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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, August 22, 2009

State of confusion wasn't unnoticed

By David Shapiro

With no good statehood parties to escape to, we'll suck it up and "flASHback" on another week's news that amused and confused:

• The rest of the country took note of our muted observance of the 50th anniversary of statehood. Only in Hawai'i do we celebrate statehood in a state of confusion about whether we want to be one.

• A gas explosion at the state office tower snarled Downtown traffic. Keeping the gas contained in government buildings is always tricky. That's why they made the Capitol open air.

• U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is giving speeches declaring himself the king of earmarks in Congress. He's come such a long way. In his earlier days, he was only the Prince of Pork.

• The city may end up $500 million short on rail transit funding, but the Hannemann administration says there's no need to worry. By time the bills come due, it'll be the next mayor's problem.

• The City Council took the first step toward creating a special "homeowner" property tax category. That's the same way parents trick kids into the bathtub. If you keep telling them how special they are, they don't notice they're getting soaked.

• A Mililani man returned home from work to find his house being burglarized. That must have been like walking in on a council Budget Committee meeting.

• Only 3 percent of O'ahu drivers ticketed for talking on their cell phones in traffic have succeeded in fighting the citations. The rest couldn't get the judge to take out the earphones and listen to their story.

• Local television stations KGMB9, KHNL and K5 and are merging news operations. By time they finish announcing themselves as "Hawai'i's Severe Weather, High-Def, Live, Local, Late-Breaking Home Team," there won't be any time left for the news.

• Honolulu police officers Kevin Fujioka and Shayne Souza allegedly tried to run away from Las Vegas police who arrested them on marijuana charges. Talk about a "stupid high."

And the quote of the week ... from Honolulu police Maj. Gregory Lefcourt, warning of a crackdown on pot smoking at the Waikiki Shell: "It's unfortunate that a few people still don't get it."

Do tell. If violators take off running, I hope HPD has speedier officers than Fujioka and Souza to chase them.