comscore Off the News: Hawaii’s economy still struggles | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: Hawaii’s economy still struggles

Experts hoped that when emergency benefits would be ending, Hawaii’s economy would have dodged a downturn. But Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, on Monday told a state House committee that COVID-19’s delta variant is forcing a recalculation.

Instead, Bonham said, the jobs recovery is only 40% complete. About 153,000 jobs were lost by May 2020: Hawaii is still down 94,000 jobs, with near-record underemployment as well. A note of cheer to add, anyone?

Gerard Puana pursues damages

Two years after the federal criminal conspiracy convictions of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, the victim in the case, Gerard Puana (Katherine’s uncle), is still pursuing damages in civil court from the city and former law enforcement officers.

Just compensation in this tangled case of police- and-family misconduct is overdue for Puana, who filed an initial lawsuit in 2016, alleging he was wrongfully arrested, incarcerated and maliciously prosecuted in a pair of criminal cases. He says the cases were meant to thwart his efforts to recover money he believed Katherine Kealoha had swindled from him and his mother, Florence Puana.

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