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Streetwalking while talking has City Council squawking

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Streetwalkers and street-talkers both drew official attention as we "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:

» Law enforcers are worried that the November APEC meetings to be attended by President Barack Obama and 20 other world political leaders will attract prostitutes to Hawaii. Finally we’ll get an answer to Ronald Reagan’s riddle about which is the world’s oldest profession.

» Because of security concerns, some APEC meetings might be moved from the Hawai‘i Convention Center to Ko Olina, and officials are concerned about traffic congestion. If only we had a rail system, the hookers wouldn’t have to clog the highways.

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie told conservationists he’ll be active in the debate on North Shore development, but wouldn’t commit to financial help. Now that’s the worst of both worlds: Abercrombie gives them no money, but they have to listen to him talk anyway.

» A free online tutoring program that has helped public school students with math problems will be expanded in the fall to others who are mathematically challenged. To avoid being overwhelmed, they held back the launch until Abercrombie and the Legislature finished the state budget.

» State tax collections had a healthy rebound last month but are down 2.3 percent for the year because we’re still paying for former Gov. Linda Lingle’s decision to delay last year’s income tax refunds until this year. She’s the gift that keeps on giving.

» Ostrich and camel races will be featured at this year’s 50th State Fair. It’s kind of like a re-enactment of the recent Legislature: Voters get the hump while hiding their heads in the sand.

» The attorney general ruled that it’s OK under state law for doctors to make house calls to medical marijuana patients. It’s only humane for immobilized patients with the munchies to get delivery service.

» The City Council gave preliminary approval to a bill that would make it illegal to use cellphones and iPods while crossing the street. These Council members shouldn’t be allowed to cross the street without their nannies holding their hands.

» The University of Hawaii at Manoa held its first online graduation, with avatars of the grads receiving degrees in a virtual amphitheater. The college dean’s avatar gave a virtual commencement speech, and the avatar of UH President M.R.C. Greenwood shuttled between virtual receptions at her taxpayer-paid mansion and her taxpayer-paid condo.

And the quote of the week … from Abercrombie on the failure of his bills in the Legislature: "The fact that we did not succeed to the degree I would have liked in getting a greater contribution from those who have the capacity to give it, in the immediate, doesn’t bother me." Or as Alfred E. Neuman put it more concisely, "What, me worry?"

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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