Columns

Sharing Mana‘o

One of the perks of being a professional emcee and interviewer is getting to work with all kinds of talented folks. I feel fortunate to have met quite a few celebrities that I’ve admired over the years, mostly musicians and movie stars. But last weekend, I was especially blessed with an ...

Anatomy of epic fail on rail offered

In early May, on the day our Legislature adjourned, one of the newspapers summarized our Legislature’s work on the Honolulu transit surcharge extension as “Epic Fail on Rail.” With the Federal Highway Administration poised to pull out its $1.5 billion commitment if no funding solution is ...

Maui Connections

Sitting almost knee to knee, locking eyes as you interview Connie Britton, Freida Pinto, Pierce Brosnan or Karen Gillan can distort one’s sense of reality. Knowing the interview is being watched live by thousands of people on a huge outdoor screen can produce the delusion that you’re ...

Time for an audit of Public Works Highways Division

Time and time again, the public sees news headlines about the county’s Department of Public Works’ Highways Division. An investigation was launched following allegations of improprieties in May 2015 relating to the infamous commercial kitchen at the Wailuku baseyard, and is still ...

Shown are Adaptations Dance Theater founding company member Nicole Yezzi (from left), co-founder and founding company member Nicole Humphrey, co-founder and Artistic Director Hallie Hunt, founding company member Vanessa Cerrito and co-founder and Executive Director Amelia Couture.

Bringing it home

It all started with four girls dancing in the rain. On a drizzly evening in 2013, Amelia Couture, Nicole Humphrey, Hallie Hunt and Vanessa Cerrito brought a collective dream to life on a damp stretch of asphalt during the Makawao Third Friday Town Party. That night, a crowd of curious ...

‘Housing First’ only process that’s proven to rapidly end homelessness

On Maui, we have a plan. A plan that has already ended homelessness for 671 people over the last year and shows great promise for the future. I recently heard a conversation where people were talking about their irritation with the homelessness on Maui. One person exclaimed, “Why isn’t ...

Sharing Mana‘o

There’s a fine line between wistful reminiscence and curmudgeonly complaints, and I must admit, sometimes I cross over to the dark side. Thankfully, these moods don’t last long; even at its modern-day worst, Maui is still no ka oi to me. And once in a while, when my pining morphs into ...

Closing an estate tax loophole?

One of the bills our Legislature sent up to Gov. David Ige to be signed, which is almost certain to become law because the Department of Taxation sponsored it, is one to close an estate tax loophole. The issue isn’t as simple as it might seem, however. First, some background. An estate tax ...

Maui Connections

Every picture tells a story on the Maui Film Festival posters I began collecting more than a decade ago. There will be a new one for the collection when the festival launches its 18th year Wednesday, continuing through Sunday in Wailea and at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: What is the process for obtaining a TWIC card? I need to get one for a job I’m applying for but I’m not sure where to call. A: You can actually apply online for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card. The Maritime Transportation Security Act requires this card for ...

Use of county pCards must be overhauled

The topic of county-issued purchasing cards, also known as pCards, is once again in the news. With what started as an unauthorized commercial kitchen in 2015 has evolved into a federal lawsuit that alleges improper pCard spending and other inappropriate and troubling activities. A report ...

The State of Aloha

The official first European to make contact with Native Hawaiians was Capt. James Cook of England in 1778. Sure, everyone knows that. But not everyone agrees that it’s true. The English certainly weren’t the first Europeans to travel the Pacific. Centuries before Cook, Spanish explorers ...

Many options available for public to contact Mayor’s Office

Mayor Alan Arakawa is attending the “Hawaii on the Hill” events in Washington, D.C., this week and is allowing me to use the “Our County” column in his absence. As communications director for the county, I am pleased to say there are many options out there for those wanting to get in ...

Residents suffer when the counties lose at the Legislature

It is safe to say this past legislative session was not beneficial to the four counties, nor to our local residents and taxpayers. As part of its legislative package, the Hawaii State Association of Counties, representing Kauai, Hawaii, Maui and Honolulu counties, had pushed for several ...

Sharing Mana‘o

Usually at this time of year, I devote this column to the memory of my father. This Sunday marks 17 Father’s Days without his physical presence. I think of him every day, usually with a smile and the comforting knowledge that his spirit still lives within me. But the third Sunday in June ...

Reaching back into the past

On May 22, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review in seven cases involving retroactive tax legislation. In the Dot Foods case out of Washington, which we have written about before, a company began business in Washington relying on a certain tax exemption and asked the ...

Maui Connections

A full moon was rising over the Maui Dharma Center in Paia Friday night, where the stupa — the white-domed shrine consecrated by the Dalai Lama in 2007 — was lit up like a Christmas tree. The occasion was a birthday party, the 2,560th or so, for Buddha Shakyamuni. Like so many others ...

Three easy pieces: A simple get-it-done-now economic plan

Now that former FBI Director James Comey’s hearing is complete, it’s time for everybody to roll up their sleeves and go back to work on returning the country to prosperity. The most populist policy would be to restore a long-lasting deeply rooted prosperity for every single ...

Ask the Mayor

Q: For a while, the shower at Baby Park (Lower Paia Bay) was busted, and water was spewing everywhere. Now it’s completely shut off. The park is used a lot by kids and families, and we really need something there. In the old days we had a water hose and that was enough. Can the county put ...

Residents should take advantage of prescription discount program

Even though health care is directly under the jurisdiction of the state in Hawaii, counties have proactively attempted to deal with the rising cost of health care. The Hawaii State Association of Counties, consisting of state’s four counties, has been part of a national discount ...