The leadership of the Hawaii Medical Association (HMA) and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board oppose recent language in HMSA's provider contract that requires doctors to discuss cost implications with patients who are going to be referred to an out-of-network physician.
Since its inception in 2002, the state and county pCard (purchasing card) program has saved taxpayer dollars, increased buying power through rebates, improved efficiency through the reduction of paperwork, processing time and government employee hours, and has maintained stringent controls for protection and accountability.
Imagine that a loved one is suffering from a serious mental illness and has thoughts of hurting themselves or others, but can't get in to see a psychiatrist to get medication because there aren't any accepting new patients.
Over the past five years, the number of applications to American law schools has dropped over 25 percent nationwide. High tuition, heavy student debt and a very tough job market in the nation's biggest cities are factors behind this decline.
Kudos to U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patti Murray for crafting a compromise bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that surprisingly shows so much common sense and proposes greater flexibility to the states.
The recent gasoline price drop has finally put Hawaii below $4 a gallon and as low as $2.74 per gallon at Iwilei Costco. While it is cheaper to fill up now than it's been in years, the costs continue to fluctuate and we must decrease our dependency on imported fuels by bolstering Hawaii's electric vehicle (EV) momentum.
This week, Hawaii is hosting an international tsunami science symposium, on the 50th anniversary of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System — a coordinated effort by member nations to advance tsunami hazard assessment, warning and preparedness across the Pacific Rim.
Have you ever taken the time to ask: What do we want for our children?
I believe that those who answer would say that we want our country to provide an equal playing field for all of our children; that we want all children to have great childhoods, to succeed in school, and to grow into healthy and productive citizens.
The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps sent a chill through our bones and served to remind us of the inexorable law of probability that sooner or later, another one of aviation's finest would attempt the unthinkable.
A strong workforce is the backbone of Hawaii's utility industry. Nobody knows this better than the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1260, who represents over 3,200 members, nearly 1,500 of whom are dedicated linemen, operators, maintenance workers and others who create, maintain and administer our state's electrical system.
The contention that the state is racing down a path to purchase Alii Place is a false perception.
The reality is the state is racing down a path to build a $270 million office building in Iwilei and House Bill 1366 is my way of trying to stop it by providing a more attractive option.
As most states are expanding early childhood education and access to quality care, Hawaii has cut back on early childhood services and has decreased overall funding for underserved and at-risk young children.
This spring, President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress want to use an outdated process used to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago — a rule called "fast track" — to force through trade deals without a real debate or any amendments.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, negotiations are in their final phase and the policy debate is in full swing. Unfortunately, it's shaping up as a debate about trees, not forests; it ignores the central goal of the TPP: to renew the Asia-Pacific trading system and firm up America's role in it.
Education is the best way to improve social mobility. Unfortunately, Hawaii's underfunded public schools too often reinforce the existing social class and hence turn our class system into a caste system.
The Haiku Stairs, also known as the "Stairway to Heaven," in Kaneohe, provide stunning, panoramic views of Windward and Leeward Oahu. Regrettably, ongoing problems with illegal trespassing have been commonplace since the closure in 1987.
Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the Father of American Landscape Architecture, and designer of iconic parks such as Central Park in New York City and the Emerald Necklace in Boston, held that city parks are places of democracy.
Honolulu is wasting valuable time by not planning on making rail useful and meaningful once it is built. Nowhere is this lack of planning more evident than the future Pearlridge rail station transit-oriented development (TOD) area.
Standardized testing for Common Core outcomes is an oxymoron. These two can never go together because the nature of standardized testing requires homogenized thinking, and is set up to determine a single correct answer.
Committees of the state House and Senate have wisely deferred or amended a passel of lousy bills that pretend to be public-policy approaches to pesticide abuse, but are really just propaganda instruments for a "movement" that behaves as though strident rhetoric must always trump logic and intelligent decisions.
Hate the terrible traffic on the H-1 freeway? It's going to get a whole lot worse. Does your commute take 1½ hours each way today? Get ready for 2½ hours. And likely even more, thanks to your City Council.
Thursday evening I got back from a terrific weeklong family vacation (in Kansas City, of all places, watching one of my sons participate in the terrific NAIA basketball national championship tournament).
The state House of Representatives' approach to lump-sum budgeting for the University of Hawaii system in House Bill 500, HD1, recently passed by the House, reflects a different approach — an approach where insanity is avoided.
The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) presumably recognizes that the vigorous charter school movement in Hawaii is driven by a total lack of confidence in the department. Many parents simply do not believe that the DOE can deliver a reasonable education to their children.
Every year, Hawaii taxpayers are given the choice of marking "yes" or "no" on their income tax return for $3 to go to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund. Money from the fund is used to publicly fund state and county political campaigns.
In the final days of last year's legislative session, Gov. David Ige, then chairman of the Senate Ways and Means committee, played a critical leadership role as the chief architect of the innovative financing bill to save the Turtle Bay coastline.
You're no doubt seeing a lot of emotional moments in the news this month revolving around Selma, Ala. There was the spectacle of 40,000 people pouring into Selma a couple of weeks ago for the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" Freedom March, that pivotal and violent battle for voting rights.
Chikungunya is the name of a contagious virus most people in Hawaii are unfamiliar with. We should do everything we can to keep it that way. The virus comes from equatorial Africa. It causes severe joint pain and may be closer to Hawaii than most people would want to know.
Earlier this year, I began interviewing senior citizens living on Oahu about their sleep and dreams as part of the "Dreams of Hawaii's Elders Project," which I am conducting in partnership with Dr. Shari Kogan, director of Geriatrics at The Queen's Medical Center.
For the record, the Honolulu City Council supports rail and wants to see it completed successfully for the sake of Oahu's future sustainability. Lately, Council support has been called into question by members of the state Legislature and others on the proposed extension of the general excise tax surcharge for rail.
It has been a difficult month for Hindu-Americans. A Hindu-American grandfather out for a leisurely walk in Alabama was thrown to the ground and paralyzed by a rogue cop. Two Hindu temples near Seattle were vandalized, complete with Nazi graffiti and spray-painted instructions for congregants to "go home."
Our friend's face was hectic with rage. When she finally unbosomed her anger, it dissolved into tears. We held her as she recounted her humiliation. A University of Hawaii official, serving as the administrator of her international scholars program, had just made a public joke about her family members being terrorists because, well, Muslim means terrorism.
Recent news reports show the "birth tourism" scam is alive and well, and has popped up again in Southern California. While the idea of coming to the U.S. to give birth and thereby qualifying a newborn child for U.S.
By Inga Gibson, Marjorie Ziegler and John F. Calvelli
Tens of thousands of elephants are butchered annually — 96 each day, or one every 15 minutes. Last year, the New York and New Jersey legislatures prohibited the statewide sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn products. With these enacted laws, the largest market for ivory on the East Coast was shut down.
By Gov. George Ariyoshi, Christine Camp and Peter Crouch
Under the state's existing renewable energy laws, in 2031 — around the time today's preschoolers will graduate high school — the majority of our energy could still come from fossil fuels. We owe it to the kids growing up today, and the ones following them, to do better than that.
Councilman Ikaika Anderson's proposal to remove all references to the proposed Envision Laie project from the Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan (Bill 47) and focusing that document on preserving the country is not only in the community's best interest
A few years ago, I had a patient on Medicaid with a life-threatening seizure condition who needed medication to keep it in check. One Saturday, she went to the pharmacy to refill her prescription and learned that her Medicaid benefits had been cut.
There are several bills under consideration at the state Legislature that would impose double taxation on some companies doing business in Hawaii and could threaten billions of dollars of needed investments in Hawaii communities.
Mention the word "pesticides" in mixed company and you're likely to get mixed reactions. What many do not realize is that pesticides are vitally necessary for our health, safety and well being, and that many of the fearful perceptions are actually misperceptions.
The Hawaii Theatre Center has been an extraordinary and successful nonprofit organization. It began as an ambitious vision to restore and operate the 1922 historic theater to be a catalyst for economic revitalization of Downtown and Chinatown and to serve as a multipurpose first class performance facility for the community.
President Barack Obama sent to Congress a draft Authorization to Use Military Force against ISIL / ISIS on Feb. 11. The two purposes of the AUMF are: 1) to limit "enduring offensive ground combat operations" to three years; and 2) to repeal the 2002 AUMF for Iraq.
The U.S. Army is considering letting the budget drive its strategy. That would be a mistake.
A recent Army study — the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment — proposes potentially cutting more than 19,000 soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii in the event of sequestration.
In Hawaii, we greatly value the ohana and the well-being of all our children. Compared to other states, Hawaii ranks somewhere in the middle in overall child well-being, and we are doing well on some health indicators and in the family and community context. However, too many of our families are struggling and their children are not thriving.
Congratulations to the beautiful city of Honolulu for its recent opening of the first major urban bikeway in the city — the King Street Cycle Track.
It is the beginning of a new experiment: moving people across town on a major urban corridor in a more efficient, and indeed, in a healthier manner.
Whether it's local lilikoi jam or grandma's andagi, there's nothing like homemade food in Hawaii. Pop-up venues like farmers markets, craft fairs and bake sales are popular places to pick up locally produced treats to snack on or share with loved ones who want a taste of the islands.
Last month, I had the opportunity to join a Google Hangout with U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and a half-dozen other writers who have been following the Obama administration's efforts to pass paid family leave legislation nationwide. It took place two days after the President's State of the Union address.
On opening day of the state Legislature last month, an unusually diverse coalition of Hawaiians, environmentalists and public health advocates gathered to send a message to those inside the state Capitol: "This is the People's Hale (house), not the Corporations' Hale."
Hawaii should not wait any longer to join the list of states that have legalized marijuana. There is simply too much at stake for us to allow our Legislature to peck away at this for five or 10 years without taking real action.
As I watched President Barack Obama deliver his annual State of the Union address to Congress recently, I felt a sense of pride as he mentioned the role that community colleges play in strengthening our economy, especially in the area of skills training and Career and Technical Education (CTE).
We can throw a lot of numbers out to make the point, but we would still be missing the target. As part of the military re-balance or "pivot" to the Pacific, the Pentagon is looking at reducing the Army's presence in Hawaii by nearly 20,000 soldiers over the next two years, which would seem to undermine any refocus on the Pacific arena.
The emotional intensity of the recent public debate on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides has been difficult for our island community. Sadly, these issues have created divisions within the community, generated confusion instead of clarity, and made it harder.
On Jan. 9, at the invitation of the Hawaii Military Affairs Council, the U.S. Army Pacific commander, Gen. Vincent Brooks, presented information to its annual meeting about the U.S. Army in the Pacific
Last summer, President Barack Obama struck the single greatest blow yet against climate change, calling for the first-ever federal limits on the dangerous fossil-fuel pollution from the nation's power plants.
Rail is the largest public infrastructure project in the state's history, and we are going to get it built. Just like sewers, roads and water mains, we can't build our future on an infrastructure that no longer serves or supports our population.
In a recent commentary, James Cartwright offered some "significant advantages" to moving the University of Hawaii at Manoa football team from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to the NCAA's lower classification of Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) ("UH football joining FCS would be win-win for all," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Dec. 26).
When I joined the Republican Party in college during the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower notably stated: "In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people's money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative."
The significance and impact of literacy on student achievement and society is immense. Schools and teachers are expected to address myriad tasks, none more substantial than the responsibility of building a child's foundation for learning.