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John Pritchett: Final Destination John Pritchett/Civil Beat

John Pritchett: Final Destination

A $3.6 billion dollar budget deficit has taxpayers in Honolulu wondering if the rail project will ever reach Ala Moana Center as promised. The line is now projected to cost at least $12.4 billion and there are more calls for it to stop at Middle Street.

John Pritchett: Bad Penny ASUS

John Pritchett: Bad Penny

The news that former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is taking a six-figure consultant job with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has a lot of folks suspecting the influence of politics on a project way over budget and way behind schedule.

John Pritchett: Hot Air John Pritchett/Civil Beat

John Pritchett: Hot Air

Hawaii lawmakers are scheduled to conclude this year’s session on Thursday. But lots of bills died and it’s hard to think of much of substance that was accomplished.

John Pritchett: Audit Man ASUS

John Pritchett: Audit Man

A report requested by House leadership faulted State Auditor Les Kondo for late reports, unqualified staff and inconsistent standards. But Kondo is fighting back, arguing that the real reason behind auditing the auditor is purely political.

John Pritchett: Artistic License ASUS

John Pritchett: Artistic License

Mayor Rick Blangiardi says he is “dead set against” returning the City and County of Honolulu to stricter COVID-19 rules, even as case counts climb upward. This past week, he and Gov. David Ige agreed to keep Oahu in Tier 3 for at least a few more weeks.
John Pritchett: Tourism, The Sequel John Pritchett/Civil Beat

John Pritchett: Tourism, The Sequel

The recent influx of visitors to the islands brings to mind a tag line from the old “Poltergeist” films. We need tourists, but their outsize presence after a year’s absence is also a little unnerving.

John Pritchett: Double Standard ASUS

John Pritchett: Double Standard

The Hawaii House Speaker wants public officials to get substantial salary increases even as the state continues to struggle through a pandemic-induced economic crisis.

John Pritchett: Railroaded John Pritchett/Civil Beat

John Pritchett: Railroaded

If Rip Van Winkle fell asleep in Honolulu in 2006 when the rail cost was $3 billion, imagine his reaction upon waking 15 years later.

John Pritchett: Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? John Pritchett/Civil Beat

John Pritchett: Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Top Democrats in Hawaii are hailing the $1.6 billion in federal pandemic relief money to help the state budget. While fiscal challenges remain, the big bucks mean there will be no furloughs or layoffs of state workers.