The 'AINA represents our soul for this is our foundation; ALOHA fills our heart to guide us in compassion and love; KULEANA directs our brain to help us make responsible decisions and be stewards of this land; and PONO guides our hands as we strive only to do justice in all our work.
Scott Goold, 2009
To Scott Goold,

I enjoy reading your comments. It brings light to comments made by other bloggers. Your comments are done with intelligence and a level headed charisma, that separate you from others. Bravo keep up the posts.
samgut :: 10/06/2009 7:48:39a.m.

I nominate "scottgoold" for the next Gov.....thanks for being informative, honest and a voice of reason ;)
fonoi0 :: 10/07/2009 5:47:41a.m.

Thanks scottgoold for engaging in a true dialectic discussion. Civil discourse with mutual respect is a rare occurrence these days, thus for me, greater enjoyment. Look forward to future exchanges in this medium. Aloha
ikaikaHawaii :: 11/24/2009 7:02:31a.m.

Amen. You're invited to guest lecture in my AP Gov class any day you like!
LRodvien :: 11/28/2009 1:42:59p.m.

I just gotta say how much I always enjoy reading Scott Goold's comments. How refreshing to hear somebody say something **AFTER** having thought the topic through. He is rational, appropriately critical (of Rs and Ds both), doesn't foam at the mouth, and is also appropriately supportive of things both the Rs and Ds say and do - when they deserve it. Hey Scott - can I vote for you, rather than one of the 14 folks in the Hanabuscasejou race?
johnsonwatanabe :: 5/19/2010 1:49p.m.

NY Company SinglePlatform and Google Sabotage Albuquerque Sakura Sushi, LLC
New York company, SinglePlatform, has partnered with Google in what we consider to be a financial scam to extract millions of marketing dollars from unsuspecting restaurant businesses across America. SinglePlatform and Google sabotaged the fine reputation of Sakura Sushi, LLC. Beware!
October 12, 2016

MZB finalizes Kaua'i Coffee acquisition
Coffee giant Massimo Zanetti Beverage now owns Kaua'i Coffee Company, the nation's largest coffee estate. The Italian-based company owns plantations in South and Central America, roasting plants and hundreds of coffee shops all over the world. March 30, 2011

Move over recession, here comes disaster
As Hawai'i struggles to recover from the economic recession that hit not only our country but the global economy as well, the fallout of the Japan calamity is certainly the last thing we need to stall that economic recovery. There is no doubt that the disaster's impact on the Japanese people and that nation's economy will spill over and affect the economic outlook for Hawai'i. With nearly one in every five visitors currently coming from Japan, and the per capita expenditure for Japanese visitors nearly triples that of mainland visitors, any drop off in the number of visitors from Japan will have a substantial impact on Hawai'i's economy and the resulting tax revenues on which government in Hawai'i depends. March 20, 2011

Hawaii deficit nears $1B
The state House Finance Committee voted early today to tax pension income but set the threshold significantly higher than Gov. Neil Abercrombie preferred. The committee decided to impose the tax on single and married taxpayers filing separately with federal adjusted gross income of $100,000 a year, heads of households and surviving spouses who earn $150,000, and couples that make $200,000. March 11, 2011

House Finance Committee approves pension tax
State lawmakers looking at new revenue or spending cuts to balance the budget have a fresh challenge: Find an additional $266 million. The state Council on Revenues lowered its revenue forecast yesterday, a recalculation that would boost the state's projected budget deficit to nearly $1 billion. March 1, 2011

How the Middle Class Became the Underclass
In 2009 the richest 10 percent of Americans accounted for about half the nation's wealth. The top 0.1 percent -- those who make at least $2 million each year -- controlled 10% of the economy. This is a far cry from the 1950s, when the suburban American dream ruled: the bottom 90 percent of Americans controlled about 68 percent of the economy.

I quote from Warren Buffet, world's second richest man and leading American entrepreneur, who testifies:
"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war and we're winning." Feb. 16, 2011
The Cost of Doing Nothing for Two Years
Shawn Tully, making six figures as a writer for Fortune, specializes in banking, federal budget and spending issues, and health care. Tully holds a B.A. in English from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a master's in Applied Economics from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Yet Tully doesn't understand economics ... how is this possible? He writes:

By 2013, the total U.S. federal debt will total 76% of GDP if Congress remains gridlocked, and digging out at that point will be unimaginably painful ... In this week's elections, voters clearly voiced their frustration with the explosion in government spending, deficits and debt. Americans recognize that when the outgoing dollars exceed those coming in by 63% — the actual number in the fiscal 2010 budget — it's the same reckless behavior as if they paid for rent and groceries by running up gigantic credit card bills certain to destroy them in the future. Nov 5, 2010

Democrat or Republican Does It Really Matter?
Why should anyone care who gets elected and who doesn't on November 2? Peter Townsend of The Who sings "We won't be fooled again" and then closes with "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Oct 29, 2010

Fairness in taxation is really a matter of where you are
There is probably no one who will dispute that a good tax system is one which treats everyone fairly. At least that is what many taxpayers would like to believe. Unfortunately, it is the definition that sometimes gets in the way of truly achieving a "fair" tax system. So the old adage of, "Don't tax me, don't tax you, tax the man behind the tree," comes quickly to mind as perhaps how some taxpayers see a tax as being fair. Fair, in this case, is that someone else pays the tax. Aug 27, 2010

Will civil unions affect CD1 vote?
The special election in the 1st Congressional District could give an early read on how civil unions will play out in the 2010 elections after the Legislature's surprise enactment on the final day of the session. May 3, 2010

Gulf Coast Disaster: DRILL, BABY, DRILL becomes SPILL, BABY, SPILL
In the face of this terrible disaster, let us not forget Republican cheerleader Sarah Palin for arousing TEA and oil-loving fanatics at the 2008 Republican National Convention and beyond. Unified in their self-perceived superiority over tree-hugging liberals, they endlessly continue their chant: DRILL, BABY, DRILL. April 30, 2010

Super Sunday blues
I did my patriotic duty and joined most of my countrymen in watching the Super Bowl, but for much of the first half all it did was make me feel old. I barely watched a down of NFL football this year after age and distance forced us to disband the Big Island football club that kept me interested for more than 30 years with our 25 cents-a-game bets. February 8, 2010

Former govs offer Rx for schools
Three former Democratic governors have issued a welcome call to turn outrage over "furlough Fridays" into a positive commitment to finally mend our failing public schools and put "Hawai'i's Children First." Now we'll see if public officials who hold the keys to reform have more respect for their kupuna than they've shown for the keiki they locked out of classrooms two Fridays a month. February 4, 2010

Get out of the joint and get a joint
The state Senate's Public Safety Committee and Health Committee will hold a joint hearing Thursday on SB 2212 to allow probationers and parolees to obtain medical marijuana while under court supervision. Are they kidding me? After all the efforts of parole and probation officers to help their charges stay on the straight and narrow by keeping them away from intoxicating substances, lawmakers are now proposing to help them get an intoxicating drug? February 2, 2010

flASHback: No deficit of baloney
The president labored to lead and the governor hesitated to read as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused: President Obama said in his State of the Union that Americans have a "deficit of trust" in government leaders. That would explain why his speech made such a deficit of sense. January 28, 2010

An Open Letter to New Mexicans from Scott Goold, Economist
I wanted to update you about the current state budget crisis and our response. Our union has teamed up with about 30 other action groups, rallying around Better Choices. This effort focuses on a number of ways to increase REVENUE rather than simply look for cuts to government spending. January 27, 2010

CONTINUE: Lingle's curtain call
I continue this discussion as Americans don't understand how gotcha politics are destroying our democracy and ensuring that a small minority of citizens, the extreme right, continue to dominate our nation. This group of approximately 15-20 percent of the population is able to increase their profits and wealth while the majority slips further into economic distress. January 26, 2010

Lingle's curtain call
Gov. Linda Lingle's final State of the State address to the Legislature gave lawmakers a chance to show an outpouring of love - for Dave Shoji. Lingle's introduction late in her speech of the wildly popular UH Wahine volleyball coach, who won his 1,000th match this year, drew the loudest and most extensive applause. The governor started with a joke that the fact it was her last SOS "might be considered an applause line by some in the Legislature." January 25, 2010

CONTINUE: The Tao of budgeting
Overwhelmingly we hear calls to cut public services, and slash public employee and school teacher pay due to the budget shortfall. Yet services are still demanded by residents. What is the fair as well as most efficient solution? January 24, 2010

CONTINUE: The Tao of budgeting
Reponding to excellent comments, I have continued this theme. Our nation is collapsing, as the middle class represents the heart and soul of America. The question is how to change the narrative that is pusing us off a cliff. January 23, 2010

flASHback: The Tao of budgeting
A Capitol gathering as solemn as a wake tops our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused: The 2010 Legislature got off to a subdued start, dispensing with the usual food and music in the face of a $1.2 billion budget deficit. Opening day was so quiet that the only sound legislators heard was the lobbyists whispering in their ears ... January 22, 2010

A hard contest to call in CD1
The special election to replace Rep. Neil Abercrombie in the 1st Congressional District is a tough race to handicap because of the low voter turnout in special elections and the uncertainty over when it will be held. It's unlikely that Colleen Hanabusa, the favorite of Democratic regulars, will get much of the core Republican vote or that Republican Charles Djou will get much of the core Democratic vote. January 21, 2010

Maui tripping
I don't know what it is with Maui legislators and marijuana, but in the past it was Rep. Joe Bertram III who tried to have the state all but roll joints for the pot smokers and this year it's Sen. J. Kalani English. English wants the state to go beyond legalizing marijuana for medical use, which we already do along with 13 other states, and create licensed dispensaries to actually distribute medical marijuana ... Instead of forever straining to put a fig leaf of medical respectability on weed, why not have an honest discussion about legalizing it, regulating it and taxing it for what it is - a recreational intoxicant like alcohol. January 19, 2010

Take me to your leader
I've been having an e-mail discussion about the drama in Hawai'i public schools with an ex-pat following the story from Japan, who tends to see the big picture from afar more clearly than we do locally. He observes little progress in our schools since the days when he graduated from Farrington. "When I tell people in emerging countries, like China, India, Brazil, even South Africa, about the Hawai'i school system, they are mystified how a part of the United States can end up where Hawaii did over time, as most places have come a bit further - for the better - from decades ago," he said. January 18, 2010

Will school reform talk bring action?
One good thing to come out of the furor over public school furloughs is it guarantees school reform will be a major issue in the 2010 elections. Gov. Linda Lingle says she'll spend her final year pushing a constitutional amendment to improve accountability in the schools by making the superintendent part of the governor's Cabinet, subject to legislative confirmation. January 13, 2010

It's about the kids, remember them?
In divorce disputes where children are involved, the first rule of family law is that the well-being of the kids always comes first. It is never, ever considered OK for the battling adults to use the young ones as weapons to get their way. Imagine how things might have been different if this philosophy had been applied to the teacher furlough fiasco, in which the keiki never had a place at the negotiating table except as bargaining chips. January 6, 2010

OK, but ...
And the beat goes on ... with Bart Dane (blogging penname Kolea). How do progressive Democrats change the current trends that suggest Democrats will lose heartily in November 2010. We examine some recent history in American politics. January 6, 2010

OK, but ...
I continue this theme with Bart Dane (blogging penname Kolea), as Progressive Democrats, the most liberal wing of the Democratic party, are threatening to sit out election 2010 to protest what they believe are failures by Barack Obama during his first year in office. January 5, 2010

OK, but ...
Several activists who call themselves "disaffected Democrats" plan to wave signs on Saturday outside President Obama's Kailua vacation rental expressing their disappointment in some of his actions during his first year in the White House. The left wing of the Democratic Party generally broke for the Hawaii-born Obama when the presidential primary campaign narrowed to Obama and then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. One of the arguments at the time was that Obama represented change while Clinton would be more likely to agree to the pragmatic compromises of Washington, D.C., insiders. January 4, 2010

Hawaii governor to re-examine teacher furlough proposal
Gov. Linda Lingle is examining the details of a tentative agreement on reducing teacher furloughs - even after she summarily rejected the plan four days ago. Lingle aides met yesterday morning with education officials to discuss the plan, which would restore seven of the 10 remaining furlough days this school year. December 31st, 2009

'Human, systemic failures' cited in air plot
President Obama said yesterday that a "mix of human and systemic failures" allowed a Nigerian student allegedly carrying an explosive to board an airplane on Christmas Day, and he vowed to quickly fix flaws that could have doomed a flight carrying nearly 300 passengers and crew members. The president and his top advisers now believe there is "some linkage" with al-Qaida, and the administration is "increasingly confident" that the terrorist group worked with suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to secure the deadly chemical mixture that he took aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, a senior administration official said yesterday. December 30th, 2009

You get my meaning? Ainokea
In my "flASHback" wrapping up the news of 2009, I used the local slang term "ainokea" in several of my mini-commentaries. As in: "Pearl Harbor was excited about the arrival of the submarine USS Hawaii. Next year we get our state's other namesake ship, the USS Ainokea." December 30th, 2009

Waiting for taxpayers to take the hit
It seems the teachers' union along with the blue-collar workers are dragging their feet in hopes that they can make it to the finish line called the legislative session and make their case before lawmakers that they should not have to take a hit. After all, how can lawmakers resist thousands of teachers and blue-collar workers marching on the state capitol let alone parents protesting the loss of school days because of "Furlough Fridays?" December 28th, 2009

The empire strikes back
It's hard to muster sympathy for the four county mayors whining about Gov. Linda Lingle's announced plan to help ease a $1.2 billion state budget shortfall by taking the counties' $99 million share of the hotel room tax. The mayors have scored political points by boasting that their financial condition is better than the state's and have curried favor with public worker unions by not implementing worker furloughs this year that the state was forced to impose to balance its budget. December 22nd, 2009

First no school, now no election
It's incredible that U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's announcement that he'll resign from Congress to campaign for governor has spurred serious talk of saving $2 million by not holding a special election to replace him until the regular election in September. It's already starting to generate the same kind of ridicule here and on the Mainland that followed our "furlough Fridays." December 14th, 2009

Nothing "manini" about these conflicts
A couple of discussions on this blog recently have left me concerned about our willingness to give public officials a pass on ethical lapses when they're politicians or causes we support. One instance involved House Speaker Calvin Say, who according to Pacific Business News sponsored the House version of a bill that essentially requires Massachusetts-based HRPT Properties Trust to provide more favorable leases to tenants of a Mapunapuna building HRPT acquired from the Damon Estate. December 10th, 2009

Ending furloughs by the hour
I made one of my infrequent visits to Facebook to wish my niece a happy birthday and found Sen. Will Espero busy at work before leaving for Virginia to see his oldest son graduate from the U.S. Marines officer candidate school. Before getting on the plane, Espero floated yet another idea for ending the "furlough Fridays" at public schools, proposing that school days be extended by an hour four days a week to make up for the lost classroom time on Fridays. December 9th, 2009

The matriculation of Sarah
I don't know about you, but I'm getting mighty confused about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's well-traveled college career - especially the part of it that occurred in Hawai'i. According to an AP report when Palin ran for vice president last year, Palin attended six colleges in six years, starting with brief stops at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and Hawai'i Pacific University, before graduating from the University of Idaho in 1987 after two stops there plus stints at North Idaho College and Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska. December 8th, 2009

Let the competence begin
Linda Lingle was elected Hawai'i's first Republican governor in 40 years largely on her promise to restore competent management to state government. In the wake of 9/11, Hawai'i was in a steep recession and the state's Democratic leadership was seen by many as bumbling, self-interested and unable to get Hawai'i back on the road to prosperity. December 7th, 2009

Abercrombie called on pork spending
Hawai'i Congressman Neil Abercrombie was singled out for criticism in a CBS News report on $5 billion worth of congressional earmarks tacked onto the $623 billion Pentagon budget - including millions going to campaign supporters of lawmakers. CBS said Abercrombie arranged for Pacific Biodiesel to get a $3.5 million earmark to grow fuel for the Army in Hawaii. Kelly King, the founder and vice president of Pacific Biodiesel, is an honorary co-chair of Abercrombie's planned 2010 campaign for governor. December 3rd, 2009

Shaky prospects in Afghanistan
When we last discussed President Obama's emerging policy on Afghanistan, my final observation was, "If Obama turns this from George W. Bush's war into his, he'd better be able to clearly tie his strategy to compelling U.S. national interests, set clear benchmarks for measuring success and draw a clear map toward an exit." He gave it his best shot in his speech last night that was candid about the challenges we face in Afghanistan and Pakistan and forthcoming about the $30 billion his 30,000-troop surge will cost. December 2nd, 2009

More to say
Jon Berliner, the executive director of Gregory House Programs, will be honored on Tuesday night by the state Department of Health for his work as an educator and housing advocate for people with HIV/AIDS. The award, on World AIDS Day, is expected to be presented at St. Clement's Church by a department official who Berliner says recently informed him the state was cutting Gregory House funding by $40,000. Gregory House, which provides housing services for people with HIV/AIDS, gets about $400,000 from the state for its annual $2 million budget. December 1st, 2009

One of our readers found some irony in a donor pitch from the Grassroot Institute, the conservative-to-libertarian public-policy group. An anonymous donor has agreed to match donations to help Grassroot with a government transparency Web site. Anonymous? Transparency? November 28th, 2009

One of the top deputies to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected in Hawaii next week to meet with Gov. Linda Lingle and state education leaders and to visit public schools. Duncan criticized teacher furloughs as a step in the "wrong direction" and suggested Hawaii may not qualify for competitive federal Race to the Top grants. Lingle has described Duncan's comments as "blatantly political." November 25th, 2009

flASHback: Par for the course
Athletic triumph and academic triage lead the way as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused: November 20th, 2009

New hope for schools
The governor returned from a two week trip to China and immediately threw down a proposal for ending "furlough Fridays" in the public schools that may actually have a chance of resolving a crisis that has disrupted the community and brought negative attention to our state. Lingle's plan would go ahead with the seven furlough days scheduled in 2009 but eliminate 27 furlough days in 2010 and 2011 by restoring instruction on 15 non-teaching days and pulling $50 million from the rainy day fund to compensate teachers on 12 other furlough days. November 16th, 2009

flASHback: Place your bets
It's time to call in the bookies as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

* State tax collections were 9 percent below what the Council on Revenues predicted, ballooning the budget deficit. We'd get more accurate forecasts from the Chinatown betting line.

* It's rumored that President Barack Obama plans another Hawai'i family holiday. That would add a special touch to our celebration of the Twelve Furlough Days of Christmas.
November 13th, 2009

Room for compromise on furloughs
I think state senators have an excellent idea that that Gov. Linda Lingle should use $35 million in federal stimulus funds at her disposal to restore school furlough days - with a caveat: The money should restore all of the furlough days rather than just the handful that DOE suggests. The Senate's special committee looking into the furloughs cites DOE numbers that each furlough day saves $5 million toward reducing the budget deficit, about $3 million from teacher salaries and $2 million from the other costs of opening the schools. November 10th, 2009

Hello in there ...
The state courts closed for their first "furlough Friday" last week - out of sync with furlough days elsewhere in the state government, which meant parking lots were open while buildings were closed. On other Fridays, courts will be open but their parking lots will be closed. I received an e-mail from a perplexed reader whose business requires daily visits to the court building and thought what he had to say was worth sharing ... November 9th, 2009

flASHback: Gaveling in the dark
Justice gets trampled by the furlough parade as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused ... November 6th, 2009

Time for Obama to earn the Nobel Prize
As President Barack Obama rethinks U.S. policy in Afghanistan, I keep hoping the premature Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded tips him toward restraint rather than escalation as he considers commanding General Stanley McChrystal's request for 40,000 new U.S. troops. News in recent weeks makes it difficult to justify spilling more American blood to prop up an unpopular, corrupt Karzai government that needs voter fraud to stay in power." November 3rd, 2009

Don't it always seem to go
I gave Gov. Linda Lingle grief for taking off on a two-week trip to China while the budget deficit, labor talks and if future of our public schools are at crisis points, and Democratic chairman Brian Schatz vamped off of it by calling on Lingle to cancel her trip because "there's just way too much work to be done." November 2nd, 2009

Hawai'i and the national power grid
There are advantages and disadvantages about living in Hawaii, arguably the most isolated urban center of population on Earth. The advantages are our weather, our unusual natural beauty, our exotic qualities and so forth. The disadvantages are that being non-contiguous, we lose out on a lot. October 28th, 2009

A way to end the school furloughs
Just about everybody recognizes it was a bad idea to enact 17 teacher furlough days a year that reduce instruction days at our already struggling public schools by 10 percent, but finding a way to back out is proving thorny. The state's revenue crisis is real and there is no viable way around reducing payroll, which makes up 70 percent of the budget. October 26th, 2009

flASHback: Dark days at the Capitol
I don't know where I get off making light of anybody else when I didn't have the brains to take a Furlough Friday, but here we go with our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused: More than 20 state buildings are will be shut down two Fridays a month because of public worker furloughs. Lieutenant governor candidates have to move their support group meetings to the Convention Center. October 24rd, 2009

Not enough
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is running for governor next year, has been largely alone among the state's congressional delegation in speaking out about furlough Fridays for teachers. On Wednesday, the Hawai'i Democrat suggested that federal stimulus money might help restore classroom instruction time lost to furloughs. He told supporters in e-mail message yesterday, however, that federal stimulus money alone would not be enough but might help. October 23rd, 2009

Open Letter to Rep. Neil Abercrombie: Save Hawai'i's Schools and Government
I submitted this open letter to U.S. Represenative Abercrombie through his website on behalf of all residents of Hawai'i. I hope you add your voice as well. October 23rd, 2009

Terrifying words and Furlough Fridays
Somebody in the comments section last week derided Ronald Reagan's famous quotation, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' " I'm no Reaganite, but I've always appreciated that line because it has an undeniable ring of truth to it; with all of its red tape, when the government sets out to "help," it often only succeeds in making matters more frustrating. October 22nd, 2009

Loose cannons on the mayoral deck
Collective bargaining procedures between public workers, the state and the counties don't always make sense, such as when the mayors have to sign off on the state's agreements with its employees and the governor has to agree to contracts with police and firefighters that are entirely the counties' business.But generations of governors and mayors made it work, including some who didn't care for each other at all, such as George Ariyoshi and Frank Fasi or Ben Cayetano and Jeremy Harris. October 21st, 2009

When smoke gets in your brain
The decision by the Obama Justice Department to stop prosecuting medical marijuana users and their legitimate suppliers in the 14 states including Hawai'i that allow medical pot makes eminent good sense on one level and none at all on another. There's little point in dropping the heavy arm of federal law enforcement on sick people with cancer and other diseases who smoke pot because it makes them feel a little better. October 20th, 2009

Second Open Letter to President Obama: Save Hawai'i's Schools and Government
I submitted this open letter to President Obama through his website on behalf of all residents of Hawai'i. I hope you add your voice as well. October 19th, 2009

Turning away from tragedy
I took a staycation at the Sheraton Waikiki last month and went down to the beach between the Sheraton and Royal Hawaiian late one night to catch a little breeze off the ocean. It's eerie to think how close I must have been to where Bryanna Antone, a 25-year-old visitor from New Mexico, lost her life in the early morning of Oct. 2. October 14th, 2009

No defensible rationale
The state Senate and House committees that looked into proposed layoffs at the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism -- including most of the staff at the state film office -- have concluded that department director Ted Liu has failed to present a "defensible rationale" for the layoffs. October 14th, 2009

Open Letter to President Obama: Support Hawai'i's Schools
I submitted this open letter to President Obama through his website on behalf of all residents of Hawai'i. I hope you add your voice as well. October 13th, 2009

Misplaced aggression
I agree with some of the criticism of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize going to President Barack Obama, which was premature at the very least. It's an honor that usually is awarded for significant accomplishment, and Obama's only real accomplishment so far is getting himself elected against substantial odds. In terms of advancing the cause of world peace, he's all promise and potential at this point, and it would have been more appropriate for the Nobel committee to see how he delivers on the promise before considering him for an award that even the president seemed a little embarrassed about. October 12th, 2009

Ups and downs of those revenue collections
As reports of the state's general fund revenue collections last month sparked another call by the administration to further tighten the state's spending belt, there were others who looked at the negative 5 percent growth rate as an indicator that the economy was improving as it was less of a decline than the negative 9 percent growth rate reported for the first month of the fiscal year. October 12th, 2009

Marijuana Licensing Fails to Chase the Shadows
The only person in America with a state license to distribute marijuana wants to keep her identity secret. "I'm so totally paranoid I can't stand myself," said the distributor, who runs a nonprofit group here that grows and sells marijuana for medicinal purposes and who insisted on meeting in the privacy of a hotel room. It was not meant to be this way. October 10th, 2009

Students held hostage
Is it just me, or is the latest teachers' contract starting to look like the last one when the Hawai'i State Teachers Association signed a contract it didn't like and then immediately started trying to get out of it? Last time, the union consented to random drug tests, but instituted dilatory tactics that prevented them from ever happening as teachers collected pay raises worth 11 percent over two years. October 8th, 2009

Where's the beef? You don't want to know
The New York Times had a riveting story this weekend about Stephanie Smith's harrowing battle with E. coli that left her paralyzed after months of misery in which her life hung by a thread. After eating a frozen hamburger at a family barbeque, the 22-year-old Minnesota dance instructor went into a downward spiral that started with diarrhea, seizures and convulsions and ended up with doctors inducing her into a nine-week coma that left her unable to walk. October 5th, 2009

For crying out loud
I don't know whether to laugh or sink into depression over the state's loss of another $44 million because of a stupid !$@#%&* math error! I'll let you know tomorrow. Real people who are already hurting will suffer more. October 1st, 2009

Charter schools in danger
Reading between the lines of a story in yesterday's Advertiser, I'm starting to fear that DOE bureaucrats are using the budget crunch as a cover to kill off innovative charter schools started under the Waihee administration, which the bureaucracy has always seen as threats to its ironclad central rule. September 30th, 2009

Proper channels
State Sen. Shan Tsutsui, D-4th (Kahului), as promised, wrote Gov. Linda Lingle a response today to her plans to cancel a new Maui jail in part over comments Tsutsui made in a recent Maui News article. September 30th, 2009

Man going 'round
Please share your thoughts on why these times are getting scarier & scarier. Are you really concerned that another round of detention camps are coming down the pike for the rest of us - and not just the bad guys behind the poor doofus who ate a bomb in order to blow up a plane. Unfortunately for him but not for the passengers, he wound up creating a big hole in the ground. September 29th, 2009

The pot and the kettle
I have to say I got a major chuckle out of a letter to the editor in Thursday's Advertiser complaining about coverage of the performance by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at Hickam. It was short, so I'll just repeat the whole thing: September 28th, 2009

With God on our side
Mixing politics and religion has always been dicey in Hawai'i, but it could get another test in the 2010 election. Our religious beliefs, like our ethnicities, are diverse and force a culture of tolerance. The Hawai'i Legislature's resolution declaring tomorrow to be Islam Day has caused more of a stir on the Mainland than it has here. September 26th, 2009

The kids take the biggest hit
The agreement between the state and public school teachers was a necessary first step toward resolving a series of labor disputes that are making it impossible for the state to effectively deal with record revenue shortfalls. September 25th, 2009

Earlier this year, the state Department of Human Services frowned on a plan by state Senate Democrats to relax state eligibility requirements for the federal food stamp program. Senate Democrats wanted to remove an asset test, streamline the application process, let people apply by fax, and allow telephone interviews for eligibility instead of face-to-face interviews. September 24th, 2009

Tracy Nakano Bean, who finished third in the special election last April to replace the late Barbara Marshall on the Honolulu City Council, plans to run as a Republican in state Senate District 24 (Kailua, Kane'ohe) in 2010. State Sen. Jill Tokuda, a Democrat, is facing her first re-election campaign in a Windward district that can be friendly territory for the GOP. September 23rd, 2009

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