comscore David Shapiro: Pandemic or not, legislators open vault for public workers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
fl(ASH)back | Hawaii News

David Shapiro: Pandemic or not, legislators open vault for public workers

It’s the last Sunday in June and time to “flASHback” on the month’s news that amused and confused:

>> Facing a pandemic, 22% unemployment and a $2.3 billion budget deficit, Hawaii legislators bowed to union pressure and overwhelmingly approved $150 million in pay raises for state workers. We’re all in this together except for public servants who social distance from their conscience.

>> Securing raises in a collapsed economy was a major show of political muscle by Hawaii Government Employees Association chief Randy Perreira. He was so moved that he’s now letting legislators keep on their masks when they smooch his bottom.

>> A federal judge rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to join a lawsuit against Gov. David Ige’s 14-day quarantine of visitors to stem COVID-19. You know we’re in trouble when the president thinks his best chance for reelection is to make America sick again.

>> Ige, meantime, said that starting Aug. 1, visitors can skip the quarantine if they pass a test for the virus that state health officials say isn’t foolproof. There’s no testing for fools who think it’s safe to travel now.

>> Visitor industry leaders said Hawaii tourism will have to change in the future and could result in a different kind of tourist. Good sports who just send their money and don’t come would be nice.

>> The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is paying $190,000 to develop a video game for kids called “Outrun Da Rail.” A special edition for HART executives and city administrators is called “Outrun Da Federal Prosecutors.”

>> Mayor Kirk Caldwell disputed a city auditor’s report that Honolulu parks are filthy, neglected and among the worst kept in the nation, saying, “I think all of our parks get the attention they deserve.” Unfortunately, most of the attention comes from protesters.

>> The Hawaii Supreme Court issued a ruling cracking down on the ability of police to lie to suspects during interrogations. Criminals and their lawyers remain free to lie as they please to police.

>> A new $65 million Life Sciences Building at the University of Hawaii will bring under one roof powerful microscopes, biology and biochemistry labs and an “insectory” to breed and contain insects. The latter was formerly housed at the state Capitol.

>> Marriages registered with the Hawaii Department of Health dropped 82% in April, from 1,584 in 2019 to just 281 this year. The lockdown gives couples more time to figure out why “I do” is the longest sentence in the English language.

And the quote of the month … from Ige on how many new COVID cases it would take to slow Hawaii’s reopening: “Essentially it would end up having to be a doubling and doubling and doubling and doubling over a four-week period.” It fits his decision-making style of dribbling and dribbling and dribbling and dribbling.

Reach David Shapiro at

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