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When a poll goes off the rail, tax dollars pay for a new one

For Saturday, June 4, 2011

By David Shapiro

POSTED:



With things relatively quiet at the Capitol, we shift our attention to the other side of Punchbowl Street as we “flASHback” on the week’s news that amused and confused:

» Unhappy with private polls showing Oahu residents evenly split on the $5.3 billion rail project, the city paid $24,000 for its own poll asserting that 57 percent of the public support rail. Who says money can’t buy you love?

» The City Council added $33 million to the 2012 capital budget to encourage the Carlisle administration to better maintain Oahu’s aging roads. Good luck with that. If it ain’t elevated, they ain’t motivated.

» The Council’s $1.9 billion operating budget increases fees for employee parking, golfing at city courses, sewer service, visiting the zoo and renting city facilities. Geez, when we said we wanted government to be run more like a business, we didn’t mean to overcharge for everything.

» The city is deploying a new high-tech parking system that lets us feed meters with credit cards and smartphones instead of coins. If the meter rates keep going up, they’ll have to add an option to take out a mortgage to pay for parking.

» Mayor Peter Carlisle wants more information before he determines whether the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial should be torn down or rebuilt. Whatever he decides, I hope he doesn’t announce it by shouting “Hallelujah!” again.

» U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is still trying to sell her Ko Olina condo to keep her promise to move into the 1st Congressional District she represents. Campaign promises are like disposable diapers — convenient until you have to get rid of them.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill extending for two more years a 5 percent pay cut on state legislators, administrators and judges. I wondered why flags at the Capitol were flying half-staff.

» Experts can’t agree on how much wind power we can actually expect from “Big Wind.” It depends on whether he serves one term as governor or two.

» Speaking of atmospheric turbulence, hurricane season arrived this week, and the Weather Channel named Honolulu the most “hurricane overdue city.” Good luck to you, too, pallies.

» For the third year in a row, a Gallup-Healthways survey found that Hawaii residents are the least stressed in the nation, and Utah residents are the most stressed. Are they sure they aren’t mixing up those numbers with per capita beer consumption?

And the quote of the week … from Mayor Carlisle on his poll claiming 57 percent public support for rail: “I have every reason to believe in this project, and everybody else believes in this project.” If you’re confused by how 57 percent equates to “everybody,” it’s the same math lawyers are taught to compute their billable hours.

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






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