Monday, November 30, 2015         


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On civil unions, Neil's a yes, Duke's a no, Mufi's a show

By David Shapiro


It was a week of little progress toward a more civil union as we once again plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the news that amused and confused:

» Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed the civil unions bill, calling it marriage by another name. I always thought the other name for marriage was "ball and chain."

» Supporters of HB 444 said their next step will be a lawsuit to enforce their rights. With gays suing to get hitched and straights suing to get divorced, it's getting really confusing to tell which side the sanctity of marriage is on.

» Of the candidates for governor, James "Duke" Aiona said he'd veto a civil unions bill, and Neil Abercrombie said he'd sign it. Mufi Hannemann says he has a consistent position -- and he'll let us know what it is as soon as he gets an hour on ESPN like LeBron James.

» Senior members of the Obama administration were here this week to discuss the effects of climate change in Hawaii. Just in time. Since Lingle's veto there's been a real chill in the air from gay tourists.

» The Hawaii Tourism Authority is monitoring threats of a gay boycott of Hawaii and working on a promotional response. I don't think free body waxes will get us out of this one.

» Lingle doesn't agree with critics who say the civil unions decision will be her legacy. She has a point. After 7 1/2 years, 347 vetoes and 110 overrides, it's more a legacy of futility.

» Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi said the governor's rejection of more pay and bonuses for top public school officials "shortchanges" students. Don't you love how it's always about the keiki when the adults want more money for themselves?

» Former BOE member Breene Harimoto described the school board as overly political and dysfunctional under Toguchi's leadership and said it's why he resigned to run for the City Council. That's like getting off the Titanic to ride on the Hindenburg.

» The Office of Elections is offering 250,000 Oahuans a chance to become permanent absentee voters. It's kind of a halfway house for the permanently absent.

» CBS issued a press release clarifying that the "0" in "Hawaii Five-0" is the numeral zero and not the letter "O." Oh.

» And the quote of the week ... from U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye upon filing nomination papers for a ninth term: "Well, this may sound as though I am psychotic or something, but I have never had a vacation in my life." That's great advertising for a state that makes its living off people taking vacations.

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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