reason

INDEPENDENT LENS
Decade of Fire

 

Discover why the Bronx burned in the 1970s. Through rich archival and home movie footage, the film reveals the real reasons for the devastation and shows what can happen when a community chooses to fight back and reclaim their neighborhood.

 

 

 

Lopaka Kapanui
Hawaiʻi’s “Chicken Skin” Storyteller

Cover story by Liberty Peralta, PBS Hawaiʻi

 

Lopaka Kapanui, Hawaiʻi's "Chicken Skin" Storyteller

Years ago, Lopaka Kapanui’s mother told him something he says he was “too young and arrogant” to understand.

 

“A lot of work that we do is not about us,” he says his mom told him. “And if we think it’s based on us, we’re fooling ourselves. It’s about helping other people.”

 

Telling ghost stories may be an unusual way of serving one’s community, but it’s this motivation that drives Kapanui in his work as a storyteller of legends, a mantle he’s taken up since the 2003 passing of his mentor, celebrated Oʻahu “chicken skin” storyteller, Glen Grant.

 

LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX: Lopaka Kapanui airs Tuesday, October 29 at 7:30 pm“My job is not just to tell ghost stories and scare people, but also to clear up that misunderstanding of what this is all about, which is really communication,” Kapanui says.

 

Kapanui’s life began in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kalihi, as a malnourished infant living in a station wagon with his mother and four older siblings.

 

“They said I was about the size of a rolled-up newspaper,” Kapanui says.

A family from Waiʻanae adopted the young Kapanui, who continued to battle health issues through his early childhood, to the point where he was hospitalized to flush out his kidneys.

 

My job is not just to tell ghost stories and scare people, but also to clear up that misunderstanding of what this is all about, which is really communication. 

Lopaka Kapanui

 

“I’m a Buddhist, so we believe in karma,” Kapanui says. “I think that somewhere in my past life, I was someone who caused somebody a great deal of suffering and so maybe it was my karma early in my life to go through this.”

 

Kapanui says his childhood home in Waiʻanae was haunted. His first visual experience was when he saw a Japanese boy approach a stand-up oil lamp in the family’s living room and begin licking the oil from it. A Japanese odaisan, or spiritual medium, later advised the family to get rid of the lamp.

 

Kapanui’s lifelong sensitivity to spirits culminated in 1994, when a coworker told him about a Glen Grant ghost tour. “I’m astounded, I’m flabbergasted because the majority of what he was talking about are things I already knew growing up and learned from my mom,” Kapanui says. “But the difference was there was documentation, history and things to back up these claims, so that no one could say, ‘Well, that’s just made-up Hawaiian legends, old wives’ tales.’”

 

So how does Kapanui manage people on his tours who say they don’t believe in the supernatural? “What I always tell them is: Give me a chance to change your mind,” he says. “You don’t have to like it; I would encourage that you at least respect it.”

 


 

PORK ON THE PALI

 

Nuʻuanu Pali It’s a familiar local admonition: don’t bring pork over the Nuʻuanu Pali, the cliff that separates Honolulu and Windward Oʻahu. Lopaka Kapanui breaks down the story behind the story:

 

Legend has it that Pele, the fire goddess, and Kamapuaʻa, the pig demigod, were in a tumultuous relationship. In her rage, Pele unleashed a tidal wave of lava upon Kamapua‘a. After the demigod successfully summoned the rain to hold back the lava, Kamapua‘a and Pele came to an agreement: the lush Windward side of all islands would be Kamapuaʻa’s domain, while the arid Kona sides would belong to Pele. “None shall cross into the other’s territory,” Kapanui explains.

 

So carrying pork from the Windward to the Leeward side of the Nuʻuanu Pali would be symbolically trying to bring Kamapua‘a into Pele’s territory – and Pele won’t have that. “To be more specific, you can bring pork through the H-3, the Wilson and Pali tunnels, but you can’t bring it up that road at the Pali Lookout, that’s coming from the Windward [side] … there’s a road at the Pali Lookout that crosses that meridian.”

 

 

 

 

FRONTLINE
Fire in Paradise

 

A year after the devastating Camp Fire, who’s to blame and why was it so catastrophic? With accounts from survivors and first responders, the inside story of the most destructive fire in California history, its causes and the impact of climate change.

 

 

 

VOCES ON PBS
The Pushouts

 

VOCES, PBS’ signature Latino arts and culture documentary showcase, is the only ongoing national television series devoted to exploring and celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino cultural experience.

 

The Pushouts
Meet Victor Rios, a high school dropout and former gang member-turned-award-winning professor, author and expert on the school to prison pipeline, who works with young people who have been “pushed out” of school for reasons beyond their control.

 

 

 

Hawking

 

This is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking’s life. Told for the first time in Hawking’s own words and with unique access to his home and public life, this is a personal journey through Hawking’s world. The audience joins him at home, under the care of his nursing team; in San Jose as he “wows” a packed theatre audience; in Silicon Valley as he meets a team of technicians who hope to speed up his communication system; and as he throws a party for family and friends. HAWKING also carefully tells Hawking’s life journey, from boyhood under-achiever to PhD genius, and from a healthy cox on the Oxford rowing team to diagnosis of motor neuron disease, given just two years to live yet surviving several close brushes with death. The film also highlights his greatest scientific discoveries and plots his rise to fame and superstardom.

 

 

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Why Vote

 

We all hear the reasons and excuses. But we’re in last place. CNN did a feature story on us and called Hawai‘i “The State That Doesn’t Vote.”

 

It hasn’t always been that way. In 1959, 93 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. In the 60s, voter turnout was consistently in the high 80 percentile. In 1974, we dropped to 79 percent, but bounced back into the 80 percentile during the 1980s.

 

The downward spiral started in 1996, when 67 percent of all registered voters showed up at the polls. Our all-time low of 52 percent was posted in the last General Election – the lowest voter turnout in the country.

 

So who are the conscientious, responsible, loyal citizens among us who will be counted in next Tuesday’s General Election?

 

On the next Insights on PBS Hawai‘i, we’ll hear from three of them: a millennial who has managed not to be disillusioned; a long-time believer in the process who has voted consistently throughout the decades; and a naturalized U.S. citizen who embraces the privilege of participating in America’s democracy. They’ll be joined by Colin Moore, political science professor at University of Hawai‘i – Manoa; Spencer Oshita, Editor of Ka Leo O Hawai‘i; and Wayne Yoshioka, reporter at Hawaii Public Radio.

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

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

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 




GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING
What Are We?

GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING: What Are We?

 

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking presents three everyday people with a series of physical and mental challenges that show them how to think like a genius. Through large-scale experiments and demonstrations, Hawking decodes the mysteries of evolutionary biology, astrophysics and quantum mechanics, breaking down scienti­fic concepts in ways that are more easily accessible. The program “furthers my lifelong aim to bring science to the public,” said Hawking.

 

What Are We?
See how self-assembling machines and light-up bacteria revolutionize three people’s view of life.

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Who’s Homeschooling and Why?

 

Nearly 6,000 children are being homeschooled in Hawai‘i. INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I takes a look at parents’ different reasons for not sending their children through the school system. Guests will also discuss the pros and cons of homeschooling.

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

Phone Lines:
973-1000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights