It's always welcome news when local officials manage to solve a problem, and University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay appears to have done so on the weighty matter of naming UH sports teams.
This week marked 21⁄2 years since I started my granddaughters Sloane and Nakaylee in music classes with Ilisa Peralta at Island Guitar.
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said she's running against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz for the late Daniel Inouye's old seat to give voters a say in the matter.
Young candidates hope to start a generational change in Hawaii politics in next year's election, but it could as likely turninto a last stand by old-guard Democrats that cements our political status quo for another decade.
If you think Democrats have a lock on Hawaii political power now, see what happens if the party succeeds in limiting who can run for office as a Democrat and who can vote in Democratic primaries.
My first thought after hearing of the Boston Marathon bombings was about a fear that’s been on my mind a lot lately: What kind of world are we leaving our grandchildren?
Few things illustrate the changes in our society during my lifetime better than the two breakout stars, a generation apart, from Walt Disney's "The Mickey Mouse Club."
It's good to see Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City Council moving to take real responsibility for Oahu's increasingly vexing
A grudge by some legislators against the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts may still be on even after state Rep. Faye Hanohano's apology for her racially abusive threats to SFCA staff for placing works by non-Native Hawaiian artists in her office.
Whatever the 2013 Legislature accomplishes on policy, the thing for which it'll most be remembered is Hawaii island Rep. Faye Hanohano's racial tirade over artwork by non-Native Hawaiians placed by the state in her office.
House dissidents who toppled former Speaker Calvin Say in favor of Joe Souki were criticized here and elsewhere for not articulating a policy agenda that elevated the coup above a power grab.
It was encouraging to see Mayor Kirk Caldwell take ownership of Oahu's rutted roads by promising to fix them and setting a deadline.
The Public Land Development Corp. sneaked into town like the proverbial thief in the night, and, sadly, it appears to be going out the same way — if it's going out at all.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposal to conduct future Hawaii elections by mail remains alive in the Legislature with Senate Bill 854, which would start a planning process that could lead to all-mail voting in 2016.
A Facebook friend described a recent 4,000-mile driving trip on the mainland and reached the conclusion of many from Hawaii after such travels: "It suddenly occurred to me with shocking clarity that not once did we encounter more potholes anywhere on the mainland than I bounced over on the Pali today."
It's time for Hawaii to end our 20-year battle over same-sex marriage and join the tide of history that is moving the United States toward marriage equality.
Honolulu taxpayers should cheer Mayor Kirk Caldwell's attempt to recover a 10 percent surcharge the state is skimming from the excise tax Oahu residents pay to finance the $5.26 billion rail project.
It's showtime for the band of former dissidents in the state House of Representatives who are finally taking the reins of power
after years of battling outgoing Speaker Calvin Say for control of the House.
Of all the stories I read about U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's passing, most intriguing was one that appeared on the DCist website under the headline "Late Sen. Daniel Inouye Was the Biggest Punk in Congress."
The adage that you can't take it with you applies to political power as well as material wealth.
Whatever Gov. Neil Abercrombie decides onU.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's wish to have U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa succeed him, it's vital to getthe governor's appointee sworn in before the new Congress convenes Jan. 3.
Some of the most sobering information to come out of the Connecticut massacre was the extent to which the psychopath who gunned down 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School was armed.
Age has brought me appreciation for the tremendous spiritual power of a simple burning candle. My mom died five years ago, and for the first time I lit the Yahrzeit that memorializes the anniversary of a loved one's passing.
Hawaii elections have been exercises in ineptitude since the Legislature decided in 1995 that it was a bad idea for voting to be supervised by a partisan elected official and took the job away from the lieutenant governor.
Through 13 hours of punishing hearings and a 32-page report that followed, a state Senate committee investigating the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder concert scam vented its displeasure at the UH Board of Regents for poor leadership in resolving the fiasco.
Before we leave behind the 2012 election, let's shine a light on a questionable gambit that played out in the final days of the mayor's race, in hope the glare will discourage similar tactics in the future.
The 2012 Honolulu mayor's race and its tactics will be debated for years, but the unmistakable bottom line is that the $5.26 billion Oahu rail project has a clear green light.
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission's report before the general election revealed the staggering extent — perhaps unprecedented in the nation — to which a single interest group has attempted to control a local election.
Legal precedent would seem to give mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano little chance of winning a defamation lawsuit against Pacific Resources Partnership for falsely implying he gave state contracts for bribes when he was governor.
It's incredible that weeks after University of Hawaii regents emerged from a secret meeting declaring unwavering support for
UH President M.
The Honolulu mayor's race is resembling the NFL's New Orleans Saints bounty scandal: If you can't win with a good game plan
and clean play, make dirty hits on the other team's quarterback.
The city is trumpeting a federally sponsored study by Porter & Associates Inc.
Pacific Resource Partnership, a pro-rail alliance of carpenters and contractors that is spending millions to falsely malign the honesty of anti-rail mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano, has a new ad repeating bogus claims that Cayetano ran a "pay to play" scheme when he was governor.
Senate hearings on the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder debacle are finally letting the public in on key information that UH leaders wrongfully sought to keep to themselves.
I've spent the past week taking a break from politics to revisit Ken Burns' 1994 documentary "Baseball," which in 11 parts
meticulously traces the history of our national pastime from the 1840s to modern times.
Serious concerns about the integrity of Hawaii’s 2012 primary election need priority attention in the next Legislature.
A friend on Facebook a while ago posted a Pat Bagley editorial cartoon that progressives were circulating to poke fun at the far right view that government seldom does useful work.
For Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The city was quick to warn that the cost of the $5.26 billion Oahu rail project will rise after the state Supreme Court stopped construction until an archaeological survey of the full 20-mile route is done.
In the movie "Gran Torino," Clint Eastwood plays a tough old coot who faces down a gang of bullies terrorizing a neighborhood.
Here's a quick handicap of the two major general-election races to emerge from the primary Saturday.
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano has moved his mayoral campaign beyond rail to the bigger question of whether Hawaii will be controlled by its people or by business and labor interests that put their own bottom line ahead of the public good.
The Star-Advertiser's new Hawaii Poll reflects a strong public repudiation of the most offensive example of pilau politics
in this year's election: the sleazy effort by Pacific Resource Partnership to discredit the anti-rail mayoral campaign of
This must be nail-biting time for U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono as she nears the first absentee balloting in her bid to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.
Councilman Nestor Garcia's $6,500 ethics fine for voting 52 times in favor of rail without disclosing his $60,000-a-year job
with the pro-rail Kapolei Chamber of Commerce highlighted a pattern of ethically troubling associations surrounding the $5.
Happy Independence Day, everybody. Let's observe the holiday with some of my favorite quotations about patriotism and freedom.
If your idealism needs a reboot, read political historian Tom Coffman's new book "I Respectfully Dissent," a biography of
the late labor lawyer and Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Edward H.
The speed at which tens of millions of dollars are flying out of the city's contingency fund for the $5.
This is the year that Oahu's future could literally be set in concrete.
The City Council appears ready to give final approval today to an additional $450 million line of credit for the $5.27 million Oahu rail project, despite no clear answers on how the loan would be repaid.
Boxing great Joe Louis said you can run but you can't hide in the ring.
The University ofHawaii's disregard of public and legislative misgivings about a huge increase in salary and costs for the UH-Manoa chancellor
reflects a disturbing tone-deafness to community sensibilities.
The Legislature's last-minute passage of Senate Bill 2785, creating the regulatory framework for an undersea electric cable
between the islands, illustrated a capricious process that denies citizens a fair shake on bills that fundamentally affect
Let's hope the race for Honolulu mayor is getting its nonsensical moments over with early.
It's the time of year when my mind should focus on things political, what with the finale of the Legislature, the upcoming
elections for Honolulu mayor and U.
It was hard for even an old curmudgeon not to be moved by the Dalai Lama and his message of compassion and nonviolence which resonated with so many people during his visit to Hawaii.
A bill moving through the Legislature to give developers virtual carte blanche around future rail stations has the mark of
other major decisions on the $5.
The Hawaii Democratic Party is proving absolute power corrupts by denying former state Land Board Chairwoman Laura Thielen
the right to run for the state Senate in the party's primary.
City transit officials make it sound like natural inflationary forces are the reason rail costs would go up by $10 million
a month if they wait for approval of $1.
Mayor Peter Carlisle says he'd build the $5.27 billion Oahu rail project even if $1.55 billion in federal funding falls through, using additional local resources if necessary.
Is the age of candidates a fair issue in an election? It is for an election to the U.S. Senate, where seniority based on years of service is the most important currency for attaining power and getting federal resources for the home state.
I feel bad when my 15-year-old grandson trudges off to high school with a backpack heavy with textbooks, notebooks and other school supplies.
With his State of the City speech last week, Mayor Peter Carlisle served notice on election opponents Ben Cayetano and Kirk
Caldwell that he'll be no pushover in his fight for re-election.
Hawaii senior U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye hit town this week like a political Johnny Appleseed, planting seeds of approval for candidates he favors in the 2012 election.
With public support for Oahu rail sinking as the city tries desperately to accelerate its construction schedule, Mayor Peter Carlisle writes off the disconnect as a public relations problem.
State Rep. K. Mark Takai finally asked a question that has been years in the making: Why hasn't a 2004 legislative mandate that public school principals be put on performance contracts been carried out by the Department of Education?
I saw a Facebook mention of a PBS "American Masters" special on 1960s protest singer Phil Ochs and was distressed when I checked local listings and
realized I'd missed it.
Hawaii public school teachers proved again to be unreliable partners in the drive for better schools by rejecting a fair contract that could have helped save the state's $75 million federal Race to the Top grant.
Vacations are by nature escapes from reality, but Disney getaways have always been more so -- and the new Aulani resort at Ko Olina is no exception. One of the first things that struck me during a stay at Aulani last week with visiting family is that very little is real.
It's difficult to fathom why the University of Hawaii administration, which has plenty of real problems on its plate, would create a pointless controversy with its after-the-fact effort to obscure the salary being paid to new football coach Norm Chow.
The city's commuter rail project is supposed to broadly benefit the people of Oahu to justify its $5.27 billion price tag, but it seems at every turn that the payoffs are going to the connected few.
I'm trying something different for Hanukkah this year: saying the prayers fully and correctly over the lighting of the candles.
It's hard not to feel bad about how Greg McMackin's tenure as University of Hawaii football coach ended with his forced retirement after a 6-7 record this year and only one winning season in four years.
After a year of mostly taking the high road and avoiding attacks on his predecessor, Gov. Neil Abercrombie suddenly can't get enough of blaming Linda Lingle for Hawaii's problems.
There's been a lot of tongue-clucking about the excesses of retailers and shoppers on Black Friday, but I'm not going to join in.
Attaining more openness and transparency in government is almost always a battle because public officials find it more comfortable to operate out of view of the often-skeptical citizens they serve.
In a commentary in the Star-Advertiser last week, former Gov. George Ariyoshi delivered the sharpest indictment yet of the city's pending $1.4 billion contract with Ansaldo Honolulu to build and operate rail cars for the $5.3 billion Oahu transit system.
Local leaders tout the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings as a chance for Hawaii to build business relationships, attract regional investment, increase trade and spotlight our state as an innovator in renewable energy.
Politics is full of second chances, but few have gotten theirs as swiftly or as gift-wrapped as former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
The future belongs to the young, and I'm always encouraged to see them grab for it in our island society in which the old jealously cling to most of the power.
It's unusual when the impact of a column mostly boils down to one word. But that was the case last week with my piece on Gov. Neil Abercrombie's staff shake-up, and the one word was "futless."
If Gov. Neil Abercrombie ever comes through on his promised New Day in Hawaii, you'll probably have to experience it from a blackjack table.
The jury is still out on whether Gov. Neil Abercrombie will run a more efficient administration than his predecessors, but one early indicator is that he's smoking them so far on cashing checks in a timely manner.
Jonah Kaauwai's departure as state Republican chairman was inevitable once supporters of former Gov. Linda Lingle and former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou started gunning for him.
The big concern about Gov. Neil Abercrombie isn’t that he makes mistakes — anybody new to a job does — but that he doesn’t learn from them.
It looks like voters may have to decide again in next year's election how important it is to them that our congressional representatives
live in the districts they represent.
It's disappointing that Mayor Peter Carlisle is again answering thoughtful criticism of the city's $5.3 billion rail project by trying to bully the critics.
I always enjoyed when John "Hannibal" Smith of "The A Team" would sense a victory emerging from a situation fraught with the possibility of disaster and declare, "I love it when a plan comes together.
For Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Gov. Neil Abercrombie would do himself and his constituents a favor if he declared a moratorium on grandiose speeches about his “New Day in Hawaii” program until he has some actual accomplishments to trumpet.
Our self-interested Legislature will likely never toughen up Hawaii's ethics laws governing public officials. The next-best thing is to strictly enforce the ethics rules we have, and it's good news that the state Ethics Commission and its new executive director, Les Kondo, seem intent on doing just that.
I've visited the Borders store at the nearby mall several times since the going-out-of-business sale started and have been amazed by the cash register lines -- especially the first weekend -- to take advantage of discounts ranging from 10 percent to 40 percent on books, CDs and other items.
Many of us the city writes off as anti-rail aren't against mass transit at all. We just have doubts about the ability of our elected officials to run the biggest public works project in Hawaii's history in an honest, competent and cost-conscious manner.