Whether or not you’re a fan of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, you’ve almost certainly heard of the comedian/anchorman’s Rally to Restore Sanity, set to take place October 30 in Washington, D.C. (Along with, of course, brilliant blowhard Stephen Colbert’s competing Rally to Restore Fear.) The idea is to combat the wave of increasingly divisive and inflammatory rhetoric that has swept the country. “We’re looking for people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles,” reads a statement announcing the rally.
If that applies to you but you can’t afford a Mainland flight, a concurrent rally is being organized in Honolulu, along with numerous gatherings across the country and around the world. The Oahu event is set for 11am at the state Capitol. According to organizers, local candidates from both parties have been invited to attend and answer questions—with the caveat that they can’t stump or spew election rhetoric. “If their answers stray into political-land, their microphone will be cut,” reads a press release. “Especially given some of the extremely close races…it will be very telling who makes time to come.”
More info can be found at sanityhonolulu.com.
AIONA PROPOSES UH TUITION FREEZE
As the election draws near, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Duke Aiona has proposed freezing tuition for University of Hawaii students as a way to offset swelling college costs.
Under Aiona’s proposal, announced this week, students entering the UH system on either a two- or four-year track would be guaranteed a fixed rate for the duration of their enrollment. According to statistics cited by Aiona, UH tuition has increased more than 70 percent over the last six years.
“Our plan would help parents give their son or daughter a higher education, and students wouldn’t have to drop out due to rising tuition,” said Aiona. The Lieutenant Governor didn’t indicate how UH would absorb the loss of revenue.
Neil Abercrombie, Aiona’s Democratic opponent, accused Aiona of using the proposal to gloss over his failure to address the issue during two terms as the state’s number two. “Duke Aiona has had the opportunity to help students in Hawaii for the last eight years, yet it is only in the last eight days before the general election that he introduces a plan for higher education,” said Abercrombie.
MAUITIME DEBATES DRAW DISAGREEMENTS, NO-SHOWS
MauiTime’s election debates aired live on Akaku last week, one of the final chances for candidates to spar with their opponents and deliver their messages to voters.
Though each debate featured at least a few contentious moments, perhaps the most notable part of the evening was the no-shows: Mayor Charmaine Tavares had a prior commitment and was unable to attend despite repeated attempts to accommodate her. Candidates for the East Maui and Lanai seats also had scheduling conflicts.
Every other county candidate confirmed, and all came save one: Wayne Nishiki, who e-mailed us hours before the debate to say he had lost his voice, an unusual problem for the normally outspoken Councilmember.
To view a schedule of rebroadcasts or to request an airing, visit akaku.org.
WE CAN BE HEROES
Kudos to Wailuku’s Lillian Murakami, who was named the county’s first “volunteer hero” under a new program administered by the Department of Housing and Human Concerns.
For more than a decade, Murakami has given her time to Hale Makua, where her mother was a resident. Even after her mother died, Murakami kept volunteering, donating more than 40 hours a week to the kupuna care facility.
Of course, selfless acts are their own reward, but recognizing altruistic individuals is important, especially in this season of underhanded mudslinging.
For more info on the volunteer hero program, call 270-7150 or visit