So the state Senate is thinking about repealing the gasoline price cap. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Oh, but it would allow the governor to bring back the cap should prices get “too high.” Too high?! Gas prices are too high right now! Or are we supposed to wait until they reach $4 a gallon? How about $5 a gallon? Why do you think the state Legislature passed the cap in the first place? Hell, they’ve been too high for the last five years. Which reminds me: oil’s selling for $75 a barrel right now. What happens if President George W. Bush loses what’s left of his mind and starts bombing Iran? Even if he doesn’t drop any nuclear bunker-busters, an attack like that will set fire to the entire Persian Gulf. The whole world will be in a world of hurt then. And another thing—this “It gives them a way to be able to seek relief from the governor” line state Senator Ron Menor (D, 17th District) is spouting won’t fly. The governor is now and will likely be for the next four years Linda Lingle, a longtime friend of the oil industry and an avowed opponent of all things gas cap. You think she’s going to step in and impose price controls?
THURSDAY, Apr. 27
Three weeks ago I reported in this very column that Mana Means Advertising & Public Relations had contacted me on behalf of a mysterious candidate they refused to name who was considering running for Ed Case’s soon-to-be-vacated 2nd District congressional seat. But now, dear readers, thanks to my ingenious investigative skills, I can reveal to you the name of that individual. And I will, eventually, but first I wanted to explain the subtle nuances and cleverness that went into my finding out the name of the candidate in the first place. See, the good folks at Mana Means Advertising & Public Relations are cagey—they know how to get the word out, but they also know how to make sure the word doesn’t get out too soon. The trick—which I discovered and foiled today—lay in their first call to me three weeks ago, when they asked if it was better for them to send email or fax press releases. Initially thinking nothing of it, I said email and assumed—a potentially huge miscalculation on my part—that they’d alert me to the candidate’s identity in an email. But that was what they wanted me to think! Sure enough, day after day, I checked my email and never saw word one from Mana Means. Until today, that is, when I got my daily selection of snail mail. It was the usual mix of angry letters, press releases from Wisconsin and other junk. I was going to toss it all like I normally do when a large envelope bearing a Mana Means return address caught my eye. And that’s when it hit me: that whole email line of inquiry was a ruse to throw me off the scent! The mystery candidate’s identity was here, in this very envelope! Making sure no one was looking, I then opened the envelope. Using a technique mastered by investigators Bob Woodward, Sy Hersh and Jack Anderson long ago, I poured the envelope’s papers onto my desk. Then I began to read the papers. “Quentin Kawananakoa announces candidacy for United States 2nd Congressional District,” announced one press release. It was a brilliant coup, I don’t mind saying myself—one I’m sure even Quentin Kawananakoa, whoever the hell he is, would salute.
FRIDAY, Apr. 28
Looks like Ma’alaea Harbor is finally going to get a proper sewage pump-out station, thanks to—you guessed it—Governor Lingle. Of course I’m kidding—all Lingle did was release $1.1 million in state money to the harbor, $350,000 of which will go to pump-out facility. And while I applaud the good governor’s actions, I find it hard—okay, absolutely impossible—to believe that she would have spent all that money on little Ma’alaea Harbor were it not for the many Pump-Don’t-Dump activists who continue to make a stink over the commercial boats that continue to this day to dump raw sewage into the waters just off Maui. And yeah, that pun was very much intended.
SATURDAY, Apr. 29
SUNDAY, Apr. 30
So the Associated Press is reporting today that the state’s gas cap is just about dead. And Republican legislators are beside themselves with glee. “The rescission of the gas cap is a huge victory for consumers,” Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings (R, 25th District) told the news agency. “Now we can focus on making oil obsolete by diversifying our energy consumption with renewable and other alternative energy sources.” Okay, let me take that in stages. Victory for consumers? Really? Oil’s looking to top $100 a barrel. Does Hemmings seriously think throwing the state on the mercy of the commodities market will drive down prices at the pump? As far as the “alternative energy sources” are concerned, do you think we’re all stupid? We’ve been hearing about the glories of alternative fuels and vehicles since the 1970s. Except for biodiesel, which Republicans did nothing to help bring about, where the hell is the stuff? Remember those electric cars from GM that came out in the mid-1990s and vanished in the late 1990s because the auto giant never wanted to sell them in the first place? I miss those little cars.
MONDAY, May 1
Today’s Maui News announces that Steve and Leslie Hargrove are closing their Kahului restaurant Las Pinatas today in honor of a national day of protest in which every U.S. immigrant is supposed to boycott work. Guess that means no one in Kahului will be eating lunch today.
TUESDAY, May 2
You know what, I forgot about those magical hydrogen cars Republican officials keep saying will save us all. And they’ll be wonderful, too, when they finally start selling them in a decade or two. In the meantime, working people who have to drive because Maui lacks comprehensive bus service are screwed.
Anthony Pignataro really needs to start buying gasoline futures. MTW