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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 26, 2009

Now it's Every Child Left Behind

By David Shapiro

Where else but the teachers contract to start our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

  • Public school teachers accepted furloughs that amount to a 7.9 percent pay cut and will shut schools 17 Fridays a year. At least they gave it a catchy name: Every Child Left Behind.

  • Schools said they hope day-care providers will step up on "Furlough Fridays." The kids can ride to day care on the same bus the labor deal threw them under.

  • Superintendent Pat Hamamoto urged parents to read to children on furlough days. Good idea. We'll read them all the pious quotes about how keiki come first in our schools.

  • UH-Manoa professors, who are being asked to take a 5 percent pay cut, angrily grilled administrators about the budget cuts. It didn't seem overly dramatic until one guy started to cry, "STELLA! STELLA!"

  • Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said because of furloughs, his office will close two Fridays a month. Anybody who can tell the difference gets free tickets to a ribbon-cutting.

  • Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann handed out his annual $2 million in bribes, er ... rewards, to the Leeward community for putting up with the Waimanalo Gulch landfill. I thought a $5.3 billion commuter train was thanks enough.

  • The City Council resumed the long-running battle over whether to issue permits for new bed-and-breakfasts. They couldn't find anything new to be indecisive about, so they're revisiting old dithering.

  • Hawai'i Sen. Daniel Inouye is opposing Rep. Neil Abercrombie's push to force a military construction project on Guam to pay Hawai'i wages. If Gov. Linda Lingle wasn't shutting the film office, the state could market it as "Megadeth vs. Mighty Mouse."

  • Kaua'i Police Chief Darryl Perry withdrew his name from consideration to be Honolulu chief. He decided his time was better spent begging to keep his current job.

  • The Queen's Medical Center celebrated the 1,000th operation by its da Vinci surgical robots that have produced shorter recovery times for patients. The best thing is, between surgeries they do double-duty as ATMs in the lobby.

    And the quote of the week ... from Lingle's labor chief Darwin Ching on state plans to seek a $61 million federal loan to cover shortages in the unemployment fund: "We'll be insolvent, but we won't be bankrupt." That's Lingle-nomics in a nutshell.