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Helton touts guest houses as way to ease Kaua‘i housing shortage

The following commentary was first published on July 4, 2024, in The Garden Island newspaper. ______________ Kaua‘i County lawmakers will soon have another chance to ease the island’s critical housing shortage when a bill comes before them that would allow existing Kaua‘i homeowners to build both accessory dwelling units and

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Welcome to more craziness caused by 1886 maritime law

Royal Caribbean’s Adventures of the Seas cruise ship. The following commentary was originally published in The Well News on Dec. 1, 2023. _____________ Cruise ships sailing empty? It’s a recipe for financial loss, and cruise operators avoid it whenever possible. But it does happen. As reported by Newsweek, it happened in

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Expand interstate licensure compacts

Photo by Charley Myers The following was originally published as an “Island Voices” commentary in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Nov. 28, 2023. ____________ Hawaii lawmakers took a major step this year toward fixing Hawaii’s doctor shortage by having the state join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). Now they should

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Maui can take lead in ‘Yes in God’s backyard’ housing

This article was originally published in The Maui News on Nov. 10, 2023. _____________ Maui County should make it easier for churches and other charitable organizations to build housing on their lands. Case in point: The nonprofit Family Life Center and King’s Cathedral in Kahului are partnering to put up 85

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Relax rules on ‘cottage food’ entrepreneurs

Photo by Mark Coleman The following commentary was originally published in West Hawaii Today on Nov. 4, 2023, and in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on Nov. 5, 2023. __________ Hawaii is one of the most challenging states in which to start a business. Oodles of regulations and taxes and high housing,

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Is it really a good idea to build a new Aloha Stadium?

Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium had a long run of hosting sporting events, music concerts and other community activities — including an ongoing swap meet in its parking lot. Now that the old stadium is scheduled for demolition, many politicians and Hawaii residents want the state to build a new one.  But

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Think small to help resolve Kaua‘i’s housing crisis

The following commentary was originally published Sept. 27, 2023, in The Garden Island newspaper on Kaua‘i. _____________ If Kaua‘i County lawmakers would like to get ahead of the housing crisis curve, they should consider allowing homebuilding on lot sizes smaller than currently allowed. The simple truth is that larger houses cost more.

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India abolishes its ‘Jones Act,’ could be role model for U.S.

India has abolished its equivalent of the Jones Act — America’s 1920 U.S. maritime law that prohibits foreign shipping competition between U.S. ports and adds to American business and consumer costs. According to news sources such as Splash 24/7 and the India-based National Herald, leading government officials in the world’s

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Hawaii’s internet future depends on existing Jones Act exemption

Above, the Normand Clipper, built in 2001 and owned by Global Marine Systems of the United Kingdom, which installs and maintains undersea fiber-optic cables around the globe. _______________ If you would like to prevent Hawaiian Telcom from upgrading Hawaii’s broadband infrastructure under a recently awarded $37 million federal grant, you

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New law could help resolve Maui’s axis deer problem

The following article was published originally by Maui Now on July 5, 2023. ______________ Maui’s struggle with invasive deer might have just gotten easier to tackle, thanks to a bill signed into law by Governor Josh Green. Passed by the Legislature earlier this year, HB1382, now Act 54, allows nonprofits

Read More →

Helton touts guest houses as way to ease Kaua‘i housing shortage

The following commentary was first published on July 4, 2024, in The Garden Island newspaper. ______________ Kaua‘i County lawmakers will soon have another chance to ease the island’s critical housing shortage when a bill comes before them that would allow existing Kaua‘i homeowners to build both accessory dwelling units and

Read More →

Welcome to more craziness caused by 1886 maritime law

Royal Caribbean’s Adventures of the Seas cruise ship. The following commentary was originally published in The Well News on Dec. 1, 2023. _____________ Cruise ships sailing empty? It’s a recipe for financial loss, and cruise operators avoid it whenever possible. But it does happen. As reported by Newsweek, it happened in

Read More →

Expand interstate licensure compacts

Photo by Charley Myers The following was originally published as an “Island Voices” commentary in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Nov. 28, 2023. ____________ Hawaii lawmakers took a major step this year toward fixing Hawaii’s doctor shortage by having the state join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). Now they should

Read More →

Maui can take lead in ‘Yes in God’s backyard’ housing

This article was originally published in The Maui News on Nov. 10, 2023. _____________ Maui County should make it easier for churches and other charitable organizations to build housing on their lands. Case in point: The nonprofit Family Life Center and King’s Cathedral in Kahului are partnering to put up 85

Read More →

Relax rules on ‘cottage food’ entrepreneurs

Photo by Mark Coleman The following commentary was originally published in West Hawaii Today on Nov. 4, 2023, and in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on Nov. 5, 2023. __________ Hawaii is one of the most challenging states in which to start a business. Oodles of regulations and taxes and high housing,

Read More →

Is it really a good idea to build a new Aloha Stadium?

Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium had a long run of hosting sporting events, music concerts and other community activities — including an ongoing swap meet in its parking lot. Now that the old stadium is scheduled for demolition, many politicians and Hawaii residents want the state to build a new one.  But

Read More →

Think small to help resolve Kaua‘i’s housing crisis

The following commentary was originally published Sept. 27, 2023, in The Garden Island newspaper on Kaua‘i. _____________ If Kaua‘i County lawmakers would like to get ahead of the housing crisis curve, they should consider allowing homebuilding on lot sizes smaller than currently allowed. The simple truth is that larger houses cost more.

Read More →

India abolishes its ‘Jones Act,’ could be role model for U.S.

India has abolished its equivalent of the Jones Act — America’s 1920 U.S. maritime law that prohibits foreign shipping competition between U.S. ports and adds to American business and consumer costs. According to news sources such as Splash 24/7 and the India-based National Herald, leading government officials in the world’s

Read More →

Hawaii’s internet future depends on existing Jones Act exemption

Above, the Normand Clipper, built in 2001 and owned by Global Marine Systems of the United Kingdom, which installs and maintains undersea fiber-optic cables around the globe. _______________ If you would like to prevent Hawaiian Telcom from upgrading Hawaii’s broadband infrastructure under a recently awarded $37 million federal grant, you

Read More →

New law could help resolve Maui’s axis deer problem

The following article was published originally by Maui Now on July 5, 2023. ______________ Maui’s struggle with invasive deer might have just gotten easier to tackle, thanks to a bill signed into law by Governor Josh Green. Passed by the Legislature earlier this year, HB1382, now Act 54, allows nonprofits

Read More →