Ryan Finnerty

Government and Public Policy Reporter

Ryan Finnerty is Hawaiʻi Public Radio's multi 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.   

Hawaii House Democratic Caucus

Friday is the final scheduled day for the Hawaii Legislature’s 2020 session. It was hallmarked by social distancing measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Ryan Ozawa/@hawaii

Hawaii recorded its largest single-day increase in new cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. 

Courtesy of Choon James for Mayor

 

Choon James has spent a lot of time in Honolulu Hale over the past 20 years, but never as a public official. The Singapore-born real estate broker has been a long-time advocate before the City Council on issues like land use. This year, she decided that was no longer enough.

Anthony Crider / Flickr

At recent protests around the country, a striking sight is becoming increasingly common: heavily armed men wearing brightly colored, tropical-themed aloha shirts.

Amemiya Mayor 20/20 Campaign Site

Voters on Oahu will elect a new mayor in 2020. HPR will be sitting down with mayoral hopefuls to discuss their top concerns and why they want the job.

Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio

As of August 1st, travelers coming to Hawaii will be exempt from the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they first get tested for COVID-19 and are negative for the virus. 

Flickr / U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

The ACLU of Hawaii sent a letter to state officials on Monday saying the group has serious privacy and civil rights concerns over the planned use of facial recognition in state airports.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

State lawmakers back in session to address budget shortfall; Punahou School's plan to bring students back on campus; Teens who'd never met organized Hawaii's Black Lives Matter protest; Kaiser High No. 1 in the nation in math and reading proficiency

Capitol.hawaii.gov

State lawmakers return to the Capitol today for what is expected to be the final three weeks of this year’s legislative session. Their main focus will be allocation $618 million in federal pandemic assistance.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

A team from the University of Hawaii is hoping to find better ways to treat COVID-19 by analyzing the experiences of other patients.

Flickr - Bytemarks Unemployment Office

Women in Hawaii are more likely to have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 recession than male residents, despite equal representation in the workforce.

Osiristhe / Flickr

Sales of farm products currently represent just 0.6% of Hawaii gross domestic product. Experts say there are opportunities for it to grow, but substantial challenges as well.

Courtesy of Kym Pine for Mayor Campaign

Voters on Oahu will elect a new mayor this year. There’s a crowded field, with 15 candidates officially in the race.

Mike / Flickr

Voters on Oahu will elect a new mayor in 2020. HPR is sitting down with mayoral hopefuls to discuss their top concerns and why they want the job.

daveiam/Flickr / CC 2.0 license

Updated: 6/10/2020, 1:11 p.m.

Where we stand

Four new cases of COVID-19 have been reported today by the state health department. All of the cases have been reported on Oahu. 

American Review of Reviews / Unviesity of Toronto Robarts Library

Despite decades of effort, state and local government in Hawaii have had little success in fostering diversification of the islands' tourism-centric economy. The COVID-19 pandemic recession has once again generated calls for standing up new industries and expanding existing ones that do not include tourism.

This series explores what some of those industries of the future might be and what local leaders can do to bringa about their growth.

Hawaiian Time Machine

Hawaii’s main industry, tourism and hospitality, has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers have been calling for economic diversification for decades, but single-single industry dominance has been the norm for centuries.

Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay / Pixabay license

The daily stream of COVID-19 news is unending. In its rigid grip, we can easily miss the Hawaii stories of struggle and quiet heroism that are playing out in our backyard. Here is a compilation of voices we've heard. And we look forward to hearing yours. Call our talkback line at 808-792-8217 or e-mail us at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org

Teemu008 / Flickr

Updated: 6/4/2020,12:50 p.m.

Where we stand

Hawaii recorded two new coronavirus cases today. The state health department reports the number of recorded cases now stands at 655; deaths remain at 17.

Associated Press

The recession stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate Hawaii’s ongoing population decline, according to local economic forecasts.

John Bilderback / YouTube

Economists say the state’s economic situation will remain dire without tourism, but residents are fed up with overcrowding by visitors. Experts say now is the time to reorient Hawaii’s visitor industry to a more sustainable path.

Hawaii State Capitol

The group that projects state tax revenue is predicting sharp declines for the rest of this year and the following, on the back of massive declines in visitor arrivals and local consumer spending due to COVID-19.

Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

As Hawaii continues to reopen the local economy, some leaders are calling for a plan to restart the state’s $18 billion tourism economy. One lawmaker wants COVID-19 testing to be at the center of such a plan.

NPR

This story originally aired and was posted in 2019. It was awarded a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Feature story in 2020.

First Lieutenant Jonathan Brostrom was killed in action during a 2008 Taliban attack in Eastern Afghnaistan. Every year the University of Hawaii Army ROTC program looks back at the battle to study what happened.

Ryan Finnerty

The City and County of Honolulu is not able to effectively enforce the mandatory 14-day quarantine on visitors staying in vacation rentals, according to one senior official.

Courtesy of the Office of the Governor

State authorities have unveiled a roadmap to reopening Hawaii’s economy. The reopening will be broken up into five phases, with each phase allowing for progressively larger social gatherings.

W. M. Keck Observatory

Hawaii Island’s 12 observatories have been cleared to resume operations by state officials. With travel largely on hold, many observations will now be made from home.

Pkd2016 / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

With about 1 in 3 Hawaii workers now unemployed, many have also lost their health insurance. Some options for getting replacement coverage come with a deadline.

Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii National Guard Major General Kenneth Hara said he is concerned about the possibility of civil unrest if a plan is not finalized to move toward easing Hawaii’s ongoing lockdown.

 

U.S. Army Garrison - Daegu

The U.S. military is using inexpensive, simple procedures to check troops in South Korea for COVID-19 symptoms. Similar tools could help schools and hospitals at home.

 

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