Archive for April, 2009

Filthy swine

April 27th, 2009
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With the Internet abuzz over the outbreak of swine flu, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann issued a statement to address the matter:

“The federal government has documented 40 cases of swine flu nationally which are related to the initial outbreak of the virus in Mexico several days ago. The good news for Hawaii is that, as of today, no cases of swine flu have been identified in our State. In addition the strain of flu that has affected residents on the mainland is a milder form than that which is affecting patients in Mexico.

“The important thing for our residents is to not panic but instead take the time now to become informed about the effects of an influenza and think seriously about family disaster planning and preparedness. Treat this influenza outbreak as you would in preparation for any natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tsunami.”

The Mayor’s statement also provided a checklist of health guidance recommendations:

     >> Wash your hands often (15-20 seconds) with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner which can be found at any drug store.

     >> If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

     >> Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

     >> Most residents experiencing cold symptoms are experiencing just that, a simple cold.  However if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms and have recently traveled to any of the affected areas you may want to consider consulting your health care provider (fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea).

The mayor’s statement was released at 1:37 p.m., a little more than an hour after Gov. Linda Lingle’s office announced she would hold a news conference at 2:45 p.m. with Department of Health officials to discuss what the state is doing to address the situation.

Lingle repeated that there have been no cases of swine flu in Hawaii, adding that the state has stepped up “passive surveillance” of airline passengers.

Look for a complete story on the state and city’s efforts against swine flu in tomorrow’s Star-Bulletin.

Thinking about it

April 23rd, 2009
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With speculation abundant and rumors swirling, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann tonight reiterated he has not made a decision yet on whether to seek higher office in 2010, namely the governorship.

So far, the only declared gubernatorial candidates are Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona on the Republican side and U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who’s chomping at the bit to see who his opponent may be on the Democrats’ side.

Hannemann returned a call seeking comment on Ikaika Anderson’s victory in the District 3 special election, so naturally we asked him his feelings on jumping into the gubernatorial fray.

“I’m just focused on being the mayor,” he said. “I’m not ready to make any kind of decision in that area.

“I said in 2008, when I ran for re-election, I made it very clear that I would at least like to consider it as an option, and that’s where it is right now — it’s an option that I’m considering. But I am nowhere near making a decision on jumping in at this point.”

That’s how we roll

April 21st, 2009
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Is it our imagination, or does it seem as if the president meets with different athletes on an almost daily basis? (Among the most recent: Tiger Woods and members of the Chicago White Sox.)

Today it was the Navy football team, as he awarded the Midshipmen the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, presented each year to the winner of the season series among the three U.S. service academies: Air Force, Army and Navy.

In his Politico.com blog, Ben Smith notes how talk of Hawaii surfaced as President Obama met with coach Ken Niumatalolo and quarterback Kaipo Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. The coach is a former Radford and UH quarterback, while Kaheaku-Enhada graduated from Kapolei.

Smith writes:

Obama’s Hawaiian identity doesn’t get much attention (except when he runs into Steve Case) but here’s a moment from the pool report on his presentation of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the Navy football team.

The president harked back to his Hawaiian roots at the ceremony honoring Navy’s midshipmen for winning this year’s trophy. The team’s coach, Ken Niumatalolo, is from Hawaii, as is the starting quarterback, Kaipo Noa Keahaku Enhada.

The president gave the “shaka” hang loose sign in the middle of the ceremony, provoking a laugh as talked about how the coach seemed relaxed and easy going, calm under pressure. (Like someone else from Hawaii).

“That’s the Hawaiian spirit,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s how we roll.”

Complete text of Obama’s remarks here.

At least the pool reporter correctly (sort of) interpreted the shaka. (The misspelling of the QB’s name, however, is less forgivable.)

The Chicago Tribune’s blog, The Swamp, went a bit further and posted video from the Inaugural Parade featuring the Punahou Marching Band and Obama flashing the shaka.

And for what it’s worth, the Middies earned the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy with a 33-27 victory over the Falcons in October and a 34-0 shutout of the Cadets in the year-ending Army-Navy game. Navy has won 13 consecutive games over its service academy rivals.

Hawaii’s Portuguese Water Dog

April 12th, 2009
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Hawaii’s Republican Senate leader Sen. Fred Hemmings is all thumbs up for the Obama’s pick of Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog puppy as the nation’s First Dog (FDOTUS?).

Hemmings, who is Portuguese, and an internationally acclaimed professional surfer and waterman, just lost one of his best friends, Makai, a 13-year old Portuguese Water Dog.

 ” Makai would often go canoe paddling with me. He would jump in the water when we stopping for a rest. Portuguese Water Dogs as with dogs in general are some of God’s greatest creatures, they give you much more love and devotion then you could ever give them,” Hemmings said.

The dogs much like Portuguese are brilliant. good looking and very lovable. In the interest of truly reaching out in the spirit of bipartisanship I would recommend the President, First Lady and children name their dog FRED,” Hemmings added.

Challenge denied

April 9th, 2009
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A residency challenge against City Council special election candidates John Henry Felix and Steve Holmes has been dismissed by the City Clerk‘s office.

The challenge was filed by candidate Sol Nalua’i, who “seriously questioned” whether either had a primary residence in the Windward Oahu district, which includes parts of Kaneohe, Kailua and Waimanalo.

“They both have been cleared,” Bernice Mau, acting city clerk, said today.

Mau said both provided copies of rental and lease agreements and other information to verify their residences.

“We had different kinds of information that we got” Mau said. “We actually sent somebody out to the homes to see — to talk to people in the neighborhood. We had enough.”

Both Felix and Holmes had dismissed the challenge, which was filed March 23, as baseless. Holmes called the challenge “absurd” and described it as a “last minute effort to smear.”

Nalua’i has 10 days to appeal Mau’s ruling.

The special mail-in election is being held to fill the vacancy created by the death of Barbara Marshall in February. Ballots were mailed to registered voters in District 3 on April 1. Completed ballots are due to the City Clerk’s office no later than 6 p.m. on April 23.

Absentee walk-in voting is being held at City Hall and Pali Golf Course through April 21. Ballots also may be dropped off at these sites, which are open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Sundays and holidays.

A total of 11 candidates are vying for the council seat. Click here to view their candidate profiles.

Still trying

April 7th, 2009
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Obama_apartment
^^ Star-Bulletin photo (2008)

As if the state’s tourism industry wasn’t affected enough already by the global recession, now it has to worry about an economic boycott spawned by conspiracy nuts.

A Web site called boycotthawaii.com was launched over the weekend following a two-day conference convened in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways of compelling the state to publicly release President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

No, really.

The event was organized by Andy Martin, an attorney who also is writing a book about our 44th president. (The article goes into detail as to why Martin wants the birth certificate released and why he feels his legal challenge will stand up unlike past attempts.)

As to the boycott, organizers ask their supporters to take action against Hawaii tourism, products and businesses.

“The BoycottHawaii.com movement will afford every person anywhere in the world a powerful new weapon to punish the state of Hawaii for concealing historical records concerning Mr. Obama,” Martin tells The Bulletin of Philadelphia. “I will be writing to the Punahou School, asking them to obtain permission to release his Punahou records.”

Never mind that virtually every reputable fact-checking site has debunked the speculation that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States.

>> FactCheck.org
>> Snopes.com
>> PolitiFact.com

The upside: Perhaps we’ll see a decline in the number of conspiracy fools on our shores.

Abercrombie Gets First Support

April 6th, 2009
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U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s campaign for governor has picked up its first union endorsements as the Plumbers and Pipefitters and the Boilermakers unions gave the Manoa Democrat their stamp of approval.

Plumbers and Pipefitters have about 4,000 local members and the Boilermakers have several hundreds members, mostly at Pearl Harbor shipyard, according to Abercrombie.”This coming so early in the race it is no doubt a boost to our campaign,” Abercrombie said in a release.

Noting that these two trade unions were the first to endorse Barack Obama for president, Abercrombie said he feels honored to be endorsed for governor more than a year and half years before the November 2010 election.

Abercrombie is a longtime friend of the unions, having been the keynote speaker for the plumbers and pipe-fitters last two national conventions, according to the union press release.

According to the campaign tracking database, OpenSecrets.org, Abercrombie received $10,000 in his last congressional election cycle from the Boilermakers union political action committee.

Republicans unite!

April 1st, 2009
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Hawaii Republican Assembly

Keeping in mind that their announcement was sent out today (April 1), we actually think this is legit.

A group calling itself “The Conscience of the Republican Party” is having a local chapter launch party tomorrow, April 2.

The Hawaii Republican Assembly says it wants to “increase the number of voters participating to elect officials who support Republican principles.” It is the local chapter of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.

Their kickoff event promises guest speakers, free refreshments and information about the first event the group is co-sponsoring: The Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party.

The Hawaii Republican Assembly’s event is open to the public and is set for 6-8 p.m., Thursday, April 2, at the Mac Mouse Club office located at 627 South St.

Annual membership dues are $20 per person.

More information on NFRA Hawaii and its events is available by calling 524-2436.