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The Conversation: Managing Tourism as Vaccinations Increase

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State of Hawai‘i
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Lt. Gov. Josh Green on tourism and vaccines during the pandemic; Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth reflects on first 100 days in office and managing tourism; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Pending departure of superintendent Christina Kishimoto; Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard weighs in on CARES Act funds and overtime pay

Lieutenant Governor Josh Green on tourism and vaccines during the pandemic

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Credit Lieutenant Governor Josh Green's Office
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About 28,000 people arrived in Hawai‘i last Saturday, the highest number since the pandemic began. Not only is tourism increasing, but the amount of people with COVID-19 vaccinations as well. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green oversaw the launch of the Safe Travels program about five months ago. By May 1, Green told us that he anticipates 900,000 shots given by the state plus 100,000 by the military. As for a vaccination passport system, he said he does see that happening soon.

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Lieutenant Governor Josh Green

Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth reflects on first 100 days in office and managing tourism

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Credit Mayor Mitch Roth
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We spoke with Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth about managing the coronavirus and his first 100 days in office. Overall, he said the Safe Travels system combined with airport testing has worked well for the island and the tourism industry. At the time of the interview, Roth said there was only one person in the hospital for COVID-19 and no one was in an intensive care unit. 

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Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Pending departure of superintendent Christina Kishimoto  

Christina Kishimoto started as Superintendent of the Hawaii State Department of Education in August 2017. She has announced she will be stepping down on July 30, when her contract would have been up for renewal. Civil Beat education reporter Suevon Lee took a look back at Kishimoto's performance, particularly pre-pandemic when reviews may have been more favorable. Read Lee's article here.

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Honolulu Civil Beat education reporter Suevon Lee

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard weighs in on CARES Act funds and overtime pay

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Credit Cory Lum/Civil Beat
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On Tuesday morning, the Honolulu City Council was to take up a resolution asking for a performance audit of the Honolulu Police Department. Police Chief Susan Ballard spoke to us Monday about overtime pay and equipment purchases made under the CARES Act.

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Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard

Talkback

This month we’ve been asking you to share your last memories of feeling normal before the pandemic. If you have any comments or feedback, let us know by calling the Talkback Line at (808) 792-8217, or recording a voice memo on your smart phone and sending it to talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.

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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