Thursday
Jan212010

Protecting Community Facilities And Planning For The Future

Mayor Hannemann joined community leaders and officials at H-POWER expansion groundbreaking

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Thursday
Jan212010

New Years Resolutions are a Thing of the Past

According to the famous 1920’s self-help author, Florence Scovel Shinn, if “Your Word is Your Wand,” then you better say what you want.

In following up on last issue’s article about resolutions, we heard something loud and clear: nobody makes New Years Resolutions anymore. Why? Primarily because they don’t work. This would be true of anything you only gave attention to once a year. What would happen if you got a plant but only watered it once a year, or only put oil in your car every January? There is something about being resolute that sounds so unbending and narrow minded. Most of the people interviewed agreed that they all have goals that are on-going and active, which is why the baby steps mentioned in the previous article are so useful.

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Thursday
Jan072010

Reform the Process for Selecting our Police Chief

In November, our community was treated to an unfortunate circus relating to the selection of Honolulu’s Chief of Police. Although the end result appears to have worked out fine, the method of selecting the chief was mishandled.

In a democratic and open government, how a decision is made is often as important as what the decision is. A clear, above-board process in deliberating an important decision that affects everyone in a community is essential toward building public trust and confidence. While a dictatorial government can issue decisions by unilateral fiat, our democratic traditions demand that the government decision-making process be clear, open to scrutiny, and without bias.

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Thursday
Nov052009

Typical Duplicitous Behavior at City Hall

On the morning of October 28, the Honolulu City Council initially rejected establishing a new homeowner category for real property taxation.  A few hours later, two councilmembers, Todd Apo and Gary Okino, reversed themselves and the City Council approved the very same measure that it had just rejected.  This homeowner tax issue had been debated for years.  No new facts suddenly came to light in the intervening hours of October 28th.  These councilmembers’ reversal of their position just hours later appears to entirely be attributable to only thing:  private meetings with the mayor.

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Wednesday
Oct282009

Keeping our island safe in emergencies

The recent natural disasters in Samoa, the Philippines and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region have brought us closer together and reminded us, once again, of the need to be prepared for emergencies. I deeply appreciate the generosity and eagerness of so many to help our neighbors. 

We must not forget that we, in Hawaii, are also vulnerable to tsunamis, and that we need to be ready. Makai portions of East Oahu neighborhoods such as Portlock, Hawaii Kai, Kahala and Waikiki are among those that could be especially at risk. Following is some very important information from our Department of Emergency Management that everyone should be aware of.

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Thursday
Sep242009

Energy Reform

Today, everyone wants to be environmentally friendly and ‘green.’  Nearly every commercial these days has another company touting its environmental credentials.  The government is no different.  The difficulty in crafting environmental legislation, however, is making sensible choices and avoiding money give-aways.

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Wednesday
Sep232009

New Sidewalk Patrol focuses on Waikiki

I’m very pleased to announce our new Community Sidewalk Patrol, a program that will enlist the aid of volunteers to help the City repair its sidewalks.

The program’s first focus is Waikiki, due to its heavy pedestrian traffic. During the work week, City personnel will survey the sidewalks and spray paint areas determined to be potential trip hazards needing repairs. The volunteers, supervised by City personnel, will follow with an application of a quick-drying concrete patch to alleviate the problem.

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Monday
Sep212009

The Tipping Point

When providing educational sessions to “Unlimited Support” clients of Hawaii Kai Computer Guy, I often compare the emergence of the Internet to the Industrial Revolution. This period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries saw major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and transportation, and had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Europe, North America and eventually the world. The onset marked a major turning point in human society; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.

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Wednesday
Sep092009

Reforming Healthcare

The President has correctly diagnosed the need for major healthcare reform in our country.  The problem is that the prescription being offered by the majority in Congress is worse than the disease.

Healthcare costs have been rising faster than inflation for several years.  These costs consume an ever-increasing portion of all family and business budgets, including the City government’s budget.  Indeed, the city and state governments face an increasingly difficult time balancing the budget because of the rapid escalating cost of healthcare coverage.  When I entered the City Council I was struck that even when the city saw an increase in tax revenues, almost the entire increase was consumed by increasing healthcare costs.

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Monday
Sep072009

Weighing Student Privacy Against School Safety

If you were to draw up a list of the most worrisome safety issues facing public schools in Hawai‘i, trying to tackle the long-standing problem of illegal drugs and alcohol would rank right near the top.

Illegal drugs have no rightful place anywhere in our state.

They have even less of a place in our schools, where drugs and alcohol can severely impair academic performance while leading to class disruption, violence and other such irresponsible behaviors as skipping classes or failing to complete assignments.

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