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An economic sermon

Two of my relatives have had an interesting exchange on Facebook concerning the idea that if some people are prosperous it will ultimately be good for the rest of us. I see a teaching moment. One of my sisters – I have a large quantity of sisters, each one better…

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Fresh evidence comes in of an improving Hawaii economy

In the late 1990s when I was working on WTOP Newsradio in Washington D.C., the closest thing to a local baseball team was the Baltimore Orioles, and they weren’t doing so well. The evening anchor Holly Haerr introduced traffic reporter Bob Gotkin by saying, “Hey, Bob, did you hear? The…

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Music Post: Six years of Days Off

No job could possibly be cooler for a high school student than to be a disc jockey, playing the music you and all your friends listened to. That is a job I never had, though it all worked out in the end. I toured two radio stations in Baltimore over…

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A rising tide that may not float your boat

You could say that America is a nation of righthanded people, and it would be mostly true, but my own reaction would be, “Hey, wait a minute! Lots of us out here are lefthanded!” That’s kind of how it is with this slow-but-steady economic recovery. It’s real, it’s happening, and…

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The quantum version of thinking outside the box

Nobody understands quantum physics including quantum physicists, but apparently that won’t keep us from using quantum bits for supercomputing. David Wineland of Boulder, Colorado, and Serge Haroche of Paris this week won the Nobel Prize for Physics for figuring out two difference ways to capture and control individual photons and atoms. Wineland and…

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How two fiber breaks caused one huge problem for Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines hopes to fly its usual service Tuesday after a meltdown Monday caused by its check-in network losing its connectivity. The problem stemmed from Sprint fiberoptic interruptions in two time zones. Because I read some online comments from people who found that suspicious, I thought I would explain how…

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A record summer for Hawaii hotels

Joe Toy and the gang at Hospitality Advisors this morning issued their wrap-up report on August hotel business, which means they now have figures for the summer by adding June, July and August. The news is good. August alone saw $308 million in room revenue and $455 million after adding…

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Music Post: The hidden theme in the “begging show”

In reaction to a lifetime of reading press releases filled with euphemisms, I have a fondness for putting things bluntly, sometimes to the dismay of more sensitive souls around me. Hawaii Public Radio has begun its twice-yearly pledge drive, which it calls Challenge 2012 and which I call the beggathon….

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The technology of taxation

Five seconds after people started to shop online in a big way, states began to look for ways to apply their sales or excise taxes to Internet commerce. For 15 years this has been hotly debated, even though all sides probably suspect they know the ending will be, yes, taxing…

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Larry Ellison, the oracle of Lanai

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison gave a long interview to CNBC on Tuesday, and though most of it was about other stuff there was one question about Lanai. “I love Hawaii,” Ellison said, “and Lanai is a very interesting project. There, what we’re going to do is turn Lanai into a…