Presidential proclamations and legislative lamentations were among the top stories as we plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:
» President Barack Obama declared a state of disaster in Hawaii. Gosh, that’s an awfully harsh assessment of his friend Neil Abercrombie’s performance after only four months on the job.
» GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump claimed he has private investigators in our state trying to prove Obama wasn’t born here. If you have information for his crack sleuths, you can catch them at Trump’s Waikiki hotel after their bartending shifts.
» The Legislature entered its stretch run with lawmakers saying they’re still struggling for ideas on how to cover the state’s $1.3 billion budget deficit. It’s so hard to get motivated when all hope is lost of another 36 percent pay raise.
» The state has joined private agencies in a campaign to tackle childhood obesity called the "Hawaii 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go Initiative." It’s modeled after the Legislature’s latest initiative: "2-0-1-1 Let’s Tax."
» Legislators are moving a bill that would allow the state to compensate losing bidders for the cost of soliciting government contracts. It’s a convenient way of thanking small campaign donors who give what they can but can’t afford enough to actually get the contracts.
» The Department of Education is using virtual reality goggles that show students in driver’s ed classes what it’s like to drive drunk. Or sit in on a Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting.
» Honolulu hosted the world’s biggest convention of neurologists, and Waikiki cash registers were ringing. One of the week’s highlights for the brain doctors was a scavenger hunt at the Capitol to see who could find the most unusual specimen.
» State Auditor Marion Higa said public agencies waste big money by failing to take advantage of the most sophisticated technology. In one example, the Department of Budget and Finance used colored pencils to track tens of millions of dollars in state investment reserves when they had fingers and toes available.
» The city is looking for specialized expertise to start the process of acquiring land for the $5.5 billion Honolulu rail line. How hard can it be to ring the dinner bell?
» Radiation from Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors has been detected in milk from a Big Island dairy, but state health officials say the trace amounts are not a concern. The low levels of cesium-134 and iodine-131 will cause the kids to glow just enough to make them easier to find at the mall.
And the quote of the week … from Honolulu Councilman Romy Cachola: "Don’t p— off the Legislature. They can make our life … miserable." Now he tells me. Just kidding on items 3 through 7 above.
David Shapiro can be reached at email@example.com or blog.volcanicash.net.