Panos Prevedouros, a professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii
GET SMART: Panos Prevedouros, a professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii, says HECO should invest in smart grid technology not costly "pie in the sky" ideas.
Panos Prevedouros, professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii

BY PANOS PREVEDOUROS PHD – I hardly ever give election advice.  You, my readers, mostly independent and almost evenly split Democrat and Republican have your opinions.  So I just offer some brief comments.

For governor my choice is between Duke Aiona and David Ige.  Duke was a judge and he’s trustworthy. He’s pro small business of which Hawaii has plenty. David is an engineer with a keen knowledge of the state budget.  He has a good working relation with Hawaii’s one-sided Legislature. Both have a grasp of Hawaii’s problems and what a governor can do about them.  I think Hawaii will do OK with either of them.

Both Duke and David appear to be calm and collected enough to weather a major storm. It’s almost certain that the next economic recession will occur in the coming four years and it won’t be mild. Hawaii’s fragile economy will be clobbered by pension and EUTF liabilities, by Obamacare cost increases and by military cuts; and by the constant parasitic impacts of rail’s construction and tax.

My advice to the next Governor: Take the time to focus on transportation and energy.  The renewable mandates make Hawaii more unaffordable and the mothballed interisland cable is yet another boondoggle; it costs more than the funds needed to mitigate Oahu’s dependency on oil! Rail won’t do anything for traffic congestion, not upon opening (when?) not ever.  Do get serious about tackling the mounting traffic congestion. Upgrade the Honolulu Airport, now ranked 3rd worst in the nation: Fully enclose and air condition all terminals, expand and improve the passport control area, and electrify the Wiki-Wiki asap. Promise to work on these and you’ll get my vote.

I definitely know who to vote for Congress.  Both Charles Djou and Mark Takai are smart, decent and knowledgeable candidates. I think Charles has better answers to important issues for Hawaii. The important question is this: What’s the right choice for Hawaii in the U.S. Congress? Answer: A Republican. Luckily, we have a highly competent moderate Republican candidate.

Hawaii’s congressional seniority has dropped from stellar to minimal.  In a Republican controlled Senate and House, sending four Democrats is stupid, plain and simple. We’ve already been pushed to the back burner; next we’ll be permanently delegated to the pantry.  Charles has congressional seniority and will be positioned in the right side of the aisle. It’s a strategic move to Hawaii’s advantage.

I wish that we finally elect some (centrist) energetic people who will own the mess of state and national debt which jeopardizes the long-term well-being of our state:

Five states with Highest Liability per Taxpayer. Hawaii is in the top-5, of course.

Government Debt per Person. The U.S. has a larger debt per capita than Greece!

The New York Times on Los Angeles’ Infrastructure Woes. And an astute commentator wrote: “Can’t repair the pipes; can’t repair the sidewalks; can’t repair the roads. But come hell or high water (pun intended) LA is going to find many tens of $billions for toy trains. Lala Land is no misnomer.”

Honolulu does the same. Is it then Honolala Land?

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