Well, it looks like the sordid Akaku public access cable tale is coming to an end. Those station board members who want to cut a deal and keep the state legislature at bay solidly outnumber those who oppose the plan to share state funds with schools, according to today’s Maui News. What’s more, the paper reports that an attorney for Everett Dowling—the mega developer who wants to build at Makena that first started this insane fight over Akaku—helped write the fund-sharing deal. This is just like that Downing Street memo thing on how George W. Bush wanted to invade Iraq as early as 2002 that no one wrote about until everyone started talking about it and now everyone’s written about it. By that I mean that Dowling’s involvement in the slow financial dismemberment of Akaku is shocking only to those people who don’t normally watch the news or read magazines or go outside during normal business hours. Dowling has been gunning for Akaku for years. He initiated two bills—one each for the state House and Senate—then offered to help the poor legislators in any way he could. Of course his attorney helped write the settlement agreement. I’d be disappointed in Dowling if that wasn’t the case.
THURSDAY, JunE 23
I had no idea that sending criminals to jail was becoming so passe on Hawai’i. Sure, we’re still filling up our prisons at an alarming rate, but now—at least where illegal narcotics are concerned—state justice officials want to ratchet up the punishment. On June 21, the state Attorney General’s office filed its fourth “drug nuisance abatement action.” It seeks to ban Tiffany K. Anderson from her residence in Wailuku. It’s identical to a move back in February to ban 19-year-old Jason Reardon from Ka’anapali Beach. In fact, it’s so identical that Acting Attorney General Lisa Ginoza recycled her own quote from the Reardon action—taking care to substitute “Wailuku” for “Ka’anapali”: “This action sends a message to drug dealers that the sale of drugs in the community will not be tolerated,” she wrote in a press release. “We expect this action to bring some relief to the Wailuku community and its residents.”
FRIDAY, JunE 24
Quick, grab your gerbil! Today’s National Take Your Pet to Work Day! I know, this year’s festivities seemed to sneak up on us, but as everyone knows, today’s the day when you’re supposed to pack up Seabiscuit or Rover or whatever it is that you keep around the house for love and companionship and haul it off to the jobsite. No one really knows why we have National Take Your Pet to Work Day—I seriously doubt it was the animals’ idea—but you can count on Governor Linda Lingle to take full advantage of event. Today she appeared in the State Capitol Rotunda with local officials, dignitaries and “cats, dogs and other critters” to sign HB1453, a bill which will finally allow Hawai’i residents to leave trusts for the care of their pets, should the owners, you know, pass on. It’s comforting our esteemed governor and state legislators have finally put aside their partisan differences and come together to support the financial well being of our pets.
SATURDAY, JunE 25
It’s about time.
SUNDAY, JunE 26
Once again, the federal government is screwing over veterans. Hey, it happens. According to today’s Honolulu Advertiser, the Veterans Affairs Department says it needs $1 billion immediately or else it can’t pay for vet health care this year. This apparently has our own Senator Daniel Akaka (D, Hawai’i) steamed. “The VA has already been forced to tap into emergency funds for next year as well as vital construction funds,” he told the Advertiser. “Now that we have confirmation that there truly is a problem, we can get to work on it together.” Now look—I don’t feel good about bashing Akaka. He’s probably a very nice guy with a heart of gold. But seriously, does he ever stop with the bullshit? First it was that his sole interest in selling out the Alaskan wilderness to oil drilling was catering to the indigenous people. Uh huh. But now this? What does it take for this guy to get pissed off? We are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. American men and women are dying pretty much every single day over there. The Bush Administration just asked for another $82 billion to pay for another year of violence and mayhem, yet can’t seem to find a measly single billion to make sure that the survivors who somehow escape that maelstrom get proper health care. That’s called an atrocity, and it’s got to stop. Just because historians can go back to the Bonus Army in the 1930s and say the fed has always screwed over vets doesn’t mean it should continue. Hell, even warmonger Dubya has made clear that he doesn’t give a damn about soldiers once they’re out of uniform—he’s long reneged on the old federal government promise to provide lifetime health care to all World War II and Korean War vets. Where’s Akaka and Senator Daniel Inouye (D, Hawai’i)—an actual WWII vet—on that? Where’s the Democratic Party? Anyone?
MONDAY, JunE 27
Today Maui News reporter Harry Eagar planted a big wet one on the cheeks of Edna Bayliff and Laren Gartner, the two women who opened Cheeseburgers in Paradise in Lahaina back in 1989. Eagar wrote about how the two Orange County, California women created an “instant success story” selling “gooey” cheeseburgers to tourists in Hawai’i, and even quoted Gartner as saying her best advice for other businesswomen is to “never take no for an answer.” Which is ironic, considering that singer/songwriter/insufferable pox on humanity Jimmy Buffett sued the two women in 1997 for trademark infringement—a fact Eagar apparently felt was totally irrelevant to their “success story.” Anyway, the women countered that they had Buffett’s “blessing” when they opened the restaurants, and a judge let them keep the Lahaina joint’s name as it was, but he barred them from ever using the name again. In any case, it sounds to me like someone took no for an answer.
TUESDAY, JunE 28
Anthony Pignataro wishes someone would open a bar that sells Mushroom Swiss Burgers for no more than $2.75. MTW