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Our View

GEORGE F. LEE / 2016
                                The property at 690 Pohukaina Street is currently home to the construction office and parking lot of Keauhou Place and Fisher Hawaii. It’s been eyed for years for a school and mixed-use development. It’s one of three sites that show promise for the DOE to collect fees from developers in high-growth areas to offset the building of new schools.

Fees needed to build schools along rail line

GEORGE F. LEE / 2016
                                The property at 690 Pohukaina Street is currently home to the construction office and parking lot of Keauhou Place and Fisher Hawaii. It’s been eyed for years for a school and mixed-use development. It’s one of three sites that show promise for the DOE to collect fees from developers in high-growth areas to offset the building of new schools.

Updated on  February 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm
As in any wise college or educational savings plan, it’s good to contribute to the fund steadily and use time to help grow the needed money pot. That same concept should apply to the certain need for public schools that will be growing along the urban core of the rail transit route. Read More
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2016
                                Since the city began enforcing a controversial 2014 ban on people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks in Waikiki, the so-called “sit-lie” law has expanded to cover 15 communities islandwide. On Wednesday, the Council advanced two bills to expand sit-lie even further in areas of Kalihi and Iwilei (Bill 13), and Ala Moana and McCully-Moiliili (Bill 20).

Prompt homeless to get needed help

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2016
                                Since the city began enforcing a controversial 2014 ban on people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks in Waikiki, the so-called “sit-lie” law has expanded to cover 15 communities islandwide. On Wednesday, the Council advanced two bills to expand sit-lie even further in areas of Kalihi and Iwilei (Bill 13), and Ala Moana and McCully-Moiliili (Bill 20).

Updated on  February 24, 2017 at 6:04 pm
The city’s policy of “compassionate disruption” — clearing homeless people and their belongings from public sidewalks — appears to be gaining traction as a routine practice. Read More
COURTESY DLNR
                                The land on the upper slopes of Haleakala on Maui that the DLNR is replacing includes 43,000 acres of grasslands within the Kahikinui State Forest Reserve, above, and Nakula Natural Area Reserve. Because reforestation efforts can leave the state with a hefty bill, the agency is looking to enter the carbon credit market as a way to help pay for ecosystem overhaul.

Give forestry plan a chance to grow

COURTESY DLNR
                                The land on the upper slopes of Haleakala on Maui that the DLNR is replacing includes 43,000 acres of grasslands within the Kahikinui State Forest Reserve, above, and Nakula Natural Area Reserve. Because reforestation efforts can leave the state with a hefty bill, the agency is looking to enter the carbon credit market as a way to help pay for ecosystem overhaul.

Updated on  February 24, 2017 at 12:58 am
Because reforestation efforts can leave the state with a hefty bill, the agency is looking to enter the fledgling carbon credit market as a way to help pay for ecosystem overhaul. Read More
COURTESY PIXABAY
                                Some farm-focused groups argue that any state ban in advance of federal action would be costly. Local farmers would be forced to pour time and money into other pest-control options, giving mainland farmers still using chlorpyrifos an economic advantage.

Take hard look at insecticide use

COURTESY PIXABAY
                                Some farm-focused groups argue that any state ban in advance of federal action would be costly. Local farmers would be forced to pour time and money into other pest-control options, giving mainland farmers still using chlorpyrifos an economic advantage.

Updated on  February 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm
Over the next few months, state lawmakers should take a hard look at chlorpyrifos and the scope of the proposed state and federal bans. Read More
COURTESY PIXABAY
                                The politicians had better rethink the wisdom of pushing more than a dozen new taxes on a weary workforce already reeling from the rising cost of living. Unless they reverse this trend they may be fueling a potential tax revolt.

Citizens already feel tax-fatigued

COURTESY PIXABAY
                                The politicians had better rethink the wisdom of pushing more than a dozen new taxes on a weary workforce already reeling from the rising cost of living. Unless they reverse this trend they may be fueling a potential tax revolt.

Updated on  February 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm
The Legislature seems to be in a kind of a fiscal panic, with the downward revision in projected state revenues that came to light in recent weeks. Read More

Kakaako affordable housing rules need redo

There is a stark reality facing Honolulu, a looming crisis that defies simple solutions. Of course, that doesn’t mean leaders can responsibly throw up their hands, but instead must push hard to make incremental gains. Read More
Updated on  February 20, 2017 at 7:24 pm
 
COURTESY ALDEN ALAYVILLA / THE GARDEN ISLAND
                                Over 100 people gathered at Kilauea at an educational event to raise awareness of the Ala Loa Trail early this month.

Locate, preserve old Hawaii trails

COURTESY ALDEN ALAYVILLA / THE GARDEN ISLAND
                                Over 100 people gathered at Kilauea at an educational event to raise awareness of the Ala Loa Trail early this month.

Updated on  February 18, 2017 at 7:57 pm
The state is tasked with the daunting detective work of verifying the twists and turns of these paths, which have been largely erased by land use and nature. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Senate Bill 221 would authorize Honolulu and three neighbor island counties to set up the “photo red-light imaging detector systems” to use mounted cameras to snap pictures of vehicles as they run red lights.

Give green light to red-light cams

STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Senate Bill 221 would authorize Honolulu and three neighbor island counties to set up the “photo red-light imaging detector systems” to use mounted cameras to snap pictures of vehicles as they run red lights.

Updated on  February 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm
A new bill would establish a network of mounted cameras for traffic enforcement. They would snap photos of license plates within an intersection once the traffic signal flashes red. Read More
 
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Pilaa Beach is owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who last month dropped lawsuits seeking to buy out Native Hawaiians who own small parcels of land within his 700-acre Kauai estate. HB 860 aims to amend Hawaii’s quiet title law, to give descendants more of a fighting chance to retain their land entitlements if they so choose.

‘Quiet title’ law not good enough for Hawaiians

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Pilaa Beach is owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who last month dropped lawsuits seeking to buy out Native Hawaiians who own small parcels of land within his 700-acre Kauai estate. HB 860 aims to amend Hawaii’s quiet title law, to give descendants more of a fighting chance to retain their land entitlements if they so choose.

Updated on  February 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm
A mere month after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg inadvertently rained attention onto the conundrum of kuleana land ownership, the Legislature is taking some needed, overdue steps toward aiding Native Hawaiians and others against the forced sales of such legacy lands. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER / 2016
                                Oahu needs some 24,000 affordable housing units to meet pent-up demand, but the marketplace is adding only 2,000 to 3,000 units to the supply annually, with most priced in the luxury bracket.

City, developers must add affordable homes

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2016
                                Oahu needs some 24,000 affordable housing units to meet pent-up demand, but the marketplace is adding only 2,000 to 3,000 units to the supply annually, with most priced in the luxury bracket.

Updated on  February 16, 2017 at 6:05 pm
How city leaders handle immediate hard choices about Oahu’s housing crisis will significantly shape the island’s future. Read More
COURTESY PHOTO BY SENIOR CHIEF MASS COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST MICHAEL B. LEWIS / 2014
                                A close-up of the wet spot in the concrete below Tank 5 at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility.

State should act on Navy fuel tanks

COURTESY PHOTO BY SENIOR CHIEF MASS COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST MICHAEL B. LEWIS / 2014
                                A close-up of the wet spot in the concrete below Tank 5 at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility.

Updated on  February 16, 2017 at 12:40 am
There are few resources as critical to Hawaii, and deserving of protection, than its freshwater supply. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 2013
                                Senate Bill 1121 aims to close the loophole with an amendment that would limit variances to cases in which solar water heating is “impracticable and cost-prohibitive, and if no renewable energy technology system can be substituted as the primary energy source for heating water.”

Close solar water heater loophole

STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 2013
                                Senate Bill 1121 aims to close the loophole with an amendment that would limit variances to cases in which solar water heating is “impracticable and cost-prohibitive, and if no renewable energy technology system can be substituted as the primary energy source for heating water.”

Updated on  February 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm
There’s a gaping loophole in the state law requiring new homes to be built with solar water heaters. And if the Legislature fails to stitch together a stronger variance provision, it will set back progress toward Hawaii’s clean energy aspirations. Read More
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                This is the former Bowl O Drome in Moiliili that fronts Isenberg St., now used as a base yard by a tow truck company that leases the property from Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

DHHL not ready to upgrade land

DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                This is the former Bowl O Drome in Moiliili that fronts Isenberg St., now used as a base yard by a tow truck company that leases the property from Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Updated on  February 13, 2017 at 7:10 pm
Sometimes what’s required to jumpstart a stalled project is not more taxpayer funds but a reordering of priorities. Read More
COURTESY COURTYARD MARRIOTT
                                There’s a measure, introduced in 2015 but revived in the current Council cycle, that includes a section expanding allowances for signs. The bill has garnered support from business interests, including Marriott Courtyard Oahu North Shore. The new hotel’s general manager, David Betham, called the current sign “insufficient and difficult for our guests to see.”

Don’t let larger signs onto Oahu

COURTESY COURTYARD MARRIOTT
                                There’s a measure, introduced in 2015 but revived in the current Council cycle, that includes a section expanding allowances for signs. The bill has garnered support from business interests, including Marriott Courtyard Oahu North Shore. The new hotel’s general manager, David Betham, called the current sign “insufficient and difficult for our guests to see.”

Updated on  February 10, 2017 at 8:50 pm
Honolulu should continue to stand firmly against erosions of its valuable sign ordinance. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this June 2015 file photo, a hexacopter drone is flown during a drone demonstration at a farm in Cordova, Md. The use of drones in Hawaii is expected to continue growing, and the possibilities are boundless, for good or ill.

Move carefully to regulate drones

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this June 2015 file photo, a hexacopter drone is flown during a drone demonstration at a farm in Cordova, Md. The use of drones in Hawaii is expected to continue growing, and the possibilities are boundless, for good or ill.

Updated on  February 10, 2017 at 6:07 pm
The high-pitched whine of the speedy aircraft has become a more common feature in Hawaii skies, especially along spectacular ridge trails and shorelines. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this Dec. 2013 file photo, Amazon.com employees organize packages at one of its fulfillment centers on “Cyber Monday.” The dominant online retailer has opted to collect the sales taxes in the states that have them. Hawaii is excluded along with five other states that similarly lack a sales tax. House Bill 345 is an attempt to change that.

GET should apply to internet sales

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this Dec. 2013 file photo, Amazon.com employees organize packages at one of its fulfillment centers on “Cyber Monday.” The dominant online retailer has opted to collect the sales taxes in the states that have them. Hawaii is excluded along with five other states that similarly lack a sales tax. House Bill 345 is an attempt to change that.

Updated on  February 9, 2017 at 7:29 pm
Hawaii should assert its claim on online GET taxes by passing clear legislation. That should bring the major players to the table to negotiate further, settling tax law in this contentious area at last. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 2016
                                The government needs to find ways to place public restrooms where the homeless, and the public at large, can access them and where they can be secured. The problem is especially acute in the Downtown-Chinatown area, where restrooms are almost entirely within private, commercial premises, most of which close relatively early.

Add restrooms instead of fines

STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 2016
                                The government needs to find ways to place public restrooms where the homeless, and the public at large, can access them and where they can be secured. The problem is especially acute in the Downtown-Chinatown area, where restrooms are almost entirely within private, commercial premises, most of which close relatively early.

Updated on  February 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm
Legislating civilized behavior has limited success, especially if the effort obscures a potentially more effective path to a solution. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Charter schools need to work with commission

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Updated on  February 7, 2017 at 6:06 pm
A recent state BOE report that dings the commission for lack of strategic vision serves as a warning that despite an ongoing effort to draw clear lines of accountability and authority. Read More

Use tax surcharge exclusively for rail

Regardless of where they stand on the city’s elevated rail project, voters must be livid about Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s latest attempt to secure the added funds needed for the project: a big, unauthorized giveaway of taxpayer funds. Read More
Updated on  February 6, 2017 at 7:20 pm

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