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Off the News

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State’s rail study deserves some public discussion

Seems like there’s a game of hot potato going on at the state Department of Transportation. The spud: the financial analysis of the rail plan that former Gov. Linda Lingle commissioned. It cost the state $350,000 and got a thumbs-down from the new mayor, Peter Carlisle.

There’s also new leadership at the state DOT, and officials didn’t accept the invitation to defend the plan before the City Council on Wednesday.

"I just want the public to know that I tried," said Breene Harimoto, who chairs the Council’s transit committee.

DOT, now it’s your turn to try — by showing up for answers. We know this potato is a leftover from the Lingle days. But the public paid $350,000 for it, owns it — and owns you, too.

Kudos to Hawaiian Air for its Korea initiative

A Boeing 767-300ER was scheduled to touch down in Honolulu this morning on the return leg of Hawaiian Air’s inaugural flight to South Korea. On board was the promise of brighter days.

The jet, with a 264-seat capacity, was said to be carrying 240 passengers. In the coming year, Hawaiian’s nonstop, four-times-a-week service will offer 54,000 seats to paradise and could generate $86 million in spending.

With tourism expected to be the islands’ driving economic force during the recovery, a growing market of visitors from South Korea complementing the steady stream from Japan would be a huge boon.

"Many people are coming from Korea," said the president of an Oahu golf course, "and they’re spending."

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