Civic duty – avoiding the lines

Imagine for a second or a minute, or perhaps for a day or a month - that you were in control. Instead of watching helplessly as your life and the world flew by, imagine if you could actually make a difference in the outcomes. Now imagine how silly, how dumb and how regretful you will feel when you realize, possibly too late that it is true.

Time to pivot to local elections

In only 60 days the 2020 primary election will essentially be over. Ballots will be mailed out on or about July 22, and most of the voting will occur in the following 10 days. All ballots must be received by Aug. 8. Important: Ballots must be received by Aug. 8 and not mailed by Aug. 8.

State Legislature: Budget work is only half of it

While Hawai‘i’s legislative leadership is crowing loudly about their proclivity in spending the COVID-19 disaster money, balancing the state budget and avoiding public-worker layoffs and salary cuts, there is far too much still going undone.

COVID-19 conspiracy or conundrum

While my first inclination is to avoid the topic, the increasing amount of theoretical speculation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic motivates me to weigh in on the issue.

Pandemic priorities – thinking ahead

While our first priority is personal health and then the economic realities of today, we must also at some point soon talk about what comes tomorrow.

Covid-19, County leadership and moving forward

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami should be commended for his leadership in guiding Kauai County through these past very difficult few weeks. His daily updates have provided a calm, consistent and reassuring message that appropriate measures are being put into place to limit the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 and the 48% living on the edge

These are crazy, dangerous times. The fear, tension, and panic of the coronavirus pandemic have clearly taken over all aspects of our daily lives. The entire planet is enveloped in the same hysteria and threatened by the same pathogen which does not discriminate due to nationality, race, color, religion, gender or sexual preference. Arguably it does discriminate by age and by income. Older people die in greater numbers and people who can afford to travel are the primary transmitters.

An exercise in civic engagement

Game on. HB2541 HD1 which among other things proposes to increase Hawaiii’s minimum wage to $13, is scheduled for its first hearing in the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts, this coming Thursday, March 12 at 3:15pm in room #224 at the Capitol on Oahu.

On choosing a 7th Councilmember

It’s inevitable that Arthur Brun will either resign or be removed from the Kauai County Council. The public pressure will grow until at some point in the not too distant future, Councilmembers and or the ethics commission will no longer be able to avoid confronting the issue.

Predicting Council Votes/Actions – Bill 2775

Today, on the Kauai County Council Agenda is Bill 2775, a measure introduced by Councilmembers Mason Chock and KipuKai Kuali‘i that would effectively ban the use of most styrofoam or polystyrene fast-food containers. This in my opinion is a very good thing (and this is an opinion column for those that are concerned about my offering an opinion).

Looking the other way is not an option

Drinking from a fire hose, blind-folded with both arms tied behind your back. This is a description that comes to mind when folks ask me to describe what it’s like working in the legislative arena as an advocate.