HONOLULU — Officials are worried a strike involving about 2,700 Marriott hotel workers in Hawaii could continue into next year.
January Barros met her husband and future business partner, Rodrigo, while she was hitchhiking one morning in Kona. Rodrigo, a Brazilian expat from São Paulo, was on his way to helicopter pilot school at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport when he spotted her on the side of Kaiminani Street, thumb outstretched. She had recently moved back to Kona from the mainland and was trying to get to the Honokohau Harbor to go sailing. He had just landed on the island a few months prior, to earn his U.S. helicopter pilot’s license and he spoke very broken English.
One article that recently appeared in the Star-Advertiser was titled, “State forgoing millions in federal reimbursements.” The state agency referred to in that article was our Department of Education.
Lots of the controversy swirling around the ballot measure seeking to impose a “surcharge” on investment property to support public education involves our Department of Education (DOE). The DOE currently receives an appropriation from the state’s General Fund of about $2 billion and is also able to pull from other funding sources such as federal funds.
In a few weeks, 2,550 athletes will descend on West Hawaii for what is arguably the greatest endurance sporting event in the world: the Ironman World Championship. These athletes will be attended to by 5,000 volunteers, both community members and visitors, and will be reported on by approximately 250 credentialed members of the media, supported by hundreds of TV production and social media crew members, making this the largest media event in the state. It’s a far cry from the tiny, 15-contestant race of the first Ironman 40 years ago.
The news recently mentioned a lawsuit that the City and County of Honolulu, now joined by the other three counties, has leveled against our state government regarding the HSTA-sponsored constitutional amendment. The counties, obviously not overjoyed at the prospect of the state slapping a surcharge on their primary source of revenue, want the courts to void the ballot question. They list several reasons, including that the ballot question is misleading; that “investment property,” the subject of the new tax/surcharge, is hopelessly vague; and that Senate Bill 2922, which contains the amendment, was improperly adopted.