WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27
Well this is an interesting one. Taking the NIMBY (not in my backyard) philosophy and turning it on its head, Maui developer Peter Martin is trying to build a kind of low-income campground literally in his backyard, on a 5-acre piece of undeveloped land in Spreckelsville. Martin explained his proposal at a recent Planning Commission meeting and encountered predictable resistance from residents who fear the place could become a haven for undesirables. On the one hand, it’s tough to blame folks for being cautious; homeless encampments often are hotbeds of shady activity. On the other hand, here’s someone who seems to genuinely want to lend a helping hand—to reach out to the needy in a time of great need when not everyone fighting to stay above the poverty line is a mentally ill drug addict—and is willing to finance and take full responsibility for the operation. Should we be standing in his way, or awarding him a medal? The Commission delayed any decision until its next meeting, September 9. We’ll be there.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 28
I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for symbolism and tend to find poignant metaphors where (arguably) none exist. It’s the sappy Victorian novelist in me. But this one was pretty glaring: On my walk to work this morning, I passed a Tasha Kama sign posted by the side of the road. On the ground underneath it was one of those “Re-elect Joe Souki” sponges that his supporters have been passing out door-to-door (mine’s currently under the sink; thanks Joe). It was all wilted and shriveled and some creature had chomped a big chunk out of the corner, perhaps mistaking it for a strange flattened piece of fruit. Meanwhile, the sun glistened brightly off Kama’s decal. Does all this mean anything, other than maybe I should scale back my AM coffee intake? I leave it to you.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29
There are a few ways to look at the Sarah Palin pick. The first, and most obvious, is that this will now be a historic election no matter what the outcome—we’ll get either the first non-Caucasian president or the first female vice president. Political ideology and questions of competence aside, that’s pretty cool. Choosing Palin also solidifies McCain’s reputation as a risk taker. I read an article a few months ago about the two candidates’ respective gambling habits; Obama is apparently a poker man while McCain favors craps. Picking as your number two a greenhorn moose hunting former beauty queen definitely qualifies as rolling the dice. Finally, it’s interesting to note how Obama and McCain’s respective veep choices reflect a weird attempt to sort of mirror the other man: Obama taps a tough-talking, white-haired senior senator with solid foreign policy credentials; McCain goes with an inexperienced, fresh-faced, outside-the-box political minority. Now all that said, and I could be wrong, I smell Dan Quayle 2.0. Has anybody asked her if she knows how to spell potato?
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30
Last week I discussed the deal Hawaii struck with Hart InterCivic for use of the company’s voting machines and how Hart was the target of a lawsuit alleging fraudulent shenanigans back in 2002. Since then I spoke briefly with Scott Nago in the state office of elections, who informed me that the deal, which had previously been a long-term engagement, is now only for this year. Going forward, Hart will have to re-bid. That’s good for the future, but questions still swirl around this important election and the reliability of the machines that will be tabulating the results.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31
Went down to Kihei for some sun and surf and I know I’m totally stating the obvious and that the Tourism Authority’s numbers have shown this like a million different ways, but man—there aren’t very many tourists. At all. The streets were quiet, the restaurants sat empty, the beaches were bare. You could say the September slowdown started a day early, but for things to slow down they had to be going fast at one point. Still, it was an absolutely gorgeous day in paradise, so there’s always that.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Roz Savage just rowed in and boy her arms are tired! (Ba, dum, dum…cha!) But seriously folks, wow. Ninety-nine days and 2,900 miles later, Savage—who’s trying to become the first woman to single-handedly (well, double-handedly, but you know what I mean) row across the Pacific—landed on Oahu, completing the first and longest leg of her oceanic odyssey. I was in the Bay Area back in May when Savage departed from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and I’m not one to toot my own horn…but I totally got here first, Roz.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Last year around this time, there was speculation in these and other pages that if McCain became the Republican nominee, he might tap Governor Lingle as his VP. That, of course, didn’t materialize—but Lingle has managed to land a role at the convention in Minnesota. Hawaii’s top executive, The Honolulu Advertiser reports, has been deployed at the GOP confab to spread the good word about Palin. Lingle told reporters she was uniquely qualified to tout the credentials of the Alaskan governor, “because I’m one of the only people who has traveled her road.” (There’s a cheap joke in there that we’re going to stay miles away from.) In addition to praising Palin, Lingle took a few shots at the guys on the other side, saying of Obama and Biden, “They haven’t been the mayor of a midsized city, big city, small city, red, blue, any city. They’ve never been the mayor, either of them. They’ve never been a governor.” That’s true Linda. On the other hand, what they have been is U.S. Senators. In fact, Biden became a senator (which does, historically, qualify one to be president) when Palin was 11 years old. But hey, you retort, Barack Obama’s young and inexperienced too. I’d argue he’s a little more experienced than Palin in ways that make one presidential. (As an example: In 1988 Obama was attending Harvard Law School while Palin was getting paid to talk about dog sledding on a shitty local news show. Go to YouTube and search “Sarah Palin, KTUU-TV”; it’s worth it.) But yeah, they both have sorta thin resumes. So maybe we can all agree to stop talking about experience and focus instead on policy and a vision for the future? No? Didn’t think so. MTW