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Ever optimistic, lawmakers hope for veto of pay-cut bill

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The president’s Hawaii connections and a farewell to the 2011 Legislature lead us off as we plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:

» President Barack Obama’s Punahou schoolmate and golfing buddy Robert "Bobby" Titcomb didn’t attend a court hearing at which he was fined $500 for soliciting a prostitute because he was "out of town." Perhaps the prez needed a specialist to help Navy SEALs separate Osama bin Laden’s wives from his fancy women.

» Obama gave special recognition to Hawaii’s teacher of the year, Kristen Brummel of Noelani Elementary, noting that he attended that school. Donald Trump said, "I didn’t know Noelani School was in Kenya."

» Legislators ended their annual session by reluctantly continuing a 5 percent pay cut for themselves, state administrators and judges, with some lawmakers already urging Gov. Neil Abercrombie to veto the bill. If he does that, he’ll have to change his mantra to "shared sacrifice — ROFL." (That’s "roll on the floor laughing" if you no habla texting lingo.)

» In a funding compromise, the Legislature increased instructional time for only half of Hawaii’s public elementary schools next year. The kids who spend more time in class will be trained to become doctors, scientists and engineers. The half who get less time will be groomed to become legislators.

» Senators gave final approval to a bill requiring that peacocks, rats, insects and other pests be killed humanely. It’s one of the little professional courtesies lawmakers like to extend.

» Abercrombie claimed he won’t be able to attract the judges he wants if he has to publicly identify judicial candidates, as former Gov. Linda Lingle did. Must be his cronies have more to be bashful about than her cronies.

» City Council members chastised the administration of Mayor Peter Carlisle for being two months late in reporting a $9,471 gift from a transit contractor to feed dignitaries at the Feb. 22 groundbreaking for the $5.3 billion rail project. The best excuse city Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka could come up with was, "Burp."

» Carlisle signed an updated sustainable communities plan for Oahu’s North Shore that he pledged will "keep country country." Yeah, a developed country.

» Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz promised a renovation project will make the Nimitz Highway corridor look more like Hawaii by the time Obama convenes the APEC meetings here in November. Mainly, they’ll achieve our authentic island look by digging more potholes.

And the quote of the week … from House Speaker Calvin Say on the challenges of writing a budget in a fragile economy: "The bigger issue, right now, is can we get through the recession in the next two years?" Maybe if the Legislature takes a two-year vacation.

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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