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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lingle's timing is again suspect

By David Shapiro

I don't know whether to say "boo" or "boo-hoo" as we plant tongue in cheek and begin our Halloween "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• Gov. Linda Lingle is ducking out of Hawaii's budget and labor crises for a two-week promotional trip to China. Gee, when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got tired of the hassles of her job and wanted to go traveling, she resigned first.

• The state Senate appointed a special committee to look for money to reopen our public schools on furlough Fridays. As a show of good faith, senators will start by throwing their 36 percent pay raises into the pot NOT!

• The Legislature this week convened the kickoff meeting of its blue-ribbon task force to "reinvent" government. Brave people. The guy who invented it the first time was taken out and shot.

• Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced in a $10,000 televised "State of the Rail" speech that construction of his $5.5 billion commuter train will be delayed at least a month so he can dot some i's and cross some t's with the state and feds. Not to mention kiss some A's.

• City Council Chairman Todd Apo and other members who flip-flopped on property tax rules under pressure from Hannemann said the deal involved no promises of future favors. I'm impressed. I didn't think they were smart enough to get paid up front.

• Two Radford High School coaches who were Downtown for a prep sports fundraiser were arrested for soliciting prostitution. It's so easy to get confused about what's for sale at those silent auctions.

• A Big Island man accused of shooting his son eight times and throwing his body off a cliff struck a plea bargain that got him just two years in prison. What, have prosecutors started giving credit for thoroughness?

• Hawaiians are protesting a North Shore dog park they say is too close to a sacred heiau. So if I understand correctly, in the Hawaiian culture sharks are sacred but dogs are chopped liver.

And the quote of the week from Hawaii State Teachers Association president Wil Okabe on Lingle's second thoughts about the teacher furlough deal: "As the saying goes, success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan." I guess it means the most pressing question in resolving this mess is, "Who's your daddy?"