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.   

Wikimedia Commons

Autonomous vehicles may soon be coming to Hawaii’s streets, but will still need a human operator for now.

creazilla / https://creazilla.com/nodes/67734-venus-3d-model

In a monumental announcement Monday, scientists say they have detected a chemical compound in the atmosphere of Venus that is strongly associated with biological life.

Hawaii Public Radio

Small businesses owners on Oahu say constant disruptions from efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 are making survival increasingly untenable.

Wikimedia Commons

One of the state’s top economists predicts that the number of visitors coming to Hawaii is likely to remain well below pre-pandemic levels for at least the next year. 

Prayitno / Wikimedia Commons

The drastic reduction in visitors coming to Hawaii has afforded scientists a unique opportunity to see how one of the state’s most popular natural attractions fares without a human presence.

Travis.Thurston/Wikipedia Commons / Creative Commons License 3.0

Local governments in Hawaii have not yet faced the acute budget woes being felt at the state level. That may change if more local businesses are forced to close.

Ryan Finnerty

All Hawaii airports that receive transpacific flights are now operating thermal cameras to screen out of state arrivals for symptoms of COVID-19.

K-State Research and Extension / Flickr

Edmund Garman / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a revised plan for the controversial Ala Wai Flood Control Project, following public opposition to the original proposal.

Pixabay

Private school association on returning to school; Department of Education struggles to get computers to all students; Gov. David Ige talks state's COVID response; Exhibit shows Hawaii's worldwide influence on string instruments

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The world’s largest maritime military exercise kicks off Monday in the waters around Hawaii, but opponents say it’s a risk vector for spreading COVID-19.

C-SPAN

While negotiations over additional federal assistance to cities and states remain deadlocked, Hawaii’s chief executive says the state may be forced to furlough workers in the coming months if Congress fails to act.

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

New reporting out yesterday from Hawaii Public Radio shows that the state Department of Health significantly exaggerated its capacity to perform contact tracing, while downplaying challenges facing the program.

In an interview with HPR yesterday, Gov. David Ige was asked if Health Director Bruce Anderson and State Epidemiologist Sarah Park still have his confidence.

Ryan Finnerty

As congressional negotiations for additional pandemic assistance drag on, advocates are arguing for a different approach to small business assistance that offers more flexibility.

The U.S. National Archives

On both Oahu and Hawaii Island, voters opted for outsiders of experience in contests to narrow down the field of candidates for county mayor.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Primary day for the 2020 elections is this Saturday in Hawaii and 15 candidates are running to succeed the two-term mayor, Kirk Caldwell.

Sgt. Deonte Rowell / U.S. Army

After a record-breaking 207 new cases of coronavirus logged by the Department of Health on Monday, the head of a local hospital group warns that Hawaii is on track to outstrip its hospital capacity.

Casey Harlow / HPR

The federal government’s $600 per week supplement to unemployment benefits officially expired last week. The benefit injected more than $100 million per week into the local economy.

Ryan Finnerty

Updated 4:11 p.m. 7/29/20

At least nine soldiers from the Royal Thai Army tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from training in Hawaii.

Pxfuel

International students at American universities are facing the twin challenge of pandemic-induced travel restrictions and an administration in Washington determined to reduce immigration.

Tony Webster / Flickr

The U.S. Coast Guard declared “Condition Zulu” and closed port facilities across the state over the weekend.

Courtesy of Mufi For Honolulu / YouTube

Hawaii voters are casting mail ballots in primary elections for county, state, and federal offices. Oahu voters will be making their pick for the mayor of the City and County of Honolulu.

Ryan Finnerty

U.S. and Thai soldiers took part in Hawaii’s largest ground-based military exercise of the year. Leader say appropriate measures were taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Casey Harlow / HPR

The former television executive argues that his three decades overseeing large broadcasters in Hawaii give him the experience needed to steer Oahu through the twin challenges of a pandemic and deep recession.

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

State lawmakers concluded their regular business for 2020 on Friday with a much different set of priorities than when it began.

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.

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