Happy birthday, Hawaii Public Radio
The community asset began broadcasting 25 years ago today.
THERE'S no shortage of options for electronic communication these days -- the Internet, cell phones and text messages, television with cable and satellite systems for delivery -- but radio endures in the spectrum of media.
So does Hawaii Public Radio. The reason? Public radio provides excellent programs that attract a diversity of interests.
Today marks HPR's 25th birthday, a quarter-century of broadcasting that began in a makeshift studio with cardboard egg cartons nailed to the walls for acoustic baffles. The first sounds over the airwaves, according to HPR's first manager Cliff Eblen, were "the lush and wild strains" of Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde."
While classical music remains a staple, the mix also includes local programs, such as the Latino sounds of Sabor Tropical to accompany a Saturday sunset, jazz to enliven evenings and slack key to blend with beer and pupu on a weekend afternoon.
For current-events junkies, HPR serves up the entertaining and sometimes sardonic humor of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," straight information through "All Things Considered" as well as local news gathered by a team of experienced reporters.
Hawaii's story-telling traditions come through in "Aloha Shorts," readings of works with island perspectives and "Talk Story Radio." Jay Fidell's "Think Tech Hawaii" explores and unveils the wealth of technological assets and issues in the state, while the locally produced "Town Square" and the national program "Talk of the Nation" bring listeners' opinions, ideas and questions to a public forum.
The folks at HPR see their mission as providing a community gathering place and rely on that community for 61 percent of the station's funding. A fall fund drive collected $617,000 from a record 2,391 donors who are designated HPR's members. But public radio can always use more. Donations and volunteers are welcome any time and are necessary to support and expand HPR's reach throughout Hawaii.
Happy birthday, HPR. And congratulations.
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