The Conversation: Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Jun 20, 2018

Caldwell vetoes surge pricing; Eroding Support for Democracy; Potential Sites for Missile Defense System; Edokko

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Ride Sharing Apps avoid Bill 35 Regulation

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The long-simmering dispute between Honolulu’s taxi companies and ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft came to a head yesterday with Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of Bill 35, a measure that would have regulated so-called “surge pricing” by ride-sharing companies and made them subject to increased regulation. We asked Uber’s representative to speak on our program; the company sent us this written statement from Tabatha Chow, Uber senior operations manager for Hawaii: "Mayor Caldwell’s veto protects consumer choice and earning opportunities on Oahu. We look forward to continuing to serve our community." To get the cab companies’ reaction, we spoke earlier this morning with Howard Higa, CEO of TheCab.

 


 

Public’s View on Authoritarian Government

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We’ve been hearing discussion of the limits of presidential power for decades; it comes to a head, in one way or another, with each new presidency. The current administration is not the first to test the limits of that power, but it does so in an increasingly volatile environment, one in which the press, the traditional watchdog, is being threatened as never before. Has the American public’s attitude toward authoritarian government softened as its regard for democracy has declined? Neal Milner, the Conversation’s Contributing Editor, has more.

Civil Beat Reality Check

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Recent polls of Hawaii Republican Party members show John Carroll, an 88-year old candidate who has run five times before, as its front-runner for the gubernatorial nomination. To party members who are trying to make Hawaii’s perennial also-rans into a viable contender in today’s elections, this is a troubling sign, as Stewart Yerton tells us in today’s Reality Check from Civil Beat.

Proposed Missile Defense Radar

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Given the recent diplomatic thaw between the U.S. and North Korea, it’s easy to forget that those countries’ leaders were threatening mutual annihilation last year. As part of that escalation, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency began exploring the possibility of constructing a ground-based defensive radar in Hawaii. All this week the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is holding public meetings in the communities near the proposed building sites. The first one was last night at Sunset Elementary School on the North Shore. The Conversation’s Ryan Finnerty was in attendance and brought back this report.

Growing Up a Stateless Foreigner in Wartime Japan

Credit Isaac Shapiro

Today’s world is filling up with stateless refugees, and few of us can imagine what their lives are like -- but Isaac Shapiro can. He’s 87 years old now, and an American citizen, but he spent the early years of his life in the Jewish immigrant community of Harbin, in Manchuria, China. In the years leading up to the Second World War, he and his family lived in Japan as “stateless foreigners.” He spent the war years in Tokyo, only to be adopted by an American family and brought to Hawaii in his teens. It’s a remarkable life story, as told in his memoir Edokko: Growing Up a Stateless Foreigner in Wartime Japan.