Editorial | Off the News Solar plane can brighten learning July 17, 2015 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. After a historic flight from Japan to Hawaii, the Solar Impulse 2’s crew is recharging its batteries, figuratively, while the solar plane does the same, literally. In fact, the plane will remain in Honolulu much longer than expected: about nine months, all told, first to replace the plane’s damaged batteries, then to wait out winter’s shorter days. The craft needs long days to fully charge its batteries to fly at night on its around-the-world attempt. But while Solar Impulse 2 sits in a Kalaeloa Airport hangar, it would be great if local students could see this visionary, engineering marvel up close. Surely, once security measures are devised to safeguard the plane, some controlled field trips could turn this into a stellar educational experience. Rail’s off budget; will it be on time? Gov. David Ige has approved the five-year extension for Oahu’s 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for rail — bringing to an end, for now, all the verbal gnashings by state lawmakers who ultimately OK’d the GET extension anyway. But well-founded concerns about the rail project now $900 million overbudget haven’t gone away — and they shouldn’t. So let’s all be sure that Ige, plus the Legislature and the public, receive annual progress reports from the Honolulu Au- thority for Rapid Transportation detailing the rail’s revenues and costs. The governor wants these measured against specific goals and targets, “to ensure the project stays on schedule and on budget.” What a concept. Previous Story Maunalua Bay needs protection Next Story Hee’s company has wrong vision?