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State’s money pit is deeper than the hole at Halemaumau

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We’ve got economic gloom aplenty and a joke-writing contest to tax the funny bone of budget writers as we “flASHback” on the week’s news that amused and confused:

>> The Council on Revenues raised the state deficit to $1.3 billion but urged Gov. Neil Aber­crom­bie and the Legislature to use discretion when applying the forecast to the budget. That’s like persuading horny teenagers to use condoms.

>> Abercrombie indicated he favors the House’s approach for balancing the budget over the Senate’s. The House is the chamber that still prays, right?

>> The governor won wide praise for the nine people he appointed to the revamped Board of Education. The glow of approval felt so good that he might try getting another one right sometime.

>> Plaintiffs led by former Dem­o­cratic Gov. Ben Caye­tano, Republican state Sen. Sam Slom and the libertarian-minded Cliff Slater announced a federal lawsuit to stop the $5.5 billion Oahu rail proj­ect. That’s an alliance as unlikely as the Father, Son and Holy Mackerel.

>> Former Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam’s sentencing for misusing his city meal allowance was postponed again until June. How nice of the judge to give him time to use up his stash of Zippy’s chili coupons.

>> GOP presidential wannabe Donald Trump released his birth certificate and challenged President Ba­rack Obama to do the same to prove he was born in Hawaii. I want to see the death certificate for that electrocuted mongoose Trump wears on his head.

>> Eight Puna residents sued Hawaii County police and prosecutors for failing to follow a voter initiative making personal use of marijuana the “lowest law enforcement priority.” It seems solving the disappearance of Peter Boy still has a lower priority.

>> I shouldn’t pick on the Big Isle after a double-whammy week in which one study named Hilo the nation’s drunkest city and another deemed the county the least healthy in the state because of the highest rates of smoking, premature deaths, traffic fatalities, poverty and teen pregnancies. Whew, sounds like reason to drink to me.

>> Frozen cadavers police removed from a Sand Island facility turned out to be donated for research. Scientists were studying the ethical pulse of the Legislature.

And the quotation of the week … from state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim: “The public and some particular legislators don’t understand how dire the budget is.”

OK, public, let’s have a one-liner contest to show that we not only understand the budget, but also have more of a sense of humor than some particular legislators.

Write a finish to this joke: “How dire is the budget? It’s so dire that …” Send entries to; multiple submissions welcome. I’ll share the best here or on my blog and send $20 Starbucks cards to the writers of the five funniest.


David Shapiro can be reached at or

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