The Conversation: Rail Construction Moves Forward Despite Pandemic

Apr 6, 2020

Rail construction moves forward amid COVID-19 crisis; Pandemic delays Hawaii courts; Staying safe from domestic abuse while staying home; Nearly free childcare for Maui's essential workers

Construction crews working on Honolulu's rail project.
Credit Catherine Cruz

Rail construction moves forward amid COVID-19 crisis

Hawaii's COVID-19 health crisis is expected to have short term as well as long lasting economic effects. Andrew Robbins, Executive Director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, tells us about the overall impact Honolulu's shutdown is having on the rail project. He said on one hand, some of the construction may get accelerated, but there could be delays as well.

Pandemic delays Hawaii courts

The COVID-19 pandemic has put Hawaii court cases and lives on hold. One of many issues raised by the closures and delays is whether defendants will get legally required "speedy trials." Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair tells us more. Click here to read the story on

Staying safe from domestic abuse while staying home

For many, the prospect of shutting oneself at home comes with its own highs and lows. But for some, government mandated stay at home orders have vastly complicated one of our biggest social issues: domestic violence. What can you do to get help when you live with your abuser and can't leave the home? Nanci Kreidman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center, has flagged this dangerous situation and tells us about protecting survivors of abuse in these uncertain times, and how they can seek help without leaving the home.

Dean Wong performs with puppets during Imua Family Services daily circle time, which is streamed live on Facebook.
Credit Screenshot/Imua Family Services Facebook page

Practically free childcare for Maui's essential workers

As the state and counties have ordered stay at home orders for many workers, that leaves child care up in the air for essential workers. One organization offering care for childrens age 1 to 5 is Imua Family Services on Maui. Dean Wong is the nonprofit's executive director, and he tells us about the service he calls a "response to the our community need."