Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

90 days to oust the homeless? Call it antisocial engineering

By David Shapiro


Even thousands of shrinks couldn't explain some of the twists as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» A convention of 10,000 psychiatrists in town this week was seen as a test run for the 20,000-strong APEC meeting in November, which will include President Barack Obama and other world political leaders. We'll see whether cleaning up after Freudian slips prepares us for political bloopers.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie told Maui college graduates that in politics, people will forgive you if you're wrong but will seldom forgive you for being right. He wished them better luck than he's had in experiencing the latter.

» It'll cost the state more to borrow after Moody's cut Hawaii's bond rating from Aa1 to Aa2. The code "Aa2" is a reflection of investor fears that there might be a second Abercrombie out there.

» The governor announced a new agreement with NASA to give Hawaii a bigger role in future cosmic exploration. The top priority will be finding our lost-in-space Legislature.

» Abercrombie's housing coordinator Marc Alexander said their new 90-day plan to clear the homeless out of Waikiki and the urban core was designed to be challenging because "we're not into doing easy." Why fail small when you can fail spectacularly?

» The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is snared in controversy over the purchase of a treadmill for the agency's executive offices. I don't get the fuss. Why shouldn't the execs experience what the poor folks on the DHHL waiting list feel like?

» The city was hit with an environmental lawsuit against its $5.3 billion rail project, and the Carlisle administration threatened a legal fight with the City Council over control of rail. The project, touted as a jobs creator, is nearing a tipping point where it will soon employ more lawyers than public relations people.

» A new Hawaii Poll by the Star-Advertiser showed public support for rail barely holding at 50 percent, with 9 of 10 respondents believing it'll cost more than the $5.3 billion advertised. The administration is referring questions about the cost to 1-800-AINOKEA.

» The Hawaii Poll showed Ed Case and Mazie Hirono leading fellow Democrats Colleen Hanabusa, Mufi Hannemann and Brian Schatz, as well as Republican Linda Lingle, in a hypothetical race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. If voters had been told those were their actual choices rather than hypothetical, they'd have hung up and gone out drinking.

And the quotation of the week … from retired Judge Walter Heen, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the rail environmental impact statement: "The situation reminds me of my father's definition of a statistician as anyone who can draw a straight line between an unwarranted assumption and a foregone conclusion."

David Shapiro can be reached at or

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions

Latest News/Updates