Ryan Finnerty

Government and Public Policy Reporter

Ryan Finnerty is Hawaiʻi Public Radio's award-winning Government and Public Policy reporter focusing on state and county politics, business, economics, the military, science, and the environment. Before that he was a producer and reporter on HPR's local public affairs talk show The Conversation. His work has been featured nationwide on NPR programs Morning Edition,  All Things Considered, and Here and Now, American Public Media's Marketplace and C-SPAN Radio's View from the States project. Before coming to Hawaiʻi Public Radio, Ryan was an officer in the U.S. Army stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oʻahu. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in economics.   

Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio

Several months after Hawaii County stopped accepting plastic products at its recycling program, residents are looking for an alternative, and one not governed by international markets.

Catherine Cruz / HPR

Problems abound but no single issue appears to have yet united Hawaii lawmakers as the opening of the 2020 legislative session approaches on Wednesday.

Ryan Finnerty

Hawaii Island is in the enviable position of having a landfill with anywhere from 20 to 100 years of capacity left to take in trash. But the island still wrestles with significant issues like plastic products that are no longer being recycled.  

Travis Thurston / Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii’s chief economist told lawmakers on Tuesday that 24% of Hawaii homes were purchased by buyers from outside the state. The figure is even higher on the neighbor islands.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim / Facebook

The 2020 state legislative session hasn’t even begun, but already a dispute is brewing over funding for the University of Hawaii.

Justin Singer / Federal Emergency Management Agency

The National Weather Service is changing the way it sends out some cell phone alerts, with the goal of better capturing users’ attention.

Ryan Finnerty/HPR

Updated: Dec. 26, 2:15 p.m.

Hawaii County is temporarily closing the Mauna Kea Access Road on Hawaii Island until Saturday as the road is cleared and made completely accessible to the public, Mayor Harry Kim announced Thursday. This follows a morning when public traffic was flowing around protestersʻ tents on the road. 

Wayne Yoshioka / Hawaii Public Radio

In a recent national poll, the YWCA asked female voters what issues are on their minds ahead of the 2020 election.

Dan Dennison/DLNR via AP

Updated: Dec. 20, 6:45 a.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Thursday he is withdrawing state law enforcement officers from Mauna Kea after informed that the $1.6 billion Thirty Meter Telescope won't proceed with construction at this time. Protesters who have stopped construction of the telescope say they were told to move out by Dec. 26 or face arrest.

Ryan Finnerty / HPR

The number of vacation rentals on Oahu declined more than 5 percent from the same time last year. Honolulu’s recent restrictions on short-term renting appear to be the cause.

Ryan Finnerty

Hawaii Gov. David Ige wants to spend an additional half a billion dollars over the next two years on state government operations.

Although the provision is contained in a Defense Department budget bill, the paid family leave benefit would apply to all civilian federal workers.
DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force

A provision in the annual defense appropriation bill authored by Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz would grant 2 million federal workers 12 weeks of paid family leave.

Courtesy of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

The United States, Mexico, and Canada have finalized the details of a new free trade agreement. Hawaii stands to see modest benefits.

Ryan Finnerty

Thousands of people attended a ceremony over the weekend marking 78 years since the Pearl Harbor attack, despite two recent mass shootings at Navy bases, including the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

Hawaii has some of the highest construction costs in the country. That makes building new housing an expensive prospect.

billsoPHOTO / Flickr

Hawaii will need an additional 65,000 housing units statewide by 2025. Getting there will require more public infrastructure, like water, sewage, and electricity.

 

David Ladd / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Scientists from NASA have confirmed the presence of water millions of miles from Earth. The observations were made using the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea.

Ryan Finnerty/HPR

Acting City Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto, who received a federal subpoena on Monday, said on Thursday that he has done nothing wrong and intends to comply with it.

Flicker - Suuuuummer

Fewer Chinese visitors are coming to Hawaii, according to the latest figures from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. That matches a broader trend for the United States.

Need Pix

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to renew the charter of the Import-Export Bank, largely along party lines, but approval from the Senate is unlikely.

Sarah-Rose/Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 License

A confrontation with police early Tuesday night left one man dead and another in custody. 

Jean-Marie Hullot / Flickr

Traditional economic data measures features like output and productivity, but typically ignores subjective qualities that make up the human experience. A study by University of Hawaii economists could help to change that by asking whether factors like poverty influence well-being.

Fred Schilling / Supreme Court of the United States

During an hour-long hearing on the Maui Clean Water Act case, the U.S. Supreme Court justices seemed to be seeking a legal path to keep polluters from skirting the law without ensnaring ordinary homeowners. 

Screenshot from Healthcare.gov

Until December 15th, anyone without health insurance coverage can sign up to purchase an individual plan through the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Pixabay

On Wednesday, the nine justices of the nation's highest court will hear oral arguments in a case accusing Maui County of violating the federal Clean Water Act. 

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam

As Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Hawaii's worst mass shooting, it's worth noting that the state has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the country and the lowest rate of gun deaths.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new rules that help clear the way for commercial cultivation of hemp in the country, Hawaii  included.

Evidence from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology shows that corals are already naturally adapting to higher temperatures. But the rate of increase may be too rapid for them to keep up.

Shreya Yadav/Madin Lab/Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

In Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay, researchers with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology are engaged in a one-of-a-kind effort to document coral reefs as they undergo bleaching.

Ryan Finnerty

Although we are still months away from the 2020 Hawaii legislative session, lawmakers are already looking at ways to limit the use of electronic smoking devices.

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