Some Questionable Cabinet Moves

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - December 08, 2010
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Well, the new governor’s New Day in Hawaii sure brought a surprise. Hawaiian activist William Aila Jr. is his nominated Land and Natural Resources chief.

The outspoken Waianae harbormaster and fisherman is active in the Sierra Club and is board president of MA’O Farms. Good creds there. But he’s been death on military training sites and also a member of Hui Malama, which “borrowed” 83 artifacts from the Bishop Museum, never gave them back, and buried them. He was cited for contempt of federal court. Bad creds there.

Equally worrisome is the nomination (sure to pass) of state Sen. Dwight Takamine, the ILWU’s inside man, as Labor and Industrial Relations director.

Abercrombie will get to appoint an unelected senator to replace him and Colleen Hanabusa to fill out their terms. Unelected senators are never good for the citizen-ry.

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State Transportation is doing a phone survey, asking if we ever speed or drive after drinking, and about our perceptions of enforcement of traffic laws. I suspect it’s mostly a waste of resources because people tell you what they think is proper to say, not what they really do or think. Most will say they don’t speed or drink and drive.

Our traffic-accident problem is threefold: dangerous crosswalks, speed and lack of adequate enforcement. As I told the survey person, I rate chances of being caught for speeding or DUI as “very little.”

When I do 55 on the H-1, cars zip by as if I were at a standstill. We need aerial enforcement like other states, but that’s expensive. I’d bring back the van cams or install robo-radar-cameras. Public fuss be damned!

And go to those in-the-pavement blinking lights at crosswalks.

What we don’t need is another survey, another study.


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Sometimes, Americans are very embarrassing. Like when they complain about only cold showers for three days when that Carnival cruise ship went haywire due to a small fire.

Now some are saying they were forced to eat pasta mixed with Spam (horrors!) when the refrigerated supplies ran out. The company says it shipped some Spam aboard but never served it. A few passengers swear otherwise. They are people not from Hawaii and who’ve never had the pleasure of a McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Spam.

People in underdeveloped countries must read about us and shake their heads. Those poor Americans. They had to eat pasta with Spam.


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We lost a very talented young Honolulu artist recently. Bob Nelson (not the marine artist Robert Lyn Nelson) was found dead in his Kaimuki room.

Bob was truly gifted and exhibited in Chinatown and at the Cathedral gallery downtown. He had come here from Iowa and was the archetypical “starving artist” who did house-cleaning to keep himself going.

It’s my privilege to have two of his oil works, “Diamond Head From the Sea” and “Chinese Girl.”

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