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Off the News

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Politicians take the helm, metaphorically speaking

In addition to a connection with the senior Obama, the president and Hawaii’s governor seem to share a fondness for the nautical metaphor.

Remember Gov. Neil Abercrombie worrying that with the budget woes "we could all huli" (overturn)" in the "canoe" of state? President Barack Obama used something similar in defending his austere budget.

"It’s a matter of everybody having a serious conversation about where we want to go," he said, "and then ultimately getting in that boat at the same time so it doesn’t tip over."

Maybe if Congress nixes all Obama’s high-speed rail spending, he’ll substitute ferries, or some other maritime alternative.

Some people so diacritical

It’s not officially full-stop for the glottal stop proposal, but House Bill 709 sure seems stalled.

It would require the diacritical mark also known as the okina between the last two letters of the state’s name in all new documents and signs made for or by the state or counties.

After a joint hearing Feb. 2, the Hawaiian Affairs and Culture and the Arts committees recommended deferral.

Lawmakers may be assuming there’s not much excitement because only one person stepped up, opposed: Ken Conklin of Kaneohe. He argued that the okina belongs only in documents written entirely in Hawaiian.

"But ‘as the bill ‘is written ‘in ‘its present form, ‘I ‘oppose ‘it," he wrote.

‘OK, then.

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