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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Radio show keeps community connected to Hispanic news

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i's growing Hispanic community now has its first news and public affairs radio show.

The "Hawai'i Hispanic News Radio Show" with Jose Villa airs Sundays from 1:05 to 2 p.m. on KWAI/AM-K108.

Villa, who came to Hawai'i 15 years ago as an Air Force officer after growing up in New York's Spanish Harlem, was editor of Hawai'i Hispanic News, a monthly newspaper he abandoned two years ago to concentrate on his Web site of the same name.

"We're 3,000 miles from the nearest major Hispanic community and the radio show will keep us connected on such issues as racial profiling and immigration," Villa said.

The 2000 census counted 87,050 Hispanics in the Islands, a little more than 7 percent of the state's population.

Villa's English-language radio show relies on news services to report on national and international issues of interest to Hispanics and he also chats with studio guests. The topic of discussion Easter Sunday was Los Angeles mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa. A recent guest was an affirmative action officer from Pearl Harbor to talk about job opportunities in federal civil service.

The Hawai'i Hispanic News program and Web site is an avocation for Villa, whose day job is serving as executive director of Habitat for Humanity on O'ahu.

The radio show kicks off a four-hour block of programming that includes the music shows "Alma Latina" with Nancy Ortiz and "Mezcla Latina" with Eric von Dorp.

The radio offering for Hispanics follows a decision last year by Miami-based Univision, the nation's leading Hispanic TV broadcasting company, to enter Hawai'i's market. A UHF antenna is needed to tune in to Univision.