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.

Prayers, politics and policy – Thanksgiving thoughts

I think taking one day per year and dedicating it to being thankful is a good idea. Actually, I wake up most mornings just being thankful for being alive, thankful for my good health, for my wonderful family, and for being able to do the work that I do.

Wasting not, wanting not, in gratitude

While practicing an American medley of tunes by a male composer named Clare for the Kauai Community College Orchestra winter concert — with Thanksgiving Day upcoming — it struck me that “Turkey in the Straw” wasn’t included.