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APEC bigs might get to see strike, snakes and homeless

By David Shapiro

LAST UPDATED: 8:50 p.m. HST, Oct 20, 2011

I was on the Fort Street Mall enjoying my favorite acai bowl at Vita Juice when a fellow approached me and asked, "Are you the David Shapiro who writes the flashbacks column?"

I admitted I was and prepared to be told either how astute I am or what an ass I am.

Instead he said, "I thought you should know that you have a huge booger hanging out of your nose."

For once, I couldn't think of anything to say except, "I lied, I'm not really David Shapiro."

And I'll stick with the disclaimer as we pick through the news that amused and confused in a slow summer week:

» State leaders are unsure about the impact on Hawaii if the national debt crisis results in a cutoff of federal funds. It depends on whether we see our tin cup as half empty or half full.

» Authorities say the six snakes and eight lizards turned in under the state's amnesty program are just the tip of the iceberg in revealing Hawaii's attraction to slithery critters. Like we didn't know that already from our election results.

» Mayor Peter Carlisle and the City Council plan separate briefings next week on plans to truck sewer sludge from Sand Island to Ewa Beach, Kailua and Waianae. It'll test whether the trucks can haul it away as fast as our city leaders can shovel it.

» Physicists say new research proves time travel is impossible. In practical terms, it means Carlisle can't truck his sewer sludge back to the Hannemann administration.

» Officials still haven't decided what to do about Waikiki's homeless during the APEC conference in November, and the United Public Workers union is threatening a strike around the time of the APEC meeting that could shut trash collection, schools and some airport operations. It seems we're on track to showcase the real Hawaii.

» Beavis and Butt-head will return to MTV this fall with their cheeky insults such as, "Calm down, you're going to soil your drawers," and, "Stop calling me butt-knocker!" Those who can't wait until the fall can follow the flurry of letters between Gov. Neil Abercrombie and teachers union chief Wil Okabe.

» Two men were arrested and treated for noxious fumes after breaking into a Punchbowl-area home that was tented for fumigation. That's about as stupid as breaking into the Capitol while the Legislature is in session.

And the quote of the week … from Abercrombie's dedication of a Capitol charging station for electric cars: "I think that everybody understands in order to have a commitment become a basic reality in everyday life — and the desire to have that happen — I think is shown by the interest that's here today." Does he get his speeches from a random word generator?

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