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The Conversation: Finishing Rail to Ala Moana; Honoring Local Veteran Who Died of COVID-19

Catherine Cruz

Pro-Honolulu rail group wants planned Ala Moana endpoint; Immigrant economic contributions to Hawaii; Reality Check with Civil Beat; Honoring a Vietnam War veteran who died of COVID-19

Pro-Honolulu rail group wants the project to continue to Ala Moana | Special Series

Credit Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit

Developer Stanford Carr, chairman of Move Oahu Forward, has long supported the Honolulu rail project. The group maintains it doesn’t make sense to stop the project at Middle Street and advocates for completing the route all the way to Ala Moana --- even though rail critics are calling on a pause because of concerns about the soaring costs. 

Stanford Carr
Stanford Carr, chairman of Move Oahu Forward

Report highlights immigrant contributions to the local economy

A new report from a nonpartisan immigration research group found that in 2018, immigrants contributed more than $17 billion to Hawaii's economy. We talked to Mo Kantner of the New American Economy and Catherine Chen of the Hawaii Coalition for Immigrant Rights about the latest findings.

Mo Kantner
Mo Kantner of the New American Economy, and Catherine Chen of the Hawaii Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Broadband internet | Full Article

Broadband internet in Hawaii's isolated communities was the subject of Wednesday's Reality Check with the Honolulu Civil Beat. Reporter Kevin Dayton had the story.

Reality Check for May 19, 2021
Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Kevin Dayton

Vietnam War veteran from Hilo who died of COVID-19 to be honored | Event Link

Credit Courtesy of the Tomita family


Last year, 27 lives were claimed by a COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veteran’s Home in Hilo. Among them was Melvin “Mike” Tomita, the sixth resident to die of the virus. Tomita's family remembers him as a generous cook, who loved talking story and playing music. The decorated Vietnam War veteran's story will be part of a National Day of Remembrance event tomorrow, honoring nursing home lives lost during this pandemic. 

Daughter of Melvin Tomita
Roxsanne Ruff-Tomita


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Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at ltsang@hawaiipublicradio.org.
Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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