Tuesday, July 28, 2015         

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Limit access to Haena park

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 28, 2015
Hawaii’s once hidden gems are no longer hidden. More tourists arrive from around the world every year, and global Internet communication means that every known waterfall, every swimming hole, every hiking trail is revealed to visitors who in past generations might not have even known the spot existed.

‘Design-build’ should be used by state more

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 27, 2015
There’s little doubt that the “design-build” approach used by the state Department of Education in the completion of its newest campus, Ho‘okele Elementary, was a big success, getting the Kapolei school ready for opening in time for students returning to class this week.

Don't revive fee discount for recyclers

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 26, 2015
The Honolulu City Council is weighing a bill that would reinstate a significant discount in the disposal fees recyclers pay to the city. The measure, Bill 50, has found some favor with members who passed it out of the Budget Committee last week.

New funding gives isle arts needed boost

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 25, 2015
A welcome infusion of public funding for the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts should fuel the success of an important turnaround for the institution, whose leaders have committed to improving management, transparency and outreach after a critical state audit last year.

Homeless need true ‘safe zone’

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 24, 2015
Rising violent crime near a sprawling homeless camp in Kakaako rightly intensifies calls to dismantle the hardened encampment that has grown to about 200 tents and an unknown number of people. This is no “safe zone,” least of all for the human beings dwelling there.

Kids in poverty need our help

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 23, 2015
The number of Hawaii children living in areas of concentrated poverty has tripled in just over a decade, a finding embedded in the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book that portends a grim future for thousands of island keiki and highlights the urgency of relieving conditions that must not be accepted as a way of life in the 50th state.

NextEra must adopt state’s goals

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 22, 2015
In raising valid concerns about the proposed sale of the state’s largest electric utility, Gov. David Ige has thrown down a gauntlet to NextEra Energy Inc., sending a strong message that state authorities will not support the Florida-based company’s proposal to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries.

Allow growth of ‘accessory units’

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 21, 2015
The city administration is taking a two-pronged approach toward regulating rentals on existing residential properties. One bill proposes rules constraining transient vacation units (TVUs), and another would enable accessory dwelling units (ADUs) meant for longer-term tenants.

Safety upgrades needed along busy Honolulu streets

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 20, 2015
The peril pedestrians face crossing Oahu streets, even those walking in marked crosswalks, is well documented. Less obvious, though, are the comprehensive solutions necessary to permanently lower Honolulu’s rate of pedestrian fatalities, a rate that has risen markedly since 2012.

Urgent state action needed at Kakaako encampment

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 19, 2015
The assault on state Rep. Tom Brower has enlightened some people about the realities of the homelessness problem. But even with that light, it has generated very little heat — namely, no fire has been lit beneath the seats of the state’s leadership.

Resolve differences to pass bill helping prostitution victims

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 18, 2015
Advocates of a sex-trafficking bill vetoed by Gov. David Ige must persevere next legislative session to ensure that criminal prosecution of prostitution and related crimes receives the comprehensive overhaul it deserves.

Park plan should be permanent

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 17, 2015
The people have spoken. The mayor has listened. For now. It is encouraging that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell acknowledges getting the message loud and clear that Oahu residents want Ala Moana Beach Park to be spruced up, but not developed or commercialized.

Realign highway to resolve traffic along Laniakea

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2015
A state judge has added his voice to the chorus calling for the removal of concrete barriers along a North Shore stretch of Kamehameha Highway that blocked access to a city parking area used for visitors to Laniakea Beach wanting to see the turtles for which the area has become famous.

Nix public-street parking plan

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 15, 2015
The Honolulu City Council is headed in the wrong direction with a bill that would allow certain Oahu neighborhoods to restrict public street parking to area residents, and require those residents to pay for the privilege.

Mentally ill need more attention

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 14, 2015
Some of Hawaii’s social problems can be held at bay for a time — and when taxpayer money runs short, government tries to do that. The sad case of Richard Nelson exemplifies the tragic consequences of letting funding constraints define the way the public is served on an ongoing basis.

Loopholes hurt plastic bag ban

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 13, 2015
Environmentalists warned that Honolulu's municipal government would diminish the effectiveness of Oahu's so-called plastic bag ban by including exceptions and alternatives that allow windblown rubbish to proliferate.

Try to help businesses hurt by rail

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 12, 2015
They've known it's been coming for a long time, but now it's real, with reality measured in lost business traffic and revenues.

Stryker Brigade relocation has upside for state

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2015
Budget restrictions have forced Army cutbacks across the United States. It's reassuring, though, that the reductions in Hawaii are limited, and that the largest cuts here are driven not simply by the harsh realities of federal budget sequestration, but by the true needs of national security.

Protect family-planning funds

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 10, 2015
Ensuring that as few people become parents before they intend to allows more women and men to get an education, get a foothold in the work world and develop the life skills they need to successfully manage their own lives — before becoming responsible for someone else.

Take action to restore control over Mauna Kea

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 9, 2015
Finally, the state seems poised to take some action, albeit only a temporary restriction, to assert some needed controls over the summit zone of Mauna Kea. This could represent a pivot point if the pause can become an opportunity to restore more than a road.

Ala Wai harbor needs fixes, funds

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 8, 2015
As an island state, Hawaii should have a vibrant and inviting waterfront, accessible to local residents, who should not feel priced out of the facilities, and attractive to the tourists who spend so much money here.

Hiatus can help charter schools

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 7, 2015
The proposal to delay consideration of new applications for charter schools is an unfortunate turn of events but seems to be a necessary one.

'Aha best hope for aspirations of Hawaiians

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 6, 2015
Native Hawaiians have their best hope in decades to coalesce around a powerful vision for self-determination.

Unity needed to end chaos in Kakaako

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 5, 2015
Everyone knows that Hawaii has a homelessness problem, and by now it's abundantly clear it's getting worse. There have been measured responses to it — the city's pilot project moving ahead at Sand Island is one — but so far the scale of the response doesn't match the demand by several orders of magnitude.

Neighbor island mayors tempted by GET increase

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 5, 2015
It is time for neighbor island mayors to turn over their cards so voters can see what Mayors Alan Arakawa, Billy Kenoi and Bernard Carvalho Jr. are holding.

Lucky we live in the U.S.A.

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 4, 2015
Despite the critiques and clashes on the global stage, America still has what most if not all other nations lack: an abiding commitment to individual rights and freedoms. That ideal remains its most enviable trait.

Mayor’s rail push inappropriate

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 3, 2015
Mayor Kirk Caldwell certainly caught a break when the governor decided not to veto the rail tax extension. That shouldn’t mean he gets a pass for what was a disingenuous presentation on the subject to state lawmakers — and the rest of the taxpayers — last session.

Find a niche for home-grown milk

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 2, 2015
Hawaii reached a turning point with its sugar and pineapple industries when it became clear the realities of global markets had made that business model a thing of the past.

Close Kakaako encampment

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 1, 2015
The response of homeless teenagers who admit beating up state Rep. Tom Brower reveals how entrenched a sprawling encampment in Kakaako has become, feeding the youths' alarming mindset that sidewalk squatters are entitled to the same expectation of privacy as property owners. They are not.

Don’t squander highway funding

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 30, 2015
When the federal government is telling you that you're working too slowly, then you know you've got a problem. The issue is that finding the solution will require serious attention, and a commitment to direct more staff with the expertise to cut through the entanglements.

Ethics panel's media policy must be voided

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 29, 2015
Don't be fooled. The Honolulu Ethics Commission's restrictive new media policy is not designed to foster more accurate reporting, or even to rein in a single executive director.

Court ruling marks start of new era

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 28, 2015
The historic, landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry across the country, will be celebrated nationally by many gay and lesbian citizens and those who support them.

Get to bottom of memorial ticket scandal

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 27, 2015
The scandal over the ticketing for visits to the USS Arizona Memorial was all the more disheartening because of its association with such a hallowed site.

ACA safe, but Hawaii needs waiver

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 26, 2015
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 — the ACA, or “Obamacare,” for short — has laid the groundwork for improving access to health insurance. So it’s good to see that, in its Thursday ruling, the nation’s high court reaffirmed the law’s basic framework.

Let public know about misconduct by police officers

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2015
The Legislature created the state’s Uniform Information Practices Act because, as the law plainly and correctly states, “Opening up the government processes to public scrutiny and participation is the only viable and reasonable method of protecting the public’s interest.”

Let's embrace plastic bag ban

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 24, 2015
Consumers can be creatures of habit, comfortable shopping at their favorite stores in the usual way. So there is sure to be some grumbling come July 1 when Oahu's ban of a common and popular type of plastic bag finally takes effect.

Don't undermine TMT compromise

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2015
The public can expect a showdown Wednesday as work resumes on the Thirty Meter Telescope. The conflict looms with an implicit warning: Both sides in this fight must not jockey for short-term advantages. Such gains are sure to produce the worst final outcomes for everyone.

Full accounting needed in delay of tax refunds

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 22, 2015
It's not enough for the state Department of Taxation to say that it will do better next year. The long delays many Hawaii residents face waiting for their state tax refunds demand a full analysis, once the last return has finally been processed.

Sex-ed must stress value of abstinence

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 21, 2015
Encouraging young people to delay having sex is an essential element of effective school health programs, because waiting until they are older lowers the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Don't let your own negligence imperil others

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 20, 2015
Listen up, Hawaii recreationists: If you get into trouble and need to be rescued from a trail or outdoor site due to your own intentional disregard of warnings, you will be paying for the costs of that rescue.

Don’t backpedal on fireworks ban

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 19, 2015
Oahu is a safer place on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July since a ban on novelty fireworks such as sparklers and fountains took effect three years ago. Members of Honolulu’s City Council know that.

UH athletics needs community support

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 18, 2015
In February, the University of Hawaii issued a report called "The Financial State of Hawaii Athletics: Version 2.0 -- Revising the Game Plan." The title of the report was bland, but the contents were not.

Help working homeless with rent

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 17, 2015
More than a third of homeless adults surveyed for a new study reported working to earn income, a finding that bolsters social advocates' calls to subsidize monthly rent for employed homeless people who don't earn enough to cover rent in Honolulu's stratospheric market.

Act now to open Haleakala Trail

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 16, 2015
It is distressing that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has no timeline for reopening the historic Haleakala Trail for unguided hikes, despite a court ruling last year against the private landowner that had wrongly claimed the traditional public route as its own and the tentative settlement of a class-action lawsuit.

Housing plan for Kapolei site makes sense

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 15, 2015
A scaled-back plan to build housing on land now zoned for business use in downtown Kapolei improves on the original design, by cutting the number of residential towers from four to two while preserving affordable rental units for senior citizens.

HECO needs to be more forthcoming

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 14, 2015
If there were any lingering doubts that Hawaii's energy landscape is shifting dramatically, events this past week dispelled them — and, reveal the conflicts already at our regulatory doorstep.

More can be done to help abuse victims

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 13, 2015
Victims of domestic violence need help the most when they are at their lowest ebb and least likely to seek it out. Many are fearful of going down the road of prosecution and protection that starts with a police report.

Strictly vet offshore windmills plan

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 12, 2015
If the state intends to wean itself from fossil fuels by 2045 — and that’s the plan — it will take a lot more than good intentions. House Bill 623, signed into law on Monday by Gov. David Ige, proposes that the state will get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2045.

HSTA must focus on students, too

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 11, 2015
That Hawaii's public school teachers have elected a slate of grass-roots activists to lead their powerful labor union signals a sea change that presents both opportunities and challenges for the HSTA, and, more important, for the statewide DOE and the students who attend public and charter schools.

Council leader must step up

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 10, 2015
Homelessness on Oahu often is described as an all-hands-on-deck crisis. One reason progress toward solutions seems so plodding is that all hands are not on deck. They're on different ships altogether, in fact, headed in different directions or — worse — simply adrift.

Community input on Lanai welcome

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 9, 2015
The transformation of Lanai proposed by billionaire landowner Larry Ellison seems likely to be a more gradual proposition than some may have envisioned at the outset — and that's how it should be.

Push 'Talia's Law' and help save a young child's life

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 8, 2015
The brutal torture that 5-year-old Talia Williams was forced to endure in her young life is enough to sicken any decent person; the almost-daily punches, whippings or stompings over seven months finally killed her on July 16, 2005.

Revised plan for Ewa Beach raises flags

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 7, 2015
Many of the Ewa Beach neighbors who attended a heated public hearing last week were up in arms about plans for the final, 62.3-acre phase in the Ocean Pointe-Hoakalei project.

Preclearance for Narita aids isles' airports

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 6, 2015
Knowing that Japanese visitors comprise Hawaii's largest international tourism market — and 18 percent of all travelers into our state — the opening of a new gateway offers dynamic possibilities.

Strengthen conflict-of-interest rules

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 5, 2015
Former Honolulu City Councilman Nestor Garcia, the target of two investigations by the Honolulu Ethics Commission, recently acknowledged behavior that is wearily familiar: He accepted gifts from lobbyists, and voted on legislation affecting those lobbyists, without disclosing his conflict of interest.

Red Hill fuel tanks need swifter action

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 4, 2015
While it is encouraging that the Navy has agreed to improve safety at the massive Red Hill underground fuel tanks that have leaked in the past, it should not take two years for a feasibility study to assess the problem or 20 years to complete upgrades designed to protect a large supply of Oahu’s groundwater.

Move ahead with 'safe zones'

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 3, 2015
While small in size, the city's proposed transitional centers could represent a game-changing advance in its approach to the homelessness crisis.

Project can ease housing crunch

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 2, 2015
It is encouraging indeed that seven real-estate developers were interested in building efficiency apartments in Kakaako with low monthly rents, and that the Hawaii Community Development Authority has deemed three proposals strong enough to move forward as finalists for the project.

High standards of ethics needed

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 1, 2015
Can one be too ethical? That seems to be the question now being asked, on one level, among state Ethics Commission members as they ponder the fate of their executive director, Les Kondo, who has ruffled some prominent feathers with his strict rulings.

Much to like in TMT plan

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 31, 2015
That construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope could proceed on Mauna Kea was never truly in question, if the rule of law is to prevail in the state of Hawaii.

Plan to upgrade State Hospital shows promise

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 30, 2015
After years of chronic problems with overcrowding and staffing issues at the Hawaii State Hospital (HSH), the Kaneohe facility may finally be getting some needed relief — and it’s a development that would benefit the community at large as well.

Support Chinatown rentals project

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 29, 2015
A proposal to build 151 affordable senior rental apartments in Chinatown gives a needed boost to Oahu's low-income elderly, a vulnerable group facing a severe housing shortage.

Waimalu no place for tourist zip line

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 28, 2015
Residential neighborhoods throughout Oahu are under increasing pressure as visitors venture out of the main tourist districts in search of "authentic" local experiences.

Stress 'family placement' for foster kids

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 27, 2015
The life of a foster child can be one of being constantly uprooted: Never feeling at home with strangers, who may not quite be trusting, he or she never quite settles in and, often, moves on to the next temporary home in line.

Protect elderly from scammers

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 26, 2015
Most Hawaii seniors grew up at a time, and in a community, where there were far fewer worries about security. There was only the front door to be watched — and even then, locks weren't always used.

Tap private sector to fix Handi-Van

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 25, 2015
Problems with Honolulu's public transportation system for disabled people have persisted for so long that it's time for the city to at least test a different approach.

Give priority to shelters for homeless

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 24, 2015
The Honolulu City Council may feel its efforts to grapple with homelessness were blunted last week when Mayor Kirk Caldwell vetoed Bill 6, a measure that sought to expand the city's "sit-lie" ordinance that aimed at keeping sidewalks clear in key business districts.

Don't weaken public access

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 23, 2015
"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases," Louis Brandeis famously wrote in 1913, three years before ascending to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."

Military flights cause for concern

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 22, 2015
The loss of life that occurred from the Sunday crash of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft is already a tragedy for the U.S. Marines and its families. However, failure to take this as a warning also could prove calamitous for the larger community that nestles close to Oahu's military bases.

HSTA must open election process

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 21, 2015
Unrest within Hawaii's powerful teachers union has burst into public view via a tainted election that undermines the Hawaii State Teachers Association's credibility with its own members and with the larger community.

Tax coal like other fossil fuels

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 20, 2015
There's a coal-black spot marring the clean-energy record of the state Legislature in its 2015 session. In the midst of passing a bill strengthening Hawaii's push away from fossil fuels — the goal now is to produce all the state's energy from renewable sources by 2045 — lawmakers also approved a carve-out for coal, the most polluting energy source of them all.

Keep pressure on for COFA funding

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 19, 2015
Once again, Hawaii's congressional delegation is attempting to remedy an injustice from nearly 20 years ago, when Congress eliminated federal Medicaid support for migrants from Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau — the Compact of Free Association (COFA) countries.

Feds should help Hawaii fix Connector

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 18, 2015
The federal government is at least partly responsible for the current mess surrounding Hawaii's health-insurance marketplace, and it shouldn't leave the state in the lurch when a solution lies within reach.

Homeless issue demands action, not politicking

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 17, 2015
The government’s impotent response to homelessness on Oahu is obvious in the seemingly permanent shantytowns allowed to flourish in urban Honolulu and in the distressingly inchoate strategies devised to address this growing humanitarian crisis.

Utility sale clearly not a done deal

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 16, 2015
Ah, to own so much stock that the mailbox overflows with proxy statements, so much so that a chance to vote on Hawaii's biggest corporate deal of the year gets overlooked.

Reform student discipline policies

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 15, 2015
Public schools in the U.S. embraced "zero tolerance" policies many years ago to ensure that dangerous student misconduct, especially that involving weapons, violence or drugs, was dealt with swiftly and consistently.

Hawaii has claim to Obama's legacy

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 14, 2015
It was disappointing to some but surprising to few in Hawaii that President Barack Obama chose a site on Chicago's South Side, over a waterfront parcel offered in the state of his birth, as the location for his presidential library to be built after he leaves office in 2017.

Real policy progress now up to Ige

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 13, 2015
A raft of bills awaits Gov. David Ige's consideration now that a productive session of Hawaii's Legislature has adjourned.

Keep UH tuition under control

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 12, 2015
The University of Hawaii long enjoyed a reputation for bargain-price resident tuition, but over the years, that advantage has withered. Especially since the recession, its share of dollars from the state's general fund has shrunk while the costs assumed by students through their tuition payments has risen.

Couple's plight demands action

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 11, 2015
When Hawaii lawmakers really want to get things done, they get things done. Look at the marijuana-dispensary bill approved after the usual internal deadline, or the powdered alcohol ban passed in a gut-and-replace move, or the rail tax hike passed despite fierce public opposition.

Future of pot in Hawaii deserves full conversation

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 10, 2015
Very little about public policy happens in a vacuum, least of all Hawaii's belated move to fully implement its 15-year-old medical marijuana law, after letting things languish for so long.

Sex bust sends wrong message

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 9, 2015
It's a shame that just as Hawaii moves closer to losing the dubious distinction of being the only state without a law explicitly banning sex trafficking, Honolulu police seem to be doubling down on prosecution of prostitutes, rather than johns or pimps.

Police reforms must be priority

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 8, 2015
Important attempts to improve public safety in Hawaii sadly have fallen short in the state Legislature. Recent events illustrate once again how important it is to reform the Honolulu Police Department, in particular.

Politics plagues housing initiatives

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 7, 2015
Oahu's homelessness problem, and the larger shortage of affordable rentals overall, are quickly mushrooming beyond the capacity of government to manage them, unless the powers-that-be join forces and ramp up efforts to match the scale of the problems.

Preserve Kalaupapa's legacy

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 6, 2015
Kalaupapa, once a place of exile, now stands as place of refuge. As a dwindling number of Hansen's disease patients live out their lives on Molokai's remote northern peninsula by choice, not force, the National Park Service has wisely initiated a broad community conversation about how to expand Kalaupapa's reach as an educational historic site in the coming decades, after the last patient dies.

'Air rights' aside, extend rail tax

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 5, 2015
No matter how carefully political watchers track the doings of state lawmakers, there are always surprises that pop up at the end, as bills emerge in their final form for an up-or-down vote.

More sunlight needed on who is building rail

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 4, 2015
The opaque budgeting process for major public works projects throughout Hawaii fuels distrust of government that is especially apparent when big construction jobs encounter cost overruns or expensive delays.

Ho'opili will force traffic to forefront

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 3, 2015
The City Council seems poised this week to approve the long-debated and, for some, long-awaited Ho‘opili development.

Sit-lie ban can't solve crisis by itself

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 2, 2015
The sit-lie prohibition enacted last fall in Waikiki was meant to be but one peg in a multi-pronged strategy to clean up the tourist district that is Hawaii's economic engine and also provide housing and comprehensive social services to the chronically homeless.

Keep it simple with rail tax plan

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 1, 2015
Negotiations over money for Oahu's rail transit system are going down to the wire Friday. State House and Senate conferees must refuse to be distracted by side issues erupting at the 11th hour and focus on the central issue, on which they agree: The general excise tax surcharge funding construction of the $6 billion project needs to be extended.

Firms at harbor asking too much

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 30, 2015
Lawmakers should kill a sweeter tax credit brewing for certain maritime tenants on the Honolulu waterfront. The proposed expansion of the tax credit could cost the state upwards of $20 million in lost tax revenue and comes only a year after the original break was enacted.

TMT debate deserves civility

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 29, 2015
The debate over the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Mauna Kea has generated more heat than light in recent weeks, so much so that people who deserve to have a voice may have backed away, hesitant even to touch such a hot subject.

Pursue merger for Cancer Center

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 28, 2015
The University of Hawaii Cancer Center has issued a plan for its long-term survival but, as might have been expected, it's turned out to be a work in progress. The biggest outstanding questions lie in the most critical area of revenue generation to become more self-sustaining.

Go with Senate rail tax measure

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 27, 2015
The House and Senate conference committee hashing out ways to raise construction funds for Oahu's rail-transit project have a clearly superior option before them.

Scrutinize bid to delist humpbacks

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 25, 2015
The federal agency that wants to remove humpback whales from the endangered species list will take public comments on the proposal for roughly the next three months. Conservationists are urged to weigh in with local wisdom about the population plying Hawaiian waters, which are essential breeding, calving and nursing areas for the majestic marine mammal.

HCDA should raise bar on rentals

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 24, 2015
Howard Hughes Corp., in pursuing a permit amendment for its 988 Halekauwila project to allow construction of rental units in lieu of condos, created an opening for state authorities to seek a final product that would better meet the community's housing requirements.

Follow through on privatizing Maui hospitals

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 23, 2015
When Gov. David Ige moved Tuesday to intervene in the legislative process that was about to yield a long-needed hospital privatization law, eyebrows went up. And among advocates, brows furrowed with worry.

Provide emergency housing now

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 22, 2015
The news from Oahu's latest Homeless Point-in-Time Count is disturbing, no matter how the numbers are crunched, or which lens is used for viewing them.

Stay focused on state IT upgrade

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 21, 2015
Hawaii officials need to keep their eyes on the prize — moving the state technologically into the 21st century — even if the timetable for making that shift has to be prolonged to make it more affordable and workable.

HMSA should revise new rule

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 20, 2015
A doctor's primary professional obligation is to his or her patients, not to the patients' insurance companies. It's one thing for an insurer to encourage doctors to refer patients to other physicians in its network as a way to control costs, but quite another for it to require those doctors to emphasize financial concerns.

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