HAWAII PRISONERS COMING HOME TO… ARIZONA?
Is it just me or is Governor Neil Abercrombie going a little bit, well, funny in the head? Guy hasn’t been in office long and he’s already running with some delusions of grandeur–namely, his sudden desire to have everyone not recently appointed by him to vacate with undue haste the most powerful boards in the state: Land Use, Aloha Stadium Authority, Board of Land and Natural Resources, et al. Seriously, this is tin-plated dictator stuff: governors appoint people to staggered five-year terms on these boards precisely so a governor can’t dance into office and then run everything by fiat. Hell, even Linda Lingle didn’t try to pull off anything so crude.
But I digress. One of Abercrombie’s promises when he took office was to bring home all 1,700 Hawaii prison inmates currently housed in Arizona prisons run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), one of the largest private prison operators in the nation. Given Abercrombie’s actions cited above, I wasn’t that surprised to read a June 24 press release from the governor’s office saying one of the key ways to bring those inmates out of CCA facilities on the mainland was too–drum roll, please–sign a new $45.5 million contract with CCA to house 1,956 inmates at two CCA prisons in Arizona.
“The return of Hawai`i’s prisoners requires a multi-faceted approach of expanding prison space in Hawai`i, creating alternatives to incarceration and reducing recidivism through community-based programs,” said Jodie Maesaka-Hirata, the state Department of Public Safety director, in the release. “This agreement will give us some flexibility as we continue to our goal of bringing prisoners home.”
See, by signing a new contract with CCA to hold even more Hawaii prisoners, Abercrombie is helping to bring Hawaii prisoners home.
Breathtaking, isn’t it, to watch true politicking in action?
WOO! SHANE VICTORINO!
So I’m driving home last Friday night, listening to Johnny A and our own associate editor Anu Yagi on K-Rock, 97.3 FM, when Johnny A says, in response to Anu mentioning that I just took over as MauiTime editor, “I remember Anthony, he’s a rabid baseball fan.” Now I’d just like to say now, for the record, that although I am a fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (stupid name, to be sure), I am not, nor have I ever been, a “rabid” fan of baseball or any other sport, for that matter. I enjoy watching a good game of baseball, and have sat in a few stadiums (and little league games) in my life, but do not fill out scoring sheets or collect baseball cards or pay hundreds of dollars for “authentic” player jerseys or wager even a small sum of money on the outcome of a game. I like Major League Baseball, certainly, but no more or less than a “normal” person would like Cheers or roast turkey.
And now that we have that out of the way, I bring you today’s breaking news: one of Shane Victorino‘s press agents emailed me! Okay, she emailed former editor Jacob Shafer, but whatever. The point is that Shane (if I might be so bold) is a local Maui boy (St. Anthony High), superstar centerfielder of the Philadelphia Phillies (career .280 batting average, three Gold Gloves) and philanthropist (check out The Shane Victorino Foundation, which helps underprivileged kids in Hawaii and Philadelphia).
And did you know that in May the U.S. Jaycees named him one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans of 2011 (previous winners of that title included John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley). Or that his new biography, Shane Victorino: The Flyin’ Hawaiian (written by Alan Maimon), chronicles his life on Maui, winning the World Series in 2008 and his struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder?
“Shane has been red-hot on the field this season… especially since returning from his hamstring injury,” wrote Kristen Seabolt of Maroon Public Relations. “So despite suffering that injury this season, Shane is still in the running for the 2011 All-Star Game on July 12. But you know that he would never ask for anyone to vote for him; so we have taken it upon ourselves to help spread the word because we think his hustle, determination and work-ethic epitomize what the All-Star Game is all about.”
Sadly, voting ended on June 30. Still, I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Shane! Shane! Shane! Shane! Shane!”
MAUI ROLLER GIRLS KICK ASS
I don’t know about you, but there’s something seriously compelling about watching a dozen young women squeeze into tight, revealing spandex outfits that have vaguely violent or sexually suggestive names emblazoned on the backs and then roller skate rather quickly around a basketball court whilst trying their best to knock the hell out of each other. I was reminded of this Saturday when I joined a considerable crowd over at the Central Maui Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Kahului to watch Roller Derby. The bout pitted our island’s own Maui Roller Girls (MRG) against Hawaii island’s Paradise Roller Girls.
Now remember, this isn’t roller derby as seen in movies like Whip It, with its large, banked tracks and jammers played by that chick from Juno—Maui roller derby takes place on rather small, rather flat concrete basketball courts. All the women wear a lot of padding, but falling on concrete can’t be fun.
The Maui Roller Girls are apparently undefeated, which means Saturday’s final score of 142 for Maui and 63 for Hawaii Island probably isn’t surprising. In fact, the Maui Roller Girls have gotten so good they actually want to fly to Oregon in August to take part in something called Rollerpalooza. Since that’s going to cost a bit more than travelling inter-island, MRG—which is a non-profit organization—is taking donations. For more information, contact Whitney “Bullets” Stebbins at email@example.com. ■