This Week in Review
October 26, 2006
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18
Is it just me or is an 6.7 earthquake
that statewide caused no deaths, no severe injuries, 48 minor injuries
and $100 million in damages a bit small to get a "major disaster"
declaration from President George W. Bush? Hey, I'm all for sucking on that federal emergency money teat, but come on. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina—another
"major disaster"—killed more than 1,800 people and inflicted $81
billion in damages. Don't like my logic? Well, then let's look at how
the good people at the Hawai`i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB)
are handling the crisis. Last spring, when it rained for more than a
month, the HVCB—charged with marketing our fair islands to the mainland
and the world—spent $500,000 selling Hawai`i as a great tourist
destination despite the Great Deluge of '06, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
By contrast, today the paper reported that the bureau is shelling out
just $6,000 on marketing post-quake Hawai`i, and doesn't see any need
to spend much more.
THURSDAY, Oct. 19
Beats me. You?
FRIDAY, Oct. 20
Can you believe those fake headline ads Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Malama Solomon
was running? For a campaign starving for attention and money, it's
actually quite a brilliant move. Would papers be talking about Solomon
and Governor candidate Randy Iwase if they hadn't pulled such a bone-headed move? The problem, which no one has really mentioned yet, isn't that the anti-Linda Lingle
headlines in the TV spots were fake, but that they weren't nearly fake
enough. What campaign flunky thought plastering the bogus headline
"Iraq War See No End In Sight" on the actual Honolulu Advertiser masthead was the best way to sock it to the Lingle camp? No wonder the Advertiser
reacted with such outrage—I'd fire the editor who tried to put that
gibberish on the front page. No, what Solomon and the Democrats should
have done was put real fake headlines alleging all kinds of stuff about
Lingle. And they don't have to use a real newspaper masthead,
either—this is the age of PhotoShop, people! Use your imagination! At the very least, fake newspapers can't sue you. Anyway, come up with something like the Honolulu Times-Chronicle and Morning Throwaway
and then put it on screen above headlines screaming, "Lingle Cavorts
with Space Aliens" or "Poll: 3 out of 4 Chimps Back Lingle." Trust me:
you do these things (and raise about $2 million in the next 48 hours)
and you can't lose.
SATURDAY, Oct. 21
SUNDAY, Oct. 22
Finally! At last! The mud throwing has actually begun! The race for
Maui County Mayor is heating up! And the candidates—incumbent Alan Arakawa and challenger Charmaine Tavares—are
sparring like gladiators, sparing no expense and giving no quarter.
"The water department's long-term goal has to be to look at East Maui,
where the predominance of the water is, and move water around so you
can bring water to all the different communities," Arakawa says in
today's Maui News of his plan
to connect all the island's various water systems. Naturally, Tavares
wasn't going to take such language, and responded with equal nastiness.
"I think the main objection is he's going forward and pursuing this
circular system without any input from the community or the County
Council," she said, displaying her usual brash, devil-may-care style.
According to the story, Tavares also said Arakawa's plan was "illegal"
because it didn't mesh with the county's current Water Use and Development Plan. Damn! And there's still more than two weeks to go before the election! It's going to be a wild ride.
MONDAY, Oct. 23
Hell of a Maui News story yesterday on reelected—largely because no one ran against her—Board of Education member Mary Cochran.
The paper quoted a bunch of state and local school officials who called
her "passionate," "assertive," "excellent," "excellent," "passionate,"
"passionate," "passionate" and "OK." I get it—people like her and think
she's passionate. Of course, the paper quoted others saying Cochran was
"brash," "assertive," "aggressive" and "rustic," though I'm not really
sure what the deal was with that last one. Clearly, Cochrane is
controversial. So why did no one run against her? Sure, Cochrane has
pushed for increased funding for Maui schools, and succeeded in getting
the state to make a future Kihei High School
a greater priority, but is that why no one stepped forward to take her
on? And how about the time—January of this, actually—when Cochran flew
off the handle at a board meeting after "broken glass and rearranged
bleachers" appeared at Lahaina Intermediate? Cochrane, worried over a dope epidemic, wanted the cops to let loose a pack of drug-sniffing dogs on the school. "Don't waste time," she said, according to the 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." Did I mention
Cochran is an attorney?
TUESDAY, Oct. 24
Boy, that Governor's race sure got interesting in a hurry. First
Iwase started bashing Lingle for her response to the big earthquake.
Then Lingle fired back that Iwase didn't know what he was talking
about. Then we had that whole TV ad fight. Is anyone surprised that
we're now fighting over baby monk seals?
"The Lingle/Aiona campaign is issuing patently untrue press statements
on their website claiming falsely that Malama Solomon and I are for
killing baby monk seals," states a Randy Iwase press release sent out
yesterday. "This is nothing but pure sensationalism and entirely
untrue, and should be removed from their website." What started this
was an Oct. 19 release from the Lingle campaign saying that a flyer
distributed by Iwase and Solomon "states their support for lay net fishing
[which recently killed a baby monk seal], and falsely accuses Governor
Lingle's Administration for 'proposing rules to ban the use of
traditional lay net fishing (including pai pai and moi moi).'"
Naturally, both sides say they support "traditional" fishing practices
as well as deny that they want to see those cute little baby monk seals
slaughtered in cruel gillnets. Do politics get any better than this? I
Anthony Pignataro would run for public office, but too many people already know about him. MTW
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