Economic Rocky Ride

  Not only are there fewer seats available for flying to and from this most isolated land mass in the world, but if and when more flights are added on a regular basis, you know the prices will rise, just like Neighbor Island airfares will soon creep, or maybe jump, up. And if you think the loss of Aloha and ATA is the end of the domestic airline woes, don't bet on it. You really might start saving more now for that upcoming summer or holiday trip, so that you don't have to deal with stark reality- otherwise known as sticker shock- when you go to make your travel plans later on.

And now that gasoline has surpassed the previously unfathomable $4-per gallon level on Maui, are people really going to start changing their habits, lifestyles, and recreational pastimes to avoid using the car so much? Will carpooling see a surge, or will the HOV lanes continue to be sparsely populated, even during rush hour?

The current economic slowdown and the many related issues that most people are facing locally and nationally are not going to disappear in the next few months. It is what it is. And no one should be naïve enough to believe that a new president can simply wave his or her magic wand and momentum and make things right again early next year. So be smart, stay aware, remain civil, and hopefully we can all ride this one out not too far down the bumpy road ahead. Think about it...