In the upcoming session, state lawmakers can no longer be idle on dialing down generous solar tax credits, a clean-energy policy that was initially worthwhile to launch the photovoltaic industry, but has now resulted in millions of dollars in lost state revenue and too-fertile ground for opportunists.
Wednesday’s formal signing ceremony was a momentous occasion for Hono-lulu, with the long-awaited federal full-funding grant — $1.55 billion toward the $5.26 billion cost of the elevated rail project — winning final approval.
Returning to a parked car and realizing it has been towed ranks up there among the most dispiriting experiences in driving. It usually means a disruption in the daily schedule, calling a friend to help with transportation — and a fat bill besides, payable in cash only.
In agreement with other studies, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization has determined that large-scale wind turbine projects on neighbor islands would have a positive economic effect.
The state agency that decides on development of Kakaako has revealed competing plans for a 650-foot residential tower that would be by far Hawaii's tallest. Information that had been concealed were released last week to the public, an encouraging first step, but myriad more details will be needed in order for citizens to render informed support or concerns.
In two separate amendment proposals, Honolulu voters are being asked to create special funds to be spent for specific purposes, and to funnel general city revenues to nonprofit organizations to make up for federal cutbacks.
By Lee Catterall
Quiet enactment of a law that the Abercrombie administration backs to create state-and-private partnerships for development projects has now erupted in vocal questioning, adamant protests and even calls for repeal.
.U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle have faced off in multiple debates in their contest for the U.S. Senate, and it was clear who had the better skills onstage. Lingle is more poised and adroit at thinking on her feet.
In the Pacific region, food security has long been a concern of international organizations, in particular the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has fostered cooperation in food production and supply among its member nations since 1968.
By Vicki Viotti
Churches deal with matters of faith, not an area that lends itself to measurements. But perceptions of the church from those on the receiving end of the religious outreach, that's another story.
Hawaii's travel industry stands to benefit enormously with the growth of tourism from China, but the exchange of words in this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit shows how things can become stalled. Frictions between the U.S. and China continue to complicate what should become beneficial to both powers.
Spending millions of taxpayer dollars to replenish Hawaii's vegetation and native forests may seem extravagant except for the alternative: public consumption reliant on declining sources for absorbing rainwater and replenishing groundwater.
At long last, it's showtime. This week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting will be a showcase of Hawaii to the world, and numerous local companies see it as a chance to increase their visibility and sales abroad.
It's time the Honolulu Board of Water Supply curbed its practice of hiring lobbyists to look out for its interests at the Legislature
as well as the City Council, if leaders of the semiautonomous agency hope for a clear path to boost water rates on Oahu.
Pedestrian safety ultimately comes down to awareness. Anyone crossing a thoroughfare or stepping into traffic for any reason should look back and forth to become aware of vehicles coming their way. Drivers must be alert to pedestrians, checking ahead and on the periphery.
By Lee Catterall
A nine-member committee to recommend where Oahu should cut out a new landfill has been quiet and civil as members have established criteria to judge various locations. But it's the calm before the storm.
Hawaii often feels cut off from the political machinations of Washington, D.C. — indeed, the entire country may feel estranged from the current debt-ceiling fracas. But now it's more important than ever to seize some measure of control, however small, from the looming threat of financial chaos.
Very few criminal defendants, violent or otherwise, are found not guilty by reason of insanity. Nationally, defendants use the insanity plea less than 1 percent of the time, and more than one-third of those are murder cases. One in four of the defenses are successful.
The era of easy air travel is over for the foreseeable future, but a sensible improvement to software in full-body scanners at least represents an important step toward a more tolerable boarding experience at the nation's airports.
Pristine tropical waterfalls, spectacular rugged coastlines, stunning views of lush valleys — these are among the images used by the tourism industry to entice visitors to our shores. It's an implicit promise: Come to Hawaii and experience these natural wonders for yourself.
Honolulu's Board of Water Supply went 11 years without raising fees, and the island's aging pipeline suffered the consequences. A proposal before the board to increase fees by 9.65 percent in each of the next five years will be hard on residents during a struggling economy, but delays of needed maintenance would make matters exponentially worse in the long term.
It's refreshing to see that it's still possible to conceive a Waikiki improvement that doesn't equate "better" with "bigger." The latest example comes from Tony D.H. Ji, the longtime leasehold owner of the Royal Hawaiian Market Place, currently an aging colony of retail kiosks at the corner of Royal Hawaiian Avenue and Lauula Street.
Its authority rejected by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the state Office of Information Practices now is curtailing its past practice of ordering other state and county agencies to divulge information that should be made public.
By Mark Coleman
Carl Bonham had a choice to make after receiving his doctorate in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989: Accept an assistant professorship at the University of Hawaii at Manoa or go with one of the offers from mainland universities.
The complaint before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board filed in the dispute over the Hawaii State Teachers Association contract is certain to leave a lasting imprint on the way government comes to terms with its workforce.
Ocean thermal energy conversion — the technology known better as OTEC that more than 30 years ago was viewed as the great hope for this oil-dependent state — gradually lost some of the cachet it had among funders of research.
The state Department of Education and its teachers union have sparred for years over drug testing of faculty but may have
finally resolved the issue as part of a contract proposal — even as that imposed contract is under dispute due to wider disagreement.
Competition is often invaluable in judging performance in public contracts, and comparison by companies performing in nearby
areas is useful — but those will disappear if the city awards a sole islandwide contract for handling police-initiated vehicle
The enactment of a law that essentially begins the process of reestablishing Native Hawaiian self-governance on the local
level is an important move, solidifying the state's stance of reconciliation toward its native people in the hope that federal
recognition may follow.
By Vicki Viotti
The National Park Service has made numerous additional recommendations, but here are the mandatory corrective actions the State Historic Preservation Division must take by next June to avoid having its federal grant suspended.
When it comes to sanctions, a low number of them usually means a good thing. But when transgressions are unreported or under-reported, or there's a lack of urgency in investigating questionable situations, a low sanctions rate signals that the system needs tightening.
The state and the Army need to find a middle ground in their clash over mountaintop helicopter training on the Big Island,
a solution that would lead to compliance with Hawaii environmental laws without running up an enormous and pointless expense
for shifting the training to the mainland this year.
The charter schools movement has run into some particularly punishing headwinds in recent months — or, viewed from the more optimistic perspective, is facing an important crossroads in its development.
The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a slap but not a fatal blow to states and local governments experimenting
with public-financed campaign options aimed at opening the elections process to more than those in a position to tap large-scale donors.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi were justified in taking the unconventional step of going public Friday with a "last, best and final offer" to the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
By Lee Catterall
Hawaii's tourism industry is excited about the first direct airline flights between Honolulu and Shanghai, which crack the door open to a new, potentially explosive growth market. The promise remains stymied, however, by the difficulty in Chinese travelers obtaining U.S. visas.
By Star-Advertiser staff
Hawaii’s public schoolchildren score above the national average in knowledge of U.S. history, but that is likely to drop with the reduction of social studies classes required in order to graduate from high school. A sagging of civic interest is likely to be the unfortunate consequence of a proposal moving forward at the state Board of Education.
The state Supreme Court has rightly given a man a second trial allowing a jury to decide whether the striking of his stepson was justifiable discipline; the trial judge had refused to allow the defense attorney to use that as a defense.
Change can be a positive thing — especially when the entrenched ways become an obstruction, rather than a help, to good public policy. But the chief executive officer needs to have a sound, articulated vision of what those good public policies are beyond a message of “it’s my way or the highway.”
Wind energy is cited among the green alternatives to fossil fuel, but environmental and community groups are irritated about the handling of a massive project to transmit energy to Oahu from windmills on Lanai and Molokai.
Facing an implacable $32.8 million budget shortfall, the state Department of Education has been more aggressive in taking its cutting, streamlining and reorganizing efforts into the once-sacrosanct classroom.
Governments generally turn to regulating industries when a problem arises. Bradley International is now facing 153 charges for second-degree cruelty to animals for the dismal conditions in which it was breeding dogs. That case is sending a clear signal: State of Hawaii, we have a problem here.
As the Fourth of July approaches, the state must be prepared to patrol Ahu o Laka to prevent yet another drunken confrontation
for which the 3-acre patch of sand off the Windward coast is becoming known.
The need for government-subsidized housing far outstrips the supply. That much is obvious from the backlog of some 10,000 applicants waiting to be placed in one of the state's roughly 6,100 public housing units.
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Kokua Team Comes Together Again
Local entertainers are answering the call to help those affected in the Philippines and will perform as part of Kokua for the Philippines, which takes place Dec. 15 from noon to 5 p.m. on Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Great Lawn. Read More »