Saturday, November 28, 2015         


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Honolulu full of sewage and homeless, politicians short of cash

By David Shapiro


Our elected officials, our homeless and our sewage all appear to be on the move as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» Just as Gov. Neil Abercrombie returned from a governor's meeting in Utah, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz took off on a promotional trip to China, with Abercrombie planning his own visit to China later on. Travel arrangements by New Day Junkets Inc.

» Advocates for Honolulu's homeless are fretting about a possible law enforcement "sweep" against homeless people before the APEC conference in November. State and city officials promise the only sweeping will be the usual kind around here — under the rug.

» The city is moving ahead with an unpopular plan to truck raw sewage sludge from the overloaded Sand Island treatment plant to Ewa Beach — and eventually to Kailua and Waianae. We can showcase our island to APEC as the world's biggest floating crap game.

» Local AARP representatives went to Washington, D.C., to educate Hawaii's congressional delegation on the needs of seniors. Geez, the average age of our delegation is 74. How much more education do they need about getting old?

» Former Gov. Linda Lingle was also in Washington scoping out GOP support for a possible U.S. Senate run and participating in a panel on transparent government. We'll all get astigmatism if this race comes down to Lingle's transparency versus U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono's invisibility.

» For Hirono's Democratic rival Ed Case, it was his bankroll that disappeared after his campaign donations for the last quarter came up nearly $100,000 short of his boasts. He'd be the first to win a Senate seat with soft money from imaginary friends.

» The state Office of Information Practices ruled that the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission must follow the state's open-meetings law. Panel members are seeking clarification on whether they the have the same right as the governor to ignore the OIP.

» West Oahu Councilman Tom Berg wants to let homeless people live in shipping containers. Fascinating how Berg's plan dovetails with the proposal of his old election foe, Rep. Rida Cabanilla, to ship the homeless to the mainland.

» Responding to public outrage over airport body scanners that show us in all our glory, the TSA is tweaking the machines to display only generic images. When Abercrombie travels, for instance, all the security screener will see is a naked outline of Papa Smurf.

And the quote of the week … from Board of Education member Brian DeLima on a proposal to reduce social studies credits needed for a diploma: "The more I think about this, the more I think we need to think about this." I think I'm getting the same migraine the old BOE used to give me.

Reach David Shapiro at or

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