David Kuraoka



Growing up barefoot and carefree in the wild outdoors of Kaua‘i, no one predicted David Kuraoka would find his calling in the confines of a ceramics studio. Even after becoming a widely celebrated ceramics artist, he managed to straddle two very different worlds: his job as an art professor at San Francisco State University and summers spent in the vast wilderness of Kalalau Valley on Kaua‘i’s Nā Pali Coast.


This program will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 4:00 pm and 11:30 pm.



Episode # 907 – 2017/2018 Fall Semester Compilation


This special compilation show features some of the top stories from the Fall Semester of the 2017/2018 school year. In all of the selected stories, HIKI NŌ students explore the truth about the people they are featuring.


Students from Moanalua High School in the Salt Lake district of O‘ahu profile Perry “Mooch” Fernandez, a surf instructor headquartered at the “Bowls” break near Ala Moana Beach Park. Halfway through the story, it is revealed that “Mooch”, having separated from his wife, lives out of his van. He not only survives, he thrives – through exchanges of kindnesses with the close-knit community of surfers who consider him a fixture, a mentor, and the center of their lives at “Bowls.”


–Students from Maui High School in Kahului tell the story of a Maui Waena Intermediate School student who does not let his disability, caused by a genetic spinal condition, hold him back from pursuing sports, music and all the joys of life.


–Students from Kapa‘a Middle School on Kaua‘i tell the story of a woman who discovered her truth through her life-long commitment to dance.


–Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle tell the story of wheelchair-bound school counselor who, after his debilitating diving accident, found his truth by connecting to a Higher Power.


–Students from Wai‘anae High School in West O‘ahu tell the story of a high school student who finds his truth in his aspiration to carry on his parent’s pig farming business.


–Students from Kapa‘a High School on Kaua‘i discover the truth of how a Vietnam War veteran copes with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


–Students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i show how a video about a special-needs elementary school student produced by a classmate led to a greater understanding and acceptance by the student’s peers.


–Students from Kaua‘i High School in Lihu‘e express their concerns about their generation’s over-reliance on screens to see and experience the world around them.


This special compilation show is hosted by Brooke Kanna and Haven Luper-Jasso, two HIKI NŌ students from Kaua‘i High School who were among the students that participated in PBS Hawai‘i’s live town hall special KĀKOU: Have You Fact-checked Your Truth?


This program encores Saturday, Sept. 15, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, Sept. 16, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.


Episode # 906 – 2017 HIKI NŌ Fall Challenge


This episode features stories from the 2017 HIKI NŌ Fall Challenge. In September of 2017, five high schools and nine middle schools participated in a challenge in which teams had exactly four days to conceptualize, shoot, write, and edit a HIKI NŌ story based on a specific theme. No work could be done on the stories prior to the production window because the theme was not revealed until the start of the four-day sprint. The theme of this challenge was “What it’s Like to Walk in Another Person’s Shoes.” No teachers, or adults of any kind, could provide hands-on assistance. It was all up to the students.


Included in this episode are the winners of the Middle School and High School Divisions of the 2017 HIKI NŌ Fall Challenge. The Middle School winners were from ‘Ewa Makai Middle School in the ‘Ewa district of O‘ahu. Their story “Lolita” features a drag queen in his early 20s who explains how taking on his drag persona of Lolita gives him confidence and helps him cope with a sometimes difficult life. The winning High School story, “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” was created by students at Kalaheo High School in Windward O‘ahu. It follows a group of volunteers who put themselves in the shoes of Houston’s Hurricane Harvey victims and helped to collect goods toward the relief effort.


–Students from Maui High School created a story about what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a teen transitioning to a new gender.


–Students from Kapa‘a High School on Kaua‘i featured the school band president who is successful at what he does because he tries to walk in the shoes of his fellow musicians.


–Students from Wai‘anae High School in West O‘ahu stress the importance of empathy in dealing with people who suffer from a very painful condition known as Fibromyalgia.


–Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle show us that walking in the shoes of someone who moved to Hawaiʻi for a better life helps us to better appreciate our island home.


–Students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i help us to consider what it’s like being a teenager who is prone to suicide.


–Students from Maui Waena Intermediate School in Kahului tell the story of a cobbler who creates custom shoes for people who can’t wear conventional footwear.


This program encores Saturday, Sept. 8, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, Sept. 9, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.



Episode #905 – Vietnam War veteran Bobbie Paik


Students from Kapa‘a High School on Kaua‘i tell the story of Vietnam War veteran Bobbie Paik, a Purple Heart recipient who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A major source of Mr. Paik’s PTSD was the fact that twenty-two soldiers in his company were killed during the six months they were together. “…it’s kinda hard, you know, I getting a Purple Heart, and friend from Maui, he went home in a box,” says Paik. Paik discusses the various ways in which he copes with this PTSD, including restoring classic cars.


–Students from Kapolei High School on O‘ahu show us how Girl Scouts keep pedestrians in Makakilo safe.


–Students from Aiea High School O‘ahu show us the proper way to fold a T-shirt.


–Students from Konawaena High School on the Kona side of Hawai‘i Island introduce us to an alumnus who was part of the recent Nobel-prize-winning project that measured the change in gravitational waves, proving Einstein’s theory of relativity.


–Students from Waimea High School in West Kaua‘i tell the story of a sausage vendor who has found great success with his kalua pork-topped hot dogs.


–Students from Aliamanu Middle School on O‘ahu profile a Hawai‘i-based Chinese American filmmaker and her eight-year-long journey to complete her documentary on another Hawai‘i-based Chinese American woman from an earlier era who had produced the first Academy-Award-winning documentary.


–Students from Moanalua High School on O‘ahu present a character study on a homeless surfer who is always there to lend a helping hand to his fellow surfers.


This program encores Saturday, Sept. 1, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, Sept. 2, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.


Episode #904 – How to Better the Community


Students from Pomaika‘i Elementary School in Kahului, Maui make their HIKI NŌ debut with a primer on “How to Better the Community.” Their tips include: pick up trash from your local park; provide folding chairs for bus stops without benches; volunteer at an assisted living facility, school, food bank, or animal shelter. Pomaika‘i is only the third elementary school to produce content for HIKI NŌ.


–Students from Maui High School talk with the mother of a young woman with a rare chromosome deletion. She reveals all of the work and coordination that goes into caring for her daughter.


–Students from Waiākea Intermediate School in the Hilo district of Hawai‘i Island feature OK Farms, a family-run farm which gave up a large portion of its land to build a soccer field for their community –free of charge.


–Students from H.P. Baldwin High School in Wailuku, Maui show us how the band teacher at neighboring ‘Īao Intermediate School took a music program that was in a shambles and built it into a source of great pride for the school.


–Students from ‘Īao Intermediate School on Maui demonstrate how to make a beautiful Chinese lantern out of paper.


–Students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i show how one of their peers used video to help an elementary school class understand and accept their special needs classmate.


This program encores Saturday, Aug. 25, at 12:00 pm and Sunday, Aug. 26, at 3:00 pm. You can also view HIKI NŌ episodes on our website, www.pbshawaii.org/hikino.


Episode #902 – I Am Able



Students from Maui High School in Kahului present an inspiring story about Keizhawn Daquis, a Maui Waena Intermediate School student who was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. As a result Keizhawn needs a wheelchair to get around. Despite his disability, Keizhawn is active in a number of sports, including tennis, surfing, wheelchair racing and swimming.



–Students from Kapa‘a Middle School on Kaua‘i show us how a love of dance has shaped the life and career of a Kaua‘i-based ballet teacher.


–Students from Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy on Hawai‘i Island tell the story of an historic campus building that was physically moved into Waimea town and turned into an art gallery.


–Students from ‘Ilima Intermediate School in ‘Ewa, O‘ahu, show us how to make the local sweet treat halo halo.


–Students from Kalani High School in East Honolulu tell the story of a young man who uses rap as a means of personal expression.


–Students from Kua o ka Lā Miloliʻi Hīpuʻu Virtual Academy on Hawai‘i Island introduce us to a woman who is dedicated to the preservation of precious Hawai‘i ecosystems.


–Students from Mid-Pacific in the Mānoa district of O‘ahu reveal how their baseball team uses an ancient Japanese tradition as a source of inspiration.



Episode #901 – The Bigger Picture



Students from Kaua‘i High School in Lihue present a personal essay called “The Bigger Picture.” It bemoans how smartphones and other personal electronic devises get in the way of our enjoyment of the natural world around us. The widespread use of smartphone cameras has led people to experience life within the confines of a small screen rather than directly, with their own eyes. “Our phones distract us from the real beauty right in front of us,” says the narrator, “which makes each minute less memorable.”



–Students from McKinley High School in Honolulu show how a massive art project created a common bond among the employees of a Waikiki hotel.


–Young journalists at Wheeler Middle School in Central O‘ahu show how actions taken by students led to the administration extending the time between periods to ensure students have enough time to walk from class to class.


–Students from Hana School in East Maui show us how to make a fish ornament out of coconut fronds.


–Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle show how a man’s participation in a community band enriches his life, even though it has been more than twenty years since he played in his high school orchestra.


–Students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i uncover the massive clean-up effort along their island’s Kalalau hiking trail.


–Students from H.P. Baldwin High School in Wailuku, Maui, tell the story of a young woman who was inspired to reveal the real person behind her make-up.



Maui Mayor | Kaua‘i Mayor


In a special two-hour edition, INSIGHTS will assemble leading candidates in two major Mayoral races.


–At 8:00 pm, it’s the forum for Maui County Mayor. Voters on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i will elect a new Mayor for the first time in eight years. Current County Councilmembers Elle Cochran and Don Guzman and former Councilmember Mike Victorino are among the candidates who want the job.


–In the second hour, beginning at 9:00 pm, the forum features candidates for Kaua‘i County, where voters will elect a new Mayor for the first time in a decade. County Councilmembers Derek Kawakami, Mel Rapozo, JoAnn Yukimura and County Parks Director Leonard Rapozo are among candidates running for this office.


Meet other candidates in the race for Mayor


Join us during our live discussion by phoning in, or leaving us a comment on Facebook or Twitter. INSIGHTS is also live streamed on pbshawaii.org and Facebook Live.


Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.




Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.


Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights


To see an archive of past INSIGHTS ELECTION 2018 shows, click here.







Other Candidates in the race for Maui Mayor and Kaua‘i Mayor


Seven citizens are running in the Primary Election for Mayor of Maui County. Three of them appeared in a live broadcast of Insights on PBS Hawai‘i on July 19. PBS Hawai‘i invited the four other candidates via email to share their views on issues facing Maui County in written form up to 750 words. The candidates are Beau Hawkes, Alec Hawley, Orion Kopelman and Laurent Zahnd. Only Kopelman and Zahnd responded by the July 6 deadline.


Seven citizens are running in the Primary Election for Mayor of Kaua‘i County. Four of them appeared in a live broadcast of Insights on PBS Hawai‘i on July 19. PBS Hawai‘i invited the three other candidates via email to share their views on issues facing Kaua‘i County in written form up to 750 words. The candidates are Ana Mo Des, Debra Kekaualua and Clint Yago. None responded by the July 6 deadline.


MAUI CANDIDATES:    Orion Kopelman   |   Laurent Zahnd



Orion Kopelman

Candidate Orion Kopelman

At age 56 I have been a businessman for the last 30 years. I would like to see the county run more like a business. I was a Silicon Valley executive. As Vice President of Engineering I helped a company grow from 50 to 500 people in 6 years and learned how to make organizations work in efficient and effective ways.


I wrote a book in 1995 called “Projects at Warp-Speed: your guide to Quality Rapid Product Development.” I used it as a textbook and taught engineers and marketing people at the universities of Stanford and Berkeley continuing studies for 15 years.

I started a small management consulting firm in 1992 and was its president for a couple decades. It helped clients worldwide make more money by completing their projects and developing their products in half the time, at half the cost, with double the fun.


One of our clients was NASA’s vendors working on the space station. This 300-person team of mostly software engineers were way behind schedule on this 10-year project. We got them back on schedule and NASA successfully launched the space station on time.


As mayor I would ensure that our county government works efficiently and well. Thanks to my determination, I graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering in only 3 years, in the top 10% of my class.


Ten years ago. I wrote my 4th book called “Creating Mauitopia: Making Maui a Real Paradise.” You can download an updated version for FREE from mauitopia.org.

I want to see the county move towards creating the Mauitopia vision. Part of this vision asks individuals to earn their living by doing what they love for work and thereby serving the community and the world. I would also encourage home-based businesses to facilitate raising children and improve our quality of life.


Another part of the Mauitopia vision is a “BHAG.” A Big Hairy Ass Goal. It suggests we put an end to crime, so we can all feel safe and allow our creativity to blossom.


We have to make smart decisions for the present and long term. We need to value every member of our society including the disabled and our hopefully gracefully aging senior citizens, who now live longer and can actively contribute to our society. We need to stop GMO or Genetically Modified Organism farming until we can practice it in a way that’s proven safe. And finally, we would promote a unique community that models the society of the future.


A couple years ago I wrote a mini-book called “Success Personal Decision Making.” Please make the right decision and vote for me for mayor.


I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club of Maui for over a decade. Previously I had been a highschool state tennis champion. These days I practice Feldenkrais daily, a type of yoga that emphasizes awareness through movement.


Having written a book with the subtitle “Your Guide to Success in the Consciousness Age,” I value my spirituality a lot.


Top Three Goals and Objectives
Ori Kopelman, Candidate for Mayor of Maui


  1. Ensure most county work has deadlines and works with goals of quality, time, cost, and performance.


The founder of HewletPackard said, “what gets measured gets done.” All of the department heads in the county will be asked to set measurable objectives, including organizing as much work as possible in projects. We need to overcome the attitude of getting things done “wheneva.”


  1. Outsource as much county work as possible to private firms, as I believe the profit incentive gets things done more efficiently and effectively.


Have all department heads evaluate what of their department’s work can be outsourced. Have them get 3 competive bids.


  1. Put an end to crime so we can all feel safe and allow our creativity to blossom.


This seems like a BHAG, a Big Hairy Ass Goal, which has never been achieved in a community our size. The Aloha spirit and encouraging people to each do at least one random act of kindness (RAK) daily will make this happen.



Website: http://www.mauitopia.org


Facebook page: Ori Kopelman for Mayor


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Laurent Zahnd

Candidate Laurent Zahnd



My name is Laurent Zahnd, aka Mr L. I’m 34 and proud Dad of 4. I am a Management & Marketing Specialist.


I decided to run for Mayor after realizing that other candidates aren’t representing the people, nor making any real pledge to fix issues. The notion of public service got replaced by personal interest!


I’m aware that no one can get involved in Politics against the will of corporate interests, and that’s why my fellow Mayoral candidates only pretend to represent the people.


On another hand, the US just had to pull off the UN Human Rights because of its violations here in Hawai‘i. This isn’t Trump’s fault but ours as American occupiers of Hawai‘i, purposely ignoring the fact that we are occupying this Land illegally, and perpetuating a cultural Genocide on the Kanakas.


Up until now we were successful at silencing them, but the truth and the judgements are coming, and we will have to give back the stolen Land, and leave! Many of us will lose everything when that happens!


So I’m coming up with a solution to address this, before it’s too late, and restore our integrity as Americans.


My program is about restoring accountability and supporting the Hawaiians in the restoration of the Kingdom. Hawaiians won’t be revengeful and are ready to accept Americans who would like to stay.


Together, we have a Golden opportunity to transform the last State in the US; which otherwise will always be suffering the incapacity to compete with the Mainland.


Getting back to the neutral Kingdom will offer us the best geopolitical situation in today’s World; ideally situated between the US and Asia. This neutrality, comparable to the model of Switzerland, will offer us the opportunity to host a new location for UN negotiations between America and Asia, as well as the opportunity for duty-free trade and banking transactions.


This will literally bring TRILLIONS of dollars to Hawai‘i, enabling us to go from being the last State of the US, to being one of the first Nations in the World.


What is fantastic is that we don’t even need to exit the US, as we were never legally a part of it! The UN is very clear and qualifies our State as a fraudulent annexation.


The only interest of the US here is military, and there is a way to negotiate that. Switzerland for instance is neutral, but its army is still part of NATO, which makes it an ally of the US.


A newly formed Hawaiian National Guard could play the role of military and police to guarantee the Hawaiian independence. It could purchase its equipment from the US and lease a small portion of the Oahu base and a small district of Honolulu to the US so it could maintain the Pacific Command here for something like 20-30 years. But the condition for that lease would be to remove the troops and stop local military operations, while cleaning-up all the environmental impact generated, notably the leftover bombs and uranium traces.


As this transition would be a huge one, I’d propose to start first with a small scale experiment in Maui County, by creating a special status under the leadership of the UN. We could benefit from huge International and Federal funds to live a better life without all the pointless issues we suffer from today, and work together to rebuild the Hawaiian Kingdom institutions. We could then arbitrate the different land claims under International and Kingdom law and restore the forgotten Pono.


The Kingdom constitution will have to be revised and I would preach for a model of direct democracy (unlike the US), which would suppress most possibilities of corruption and guarantee a fair & equitable representation of all different Hawaiian factions that are now divided.


The opportunity for people to keep dual citizenship should be guaranteed, and as a small and suddenly rich Nation, it will be crucial to implement strict immigration policies.


I want us to be proud of ourselves and feel good about the Nation we are going to give to our Keiki.


It can be very simple to do what is right and repair the wrongdoings, and God did put everything in place for that miracle to happen today!


I wish we will transmute our shame and hurt and work together for our greater good. It’s important that everyone benefits from this transition, even the bad guys, because they won’t let go of their oppressive power otherwise.


Vote for Mr L August 11th!


Website: vote4L.com


Facebook Page: facebook.com/yourNewMayor


Twitter Page: twitter.com/yourNewMayor


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Episode # 918: Jerome Ribao and other stories




Students from H.P. Baldwin High School on Maui trace a fellow student’s road to recovery after he was hit by a drunk driver. In May 2017, Baldwin senior Jerome Ribao suffered a severe leg injury from the accident. Despite this setback, Jerome found ways to remain active. After graduation, Jerome plans to continue to work toward his career goal of becoming an auto mechanic.




–Students from Aliamanu Middle School on O‘ahu explore the fears and anxieties faced by students transitioning from elementary to middle school. (From the HIKI NŌ archives.)


–Students from Moanalua High School on O‘ahu profile a marching band director who encourages students not to be the best students in the world, but to be the best people for the world. (From the HIKI NŌ archives.)


–Students from Waimea High School on Kaua‘i tell the story of a Waimea graduate who became a successful t-shirt artist and returned to his home-town to give back to his community. (From the HIKI NŌ archives.)


–Students from Montessori School of Maui in Makawao show how to create a device that will occupy and entertain cats for hours on end.


–Students from Konawaena High School on Hawai‘i Island show how a sport with origins from Native American Indians is growing in popularity on their island.


–And students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i tell the story of a quadriplegic artist who has developed a unique way of painting. (From the HIKI NŌ archives.)


This episode of HIKI NŌ is hosted by students at Kapa‘a Middle School in Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i.



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