Under the guise of civility

As newly elected legislators at all levels begin taking office, it is important to remind everyone that robust debate and holding our politicians accountable is critical to a healthy democracy.

Kauai’s hidden homeless: Hoku Rowland

In our last Homegrown Housing column we talked about Kauai’s homeless problem and introduced some ideas to find solutions. This week we are hearing directly from one of our homeless neighbors.

Co-chairs would serve community, council well

Our new County Council is in the process of selecting a new chair and vice chair for the 2018-20 term. Those who occupy these positions will greatly affect how the council conducts its business over the next two years, and in turn will have a substantial impact on how and what decisions are made about our island. This will have a significant impact on our community.

New council off to a head-shaking start

Kauai County may have just had its most important local election in a generation, but who would have thought the new County Council would begin by calling police to remove a public commenter who refused to relinquish his seat until someone told him who called the meeting?

Don’t begrudge pensions for public employees

I’m not jumping on the bandwagon of dumping on government employees, which notion corporate funded “grassroots” organizations, anti-tax institutes and conservative writers have drummed into our ears. It is an admitted push to “privatize” civic services, so business can grab even a larger portion of our tax dollars.

December BLNR meeting key to Kauai’s water

Hawaii’s Constitution enshrines the people’s common ownership of all the water that flows off the mountains in a public trust doctrine. Potential users that would profit from its use must ask for its use, how much and for what purpose, by applying for a lease.

Numbers tell an accurate election story

Underlying any election results — even those with very small electorates like Kauai’s that exhibit a remarkable indifference to voting — is the question: “What does it all mean?”

State’s unfunded liabilities crisis has a silver lining

Soaring public pension and health benefit costs will be slamming Hawaii’s county governments in coming years, forcing them to consider cutting important government services or increasing taxes — neither of which are attractive options.