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Off the News

For Thursday, November 1, 2012


A cool lesson in solar energy

We don't like the state Department of Education doing a lot of gambling with taxpayer money, but let's face it: Installing photovoltaic solar panels seems to be the ultimate safe bet.

The DOE proposes to install photovoltaic panels on the roofs of every public school. Given that Hawaii stands alone in the country with its statewide school district, this could rank among the largest solar installations overall.

With all ratepayers facing rising electricity bills — the DOE's is up to $47 million annually — this kind of investment should be a no-brainer. At least it would be a very cool, very big science fair project, more spectacular than that old standby, turning a potato into a battery.

Saving $5 million on electricity in the first year, you say? Let's go for it.

Turtle Bay Resort gets a makeover

There's a lot to be said about recognizing, then embracing, the obvious.

Turtle Bay Resort, the only full-service resort on Oahu's North Shore, seems finally to have found its true identity after decades of existence. Making the most of its distance from city life but proximity to fabled surf spots like Waimea Bay, the resort has revitalized itself with a makeover and a fresh focus on ocean sports.

Rooms are filling up, area jobs are expanding and there's more integration with the local community. Old-timers will recall that when the Kuilima Resort Hotel and Country Club opened in 1972, casino developer Del Webb wanted it to be Hawaii's first casino; that didn't happen, of course. Today, Turtle Bay seems to be embracing a laid-back vibe — a better community fit over its earlier image as a clubby, gated resort.

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