Politics / My name has been invoked in a series campaign advertisements attacking the character of Hawaii’s former Governor, Ben Cayetano, and I am writing to set the record straight. In media appearances over the past few weeks, I have come forward to refute insinuations that Cayetano acted improperly with regard to false name contributions that had been made to his gubernatorial campaign.

Mauka to Makai

Mauka to Makai

Mauka to Makai / A friend was in town from Maui last month and as we drove about, we noted the the campaign posters, sign wavers, supporters making shaka, candidates draped with lei. (Tulsi Gabbard, by the way, has harked back to the Ariyoshi-era double red carnation lei, a nostalgic nudge for those old enough to remember bygone customs.



Politics / “To live in Hawaii you have to be a frugal person, unless you’re very wealthy,” said citizen Christine Bond to the City Council at its meeting on Wednesday, July 11. Her testimony pertained to the proposed Resolution 12-149, demanding an audit of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s (HART) spending on public relations and “public involvement” services which has been tallied at about $4 million.


Economy / All right, get out your calculator, a pencil, and paper, and see what the price of oil is doing to your finances. Ask just who is treating you as if they gave a damn about keeping you as a happy customer .

In the past few weeks, the Sierra Club’s rail position has gained incredible, and somewhat perplexing, attention from both the media and advocates on both sides of the rail issue. So what is the Club’s position?

As the mayoral race heats up and the future of the city’s proposed $5.3 billion, elevated rail line potentially hangs in the balance, it appears that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) is running its own race: against time. With an initial allocation of $70 million for property acquisition, HART has begun buying up real estate it will need for a 20-mile-long, 40-foot-wide easement, as well as the acreage required for 21station stops along the proposed train’s high-flying route.



Community / Before attending the June 9 opening of the new Manoa Public Library, I looked back at the Hawaii State Library system’s strategic plan for the years to find a gratifying number of the goals accomplished, and otherseclipsed–particularly by the latest developments in technology. For example, .

The almost-extinct scent of journalists–coffee, cigarettes, a hint of cheap cologne–wafted from the fast flicking of notepad pages being inked in shorthand. It was May 24, 2012, and in a packed courtroom the Hawaii Supreme Court oral arguments for Kaleikini v.

Recent decisions–to build a rail from nowhere to nowhere useful, to urbanize prime Hoopili and Koa Ridge farmland, to approve Symphony Towers’ exemption from Kakaako zoning, to allow Kyo-Ya to extend 60 feet into public beach–all amount to another Great Mahele. It will benefit only the big players in real estate, development, energy, communications and political patronage.

On May 12, Time magazine identified “The 20 Best and Worst Cities for Public Transit.” Thanks to TheBus, Honolulu is No. 1 in the nation on the “best” list.

Rather than the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ new chief executive officer, Kamanaopono Crabbe prefers to call himself OHA’s kapouhana (a metaphor for the central posts of a house). “It’s more aligned with how we’re trying to infuse culture into our organizational structure,” he explains during a phone interview.

Our terrible pattern of suburban sprawl recently led to the inglorious distinction of Honolulu being named the most congested city in the United States. The average person in Hawaii now spends 58 hours a year stuck in traffic.

It can’t be comfortable for City employees to appear at hearings as the City’s expert witnesses. They have to parrot the City position, yet not betray their professional integrity.

In April, after three years of Sundays at the Haleiwa Farmers Market (HFM), the State Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a vacate order to owners Pamela Boyar and Annie Suite, who currently rent the space month-to-month. The reason given by DOT for its sudden order was Section 264-101 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes: “Vending from highways is prohibited.” The market occupies a 2.5-acre portion of Kamehameha Highway that has been closed to traffic since the Joseph P.

Mauka to Makai

Mauka to Makai

Mauka to Makai / A recent finding that Honolulu is No. 1 in traffic congestion in the US is being touted by some as proof that the city needs heavy rail.

“I’m having a hard time not swearing right now,” Spike Kane says in his UK accent, all smiles after his first surf session at the second annual Hawaii “They Will Surf Again” event hosted by the Life Rolls On Foundation (LRO). “It just feels so good to be in the water again.” Kane beams.

Into Willie Sabel’s vast and detailed set enter a cast of rippled sweatshirts and oversized shoulder-pads, thanks to Dusty Behner’s sense of color and history, and Lisa Ponce de Leon’s especially-80s hairstyles. A few of the bunch even manage to hold-their-own against the largeness that is the setting of Dividing the Estate, the newest show to hit Manoa Valley Theatre.

I’d never been to a Honolulu City Council meeting until a few weeks ago. Features, not politics, was my beat.

We’ve all seen them: huge gouges in our roads that look as if a meteor took a bite out of the asphalt. Potholes.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just as destiny is not manifest, the Honolulu rail is not a done deal.

Otto Cake is open. But the door is locked.

In the early 1950s, when architect Patrick Onishi was a youngster, the Waikiki shoreline lay wide open to sunlight and breezes, punctuated by trees, lawns, low-lying wooden houses, sea walls and piers. There were maybe three hotels on the beach: the Moana Surfrider, Royal Hawaiian and Halekulani.

A new kind of electrical meter is coming to Hawaii, one smart enough to engage in two-way communications with the power plant. Utility companies like them because they offer real time reports on consumption, outages and other factors that affect reliability of the grid.

It’s ba-a-a-a-ack! Tax season is here to remind us just how much we made–or didn’t make–last year, and what we pay for procrastinating.

As Hawaii struggles to feed and fuel itself, agricultural lands are becoming increasingly critical. In 2008, the legislature passed a law requiring each county to identify and preserve its choicest farm lands.

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