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Mayor’s claim of not using tax deduction garbles truth

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s past use of a property tax exemption for historic homes that allowed him to pay only $100 to $300 for several years has come back to haunt him as the city considers raising property taxes to cover rail deficits. Read More
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Democrats keen to grill Fukumoto on her views

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State Rep. Beth Fukumoto made national news when she announced she’d switch to the Democratic Party after House Republicans ousted her as minority leader for criticizing President Donald Trump. But Democrats aren’t exactly laying the welcome mat. Read More

Legislators apply brakes on Caldwell’s money train

As the Legislature nears its crunch, key lawmakers are showing signs they finally mean what they say about holding Honolulu rail accountable for incessant mismanagement and budget deficits. Read More

Ige ices out state’s No. 2 despite clear need for help

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui’s announced intention to leave his post to run for Maui mayor — possibly before his term ends — exposes a flaw in the way our state government is structured at the top. Read More

Caldwell makes bank from side job at Territorial

Mayor Kirk Caldwell again made between $200,000 and $299,999 in 2016 from his side work as a Territorial Savings Bank director, he reported in his annual financial disclosure. Read More
 

Politics still at the heart of education reinvention

We’ve only exchanged the old school board’s petty politics of indecision and infighting for the grand politics of reinventing education with every new state administration. Read More

Legislature is last hope of digging up true rail cost

With rail at least five years behind schedule and $5 billion over budget, the Legislature is our last hope of playing honest broker by demanding real costs and a sound recovery plan before throwing more good money after bad. Read More

Finally, real state action on our No. 1 crisis: homes

Two state Senate committees are finally trying to put real money behind the state’s so-far anemic attempts to address Hawaii’s affordable-housing crisis, arguably our No. 1 problem. Read More
 

Mayor’s plan brings rail to new level of insanity

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council Chairman Ron Menor think Oahu taxpayers are so rich we can pay not only for a $10 billion rail system that’s $5 billion over budget and climbing, but also for road projects on the neighbor islands. Read More

City needs to prove rail’s worth before funding flows

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is begging the Legislature for another excise tax bailout for Oahu’s runaway rail project, claiming, “This project is just too important to let it die (or) let it stop at Middle Street.” Read More

True secret to marriage is a sense of humor

My wife, Maggie, and I celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary on my writing day, and it seemed inappropriate to spend the day pontificating about my usual subjects. Read More
 

Isle GOP has only itself to blame for poor showing

With the Republican takeover of Washington, D.C., the local GOP is crying about Hawaii being out of step because of our all-Democratic congressional delegation. Yes, Hawaii would probably benefit from having a Republican voice on Capitol Hill, as the late U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong and former U.S. Rep. Pat Saiki once provided. Read More

Voting sends stronger message than ignoring polls

This year’s election season has been so pilau that when my ballot arrived in the mail last week, I felt I should put on a hazmat suit before opening it. Read More

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