Ryan Finnerty

Producer

Ryan Finnerty is a producer on Hawaiʻi Public Radio's local public affairs talk show The Conversation where he reports on local and state politics, business, economics, the military, science, and the environment. His work has been featured nationwide on American Public Media's Marketplace Morning Report and C-SPAN Radio's View from the States project. Before coming to Hawaiʻi Public Radio, Ryan was an officer in the U.S. Army stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oʻahu. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in economics.   

Oakstreetstudio / Wikimedia Commons

Both Chamiande University and Hawaii Pacific University have plans to take over the doctoral psychology program from the now defunct Argosy University Hawaii. But uncertainty over accreditation has left students feeling vulnerable.

Hawaii Public Health Institute / Kick Butts Day

Eighty students from six different islands rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest the high rates of teen vaping seen in Hawaiʻi's schools. According to the Hawaiʻi Public Health  Insititute, one in four Hawaiʻi middle school students has tried an e-cigarette device.

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Southwest Impacts on Hawaii County; Regulating Vaping; Downtown Art Center; Orchid Industry In Decline

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Members of the Honolulu City Council’s Planning Committee advanced two measures that would represent a sweeping change to the way short-term rentals are regulated on Oahu. The move comes in the wake of a court decision upholding similar regulation in Santa Monica, California.  

Brian Harris / Public Domain / Flickr

Managing Molokini; Medical Residencies; Regulating TVUs; Hawaiian Civic Clubs

Courtesy of Chaminade University

Chaminade University has gained approval from a court appointed manager to continue the doctoral program in clinical psychology previously run by the now defunct Argosy University Hawaii. The Argosy program was one of only two in the state that produced doctoral-level clinical psychologists.

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Hawaii State Capitol 50th Anniversary; Kaneshiro Impeachment Status; Argosy University Closure Debrief

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When Argosy University abruptly closed its nationwide network of campuses last week, 800 Hawaii students suddenly found themselves adrift. Argosy was home to one of the state’s two programs for producing doctoral level-clinical psychologists. Dozens of students were faced with the prospect of having to completely restart their training, which can take as long as six years.

U.S. Navy photo by Marshall Fukuki

More than $300 million in funding for military construction projects in Hawaii could potentially be diverted to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. After declaring a national emergency, President Trump directed the Defense Department to identify projects from which funds could be repurposed.

accarrino / Flickr

In 2012, the city of Hoboken, New Jersey experienced flooding in excess of 9 feet above normal levels. The city of 50,000 people, which sits just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, had sustained a nearly direct hit from a Category 3 hurricane. One source of flooding was a long-forgotten river, which had been paved over decades earlier.

Argosy University Facebook Page

Argosy University is expected to permanently close its doors today. The private university has 22 campuses around the country, including three in Hawaii. Earlier this week, Argosy said it would likely cease operations at the end of the week, sending students and faculty scrambling.

Holly Richards / US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands

Overtourism; Micronesian Kingfisher; East African Court of Justice; Honolulu Biennial  

Wikimedia Commons

At a time when international institutions created by the West are increasingly under fire from growing nationalist sentiments, a group of nations in East Africa is pursuing greater unity. The East African Community began as a trade bloc between three countries. It has since expanded to include six member natinos, a common passport, and its own parliament and court system.

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A proposal currently with the state Senate would drastically increase funding for Hawaii’s public schools. SB 1474 would raise the state’s general excise tax, or GET, by 0.5%. It’s estimated that the increase would generate up to $350 million in revenue annually, with $200 million going to the Department of Education.

Wikipedia / Public Domain

Around the country, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies seize millions of dollars’ worth of property every year. That property is then sold and used to expand the budgets of those police agencies. A recent Supreme Court decision may signal a change in how the process can be applied.

Trip Advisor

This week the nation's highest court announced it would hear a case concerning the discharge from a wastewater treatment plant in Lahaina. The case has potentially huge impacts for water pollution rules nationwide. At the center of the debate is how to regulate treated wastewater being injected underground.

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Hawaii lawmakers are missing out on millions in potential tax revenue. That is the conclusion of a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The ITEP found that a loophole in Hawaii's tax code allows multinational corporations to avoid paying state corporate income taxes, resulting in a loss of $38 million in revenue annually.

Joint Base Langley-Eustis

Opioid addiction is a major problem in some parts of the country. That addiction is often a result of a legal prescription for opioid painkillers following an injury or surgery.

Two recent studies have identified that a common surgical procedure may be contributing to painkiller addiction: wisdom teeth removal. The problem is worse among those under 18.

Blake Kitamura is an oral surgeon in Honolulu and discussed the findings.

 

John F. Williams / U.S. Navy

An Alaska-based company wants to build a spaceport on the east side of Hawaiʻi Island. The plan is still in a phase of assessment, but it already faces some local opposition. And there are also some voices of skepticism from Alaska.

Courtesy of Alaska Aerospace

An Alaska-based company wants to build a spaceport in East Hawaii Island. As it turns out, Puna is one of the best locations in the United States from which to launch rockets. But local residents are not so enthusiastic about the idea. Residents and officials in the company's hometown reported a complex relationship with Alaska Aerospace.

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Officials with the City and County of Honolulu want to build more affordable rental housing. But rather than directly fund construction, they have prepared a package of incentives to make those type of projects more appealing to developers. 

Ryan Finnerty

Educators don’t normally deceive their students, but every once in a while, they have a good reason to do so. That was the case at one local school when a staff member was the secret winner of an award often called “the Oscar of teaching.” A former teacher and current adminsitrator at Honolulu's Ala Wai Elementary School was the winner of a Milken Educator Award.

Ryan Finnerty

The Falls of Clyde began sinking in Honolulu harbor last week. The 280-foot iron-hulled sailing ship has been moored in Honolulu Harbor for decades, physically deteriorating in the process. A deadline is fast approaching to remove the vessel, but the plan to do so has yet to be finalized.

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Among the 43 states that have a publicly funded preschool program, Hawaii ranks last with less than 5% of 4-year-olds enrolled. That's according to a 2017 report from the National Institute for Early Education Research. On Wednesday, Governor David Ige signed a plan that aims to expand access to public pre-k.

Ryan Finnerty

Hawaii's oldest grocery cooperative has launched a fundraising campaign to save itself from closing. At the end of 2018, Kokua Market was on the brink of financial insolvency. The company’s governing board elected a new chairwoman who has launched a last-ditch effort to reorganize the business for survival in the highly competitive market for health food.

Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

The effort to control non-native species in Hawaii was dealt a significant setback by the 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government. Inspectors at ports of entry remained on duty, but research and mitigation efforts into previously established invasive species saw major reductions in available resources.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle / U.S. Coast Guard

After 35 days, the longest government shutdown in American history concluded today with a bipartisan funding agreement. The U.S. Coast Guard took the extraordinary step of reallocating operational funds to pay its uniformed servicemembers on January 1st, but those servicemembers were working without pay ever since.

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Marcos Settlement; Government Shutdown; HPR Reporter Debrief/Hawaiian Politics; Changing Face of Wahiawā

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The 27-day old  partial shutdown of the federal government may soon hit the wallets of Americans who are not federal workers. The Federal Aviation Adiministration is one of the agencies operating without funding. That means the thousands of FAA air traffic controllers who manage U.S. airspace are working without pay. If they start to retire, quit, or take leave in large numbers consumers will likely see higher prices and flight delays.

American Federation of Government Employees / Flickr

In December of 2018, a dispuite between President Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for a wall on the southern border led to the longest federal government shutdown in American history. 800,000 federal workers across the country were furloughed or forced to work without pay. This series explores how the shutdown impacted institutions, programs, and people in Hawaii. 

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