The Conversation: Kauai County Back On Track Following Hurricane Douglas

Jul 28, 2020

Kauai County check-in; Possible Japan-Hawaii travel bubble; Updating Hawaii's voter registry; International students face uncertain future; New Jones Act study released


Kauai County check-in

Hurricane Douglas gave us something else to think about for several days. County officials are still reassessing the state's storm preparedness but for many, attention is turning back to school readiness. We talked to Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami about the school situation as well as weathering the hurrican as some 74 people sought refuge in four designated shelters.


Possible Japan-Hawaii travel bubble

The big economic news is the announcement from Governor David Ige and House Speaker Scott Saiki that Hawaii is on Japan’s safe travel list. For months the state has been working to reach an agreement on a travel bubble to allow some visitors between our shores.  We reached out to the Honolulu Marathon’s Jim Barahal for what the news may mean for the December road race.


Updating Hawaii's voter registry

Why are ballots still being sent out to people who have died or moved away? Click here to read Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Christina Jedra's story at CivilBeat.org.


International students face uncertain future

The new school year is right around the corner and while most attention has been on the possible reopening of Pre K through 12, universities are also grappling with whether to reopen or transition to online learning.  For international students studying in the U.S., this has created a potentially serious legal problem.  


New Jones Act study released

Hurricane Douglas has underscored just how vital our shipping and ports are. Harbors across the state were locked down as the storm approached, and while they reopened without fanfare, any damage could have caused interruption and delay for incoming goods.

An important consideration for our shipping industry is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. While critics say the 100-year-old law is one reason for Hawaii’s high cost of living, a recent study published by the American Maritime Partnership found that consumer goods in Honolulu were only half a percent higher compared to Los Angeles.

The Conversation’s Jason Ubay spoke with John Reeve, the lead economist on the study.

Click here to read the study produced by economists Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics in Honolulu and Reeve & Associates, a management and economic consulting firm based in Massachusetts.