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President’s Corner

State law never meant to create indefinite emergency

With the state awash in rumors about new COVID-19 restrictions — or even another lockdown — we are witnessing the breakdown in trust that occurs when there is not enough transparency in government decision-making. For more than a year, we have been living under a different kind of governance, with

Read More →

Where’s the aloha for Hawaii bar owners?

No local businesses have had an easy time navigating Hawaii’s state and county lockdowns. But Hawaii’s bars might be among those that have suffered the most under the confusing COVID-19 tier system. Even now, many local bars and restaurants are struggling to handle the demands of Tier 5, which requires

Read More →

Coalitions critical if we hope to reform the Jones Act

Webinar panelists were, from left, Bob Gunter, Bethany Marcum, Rafael Velez and Colin Grabow. “If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave and the enemy’s position strong; if he has no alliances, the problem is minor and the enemy’s position weak.” ~ Sun Tzu in “The Art of War.”

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State tourism policy truly is a mish-mash

If you want to find something that perfectly captures Hawaii’s schizophrenic tourism policy, you couldn’t do much better than House Bill 862. The bill sends an inconsistent message about tourism, suggesting that the industry shouldn’t have government funding while simultaneously making it more vital to state revenues. It was one

Read More →

High taxes pushing family and friends to leave

When you live in Hawaii, you get accustomed to saying goodbye. As a father, I’ve watched my children leave for the mainland to start college or their careers. And I know there’s a good chance they won’t be coming back, except for short visits. I am not alone. Who hasn’t

Read More →

End the COVID-19 transparency dodge

Hawaii businesses might be reopening, but Hawaii government agencies still have a ways to go. In the past, government agencies here have been criticized for their lack of transparency. Despite the state’s open-records law, some have become notorious for denying open-records requests or delaying their responses. We have seen various legislative proposals meant

Read More →

Don’t criminalize COVID-19 rule breakers

When you turn ordinary behavior into criminal behavior overnight, you need to be prepared for some unjust results. That’s exactly what happened after the governor and Hawaii’s four mayors imposed their COVID-19 emergency orders: People who had never been arrested or convicted of crimes in their entire lives suddenly were

Read More →

Alaska cruising victory bodes well for Hawaii

A case of maritime-related common sense has broken out in Washington, D.C. Let’s hope it’s contagious. Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii partnered with the Alaska Policy Forum in support of a resolution before the Alaska Legislature that asked Congress to grant the Last Frontier an exemption to

Read More →

Waiver goodbye to the Jones Act?

If a shipping law that ostensibly protects “national security” has to be waived every time there’s a crisis, maybe the problem is the law itself. President Joe Biden granted two limited Jones Act exemptions over the past 10 days in response to the ransomware attack that temporarily shut down the

Read More →

State law never meant to create indefinite emergency

With the state awash in rumors about new COVID-19 restrictions — or even another lockdown — we are witnessing the breakdown in trust that occurs when there is not enough transparency in government decision-making. For more than a year, we have been living under a different kind of governance, with

Read More →

Where’s the aloha for Hawaii bar owners?

No local businesses have had an easy time navigating Hawaii’s state and county lockdowns. But Hawaii’s bars might be among those that have suffered the most under the confusing COVID-19 tier system. Even now, many local bars and restaurants are struggling to handle the demands of Tier 5, which requires

Read More →

Coalitions critical if we hope to reform the Jones Act

Webinar panelists were, from left, Bob Gunter, Bethany Marcum, Rafael Velez and Colin Grabow. “If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave and the enemy’s position strong; if he has no alliances, the problem is minor and the enemy’s position weak.” ~ Sun Tzu in “The Art of War.”

Read More →

State tourism policy truly is a mish-mash

If you want to find something that perfectly captures Hawaii’s schizophrenic tourism policy, you couldn’t do much better than House Bill 862. The bill sends an inconsistent message about tourism, suggesting that the industry shouldn’t have government funding while simultaneously making it more vital to state revenues. It was one

Read More →

High taxes pushing family and friends to leave

When you live in Hawaii, you get accustomed to saying goodbye. As a father, I’ve watched my children leave for the mainland to start college or their careers. And I know there’s a good chance they won’t be coming back, except for short visits. I am not alone. Who hasn’t

Read More →

End the COVID-19 transparency dodge

Hawaii businesses might be reopening, but Hawaii government agencies still have a ways to go. In the past, government agencies here have been criticized for their lack of transparency. Despite the state’s open-records law, some have become notorious for denying open-records requests or delaying their responses. We have seen various legislative proposals meant

Read More →

Don’t criminalize COVID-19 rule breakers

When you turn ordinary behavior into criminal behavior overnight, you need to be prepared for some unjust results. That’s exactly what happened after the governor and Hawaii’s four mayors imposed their COVID-19 emergency orders: People who had never been arrested or convicted of crimes in their entire lives suddenly were

Read More →

Alaska cruising victory bodes well for Hawaii

A case of maritime-related common sense has broken out in Washington, D.C. Let’s hope it’s contagious. Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii partnered with the Alaska Policy Forum in support of a resolution before the Alaska Legislature that asked Congress to grant the Last Frontier an exemption to

Read More →

Waiver goodbye to the Jones Act?

If a shipping law that ostensibly protects “national security” has to be waived every time there’s a crisis, maybe the problem is the law itself. President Joe Biden granted two limited Jones Act exemptions over the past 10 days in response to the ransomware attack that temporarily shut down the

Read More →