The Conversation: Strengthening Social Security in Hawaii

Sep 16, 2020

Big Island Veterans Home; Social Security; Reality Check: DOH Shakeup; Hawaii Defense Economy Website; Pandemic Personal Trainer

Big Island Veterans Home

A team from the Veteran’s Affairs arrives in Hawaii later this week to focus on the high death count at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home in Hilo. HPR’s Ku`uwehi Hiraishi joins us this morning with the latest.


Social Security, Gary Kubota

Social Security - You probably never paid much attention to it until you were approaching retirement age. Here in Hawaii, such was the case for Gary Kubota. He has joined us over the years as a guest here on HPR. The author and playwright began researching social security and a group called the Grey Panthers which encourages activism. Kubota isn't a stranger to activism and helped to keep a Front Street housing project affordable. Here is part of a conversation we had with him last week about his efforts to organize a Grey Panthers chapter here in the islands.

Reality Check: DOH Shakeup

As if dealing with a pandemic wasn’t dramatic enough, we have seen a shakeup at the state Department of Health. Including threats of retaliation to a whistle-blower. That’s the subject of today’s Reality Check. Honolulu Civil Beat’s reporter Stewart Yerton joins us.

Hawaii Defense Economy Website

Follow the money: Here in Hawaii defense spending is described as one of a three legged stool in our economy. To better understand its impact on the business community. There’s a new tool available. The state Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism and the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment have  just launched the new Hawaii Defense Economy website that analyzes DoD contracts and grants awarded in Hawaii. The state’s Defense Industry Specialist John Greene spoke with producer Lillian Tsang about the online project.



Pandemic Personal Trainer

As we continue our look at available jobs and who is hiring, we also turn our attention to those who have started their own business. Roy Yamada was working as a personal trainer at UFC Gym in Kakaako when Hawaii’s first shutdown went into effect. The company laid off workers, so Yamada started his own business. He is a member of the Entrepreneurs Sandbox in Kakaako.  He spoke with The Conversation’s Jason Ubay about pivoting during the crisis.