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The sea gets our sewage, government gets our cash

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Let’s take advantage of the lull before the Legislature to catch up on some of the other recent news that amused and confused:

» The city dumped unfiltered sewage into Kailua Bay just as President Barack Obama and family arrived for their annual vacation on the bay, but the president seemed to pay it no mind. Better to get it in the water here than have it shoveled at him in Washington.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he won’t tell us how he’ll balance the budget until March, and his budget director asked for "patience and continued indulgence." When he said he’d hit the ground running, we should have asked which way.

» Abercrombie gave state workers an $18 million holiday gift by cutting their share of health insurance payments, then wrote an editorial column lecturing the rest of us that we must share in "necessary sacrifices" to reduce the state deficit. That certainly puts the "huh?" in chutzpah.

» U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was sworn in as one of only nine freshmen Democrats in the new Congress and said it’s a far different world from the Hawaii Legislature. I’ll say. She won’t be getting 36 percent pay raises anymore.

» As new GOP leaders kicked off the 112th Congress by reading the Constitution, a woman had to be booted from the gallery for shouting insults about Obama’s Hawaii birth. Looks like they’re starting this tea party by spiking the orange pekoe.

» The Board of Education refused to implement a law requiring more equitable school lunch prices, and now school officials say they can’t abide by a new law that requires longer instructional days. That’s a new one: the government practicing civil disobedience against itself.

» New City Council members started talking about raising parking fees as soon as they were sworn in and were cheered by a like-minded Mayor Peter Carlisle. It’s good they’re on the same page, but I wish it was loftier reading than the meter maid handbook.

» State regulators approved a 5.7 percent rate hike for Hawaiian Electric Co. and adopted a new method of rate-setting known as "decoupling." It’s a more genteel way of separating us from our money than "gouging."

» Aviation officials are trying to track down pranksters who are flashing blinding lasers at pilots flying in and out of Honolulu Airport. I’d look for the guys driving around with "live stupid" bumper stickers.

And the quotation of the week … from Rep. Hanabusa in an interview with C-SPAN: "The goals for my first year are really to serve the people of the state of Hawaii." That sounds like a fair way to split her term — one year serving us and one year serving her campaign donors.

David Shapiro can be reached at volcanicash@gmail.com or blog.volcanicash.net.

 

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