CARISSA MOORE WINS US OPEN BEFORE HUNTINGTON BEACH RIOTS
On Sunday, July 28, Hawaii’s own Carissa Moore, 20, won the Vans US Open of Surfing, which was held in Huntington Beach, California. Her score was 16.00. According to a July 28 press release from the US Open, “the win vaults the Hawaiian to No. 1 on the ASP Women’s WCT over then leader Tyler Wright (AUS), 19.”
But that’s only half the story. Immediately following the end of the competition, riots broke out in Huntington Beach. Yes, good old fashioned riots, complete with overturned porta-potties and lines of cops firing pepper spray into crowds.
“Eight people were arrested on suspicion of failure to disperse and booked at the city jail, according to police,” reported OC Weekly in a blog post put up on Monday, July 29. “City vehicles, portable toilets, merchant windows and street signs were among the items damaged, and the loss of property ‘is still being determined,’ police said.”
Apparently, people just didn’t feel like leaving. Here’s an excerpt of a Huntington Beach Police Facebook post, which also appears in the OC Weekly blog:
“On the 7-28-13 at 7:16 PM officers encountered a large crowd at Main and Pacific Coast Highway. The crowd had gathered at the conclusion of the Van’s US Open of Surfing, an 8 day surf and skate event. A large fight broke out and when officers attempted to break up the disturbance the crowd moved into the downtown area. The crowds began fighting, damaging property and refused to disperse.
HBPD requested mutual aid from other agencies to help disperse the crowd. The area was declared an unlawful assembly and officers have moved in to deal with the crowd and make arrests. The police now have control of the downtown area and the disturbance quelled.”
Look, we know Moore beat local favorite Courtney Conlogue pretty bad, but come on!
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TULSI GABBARD SAYS NO TO DOMESTIC SPYING
Tulsi Gabbard, the liberal Democrat who represents Hawaii’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, is also captain in the Hawaii National Guard and thus generally supports the Defense Department in whatever they ask for. Given her background and the size of the military in her home district, this is understandable. But what’s fascinating is that she does NOT extend that courtesy to the National Security Agency–the nation’s massive electronic eavesdropping service that has come under fire for spying on every American’s phone and email records.
In fact, Gabbard so opposes that spying operation–which is codenamed “PRISM,” according to revelations from former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, who leaked information on the program to the Guardian newspaper–that yesterday she voted for the Amash-Conyers Amendment, which would have radically defunded the PRISM program.
“Countless men and women from my state of Hawai‘i and all across the country have worn the uniform and put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and our liberties,” Gabbard said in a July 24 press release. “I cannot, in good conscience, vote to take a single dollar from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers from across the country to pay for programs which infringe on the very liberties and freedoms our troops have fought and died for. Ben Franklin said, ‘They who give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’”
This bill wasn’t one of those safe votes, either, where a representative can vote his or her conscience because it’s passage or defeat is a foregone conclusion. The vote on Amash-Conyers was remarkably close: 205 votes for it while 217 voted against it. It’s passage would have represented a huge blow to the Obama Administration’s apparent spy-on-everyone approach to fighting terrorism.
And what about Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, the Democrat who represents Hawaii’s 1st District and wants to replace Democrat Brian Schatz (who is also a strong critic of the NSA PRISM program) in the U.S. Senate? She voted against the amendment, according to this blog post from Ian Lind. Her reason, according to Honolulu Civil Beat, was simple:
“[Q]uick fixes [like Amash-Conyers] would have unintended consequences for the intelligence and law enforcement communities beyond the specific problems being targeted,” she said in a news release. “This issue should be the subject of a stand-alone bill that provides a complete review in an open forum involving all stakeholders, including the American public. If a thorough review shows that the law is bad, we should repeal it, not simply de-fund it.”
Given that NSA official James Clapper has already LIED to a Senate Committee about PRISM (and received no apparent sanction), what chance does an “open forum involving all stakeholders” actually stand?
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REST IN PEACE BLACKIE
And now for a sad note. Arsene “Blackie” Gadarian, a longtime fixture of Lahaina and Maui life, died on July 21 at the age of 91. Born in New York in 1921, Blackie and his wife Sara have spent many decades on Maui. He’s most famous around here for Blackie’s Machine Shop in Lahaina, but he also owned Blackie’s Bar, a Lahaina jazz club, from 1981 to 1995 (Gadarian said he was paid $1 for the use of his name for the various Blackie’s Pit Stop locations around Maui).
Blackie was a classic curmudgeon. In fact, in his retirement Blackie was probably best known as a writer of many, many pithy letters to the editor–especially to The Maui News–about all manner of subjects. Sometimes he commented on national politics. Other times, he just wanted to make an off-the-wall observation.
“Years ago there was a lot of roadkill–dogs, cats and even mongooses–on the streets of Maui,” he said in a May 11, 2008 letter to that paper. “I have seen very little roadkill lately. Either the animals are running faster or the drivers have bad aim.”
Blackie was also a fan of this paper–even when he sat on the county’s Liquor Control Board of Adjudication.
According to the obituary, the family is requesting that instead of flowers, those wishing to express condolences should make a donation to the Blackie’s scholarship at Lahainaluna High School. The address is Lahainaluna High School Foundation, “Blackie” Gardarian Vocational Scholarship Fund, PO Box 11617, Lahaina, HI 96761.
Photo of Carissa Moore: Sean Rowland