The Conversation: State Funds Need To Be Replenished As Unemployment Claims Surpass 100,000

Mar 31, 2020

Hawaii unemployment insurance claims over 100,000; State Consumer Protector warns of stimulus check scams; Honolulu newspaper lays off employees amid pandemic; COVID-19 drive through testing expands; Talk story with the first Native Hawaiian to serve as U.S. ambassador

Hawaii unemployment insurance claims pass 100,000 mark

Hawaii reported unemployment insurance claims of 101,021 last week alone, bringing the total to 134,000. We spoke with the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Scott Murakami about technical problems filers have faced and how the load of claimants could soon deplete the unemployment trust fund. Click here to go to the state DLIR's website and click here for its uninsurance claims page.

Credit Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Watch out for stimulus check scams

Steve Levins, executive director of Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection, is warning consumers that scammers are already trolling to get their hands on the stimulus checks from the federal government.

  • Click here for the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection website
  • Click here for the IRS website
  • Click here for the Federal Trade Commission's website
  • Click here for the USDA's warning of scams targeting SNAP recipients

Honolulu newspaper lays off employees amid pandemic

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has furloughed and reduced the work schedules of some of its staff as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put a tight squeeze on the local economy. Civil Beat Reporter Yoohyun Jung looks at the local newspaper and the broader picture of print media during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to read the story at

Credit CDC via AP

COVID-19 drive through testing expands

Dr. Scott Miscovitch of Premier Medical has been conducting drive through COVID-19 testing on Oahu, the Big Island and Molokai. We caught up with him in Kakaako last weekend, where more than 1,000 people were screened.

Talk story with the first Native Hawaiian to serve as U.S. ambassador

Lauren Kahea Moriarty was the first Native Hawaiian to serve as U.S. Ambassador. She also served on the White House pandemic flu task force. She tells us her thoughts on the latest health crisis and growing world tensions.