Hawaiian Electric charitable donations top $1M in 2019

In 2019, Hawaiian Electric gave more than $1.02 million in corporate grants, contributions and sponsorships to nonprofit organizations across Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui County. Of the total, more than $175,000 supported the advancement of STEM education, curriculum, and initiatives.

Do you buy fuel? Then be very afraid!

We have occasionally written about a “carbon tax,” something environmentalists appear to be supporting enthusiastically. The basic idea behind one is that a tax is placed upon the purchase of all fuels that result in carbon emissions when the fuel is burned to release energy. The amount of the tax is based on the type of fuel and is priced to be a certain dollar amount per metric ton of carbon emitted into our atmosphere.

Permitting: Insights from across the island chain

For those of you who aren’t aware, permitting for construction of new developments or renovation of existing structures is a huge problem on Hawaii Island. It has been recognized by the business community as a major barrier to economic development and working toward improvement of the permitting process is one of the three top priority areas for the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. For those of you who are aware and have been following this issue, you’ve now got something new to think about.

In brief

Project Vision Hawaii announces new
executive director

In brief

Chang named DBEDT deputy director

The ConAm returns

Two years ago, we as voters were inundated with impassioned arguments on both sides of a proposed constitutional amendment (“ConAm” for short). The amendment would have given the State the power to impose a surcharge on real property tax, ostensibly to fund teacher pay raises.

House panel asks whether legislation can keep cash as king

WASHINGTON — At some uncertain point in the future, printing cash may be a waste of money. As Americans increasingly rely on credit cards, online transfers, mobile apps and cryptocurrencies to complete transactions, a House panel debated Thursday the promise and potential pitfalls of a cashless society.

More special funds?

After going through the hundreds of bills introduced in the 2020 Legislature, a few themes appear to be emerging.

Commerce secretary: China virus could bring jobs back to US

WASHINGTON — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested Thursday that the viral outbreak in China might offer an unexpected benefit for the U.S. economy: It could encourage American manufacturers in China to return to the United States.

Don’t let them double up!

On Jan. 8, Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee Brandon Kaleiana Lee wrote an op-ed in the Star-Advertiser titled, “OHA has right to attorney-client privilege.” In that article, Lee was reacting to State Auditor Les Kondo’s insistence that the OHA trustees turn over unredacted executive session minutes that apparently contain legal advice given by their hired counsel. He contended that “it is clear that such communications are clearly protected as part of the OHA board’s attorney-client privilege as a matter of longstanding U.S. Supreme Court constitutional law,” and turned the matter into an indigenous peoples issue: “Why is it when Native Hawaiians seek the same rights and protections to which everyone else is entitled, they are called protesters, are deemed uncooperative, or are accused of hiding something?”

In brief

Hawaii’s tourism industry came together earlier this monthto honor the best and brightest employees in a variety of categories. Nearly 1,000 hotel employees, their family members, and other industry stakeholders gathered for The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s 30th annual Na Poe Paahana Awards. The annual awards ceremony, which name translates literally as “the hard-working people” was held in the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu.

Hawaiian Electric grant to help ohia

The nonprofit Ka Ahahui o Ka Nahelelehe, which works to protect Hawaii’s dryland forests, has received a $27,500 grant from Hawaiian Electric for its Rapid Ohia Death Seed Banking Initiative, an effort to preserve seeds from the native

Tax Foundation of Hawaii: Don’t let them double up

Following a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018 (South Dakota v. Wayfair), many states, including ours, enacted “economic nexus” legislation, which means that we consider any business that transacts $100,000 or more in Hawaii sales or 200 or more Hawaii transactions to be subject to Hawaii tax laws, and we require such a business to comply with the law by registering and paying tax. That legislation went into effect July 1, 2018.