Gov. David Ige should sign into law the sex-trafficking bill unanimously approved by the Legislature. • The Japanese auto supplier Takata is not having a good week. The next several years likely won't be so hot, either.
By Richard Borreca
Carl Sandburg dubbed Chicago the "city of big shoulders" back in 1916, and today, it is still the city of big clout. Barack Obama may have spent his early years here, but he learned his political moves in Chicago, so it makes perfect sense that Chicago anchors the historic Obama presidential legacy and library.
The Hawaii County Board of Ethics deferred a complaint about Mayor Bill Kenoi's spending that even Kenoi's own lawyer characterized as misuse. • While much of the NFL Draft spotlight rightly went to Mariota, let's give a shout-out to Joey Iosefa, who's also seeing his pro dream coming true.
Far be it for us to knock the state for trying to catch tax cheats — but the growing discontent among residents awaiting their tax refunds is palpable. Stories abound about folks who filed in February still waiting for their refunds today, nearly mid-May.
In an unusual move, the 25-member body couldn't wait until the Legislature's Thursday adjournment so, two days prior, it ousted Sen. Donna Mercado Kim. • Hawaii is the first state to pass a statute which ensures that most movie theaters exhibit captions on at least two weekly showings of a movie.
Prospects for preserving a lot of open space at Turtle Bay have brightened, with the governor announcing that a new deal was struck Thursday. • Lately, it seems UH keeps getting itself mired in contracts for its high-priced hires, shelling out more money than it's worth to make folks go away.
The fits and starts at Island Air under billionaire Larry Ellison's management may be more a timing issue than a death knell for interisland airline competition. • The countdown clock's ticking away and the suspense is building: Where's he going, and how high in the draft?
It was quite the logistical feat last fall when some 1,700 students and 300 staffers were abruptly upended from seven schools in lower Puna, due to threat from approaching lava. • Another major study has confirmed what legitimate researchers have been saying for years: Childhood immunizations do not cause autism.
Gov. David Ige is known for a low-key style, but his announcement regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope was so understated that observers are left wondering how he actually feels about the astronomy project atop Mauna Kea.
Concerns about commercial activity in Maunalua Bay and conflicts among various users have prompted action by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. • It's excellent news that the unionized nurses working for the state-run hospitals have ratified their contract.
Things are looking a little sunnier in the solar power world these days. Not only did Hawaiian Electric Co. clear nearly 2,000 photovoltaic rooftop solar systems from its approvals backlog in March, but NextEra Energy is putting out some positive messaging about rooftop solar, too.
The breakfasts and lunches served at Hawaii's public schools are about the biggest bargains in town, even with prices rising. The hike that takes effect next school year will raise the price of breakfast 10 cents.
It seems reasonable that the U.S. Navy should be able to meet its defense goals while avoiding areas teeming with marine life. • The state Department of Transportation Highways Division's mismanagement of the ZipMobile breakdown left motorists gridlocked well into Tuesday night.
The creation of a national monument preserving the Honouliuli internment camp site is an immense gift to Hawaii and everyone who visits. • It's a simple sports formula. Want to sell tickets? Win games! That's what the University of Hawaii women's basketball team is doing, to the fans' delight.
What started off this Legislature as a bill "relating to the transient accommodations tax" has supersized into a measure that now proposes to cover the $40 million needed for the Turtle Bay land deal as well as transfer authority for that conservation easement.
Yes, it's not your imagination. Oahu is getting more crowded. Thanks to the number of births, the overall population rose to 991,788 in 2014. • Easily avoidable distractions contribute to far more car crashes involving teenage drivers than previously thought.
Somebody with the city is finally talking again about what's up with the archery range at Kapiolani Park, and it's about time. • Families on Maui can feel relieved that pediatricians will be on staff around the clock at Maui Memorial Hospital, but now the debt-encumbered hospital has another bill to pay.
The theft case against the former program director at a Waianae homeless shelter raises serious questions about the oversight of state funding intended to help Oahu's most impoverished residents. • This week the news media and open-government interest groups have been marking the 10th anniversary of Sunshine Week, which spotlights the right to access public information.
The site of the Obama library has not been officially announced, but the president himself has made his preference clear. • Who will be the next University of Hawaii athletic director? An eight-person search committee have settled on a final choice.
There seems to be movement, after a long hiatus, for regulation of vacation rentals by the Honolulu City Council. The affected communities and this largely underground sector of the visitor industry find both good news and bad news in the bills that are moving.
The University of Hawaii-Manoa medical and law schools soared in the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report. • One can only imagine the confusion and scrambling that went on at the state Attorney General's Office for the case file involving former Gov. Ben Cayetano's complaint against the Pacific Resource Partnership's political action committee.
The good news on the University of Hawaii football-ticket front is that season ticket prices will remain about the same as last year. The bad news, though... • It will be interesting to watch business at the new Target store in Kailua. Will shoppers embrace the no-plastic-bag policy the store is implementing, ahead of the city's ban taking effect in July?
The Public Utilities Commission welcomed all 28 groups that want to formally participate in the process weighing the proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to NextEra Energy Inc. • There are actually a few takeaway messages from those stories about Chinese nationals coming to undercover "birthing houses" in the U.S.
In strictly monetary terms, the theft of a jar containing $200 isn't so surprising. But the fact that it was a donation jar for a little girl in desperate need of a heart transplant makes the theft mind-boggling, and outrageous. • This week's cause for relief comes in the decision by the state Senate to shelve a proposed constitutional amendment initiative that calling for a public vote to reverse the semi-autonomy voters granted to the University of Hawaii 15 years ago.
Honolulu has reasons to exhale with the news that Hitachi Ltd. has bought the unprofitable AnsaldoBreda SpA and 40 percent of Ansaldo STS SpA. • The threat of the coffee berry borer is growing. Limited quarantine restrictions on Oahu have been expanded to cover the whole island
Gung hee fat choy! Or is it kung hei fat choi? Either way, Happy New Year! This is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. • A bright spot on the Hawaii education landscape appeared this week with news of a $6 million grant to fund the Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities.
Get the roses ready, the champagne chilled and the chocolates out — after all, Saturday is Valentine's Day. Oh, and just what Cupid ordered: a live cablecast of Hawaii's conversation with Edward Snowden. • Hawaii folks have lots of experience coping with vog, and a British researcher wants to hear their stories.
Oahu's grim toll of pedestrian deaths is rising at an even faster rate than last year, which was already a terrible one. Five people have been killed by cars while out walking or jogging so far in 2015.
Research out of the University of California-Los Angeles confirms that today's college freshmen recall spending much less time partying and drinking alcohol in their last year of high school than their predecessors.
Well, there it went — any hope that the chapter involving Gib Arnold, the fired University of Hawaii basketball coach, would be quietly closed. • It will be a crucial accomplishment for the Hawaiian immersion program to get the federal waiver needed so that standardized testing in Grades 3 and 4 can be given only in Hawaiian.
It is a basic rule that Hawaii legislators live in the districts they are elected to represent. Sen. Brickwood Galuteria is the second state lawmaker in recent years to be called on this rule. • Community colleges are a main entry point for students who continue on to the University of Hawaii's four-year campuses, so it makes sense to streamline the transfer process.
Boot camp is not for toddlers. It is not for potty training. That there is a market for "potty camp" and "potty boot camp" is a sad commentary on modern life. • At long last, research-ers here have received a permit to import industrial hemp seeds from Australia for Hawaii's Industrial Hemp Research Project, which was signed into law last April after years of advocacy.