The Conversation: Senator Brian Schatz on His New Leadership Roles

Feb 18, 2021

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz on transportation, Hawaiian homelands and more; East-West Center fellow talks latest on Myanmar; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Lawmakers try to shift tax burden to non-residents; President Truman's aloha shirt collection

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz on transportation, Hawaiian homelands and more

Sen. Brian Schatz was recently named chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Appropriations Subcommitee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. In this wide-ranging discussion, Schatz talks transportation, Hawaiian homelands and more.

Credit Wikimedia/Ninjastrikers

  East-West Center fellow talks latest developments on Myanmar

Myanmar is strategically important to the U.S. It's in a critical geopolitical region some describe as an area that could bea  back door to the Indian Ocean for China. It is often referred to under the One Belt, One Road initiative by China to expand its reach in the region. Miemie Winn Byrd is an adjunct fellow at the East-West Center and has been monitoring the military coup, the growing demonstrations and the arrest of leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Lawmakers try to shift tax burden to non-residents

A proposal by Hawaii House leaders would reduce or eliminate state income taxes, and shift part of the tax burden to non-residents. Underlying the proposal is a sense among some lawmakers that Hawaii's existing system of taxation is far too generous to out-of-state investors who snap up homes and other property here, and then benefit form the lowest property tax rates in the nation. Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair tells us more about the bills. Click here to read Kevin Dayton's story at

  President Truman's aloha shirt collection

American presidents are commonly seen dressed for business - wearing a suit and tie, and maybe a hat. Even in Hawaii, President Obama was rarely seen in the Island's business and formal wear - the aloha shirt. However, one president did have an affinity for the tropical print shirts. Harry S. Truman served as president from 1945 to 1953, and during his administration he began wearing aloha shirts and similar sport shirts while on working vacations in Florida. Kristen Stalling, museum curator of the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site in Independence, Missouri, which includes the home he shared with his wife, Bess. It includes over 60 sport shirts - four of them aloha shirts form Hawaii manufacturers.