Tuesday, July 29, 2014         


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There's a lot of good to say about the news in our isles

By David Shapiro


I get tired of people grumbling that I never have anything good to say, so to prove I can play nice, I scoured the headlines for good news and we'll devote this week's "flASHback" only to stories I can say something good about:

» The state must pay a former Halawa inmate $83,000 after somebody couldn't count and he was held in prison 83 days longer than his sentence called for. Good grief.

» Local gay couples won a two-decade battle for the right to enter into civil unions, but University of Hawaii researchers expect fewer than 2,000 couples will actually tie the knot in the next six years. It sounded good in theory.

» Sabrina McKenna was approved by the Senate as Hawaii's first openly gay Supreme Court justice but said she doesn't want the focus to be on her sexuality. Good girls don't.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie accused retirees of sitting with their arms folded while letting others paddle the state's canoe. Good definition of retirement.

» Construction firm Mitsunaga & Associates was the biggest donor to Abercrombie's inaugural fund at $30,000. Good investment.

» Hollywood moguls seeking tax breaks for Hawaii movie studios deployed actor Cuba Gooding Jr., comedian Roseanne Barr and former President Bill Clinton to lobby the Legislature. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

» House and Senate panels shelved bills to sell copies of President Barack Obama's birth certificate for $100, slap a "sin" tax on soda pop and ban kids from buying toy guns. Good riddance.

» A legislative committee proposed a five-day tax holiday for back-to-school purchases. They'll call it Good Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

» Mayor Peter Carlisle will break ground on Oahu's $5.5 billion rail project next week despite a bill in the Legislature to raid the transit tax, a move in the U.S. House to slash rail funding and federal concerns that the project has "potentially significant revenue risks." Let the good times roll.

» University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood preaches fiscal restraint to others in the UH family but defends the $5,000 monthly allowance she receives to live in a Waikiki condo instead of the College Hill mansion provided for her use. Good example.

» Roosevelt grad and Grammy winner Bruno Mars copped a plea for cocaine possession in Las Vegas but avoided jail time and could have his record erased in a year. Good lawyer.

» Hawaii residents spent much of the week gasping for air as southerly winds spread vog from Big Island volcanoes across the state. Good-sundheit.

And the quote of the week ... from Abercrombie, growling at reporters when asked about criticism of his tax and budget proposals: "I am the governor. I'm not your pal. I'm not your counselor. I am the governor." Good doggie.

David Shapiro can be reached at volcanicash@gmail.com or blog.volcanicash.net.

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