Friday, November 27, 2015         


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Battle between Abercrombie and HSTA looks like something out of a movie

By David Shapiro


Gov. Neil Abercrombie is off on a mental health holiday to a governors meeting in Utah, but let's keep him in our thoughts as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» The Hawaii State Teachers Association is running radio ads presenting its fierce contract battle with Abercrombie as a teachable moment. And I've got the perfect study guide: "Freddy vs. Jason."

» The Abercrombie administration abandoned an effort from the Linda Lingle era to implement random drug testing for Hawaii's public school teachers. The new policy is called "Don't Ask, Don't Bogart That Joint."

» Wrapping up his first legislative session, Abercrombie signed more bills and vetoed fewer than his predecessor Lingle. It goes to show that men are better than women at holding their noses.

» House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro said lawmakers didn't override any of Abercrombie's vetoes because they felt his reasoning was sound. Unfortunately for the governor, there's an axiom that when the Legislature judges your reasoning to be sound, it's proof that it isn't.

» Abercrombie gave his nod to a pet bill of legislators that allows the state to reimburse losing bidders on some public works projects for the cost of preparing their bids. Well, it'll reimburse their campaign contributions, anyway.

» Another new law bans the sale of novelty cigarette lighters in Hawaii to keep children from starting fires. Forbidden are lighters with juvenile images of animals, cartoon characters or Abercrombie from his "Super Senator" days.

» Attorneys for mortgage lenders say a new state law intended to help homeowners avoid foreclosure is so vague and has so many flaws that it'll go mostly unused. In other words, a typical law passed by the Hawaii Legislature.

» The state Reapportionment Commission has set up a website that allows Hawaii residents to draw and share their own political redistricting maps. Borrowing from a popular TV show, the exercise is called "So You Think You Can Gerrymander?"

» The state is working on an online system to get certificates for marriages and civil unions to couples more quickly. Let's not be too hasty. Considering the relative perils, the waiting period for matrimonial certificates should be at least as long as for gun permits.

» The Hawaii opihi has survived environmental shifts by changing over time into new species, a study found. It's the same way our elected officials survive by evolving from idealists into special-interest suck-ups.

And the quote of the week … from state agricultural quarantine manager Carol Okada on the hiring of 10 more inspectors for Honolulu Airport: "The more eyes you have looking, the more invasive species you're going to find and prevent from entering our environment."

They'll target insects, coqui frogs and hookers flying in for APEC.

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