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Thursday, April 24, 2014         

Under the Sun

Sandy brought widespread destruction to the country at a time when political campaigns had grown as tumultuous as the rain, flooding, snow and wind the superstorm hurled across the Eastern Seaboard and points west.

This morning, I measured water into the tank of a coffee maker, shook some grounds into the filter and slid the carafe on to the heating plate.

With his libel-slander lawsuit, Ben Cayetano is calling out the cabal that has shamelessly tried to cast him as a crook. He’s saying he’s not going to take the slurs anymore.

That’s going to be one colossal building kissing the Kakaako sky if all goes as intended by the state agency that gets to decide such things.

People love their pets. They lavish dogs and cats with the best foods they can afford, ornament them in cute collars, if not T-shirts and other human-oriented attire, and come Halloween, dress Fido and Felix in elaborate costumes.

When I first took the book in hand, I did not know that the illustration out front was a painting by Charles M. Russell, an artist whose images of the Old West made him famous.

No disrespect to the great state of New Jersey, the first to sign the Bill of Rights and the third to ratify the U.S. Constitution, but when you think of the Garden State, nestled in there south of New York and east of Pennsylvania, the foremost image that comes to mind isn't its beaches.

In April 2001, Hawaii's public school teachers went on strike, taking to sidewalks and street corners with picket signs after turning down a 14 percent increase in pay and benefits the state had offered.

Hop Sing grocery store disappeared from the corner in Palolo Valley at least half a century ago, but 10th Avenue Market a couple of blocks away was there to supply the neighborhood with bologna and bread for lunch-bucket sandwiches, watercress and a pound of ground for dinner, and dried cuttlefish and the best shave ice ever for Sunday afternoon snacks.

Richard Lim raised some eyebrows if not heart rates when he bluntly gave voice to a reality not often brought up during light luncheon speeches in convivial downtown penthouse dining clubs.

Growing up in Hawaii, June presented an interlude. Classes had ended and structured activities like summer school, church vacation programs and, as we moved into adolescence, requisite summer jobs had yet to begin.

The federal government is not banning incandescent light bulbs. It is not.

Curious that a pair of perfectly serviceable shoes would be abandoned on the road in front of a neighbor's house the day after the purported "rapture" was to have taken place.

The City Council, in particular member Ann Kobayashi, has been subject to mockery for a proposal that would make outlaws of texting teens and Blackberrying businesswomen for simply holding their e-devices while plodding across Beretania Street.

More than 90 million people have clicked onto what's come to be known as the "eagle cam" and I confess to being one of them.

The men and women who want to displace the current occupant of the White House better review the past few days of his life on the job.

Whoops, it's time to clean house. Company's coming. Not just your everyday fun-sun-surf tourists, important to Hawaii as they are, but big-time guests.

Donald Trump believes Barack Obama isn't a real American citizen; hence, Obama is unqualified to be president.

With Hawaii income tax returns due next week, islanders have gathered all their receipts and bills of sale from Amazon, Crutchfield, Bluefly and L.L. Bean in preparation for filling out Form G-26.

State senators want to know which option the public would prefer: raising the general excise tax by an amount yet to be set or suspending for the next few years, possibly longer, a tax exemption granted to some businesses for particular transactions.

This is the last of 31 days carved from the year to acknowledge contributions and accomplishments of women.

Among the arguments lawmakers use to justify their desire for an official palm-greasing policy, and the pending bill that would sanction freebies, is their need to be educated and their drawing power at fundraising parties and receptions.

If two words could describe Hawaii's reaction to Japan's devastation, I'd say they are relief and denial.

If her constituents could have harnessed the flaming vitriol Kymberly Pine unleashed when the power went out in her district last week, they might have had plenty of thermal energy to keep the lights on.

As political turmoil tumbles through the Middle East and North Africa, the price of oil streams higher and the next thing you know, shipping companies that bring every 25-pound bag of rice, every sack of flour, every printer ink cartridge, spool of thread, Prada cashmere cardigan and monster truck tire to these fair islands are bumping up their prices.

A bit of whimsy ties Wisconsin and Egypt and it has to do with pizza.

When budgetary push comes to shove, the smallest are the most vulnerable. Size determines who survives and who doesn't, at least as far as the state Department of Education is concerned.

When Peter Carlisle traded the prosecutor's slim portfolio of responsibilities for the job of running the big, fat, clumsy city government, he knew there would be great differences.

On two successive days this week, Hawaii residents had the opportunity to hear their state and national leaders talk about dreams and aspirations — and deliver harsh reckonings of our economic and social realities.

At the risk of provoking the birther beast, let's talk about Gov. Neil Abercrombie's unrealistic quest to put down the delusion that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus is ineligible to be its leader.

Imagine the activity at Dwayne's Photo today. At noon, the business -- housed in an unassuming gray warehouse-like building in the Kansas town of Parsons -- will stop accepting Kodachrome for developing.

Rejection is hard to take, even more so when the brush-off is public and comes from thousands of people who say no despite ardently repeated appeals and enormous outlays of time and money.

When Sam King died last week, some of the younger members of the news crew were understandably puzzled by the buzz his death created among the veterans on the staff.

Hawaii has a new governor, the president has infuriated Democratic leaders in Congress and his liberal voter base with a compromise tax package, and the WikiLeaks guy has been arrested on allegations of sexual assault while his organization continues to flood the world media with thousands of secret U.S. government documents.

In June 2002, a state judge was disturbed by letters he had received from people in the community who urged him to go easy in setting a prison term for a woman who had pleaded guilty to theft.

Christmas is but a month away, e-mail has one foot in the grave and phone books are even closer to being put in the ground. Time and technology hurtle by.

No one could legitimately begrudge Linda Lingle some time off. The woman has endured 96 months or nearly 3,000 long days in a fifth-floor office in the state Capitol with people looking over her suited shoulders.

The phone call began as routine wrong-number conversations do. "Who am I calling?" the woman asked, and without waiting for a response submitted a second question. "What's this number?"

Few political prognosticators could have predicted that someday an election official would issue a statement about whether voters clad in gear from the World Wrestling Entertainment domain would be allowed at polling places.

When arguing for an appointed state Board of Education, proponents often cite low voter turnout as one reason for removing citizens' direct voices in choosing who sits on the board.

A federal judge's order this week stopping the military from enforcing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy must have brought Fred Phelps and his Kansas cult to their knees, for the ruling folds over the prime targets of their venom as well as those they believe are enemies of America.

In response to a question asked of primary election candidates for state legislative seats, one fellow gave an incorrect answer. The question, for the Star-Advertiser's voter guide, was whether he would support a civil unions bill. His answer wasn't yes or no, but "none of your business."

A tug-of-war over a scrap of land in Haleiwa is quickly recognizable as a typical skirmish in Hawaii. On one side, there's a developer who wants to build something; on the other, individuals and community groups joined in the familiar "Save Our"-prefaced coalition to prevent that from happening.

Maybe he had a hot brunch date. Maybe he sensed that halftime of the UH football game on TV was counting down fast. Or maybe he had to go to the bathroom, which would account for his hopping from one black-rubber-slippered-foot to another behind me at the polling station Saturday.

As leader of a Methodist megachurch in Houston and a religious adviser to a Republican president, the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell ought to be a credible witness to attest to the fact that President Barack Obama is a Christian.

If any recent operation can explain why people lose trust in government, the city's mismanaged garbage-shipping venture speaks loud and clear. It howls.

The young woman holding a guitar on the back cover of People magazine was obviously someone famous.

The medial strip on the Vineyard offramp at Punchbowl Street seems a favorite for men holding signs asking for money.

Poor Donovan Dela Cruz. Slow cash flow has forced the term-limited City Council member to give up his bid for the deluxe suite at City Hall and try instead for the more affordable quarters of the state Senate.

Unable to sustain itself on agriculture, the small Japanese town of Inakadate grows rice for visual consumption.

Few people had heard of Shirley Sherrod before Tuesday when she was caught in the pulverzing mill of race, politics and a quick-fire media and booted from her mid-level job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Looks like Mayor Mufi Hannemann will leave City Hall before the thousands of tons of shrink-wrapped Oahu garbage stored near Kapolei departs for the mainland.

The fundamental flaw in Gov. Linda Lingle's reasoning to veto House Bill 444 was to identify civil unions as marriage.

In the never-ending struggle to control or eradicate plants, insects, reptiles and other life forms that harm the native environment -- not counting humans -- the state wants to import a bug that biologists believe will stunt the growth and spread of strawberry guava.

Public radio's broadcast always gets fuzzy as the car nears the Vineyard Street offramp of the H-1, but between crackles and hisses I caught the discussion on "All Things Considered."

Summer begins tomorrow. That's what my DayMinder calendar says, and since I bought it from Fisher Hawaii -- Honolulu's official office supply store -- I trust it is correct.

Neil Abercrombie has a beef with the two men he'll have to defeat, one after the other, to get to the governor's office.



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