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The Conversation: Preparing for Socially Distanced Holiday Shopping


Japanese Tourism; Retail Merchants Hawaii; Reality Check: Statewide Mask Mandate; Pearlridge Center; Kauai Rice and Taro


Japanese Tourism

Japan is the first foreign country to reach an agreement with the State of Hawaii to allow its citizens to enter Hawaii without having to quarantine. HPR Reporter Ryan Finnerty brings us more on how this international travel partnership has worked so far.

HPR Reporter Ryan Finnerty

Retail Merchants Hawaii

It’s that time of year again: Thanksgiving is a week and two days away. But as with so much else in 2020, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the rest of the holiday shopping season is looking a lot different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tina Yamaki is the president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii. She spoke with The Conversation’s Jason Ubay about how customers and businesses are approaching this usually busy shopping time.

Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii


Reality Check: Statewide Mask Mandate

It’s now official: Hawaii has a statewide mandate for face coverings. It’s the focus of Governor David Ige’s latest emergency proclamation. Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Eleni Avendano has been following this story and joins us with the latest.

Civil Beat Reporter Elenei Avendano

Pearlridge Center

We’re going to take another look now at Black Friday, the busiest retail shopping day of the year, and a little more than a week away. 

Diana Su is the marketing director of Pearlridge Center. She spoke with The Conversation’s Jason Ubay about how the Oahu mall is preparing for the crowds while keeping people - and Santa - safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diana Su, marketing director of Pearlridge Center


Kauai Rice and Taro

Rice has a long history here in Hawaii, and this week we’re taking a closer look at some highlights of that history. Back before the pandemic, Catherine Cruz headed to Kaua’i and the Hanalei Rice Mill, where she talked story with Rodney Haraguchi.

His past is tied to the rice paddies there that are now all planted in taro. Hanalei is where most of the state’s poi comes from. Last year’s devastating floods forced the shutdown of the Historic Rice Mill that used to be open for tours. It also leveled the family home which is being rebuilt. The rice mill tours are still suspended due to the pandemic and the rice plans are also on hold. But you can still find Rodney Haraguchi out in the fields at 4’oclock every morning. He reflected on the setbacks to their fields and their plans for the mill.

Kauai farmer Rodney Haraguchi

Bill Dorman has been the news director of Hawai‘i Public Radio since February 2011. Born in New York City, he spent 21 years at CNN in various positions behind the scenes and on the air in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, and Tokyo, Japan. He was also managing editor of Asia Pacific Broadcast for Bloomberg News for five years before moving to Hawai‘i in 2009. He’s covered stories from more than twenty countries and territories.
Jason Ubay is HPR's news editor. Send your story ideas to him at
Catherine Cruz is the Host of The Conversation and a member of HPR’s news team. She has been a television reporter in Hawai‘i since 1983 and has won a number of awards and respect from a statewide audience. She spent more than thirty years at KITV, covering beats from government to education and health. Originally from Guam, Cruz is also a co-founder and former Board member and programming chair of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Catherine is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
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