from April 16

The evolution of the INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I seating arrangement: The original one-table set-up, from February.

Left: The “V” configuration, from March 19. Right: The individual tables, with one guest via computer screen, from April 16.

 

Then, with new guidelines about social distancing, PBS Hawai‘i TV studio crewmembers carried away the familiar table and placed it in storage. Out came two long tables, with a guest seated at each end, and the moderator in between at a smaller table.

 

Also gone were the small microphones, called lavaliers, that our production crew would clip to participants’ lapels or collars. Instead, to avoid physical contact, the crew rounded up desktop microphone stands, which had mostly fallen into disuse.

 

The following week, more tables appeared, all small – and every participant, host and guests, had his or her own table.

 

Meantime, our production team worked hard to keep a safe environment by disinfecting surfaces.

 

By then, COVID-19 had become the program’s ongoing subject, with discussions reviewing and reflecting on how Hawai‘i is dealing with this devastating situation, how we can do better, and what’s next.

 

Our regular volunteers at the phone bank followed government guidelines and sheltered at home. Staffers at this “essential” media operation replaced the volunteers.

 

However, when forum guests were given the option of participating in person or virtually, most still wanted to be physically present. Pictured above: the guests on April 16, with only State Schools Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto appearing by way of a computer screen.

 

The following week (after the printing deadline for this publication), all guests= were scheduled to appear by way of the Internet: the Mayors of four Hawai‘i counties.

 

So, over these fast-moving weeks of community changes tied to COVID-19, our INSIGHTS program went mostly virtual.

 

And no matter where guests are seated, INSIGHTS is still bringing together participants and perspectives. The program continues to live up to its goal, which is:

 

Convening diverse voices in a trusted space for greater community knowledge and understanding.

 

Aloha nui and be well,

Leslie signature

 

 

 

PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS
Lahaina: Waves of Change

LAHAINA: 
Waves of Change

 

In 1999, Lahaina’s plantation era came to an end with the closing of the West Maui town’s Pioneer Mill, the beating heart of Lahaina’s sugar industry. This film documents the last harvest, the last cane burning and the final days of operation at the mill, revealing a town with great historical and sacred significance, as well as the persistence to thrive into the future.

 

 

 





AUTUMNWATCH NEW ENGLAND
Part 2 of 3

 

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan are live once more from the beautiful Squam Lake in New Hampshire, where overnight events have already thrown up plenty of surprises on the live cameras, including an update on the flying squirrels and new visitors to the carcass camera.

 

Gillian Burke is looking into the bird life of the region, from barred owls to pileated woodpeckers, before getting up close with one of New England’s smallest owls, the saw-whet.

 

Chris reports back on a dawn trip he took to one of the region’s migration hotspots, Michaela comes face to face with an elusive bobcat, and we meet the man who is studying the huge numbers of great white sharks that come to New England’s coastline at this time of year.

 

 

AUTUMNWATCH NEW ENGLAND
Part 3 of 3

 

from their base in the heart of New Hampshire, Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke bring us the latest happenings from deep in the American woods. We learn about the science of how this spectacular leaf change comes about, and meet some of the smaller residents who change colour along with the leaves.

 

Michaela has been on a moose mission, finding out about a tiny but deadly enemy of these massive beasts, and Gillian is looking for red efts in the leaf litter – a brightly coloured newt that comes out in damp conditions.

 

 

POV
93Queen

 

Set in the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, 93Queen follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are smashing the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. With unprecedented—and insider—access, 93Queen offers up a unique portrayal of a group of religious women who are taking matters into their own hands to change their own community from within.

 

 

Latest KĀKOU Town Hall Hits a Nerve

 

CEO Message

Latest KĀKOU Town Hall Hits a Nerve
KĀKOU Town Hall Guests: Māhealani Perez-Wendt, Mike Irish and Aaron Salā

KĀKOU Town Hall Guests: Māhealani Perez-Wendt, Mike Irish and Aaron Salā

 

We did something a little different at the second KĀKOU Town Hall, televised and streamed live for two hours on PBS Hawai‘i April 19.

 

Mostly, we let the conversation unfold naturally. This wasn’t a shout-‘em-down event; it was a respectful Hawai‘i discussion in which people from different backgrounds and perspectives mulled quality-of-life answers.

 

Our topic was The Global Squeeze: How Do We Keep Hawai‘i Hawai‘i? Thirty-eight thoughtful invitees gathered, 16 of them Neighbor Islanders.

 

Participants were quick to point out that many residents, especially Native Hawaiians, are feeling that they need to leave Hawai‘i, as they weigh earnings against sky-high housing prices and a heavy burden of state and local taxes. Some characterized tourism as a perpetual engine that is running unchecked.

 

Back row, from left: Hank Adaniya, Rob Stephenson, Edward Wendt, Māhealani Perez-Wendt, Keoni Lee, Lori McCarney, Kealoha Hooper, Sabra Kauka, Mike Irish, Maenette Benham, Puna Dawson, Kepa Maly, Jan Harada, Tom Raffipiy, T. Ilihia Gionson, Corie Tanida, David DeRauf, Danny Goya and Peter Adler. Middle row: Denise Laitinen, Kit Zulueta, Mark Doo, Jon Osorio, Mike Buck, Kainoa Horcajo, Marlene Booth, Aaron Salā, Candy Suiso, Mark Suiso, Daphne Barbee-Wooten, Jay Fidell, Olin Lagon and Ekela Crozier. Front row: Jennifer Suzuki, Leslie Wilcox, Rebecca Meyer, Eric Enos, Skylark Rossetti and Craig Takamine.

Back row, from left: Hank Adaniya, Rob Stephenson, Edward Wendt, Māhealani Perez-Wendt, Keoni Lee, Lori McCarney, Kealoha Hooper, Sabra Kauka, Mike Irish, Maenette Benham, Puna Dawson, Kepa Maly, Jan Harada, Tom Raffipiy, T. Ilihia Gionson, Corie Tanida, David DeRauf, Danny Goya and Peter Adler. Middle row: Denise Laitinen, Kit Zulueta, Mark Doo, Jon Osorio, Mike Buck, Kainoa Horcajo, Marlene Booth, Aaron Salā, Candy Suiso, Mark Suiso, Daphne Barbee-Wooten, Jay Fidell, Olin Lagon and Ekela Crozier. Front row: Jennifer Suzuki, Leslie Wilcox, Rebecca Meyer, Eric Enos, Skylark Rossetti and Craig Takamine.

 

A high school junior, Rebecca Meyer, expects to move away. She noted that she’s never visited some special places on her home island of O‘ahu, because tourists are overrunning them.

 

The Dean of the UH Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Dr. Jon Osorio, said, “We need to have political and economic change if Hawaiians are going to stay here. And honestly, if Hawaiians disappear from here, it isn’t Hawai‘i anymore.”

 

Dr. Maenette Benham, UH-West O‘ahu Chancellor, said that what keeps Hawai‘i Hawai‘i is the cultural values that young people hold in their na‘au, or gut, and how they use them as a driving force to uplift community.

 

Jay Fidell reminded everyone that cost-of-living anxiety dates back decades. “How do you convert that into recognizing the sea change and doing something about it?”

 

T. Ilihia Gionson of Kona said a good next step is voting in the upcoming election for a worthy candidate – “and if you don’t see one, maybe it’s supposed to be you.”

 

Māhealani Perez-Wendt of Hana, Maui, prefaced her answer by saying it’s “sensitive” and usually not discussed “in mixed company” – meaning Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians.

 

“What I hear in this room is a sense of resignation,” she said. She advocates Hawaiian sovereignty as an “agenda of survival.”

 

Her husband, taro farmer Ed Wendt, agreed: “This is deep, deeper than you think.”

 

A younger Hawaiian by a generation, Keoni Lee, offered that sovereignty should be viewed by non-Hawaiians as an opportunity, not a threat, as Native Hawaiians can lead the way in sustainability practices that once made their homeland flourish.

 

Maui’s Kainoa Horcajo preferred to call this “home rule” rather than sovereignty. He said, “It’s not just a kānaka thing, it’s a kākou thing…That is the way we truly solve all of these problems.”

 

Peter Adler, a professional in conflict resolution, listened intently during the program but chose not to speak. He told me later: “In certain settings, a shut mouth gathers no foot.”

 

You can find this discussion online at pbshawaii.org. Look for our next KĀKOU Town Hall this fall.

 

Aloha nui,

Leslie signature

Leslie Wilcox
President and CEO
PBS Hawai‘i

 

 

1 2