Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Plenty of sludge to shovel despite a short workweek

By David Shapiro


Some weeks are harder than others to make it past the sludge, so fasten your gas masks as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» After failing to move forward on an expansion plan, the city will truck raw sewage sludge from the overloaded Sand Island treatment plant to satellite facilities in Kailua and Ewa Beach. Now that's spreading the wealth around like only our local government knows how.

» The City Planning Department is working on an updated general plan for Oahu to envision what the island will look like in the future. All I know is that if the global warming people are right, we'll need goggles to find out.

» The city has leased two floors of premium downtown office space at $1.3 million a year to house some of the 130 employees of the new Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. And thus the first-class ride on this gravy train officially begins.

» Rail planners are asking the state for a noise variance to allow after-hours work on their survey of Hawaiian burial sites along the Honolulu transit corridor. Only the government could come up with an archaeological plan that respects the dead by waking the living.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced that his 90-day homelessness initiative has moved 125 people from the streets and emergency shelters into more permanent digs. So that's how HART got all those employees so fast.

» Abercrombie threw his support behind the Hawaii fashion industry's "wear aloha" campaign. His beard will be redesigned by Hilo Hattie.

» The governor is expected to approve the Safe Schools Act passed by lawmakers this year to put an end to bullying in Hawaii's public schools. He's waiting to sign until he finishes bullying the teachers.

» A Maui man is the first documented swimmer to be bitten by cookiecutter sharks. Obviously they aren't counting Linda Lingle's swims with the Legislature.

» Hawaii County Councilwoman Brenda Ford got an icy response from colleagues on her proposal to expand the Council's rules of decorum to ban name-calling, obscene gestures and throwing things. They're worried it would kill any chance of getting qualified people to run for office.

» The U.S. Agriculture Department ordered a recall of possibly contaminated bentos sold the previous week at Hawaii convenience stores. Thanks for the timely heads-up, guys. The only way to recall a bento that old is to find it in one of those sludge trucks.

And the quote of the week … from Councilwoman Ford on why more stringent rules of decorum are needed for elected officials: "Some people don't seem to understand that we're supposed to behave like ladies and gentlemen." I wish she wouldn't knock the folks who make this column possible.

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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