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Op-Eds

High cost of living drives family, friends out of Hawaii

The following article was published originally Jan. 25, 2023, by the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. _____________ Hawaii’s population declined again in 2022, and that’s not good. More than 15,000 people left Hawaii for the mainland last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Counting births, deaths and immigration from other countries,

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Why are there so many mansions on Hawaii Island?

Ever wonder why so many mansions are being built on Hawaii Island? It’s because they don’t involve a lot of red tape or public opposition. The catch is they are being built on agricultural lands, where regulations allow one house per acre. This is why so many agricultural parcels are

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Yes, we have a crisis — of aloha and governance

Photo by Charley Myers This commentary was originally published in West Hawaii Today on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. _____________ In some ways, the public health threat posed by the coronavirus is not our only worry. Just as important is whether our government has crossed a line that we can’t come

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Isle residents need relief from Jones Act burden

The following commentary appeared in The Garden Island on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
 ___________ Visitors to Hawai‘i probably experience sticker shock when shopping at our local grocery stores. But Hawai‘i residents are shocked by those prices every day, and for that they can partly blame the 101-year-old Jones Act. The

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Hawaii’s tax future now in Gov. David Ige’s hands

Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo This article was originally published May 23, 2021 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. _________________ By Keli’i Akina and Tom Yamachika The time is fast approaching when we will learn if Gov. David Ige meant it when he said that tax hikes are “the last thing” our state needs right

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Survey shows that Honolulu residents are in a negative mood

This commentary was originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat on April 9, 2021. ___________ But that could change if the government changed. If the government is supposed to be of, by and for the people, it’s doing a pretty terrible job. That’s one conclusion to draw from the 2020 National Community

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Lawmakers should follow the ‘golden rule’ of budgeting

This commentary was originally published in The Maui News on April 14, 2021. ______________ If state leaders ever hope to revitalize Hawaii’s economy, they need to follow the “golden rule” of budgeting: Make sure government does not grow faster than the economy. That would leave more money for Hawaii residents

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If we can’t lower taxes, at least don’t increase them

The following commentary was originally published April  5, 2021, in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ___________ If there is a theme to this year’s legislative session, it would be, “taxes, taxes, taxes.” Even before the 2021 legislative session began, there was talk about increasing taxes to make up for COVID-19 revenue losses.

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High cost of living drives family, friends out of Hawaii

The following article was published originally Jan. 25, 2023, by the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. _____________ Hawaii’s population declined again in 2022, and that’s not good. More than 15,000 people left Hawaii for the mainland last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Counting births, deaths and immigration from other countries,

Read More →

Why are there so many mansions on Hawaii Island?

Ever wonder why so many mansions are being built on Hawaii Island? It’s because they don’t involve a lot of red tape or public opposition. The catch is they are being built on agricultural lands, where regulations allow one house per acre. This is why so many agricultural parcels are

Read More →

Yes, we have a crisis — of aloha and governance

Photo by Charley Myers This commentary was originally published in West Hawaii Today on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. _____________ In some ways, the public health threat posed by the coronavirus is not our only worry. Just as important is whether our government has crossed a line that we can’t come

Read More →

Isle residents need relief from Jones Act burden

The following commentary appeared in The Garden Island on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
 ___________ Visitors to Hawai‘i probably experience sticker shock when shopping at our local grocery stores. But Hawai‘i residents are shocked by those prices every day, and for that they can partly blame the 101-year-old Jones Act. The

Read More →

Hawaii’s tax future now in Gov. David Ige’s hands

Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo This article was originally published May 23, 2021 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. _________________ By Keli’i Akina and Tom Yamachika The time is fast approaching when we will learn if Gov. David Ige meant it when he said that tax hikes are “the last thing” our state needs right

Read More →

Survey shows that Honolulu residents are in a negative mood

This commentary was originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat on April 9, 2021. ___________ But that could change if the government changed. If the government is supposed to be of, by and for the people, it’s doing a pretty terrible job. That’s one conclusion to draw from the 2020 National Community

Read More →

Lawmakers should follow the ‘golden rule’ of budgeting

This commentary was originally published in The Maui News on April 14, 2021. ______________ If state leaders ever hope to revitalize Hawaii’s economy, they need to follow the “golden rule” of budgeting: Make sure government does not grow faster than the economy. That would leave more money for Hawaii residents

Read More →

If we can’t lower taxes, at least don’t increase them

The following commentary was originally published April  5, 2021, in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ___________ If there is a theme to this year’s legislative session, it would be, “taxes, taxes, taxes.” Even before the 2021 legislative session began, there was talk about increasing taxes to make up for COVID-19 revenue losses.

Read More →