Today marks the beginning of Digital Saturdays, the one day a week on which The Garden Island newspaper is now available exclusively online. Our last printed Saturday edition of TGI was May 2.
We are still printing TGI six days a week — Monday through Friday and Sunday.
On Saturdays, you’ll still get the same amount of news you’ve come to expect from TGI, it’ll just be available only in digital formats. We’re also rearranging Friday and Sunday papers to make sure you get your Saturday horoscopes, puzzles and answers to the Friday crossword.
We know that many of our subscribers value reading their news from a printed paper every day, and look forward to picking up that printed copy from their driveway or local corner store on Saturday mornings.
Some of our readers will be disappointed that they won’t be able to get that paper copy of TGI on Saturdays. The staff at TGI shares that disappointment, but it is a necessary, company-wide step we’ve taken to ensure we’ll be able to continue delivering community news to you daily. Our parent company O‘ahu Publications Inc., also publishes the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and both Hawai‘i Island daily newspapers. Company President Dennis Francis touched on the Saturday subject in an early April column in the Star Advertiser (bit.ly/2URDcGz), and I further detailed the switch to Digital Saturdays in an April 28 column in TGI (tinyurl.com/ybho6ocv).
For those of you reading this in the digital replica TGI version at thegardenisland.com, congratulations. You’ve figured out how to access the unlimited, digital, page-by-page print replica that is included with your subscription. Even on the six days when printed versions of The Garden Island are available on newsstands or through delivery to your door, you can access an exact replica online.
For those who are still figuring out how Digital Saturdays work, daily print replicas of The Garden Island newspaper are available online and can be accessed by your computer, phone, tablet — most devices that connect to the internet. Digital access is included in home-delivery subscription packages.
Online, you can flip through pages just like you would through the printed version, print out stories, ads or puzzles, and share stories through email or social media easily.
Check out frequently-asked questions about the print replicas and the new switch to Digital Saturdays at thegardenisland.com/digital-saturdays-faqs/.
The past two months have been a long haul, Kaua‘i, for all of us, starting even before the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on the island March 14.
The World Health Organization ended January 2020 by declaring the COVID-19 virus a “public-health emergency of international concern,” and we watched the world react from our protected little island in the middle of the Pacific.
Then, Mayor Derek Kawakami declared a state of emergency on March 4. Major gatherings were curbed March 16, a few days after the first two virus cases were confirmed on Kaua‘i, and on March 20, Kawakami’s 9 p.m. curfew went into effect. Then came the March 25 stay-at-home and work-from-home orders and policed checkpoints enforcing those orders.
The Garden Island newspaper furloughed some employees, cut hours, and made changes to the content of our paper, but managed to keep the front doors open in Lihu‘e (following social-distancing orders).
We were deemed an “essential business,” and, thankfully so, as the public’s right to free-flowing information should always be preserved. Media was one of the few industries exempt from the stay-at-home and work-from-home orders. In the span of just about two months, lives changed. Restaurateurs and retailers, small-business owners and local families have been out of work for long enough to significantly impact the bottom line. Some business owners have closed their doors for good.
Kaua‘i will be forever changed.
There have been no active cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i since April 28 (as of the publishing of this column). In total, the island has seen 21 confirmed cases of the virus, and all of those people have either recovered or returned home to the mainland. And, right now, things are starting to look brighter. Businesses are opening back up. The contraflow cones are back up along Kuhio Highway in the mornings. People are going back to work. Health officials warn of a possible second wave, and government officials warn the full-fledged stay-at-home orders and curfews could be reinstated, if necessary. But the activity level and the spirits of Kaua‘i citizens seem to have risen a bit.
But still, Kaua‘i will be forever changed.
As an island community and as part of humanity in general, we’re all peering into the future and wondering: “What’s next?” That’s a conversation in which every citizen should take part, and once which our smartest, most-informed residents should direct. We’re encouraged to see some of those people representing their specific sectors on the Kaua‘i Economic Recovery Strategy Teams working on reopening the island. And we’re looking forward to covering the reshaping of a post-COVID Kaua‘i.
When it comes to the changes at TGI, it could be temporary. Time will tell.
One thing we know for certain is we will continue to deliver community news to our readers daily.
Mahalo to all of our readers and we’ll see you online on Saturdays.
Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or email@example.com.