After two and a half years of asking, it looks like local schools will finally get drug-sniffing dogs. And our very own Lahaina Intermediate might be the first to get the crack-hunting canines. And it’s not a moment too soon. According to today’s Maui News, there’s been lots of “troublesome” activity at Lahaina Intermediate after hours, according to Principal Marsha Nakamura. Bad stuff, too, like “broken glass and rearranged bleachers and benches apparently used by skaters.” Man, if that doesn’t just scream Dope Epidemic, I don’t know what does. And students are getting busted for marijuana use left and right. Nakamura told the News that she’s already disciplined one student this year for smoking the reefer, on top of “two or three” last year. Now there are risks to simply running police dogs through the school, indiscriminately sniffing lockers and rooms: mostly, that some uppity, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-loving parents will start questioning whether their son’s or daughter’s rights were violated. This doesn’t bother at least one school board member. “Don’t waste time,” said school board member Mary Cochran—one of the dogs’ original proponents—according to the Jan. 10, 2006 Honolulu Advertiser. “Go for it. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? You’re going to get your wrist slapped or you’re going to get sued.” That’s the spirit! Screw civil liberties attorneys or potential state Supreme Court decisions! Were talking broken glass and rearranged bleachers here! Somebody’s got to do something now!
THURSDAY, Jan. 12
Don’t you love it when Hana’s most famous landowner steps in it real good but still comes out looking good? Of course I speak of Oprah Winfrey, who’s having to answer tough questions about whether she should continue to tell millions of people to buy James Frey’s now-thoroughly disgraced “memoir” A Million Little Pieces about how he “redeemed” himself after many crimes and months in prison—virtually none of which seems to have actually happened. You mean to tell me that memoirs aren’t always completely factual? You mean there might be a lie or two in Richard Nixon’s voluminous ramblings? No! Of course, that doesn’t mean Oprah’s actions are anything other than completely shameless. “[T]he underlying message of redemption in James Frey’s memoir still resonates with me, and I know it resonates with millions of other people who have read this book and who will continue to read this book,” she said on last night’s edition of Larry King Live during a “surprise” phone call. See, Winfrey obviously draws strength from Frey’s “redemption” from a fake life of crime, and presumably, his calling on people to “fuck the bullshit.” Well, that and strength and monster publicity. Oh yeah, this can only help both Frey and Winfrey.
FRIDAY, Jan. 13
Papaya output is down 17 percent statewide. But employee drug use is up six percent. Discuss amongst yourselves which one’s better.
SATURDAY, Jan. 14
So it looks like Maui’s population is going to double over the next decade. That’s right—according to Mayor Alan Arakawa, developers have an amazing 38,000 new homes and apartments planned or already approved for the island. “We’re going to have to look very seriously at how the community evolves and whether we want to look like New York City,” Arakawa said, according to The Maui News. This revelation was mentioned almost offhandedly 15 paragraphs into a 42-graph story about the 949 houses and apartments that make up Ma’alaea Mauka, which Ma’alaea Properties wants to build next to the Maui Ocean Center. If Arakawa’s right—and him being mayor and all, the chances are pretty good that he’s close to the mark—then Maui in 2015 will look very different from what it does now. Know all those hundreds and hundreds of acres of sugarcane draped over the central part of the island? Yeah, they’ll all be homes and strip malls at that projected rate of growth.
SUNDAY, Jan. 15
Well, maybe all that land will be built up—if Hawaiian Cement can cut a deal with the Teamsters so they won’t go on strike and all but terminate construction throughout the state. What’s remarkable here isn’t so much that Hawaiian Cement is the state’s sole cement importer, but that the number of Teamsters who would actually go on strike—they’re talking 12:01 a.m. this coming Thursday—hovers between 20 and 26. That’s it—a little over two-dozen guys stop working, and suddenly no cement—the key ingredient in concrete—moves throughout Hawai’i. Leaving aside the labor demands and counter-demands driving the threatened strike, how on earth could things get to the point where there’s just one cement importer in the entire state? Especially since all this happened before. Granted, that was way, way back in 2004, but the strike was sufficient to put hundreds of construction guys out of work for months. Look, I’m as anti-development as they come, but this only having one cement company is stupid.
MONDAY, Jan. 16
Perhaps sensing trouble stemming from the bloody, increasingly fruitless war in Iraq that’s already killed 2,220 American soldiers and perhaps as many as a couple hundred thousand Iraqi civilians; the smoldering insurgency that will never end in Afghanistan; stories of U.S. troops beating and torturing prisoners; revelations of secret prisons in Eastern Europe; and massive, illegal spying on American citizens, the Pentagon has decided that the solution to its woes is that we’re just not laughing enough. So they went and hired Colonel James “Scotty” Scott, U.S. Army (Ret.) who works as a certified “laughter training specialist,” according to a USA Today story run in today’s Honolulu Advertiser. No, I’m serious: he goes around the country, teaching National Guard families “to laugh for no reason.” The idea being that the more the families are laughing, the healthier they’ll be and the less they’ll be worrying over their loved ones sent overseas.
TUESDAY, Jan. 17
Now that’s funny, but not quite for the reasons the Pentagon generals probably thought of when they dreamed up this wonder.
Anthony Pignataro is currently finishing a memoir detailing how he recently overcame a painful, wrenching Triscuit addiction that nearly destroyed him. MTW