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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 28, 2009

Laughs at expense of the economy

By David Shapiro

More economic carnage dominates our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

  • Niketown is the latest in a string of high-end stores to close on Kalakaua Avenue. You know times are really tough when even the top athletic shoemaker can't outrun the economy.

  • The average pay of Hawai'i workers was down 1.1 percent against inflation last year. We'll do better this year after the Legislature's 36 percent pay raise kicks up the average.

  • Gov. Linda Lingle wants to balance the state budget by diverting federal stimulus funds intended for education. In playground terms, she tagged the school kids and said: "You're It!"

  • Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto says she may have to close the schools 24 days early if Lingle raids the federal money. In playground terms, she held her breath and turned blue.

  • A Waikiki jewelry store is selling the same watch President Obama wears. I'm getting one. I want to know as soon as he does when it's time to panic.

  • In noneconomic news, students from Hawai'i, the Mainland, Mexico and the Philippines are competing in robotics trials here. Lingle and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona are the hosts, and also the role models for the students' creations.

  • The civil unions bill appears dead for the year after a Senate vote against forcing it out of committee. I agree with my blog correspondent who thinks we should all have the same right to make poor judgments and regrettable decisions.

  • Hawai'i congressional delegates amended the Akaka bill to make clear that gambling won't be allowed on native lands. The bill hasn't even had a hearing yet and the poor Hawaiians are already rolling snake eyes.

  • Fewer than half of Hawai'i seniors are satisfied with the safety of our streets, according to an AARP survey. The city was hoping we'd be too old to see the potholes.

  • Speaking of old, scientists say an ancient species of coral off Hawai'i's coast is among the oldest living organisms on the planet. It's so old that Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka were only keiki when it started growing.

    And the quote of the week ... from state Rep. Blake Oshiro on the civil unions vote in the Senate: "Unfortunately, it appears that sometimes people are more concerned about keeping their job than doing their job." No fair using the state motto for partisan purposes.

    Reach David Shapiro at (Unknown address).