Government & Civics

Budding Industry

Sixteen years ago, Hawaii legalized medical marijuana but never made it easy for qualified patients to obtain it. That’s about to change: Eight companies are preparing to open stores statewide that will sell state-tested and regulated medical marijuana for roughly…

Drones Unleashed

Tucked inside Battery Bill’s store on Dillingham Boulevard is another store that looks like an oversize walk-in closet, but is, in fact, the epicenter of one of the state’s fastest growing industries. Drone Services Hawaii LLC, open for less than two…

Hawaii: Who We Are

Our Sources Reliable data collection on a big scale takes time. The most recent statistics available for this report are primarily from 2014, sometimes earlier or from 2015. Our information came from many sources; here are abbreviations and acronyms we…

Middle School Miracles

A groundbreaking program – based on solid data about student performance – is leading to remarkable changes in middle-school students around the state. Let’s start with three students at Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School. One eighth grade boy was…

Back to the Hill

Hawaii companies will return to Washington in June to show that the Aloha State's economy is more than just tourism and the military If you want to make a splash, sometimes you have to cross the ocean. The challenges faced…

One Size Does Not Fit All

It doesn’t look like a homeless shelter – and that’s the point. Cheery paint and graphic shapes tie together the 22 bed areas, creating a hip, treehouse feel. Bathrooms are private and gender neutral, a recognition of the fact that 40…

What's Astronomy's Future in Hawaii

For weeks, the astronomers, technicians and support staff working on Mauna Kea watched the protesters. Native Hawaiians and others opposed to the massive Thirty Meter Telescope gathered near the 9,000-foot mark, their encampment near Hale Pohaku, the small campus where…

Workers: Know Your Rights

There are many myths and misunderstandings about employment rules and regulations. Here’s our guide to workers’ rights and employers’ obligations, but please take note: We are not lawyers and this guide is no substitute for legal counsel. In many ways,…

Lodgers and Tax Dodgers

It was dark and raining when my plane touched down in Honolulu for my mini-vacation, so I used my GPS to guide me to where I would spend the next two nights. But, instead of taking me to Waikiki’s well-lit,…

Are You Licensed to Do That Work?

The state’s Professional & Vocational Licensing Division is one of those government agencies that operates quietly, without much public notice – until people need its help. In 2012, a hailstorm damaged hundreds of roofs in Kailua, which meant hundreds of…

Preparing For When This is Not a Drill

"Are you breathing?" Emergency-room doctor David Williams leans over a “patient” covered in realistic-looking ash and blood. Surrounding him in the pop-up hospital tent lie a dozen more volunteer victims, ready for triage after a plane has crashed at Kahului Airport.…

Follow the Money

Dozens of local charities work with homeless people. All have boards of directors and staff. Most have an office and equipment, like a bus or kitchen, to maintain. And almost all face the same need to raise funds and provide…

Broken: Stuck in Permit Purgatory

George Atta, director of the Department of Planning and Permitting and a former principal at the architectural firm Group 70 international, knows just how swamped Honolulu's permitting system is. Hideo Simon can barely contain his frustration. “It took me six…