This Week in Review
WEDNESDAY, Jun. 15
June 23, 2005
Just four days after U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo told the Honolulu Advertiser the Supreme Court's recent decision on medical marijuana makes Hawai'i's special prescription law "dead" and opens the door for his office to prosecute doctors who prescribe the reefer to patients, Hawai'i Attorney General Mark Bennett issued a press release saying our medical marijuana law is alive and well. Well, that's what I think he said. "An act that is criminalized under federal law is not necessarily a criminal act under state law, and vice versa," wrote Bennett. "The federal government decides what acts are criminal in the federal system, and each state decides what acts are criminal in each state system. Thus, individuals who comply with Hawaii's law regarding medical use of marijuana may nevertheless be violating federal law." So that means the law is dead, right? Wrong! "The State of Hawaii will continue its medical marijuana program," added Bennett. Now before you go saying, "Wow, that Bennett is a helluva guy," remember that he's also the state official who went to civil court in February to get 19-year-old Jason Reardon banned for life from Ka'anapali Beach because he tried to sell a bit of grass to some undercover Maui Police Officers.
THURSDAY, Jun. 16
It's shocking, folks, but the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has just issued a shark warning for the stretch of water between Fleming's Beach and Honolua Bay. Sharks cited off Maui? Whaaaaaa?! No, really! On Jun. 15, DLNR personnel found several sharks feeding on "dozens of dead or dying akule in Honolua Bay." Apparently there were a lot of dead fish because DLNR is telling everyone to stay away "for the next several days." Wow, that's terrifying—the dead fish, I mean. Sharks are a dime a dozen in Hawai'i, but it's weird that so many fish would suddenly die in such a comparatively small area. The DLNR is investigating the fish kill, but they better hurry. Sharks eat fast.
FRIDAY, Jun. 17
It's still a couple weeks before closing, but the Honolulu Advertiser began writing the obituary for Ooka Supermarket in Wailuku. Prices have been slashed in anticipation of clearing all the shelves. When the 74-year-old institution closes at the end of June to make way for senior housing, Maui will finally, like much of the rest of the U.S., be at the complete mercy of giant corporate supermarkets. The days of going to the supermarket to buy a six-pack, some garden boots, a pint of poke and a couple chicken feet will be over, and Maui will just be a tad closer to the Mainland. But that's not for two weeks—better get over there now, people. Cheap chicken feet are hard to find.
SATURDAY, Jun. 18
Apropos of absolutely nothing, The Maui News ran a story today off the Knight Ridder wire on how American consumers are more "strapped for cash" than those who live in 37 other industrialized and post-industrialized nations. For a bunch of rich people, we sure are poor. According to the survey—which was conducted online by the ACNielsen Company—28 percent of U.S. residents live from paycheck to paycheck, beating out such economic powerhouses as Portugal and Brazil. Okay, that's a bit harsh—Portugal and Brazil have made great strides as nation-states over the last couple of decades. Portugal especially, having been a brutal, ridiculous dictatorship in the early 1970s. But still, more people save money in Portugal than in the U.S.? Actually now that I think about it, that kind of makes sense. Nobody saves shit out here. Why should we, when we have that wonderful stock market and all that fantastic real estate speculation to keep us busy. Then there are Hedge Funds—have you seen those? Gloriously reckless. Derivatives? Magnificently risky. And with the gap between rich and poor stretching by the minute, who's got money to deposit in some quaint checking account anyway?
SUNDAY, Jun. 19
Okay, what was the deal with that jittery guy who kept pushing a shopping cart back and forth in the Foodland parking lot tonight? No, really, I want to know. I mean, that shopping cart guy was strange—back and forth, back and forth, all in front of his own car, which seemed to be loaded to the roof with shopping bags. Then he put the shopping cart away and started to lean into the ground like he was going to start running a 400-meter race, but he never quite got started. He kept scratching his back, too. Like, a lot. He did all this for about 15 minutes, then he got in his car and took off, like he had some other pressing engagement. How do I know all this? No, I wasn't spying on him—what do you think, I was just sitting in my car staring at this guy? I mean, even if I was—and I'm not saying that I was—he was still weird, right?
MONDAY, Jun. 20
Native Hawaiians are a "disenfranchised population" suffering "cultural trauma syndrome" that puts them at a greater risk of "suicide by lifestyle" by engaging in such unhealthy practices as smoking and eating poorly (sorry Spam, but I think that means you). Catchy, huh? Those were some of the viewpoints outlined at this year's Pacific Global Health Conference—held Jun. 15-17 at the Hawai'i Convention Center in Honolulu—according to today's Advertiser. Now before all of you start to get huffy about leftist schemes revolving around the "victimization" of various ethnic groups, think about this: a 2002 state Department of Health study mentioned in the story says that the average Hawaiian male will live six years less than the average male "in all other populations." We know historically that Hawaiian men and women used to be very fit—before Capt. Cook and his swabbies dropped anchor, that is. But now, after what the Advertiser called "forced assimilation" took place, not so much.
TUESDAY, Jun. 21
Woohoo! Honolua Bay's open again. Yeah, the sharks are gone. As for what killed all those akule, your guess is as good as the DLNR's.
Anthony Pignataro was recently appalled when he found a 2004-05 Los Angeles Lakers schedule still in his desk.MTW
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