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The Conversation: Aloha to 2020 and a Look Ahead to 2021

Image by geralt on Pixabay

UHERO's 2021 economic forecast; Aloha to Sherry Bracken, retiring from radio; Reality Check with Civil Beat: $1.7B in federal relief funds on the way to Hawaii; Thoughts on the year ahead


  UHERO's 2021 economic forecast

As we head into 2021, one of the questions we all have is, "How is Hawaii's economy going to do in the new year?" We talked about that with one of the state's leading economists - Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. He's also on the state Council on Revenues and he's part of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. We spoke recently about the year ahead, but before President Trump had signed the latest federal COVID relief bill. Bonham says that continued federal support is a critical part of 2021. And while economic forecasting is always a tricky business, he does see some positives coming later in the year.

Carl Bonham, executive director, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization
Credit Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay / Pixabay license
Pixabay license

  Aloha to Sherry Bracken, retiring from radio

Sherry Bracken has been an HPR Contributor based on Hawaii Island since 2005. She insists she will be retiring from a career in radio broadcast. Bracken gives us an update on the latest on the Big Island, thoughts on new Mayor Mitch Roth and the future of tourism.

HPR Contributor Sherry Bracken

Reality Check with Civil Beat: $1.7B in federal relief funds on the way to Hawaii

Hawaii is poised to receive nearly $2 billion as part of the latest round of federal coronavirus relief aid, but it's already clear it won't stave off future financial pain. Hawaii Gov. David Ige acknowledged that while the relief package helps, it won't be enough to save government workers from summertime furloughs due to what's estimated to be a $1.4 billion budget shortfall for each of the next four years. Civil Beat reporter Nick Grube joins us from Washington, D.C. to tells us what Hawaii's congressional delegation thinks of the relief package. Click here to read the story at

Civil Beat reporter Nick Grube
Credit Courtesy Ka Hale Hoaka

  Ka Hale Hoaka brings Hawaiian culture via online learning

A new Hawaiian learning school is hoping to reach people at their homes - whether that's here in the Islands or around the globe. Ka Hale Hoaka was launched online this year as the pandemic moved most student virtual. A new keiki program aimed at kids ages five to 11 teaches Hawaiian language, music, chant, hula, arts and crats. Maile Naehu is a Native Hawaiian educator and cofounder of Ka Hale Hoaka. She spoke with The Conversation's Jason Ubay about the genesis for the program. Click here for Ka Hale Hoaka's website, and they can also be found on Facebook and YouTube.

Maile Naehu, educator and cofounder of Ka Hale Hoaka

Thoughts on the year ahead

As we close out a difficult and challenging 2020, we wanted to share some thoughts on the year ahead. And we're starting with two public servants who are in transition with the change of the year - mayors who have served their counties for years. Now former Mayor Harry Kim of the County of Hawaii talks about the importance of hope, but also of gratitude. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell still has another couple of days in office, but he talks about starting 2021 on an optimistic note. And we hear from some listeners who wanted to share their gratitude.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim

Stay Connected
Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
Jason Ubay is a news editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at
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