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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wie wins, rail loses and June is jonesing

By David Shapiro

Athletic triumph and academic triage lead the way as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• Hawai'i golfer Michelle Wie finally won her first LPGA tournament four years after turning pro. Anybody who can bounce back from that many years of futility should run for lieutenant governor.

• Gov. Linda Lingle wants to tap the state's $60 million rainy day fund to end "furlough Fridays" at Hawai'i public schools. It seems a poetic remedy for the international scorn that's raining on our school system.

• Lingle left for a GOP governors conference in Texas just days after returning from a two-week trip to China. Her stay here was so short she should be counted as a visitor arrival.

• People paid $500 a head to hear Mayor Mufi Hannemann sing at his gubernatorial fundraiser, while Elton John's top price is only $157 for his Blaisdell concert in January. The difference is "Rocket Man" can't hand out transit contracts as door prizes.

• Tax collections for Honolulu's $5.5 billion commuter train fell 30 percent, to only $8.9 million last month. That kind of money limits the competition to provide the rolling stock to Mattel and Hasbro.

• Louis Kealoha, the unanimous choice for Honolulu police chief, brings a Ph.D. and a five-year restructuring plan to the job. Could we borrow him to look at the mess at the Department of Education before he takes over HPD next month?

• Police Commission Chairwoman Christine Camp said the controversial selection process for a new chief was done "by the book." Unfortunately, it was the Monty Python playbook.

• The city broke ground on $3.2 million in renovations at Honolulu Zoo, including a flashy new entrance. A last-minute addition was an enclosure to house the monkey that Michelle Wie got off her back.

• Former UH football coach June Jones hopes to bring his SMU Mustangs back to his old stomping grounds for the Hawai'i Bowl next month. Just in case it works out, SMU is buying up Aloha Stadium's entire south end zone to seat Jones' ego.

And the quote of the week ... from President Obama, to fellow APEC leaders, on the dress code for the 2011 economic summit in Honolulu: "I look forward to seeing you all decked out in flowered shirts and grass skirts." Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to restart the arms race if he had to wear a coconut bra.