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Off the News

For Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Commerce and romance bind Hawaii and England 

Honolulu is about 7,200 miles from London, but distance hasn't severed the links between the islands.

Even setting aside the whole William-and-Kate fascination — as the seconds tick away before the royals get hitched — the bonds are there. The newest one: Kua ‘Aina opened its newest hamburger joint there just in time for the big wedding. Ironic, for a business named for Hawaii's "back country."

And don't forget the historic roots. Queen Victoria was Kaiulani's godmother, and all that. Note what's in the upper field of the Hawaiian flag: It's the Union Jack, people.

It's not too late to OK on-bill solar financing

Among the bills being considered by state legislators in this session's final hours is authorization of "on-bill financing" of residential solar water heating and other energy-saving appliances. The programs contained in the bill would allow residents — including renters — to choose a term length to make small increments on their monthly electric bill for the up-front cost of the improvements.

A Senate bill that would have authorized the system failed early in the session but a similar proposal in House Bill 1520 is close to being enacted if approved by a House-Senate conference by tomorrow. The system has been successful in other markets and could help solve one of the biggest problems with renewable energy today — for many residents, it's just too expensive.

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