Nakamura, Kanno And The Guard

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - April 28, 2005
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I’m the contrarian this week.

I don’t see cause for all that fuss over Honolulu prosecutor Peter Carlisle giving a no-bid, processserving contract to his campaign chief (and former police chief) Mike Nakamura.

Think about it before you leap into Bad Guy mode.

Process-serving fees are set at $20 per served paper plus mileage. Nakamura’s company was paid $100,000 over four years for serving about 500 papers. That’s only $25,000 a year.

Sure, Carlisle could ask for bids but who’s going to bid less than the set City fee of $20 per served paper? Hello!

Much ado about nothing. Ignore it.

Then you have Sen. Brian Kanno, Sen. Carol Fukunaga, City liquor commission chief Wally Weatherwax and his chief inspector John Carroll.

Much do about something, and something very, very smelly.

Kanno intervened in a legal employer-employee firing-forcause case, then lassoed Fukunaga into his resolution-scheme to intimidate the employer — Norwegian Cruise Lines — by looking at why the ships aren’t paying Hawaii’s hotel room taxes.

Just doing their jobs as senators, as former Democratic Party chairman Richard Port tried to sell in letters to the newspaper? Nope. It is abuse of office, Dick, because Kanno advised NCL to hire back the fired employee. It became an “or else” case.

Now … the liquor commission. It’s a crooks-on-the-take public joke. Wally Weatherwax won’t resign. He’s hanging on by his fingernails. He and John Carroll as overseer of inspectors have to be pried loose. You’re going to convince me they had no inkling of rampant bribing? Not a chance.

Kanno, Fukunaga,Weatherwax and Carroll are no longer acceptable public servants on my terms. We should be shed of them. There’s nothing better for public purgation of our perception of bad governance than a general housecleaning.

It makes no sense to sign up for the Hawaii National Guard these days unless you get four guarantees in writing:

1) You can be called to active duty for any local emergency declared by the governor of Hawaii.

2) You can be federalized in the event of an invasion of America or a declaration of war by a competent federal authority.

3) You cannot be called as a replacement for any regular military units fighting in a police action or combat event less than a formal declaration of war.

4) Nothing in your contract of term of service shall be subject to the so-called “stop-loss” provision of the U.S. Code.

The National Guard was never meant to be the Army or Air Force Reserves. But we’ve used our troops that way in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s not right.

The Guard is the emergency home force. It’s here to respond to big storm or flood damage, crowd control, to assist our local police in times of emergency and even be federalized to assist other states unable to handle their own emergencies.

It’s not meant to fill gaps when America’s leaders take us, unprepared, into military ventures the regular forces cannot handle.

The Guard spin-meisters will claim otherwise, but don’t be sucked in.

It would serve us right if the Hawaii National Guard fell below quota because of the way Washington has used its members. We’ve even taken non-infantry units and shoved them into infantry positions in Iraq.

Shame on us.

Young men, especially, have a way of glamorizing service in uniform. Their girlfriends and wives need to sit them down and talk to them.

It is noble to both have a job and do some time as an emergency- at-home member of the National Guard. It’s senseless to sign up if you’re on call for any military adventure. If you want that, join the regular Army or the Marines.

CORRECTION. The owner of Nori’s restaurant mentioned in my recent Hilo column is Beth-An (yes, one “n”) Nishijima rather than Fujijima.

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