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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 17, 2010

Time to furlough furlough Fridays

By David Shapiro

I could use a brain furlough from all the fighting over school furloughs as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• A Lani Moo cow costume that went missing from Meadow Gold was found in a parking lot. I hear Gov. Linda Lingle borrowed it to slip past the furlough Friday protesters in her office.

• Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi said a proposal in the Legislature to abolish the elected BOE is an overreaction to the furlough mess. Nah, an overreaction would be parading the school board naked down Beretania Street.

• Teachers union president Wil Okabe claimed an appointed BOE would take "control of the public education system away from the people." Only modesty prevented him from substituting "union" for "people."

• Hawai'i's response rate to the U.S. Census is so far below the national average that Washington is pleading with us to send in our forms. And scratching "ainokea" across the survey doesn't count.

• House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro called a "time out" when House and Senate conferees couldn't agree on tax policy. Talks resumed when the two sides put away their rattles.

• In the congressional debates, Ed Case casts himself as the most experienced, Colleen Hanabusa says she's the most collaborative and Charles Djou defines himself as most independent. The 11 candidates not invited to most debates are defined as chopped liver.

• Sen. Daniel Inouye tried to dissuade the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from endorsing Case over his favored Hanabusa by donating $100,000 that lobbyists gave his campaign to the DCCC. It's a political form of re-gifting known as re-bribing.

• The state is spending $700,000 to install O'ahu freeway radars that will send real-time traffic information to drivers' cell phones. The system will pay for itself when police ticket motorists for checking their cell phones while driving.

• Fewer Mainland and foreign couples are coming to Hawai'i to get married. We won't know until next year if it'll also affect our divorce filing business.

• Lingle signed a three-year exploration, research and education agreement with NASA. It could be a crowning achievement of an administration that has often resembled an episode of "Lost in Space."

And the quote of the week ... from state Rep. Hermina Morita on why the Legislature should raise taxes: "Doing nothing is not an option, not if we call ourselves leaders." Most are more worried about calling themselves incumbents.