Everett Dowling must be laughing his ass off right about now. Why shouldn’t he? The Akaku board of directors is tearing itself apart in public, and he’s the guy who stands the most to gain. The board met last night, or rather tried to meet last night, but couldn’t reach a quorum. Then those board members who actually showed up started accusing those who didn’t of trying to “stonewall” any discussion of a proposed funding agreement that would see the public access cable station moving a quarter of its state-funds to Maui Community College. Using terms like “abdicating his responsibilities” and “classic coup d’etat,” the members who oppose the agreement told The Maui News that the board majority supporting the agreement is trying to freeze them out. Now I have no doubt that that’s what’s happening, but everyone seems to have forgotten that all this began a couple months ago when longtime Akaku critic Dowling—who opposes the station’s unedited airing of public land-use hearings—flew to Honolulu and pushed a couple bills through the legislature that would have slashed Akaku’s state funding. The board’s own settlement agreement pushed the bills aside, but if they continue battling amongst themselves over this, the legislature could do worse things to the station than merely curtail their funding.
THURSDAY, Jun. 2
Flash! U.S. Congressman Ed Case (D, Hawai’i) just announced that U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D, Hawai’i) is going to appear on this month’s edition of Case’s television show Congressman Ed Case Reports. Over the course of a half hour, you’ll laugh as Inouye—now in his 43rd year of congressional service—chuckles over how then Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn joked with him in 1959, observing that “there aren’t too many one-armed Japanese around here.” You’ll laugh again, though probably not so much, when Inouye talks about how he “tried my very best to avoid” serving on Sam Ervin’s Senate Watergate Committee. I’m not making this up, people! It doesn’t get much better than this! You’ll be thrilled to hear Inouye predict that “tourism will continue to be a force in the local economy” and shocked to hear that “the demand for housing risks agriculture.” All as the conversation builds to an exciting climax! “And of course, there are some interesting tidbits of political history and trivia that come to light during Case’s conversation with Inouye,” Case’s press release reported. “For example: what do the first congressional terms of Inouye and Case have in common? Tune in!” Yes, tune in, though no one’s quite sure when, since Case’s office says that Akaku airtimes “are pending.”
FRIDAY, Jun. 3
Looks like no more Hula Bowl for Maui. Boo frickin’ hoo. It’s up and hauling it’s sorry self back to Oahu. Actually, today’s Maui News makes it sound like no one—including hizzoner Mayor Alan Arakawa—is sorry to see it go. “Quite frankly, it hasn’t been great economically for the county,” he told the paper. Arakawa and other officials added that relations between the promoters and the county have deteriorated so much that county managing director Keith Regan has been “playing phone tag.” And all this comes after the county made repeated concessions to the promoters—like selling beer in War Memorial!—the attendance sucked, getting eclipsed by other sporting spectacles like the Mercedes Championships, Maui Invitational and Sir Wilfred’s Wednesday night chess matches. What’s most amazing is that anyone’s shocked by this. This is the Hula Bowl we’re talking about. Sure, Maui’s a popular vacation destination, but who goes on vacation to see a third-tier college bowl game?
SATURDAY, Jun. 4
I’ve got nothing. You?
SUNDAY, Jun. 5
Break out the party hats and noisemakers, folks—today’s Her Magesty Governor Linda Lingle’s birthday! It’s the big 5-2 for her, so you just know things got crazy at her party tonight. Somehow I never got my engraved invitation—probably lost in the mail or something. But she and a couple hundred of her closest friends and political contributors are got down this evening at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. The official Linda Lingle Campaign Committee sponsored the bash, so you know it was a real blowout. After all, it’s not everyone who can afford an entrance fee of $100 a head, which gave it that air of exclusivity while still allowing party-goers to chow down on “heavy pupus.”
MONDAY, Jun. 6
Word comes down that we all need to stop criticizing U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D, Hawai’i). Seems we’ve all been too tough on the “humble man” whose “heart is so pure,” according to U.S. Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D, American Samoa), quoted in today’s Honolulu Advertiser. For those of you who’ve been living in a cave for the last decade, Akaka and U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R, Alaska) are pushing the Akaka-Stevens Bill through the Senate in an effort to bring some degree of self-determination to the Hawaiian people. With no sense of irony, Akaka and his supporters say this means giving them the same rights and privileges currently enjoyed by Native Americans. Some of the more militant Hawaiian activists respond that they’d be much happier with a complete reversal of the 1893 American seizure of Hawai’i. Now we can all argue the merits of these respective ideas—abject poverty and casinos on one hand, monarchy and no more Fourth of July fireworks on the other—but I think one thing we can all agree on is that Akaka, like all U.S. Senators, is about as far from “humble” as a human being can get.
TUESDAY, Jun. 7
Just perusing Maui’s sexiest newspaper—yup, I’m talking about Connections, the official quarterly of the Maui Chamber of Commerce. Their Summer Issue is smokin’! Sure, they’ve got a lot of dull stuff about “legislative outcomes” and “a new era” for the Farm Bureau, but they’ve also got some pretty racy stuff. Like the photo on page seven, showing three guys at some golf gala flipping burgers. Look carefully at the dude on the left—he’s wearing a shirt saying in bold letters, “It ain’t gonna lick itself.” Awww yeaaaahh!
Anthony Pignataro’s most recent novel, The Amazing Adventures of Fantastic Freddy and his Happy Gang of 17, was not published by Knopf last year. MTW