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Off the News


Abercrombie cleverly stacking legislative deck?

State Rep. Hermina Morita, long an advocate of clean energy, soon will be in a key position to do something about it, following her appointment to chair the state Public Utilities Commission.

She’s also the next — last? — in a long line of lawmakers tapped to join the Abercrombie administration, meaning that the governor also gets to pick who takes over her Kauai seat in the state Capitol.

Let’s see: Replacements were called in for Dwight Takamine, Russell Kokubun and now Morita, pictured, because they’re taking new jobs. And, bonus! Colleen Hanabusa made it to D.C., so Abercrombie got to name Maile Shimabukuro to replace her in the state Senate and then found Shimabukuro a successor in the House.

Now researching to find out if this is some kind of record for the head of one branch of government to be filling up another …

Honolulu commuters enjoy a dubious ranking

Honolulu is fourth-worst among "medium average" areas for commuting to work, according to the latest Urban Mobility Report by Texas A&M’s Urban Mobility Report.

In 2009, the average Honolulu commuter wasted 31 extra hours on the road because of traffic and gobbled up 26 gallons of gasoline, compared with the average of 22 hours and 18 gallons in similar urban areas. The Honolulu commuter’s yearly cost of all that idling came to $709, but that was when gas cost significantly less than it does now.

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