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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2009

Justice is served, ticket for ticket


By David Shapiro

Justice gets trampled by the furlough parade as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• State courts closed for their first "furlough Friday," but Chief Justice Ronald Moon ordered judges to report to work. He said they could do research, catch up on paperwork and issue contempt citations against the furloughed maintenance guy who left off the air conditioning.

• Because of mismatched furlough days, on some Fridays courts are open but state parking lots are closed. It's an experiment in judicial sustainability. While you're paying off one parking ticket, a cop is already writing your next.

• An appeals court ruled that the state underpaid substitute teachers for years and may owe them as much as $40 million. Uh-oh. Can anybody say "furlough Thursdays?"

• After Gov. Linda Lingle left on her goodwill trip to China, a top Chinese general arrived in Honolulu. If he's here to arrange the terms of her return, I hope he enjoys the beach while he waits for somebody to negotiate with him.

• Mayor Mufi Hannemann is touring Japan and the Philippines to cement Honolulu's sister-city relationships. The guy will go anywhere they'll let him pour cement while he sweats out the delay in starting his rail project.

• The state plans to install buoys at Ala Moana Beach Park to keep stand-up paddleboarders and swimmers safely apart. If it works, a similar system will be set up to separate state Senate factions.

• Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, the self-proclaimed "No. 1 earmarks guy" in Congress, handed out much of his pork to big campaign donors, a watchdog group said. Sounds like the political equivalent of a VIP luau.

• A new city ordinance makes it easier for Oahu churches to lease space in industrial neighborhoods. Baptisms could get really interesting with forklifts involved.

• A Big Island judge allowed a man convicted of drunken driving for the 14th time to serve his jail sentence on weekends only. I'll bet the Philadelphia Phillies wish they could also play by 15 strikes and you're out.

And the quote of the week from Hawaii Democratic Party chairman Brian Schatz on next year's elections: "The party that will be successful is the one that can articulate a way to navigate through this difficult economic period." That's the problem all articulation and no navigation.