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

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Catherine Cruz
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HPR

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

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Credit Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit
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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

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Credit Courtesy of the Tomita family
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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

Talkback

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 smartphone and sending it to talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.

Lillian Tsang is Senior Producer with The Conversation. She has been a part of the talk show team since TC first aired on February 14, 2011. Born and raised in Honolulu, she received her BFA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her art career melded with radio after her glass-blowing partner, Anthony Borgioli, introduced her to the college radio station, KTUH. Bitten by the broadcasting bug, Lillian went on to produce and host a her own show “Planet of Sound” for almost a decade. It was a fellow KTUH DJ who told her about a job opening at Hawaiʻi Public Radio as an overnight/weekend board operator. She's since transitioned to a full-time day job and happily part of the HPR ʻohana.
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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