comscore Government common sense replaced with 'idiot' version | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
fl(ASH)back | Hawaii News

Government common sense replaced with ‘idiot’ version


The city administration would call this the "idiot" version of current events, but I humbly call it our "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:

» The city is taking sharp criticism for a $1.7 million transit contract that was partly used to produce an "idiot" version of the rail environmental impact statement. There they go again with those technical terms. Why not just call it the "mayor’s copy"?

» City officials insisted the term "idiot" wasn’t meant to be derogatory. They were working on their Valentine’s Day cards and it seemed a fitting term of endearment for the folks putting up the $5.5 billion.

» City transportation spokesman Toru Hamayasu said the "idiot" version of the EIS has won multiple national awards for innovation. The most prestigious was special recognition in "Public Relations for Dummies."

I could run with this one all day, but we’ve also got an election to cover:

» In the governor’s race, Christian activist Dennis Arakaki is airing radio spots promoting Mufi Hannemann over Neil Abercrombie as the Democratic candidate "acceptable" to God. I thought Dan Inouye didn’t make primary endorsements.

» Abercrombie vowed "unequivocally" not to support an increase in the state’s general excise tax, saying, "You swim in the water you’re in." We’ll see if he still feels the same way after the flush.

» Likely Republican nominee for governor James "Duke" Aiona derided Hannemann and Abercrombie as "two peas in a pod." If that’s true, they’re more like split peas than sweet peas.

» Republican state Sen. Sam Slom snubbed Aiona and is backing his underdog rival John Carroll in the GOP primary. Just when you thought local Republicans had run out of new ways to make themselves irrelevant.

» The Honolulu mayor’s race went negative for the first time, with acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell accusing former Prosecutor Peter Carlisle of not understanding the city budget. Luckily, Carlisle would have the "idiot" version Caldwell leaves behind.

» The Board of Education says it has 24 candidates to become Hawaii’s new superintendent of education. The chosen applicant gets a four-year contract. The runner-up gets a second chance at sanity.

» City officials broke ground on a $20 million, five-level Alapai parking garage despite not having funding for the unbuilt traffic management facility the garage is supposed to serve. They must be working from the "idiot" version of the architectural plan.

And the quote of the week … from Sen. Daniel Inouye on Hawaii’s political ambiance: "When you see what’s happening elsewhere, whether it’s California, Maine, or New York or Alabama, this place is paradise, political paradise." Where else could a senator go 47 years without ever facing a serious challenge?

David Shapiro can be reached at or


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