Category Archives: General

Feline Friday: Duke & Romeo still palling around

Duke & Romeo

Hey, it’s Feline Friday. I may have been a little tardy giving the cats their weekly moments of fame, but here they are.

The stars this week are Romeo and Duke, or should it be the other way around? The point is that these two really are hanging out together. It’s either incredible jealously, each insisting on sharing in whatever the other might be getting, or they are genuinely enjoying their own company.

This week’s pictures include four of the fabulous duo, taken at different times and different spots over the past week, waking or sleeping, it’s all the same.

–> Click here to see the rest of today’s Friday Felines.

Throwback Thursday: Supporting human rights in South Korea

I found this old yellowed newspaper clipping while sorting through another batch of ancient files this week. The photo, and an accompanying article without byline, appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser on January 14, 1978.

According to the Advertiser:

Two demonstrators using the opening of the Korean Trade Fair to state a protest for human rights in South Korea were evicted from the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Security police removed Ian Lind and Mike Sulivan after the two walked into a trade exhibit hall and unfurled their signs.

The two, representing the American Friends Service Committee and the Hawaii Committee for a Free South Korea, used the occasion to demonstrate their support for human and labor rights in South Korea.

The published caption had us reversed, identifying me as the protester in the center.

Korea protest 1978

I have to admit that I have no recollection of this particular event. And when I sent a copy over to Mike Sulivan, now living in Hilo, he also drew a blank.

But the Advertiser seems to have given a pretty fair account.

Just click on the photo to see a larger version, as well as the accompanying story.

Corporate and PAC campaign contributions down since 1990

I decided to dip into the past a bit for some perspective on the level of political action committee and corporate contributions in this year’s elections.

So digging back into the past, I found a copy of my old Hawaii Monitor newsletter with a list of the top corporate and pac contributors to Hawaii state and local candidates between January 1, 1990 and the 1990 primary election.

Then, using the data reported to the Campaign Spending Commission, I identified the top contributors between January 1 and August 13, 2016 (that’s the latest report to date).

The surprise is that companies and pacs are actually giving far less directly to candidates than they did in 1990, at least in during election year.

Five of the top ten contributors in 1990 don’t exist today. And the ones that exist and still contribute to candidates give far less than they did then. At least two report giving 90% less to candidates than they did back in 1990. This seems to run counter to the public’s general perception.

I haven’t cleaned up the 2016 contributor list yet, so can’t confidently name the top current contributors.

However, IBEW Local Union 1186 PAC appears to be the top, or among the top contributors so far this year. But the pac’s total of $47,000 is 14% short of breaking into the 1990 Top 10, when compared in 2016 dollars.

Here are the numbers.

The top contributors in 1990 are listed below.

The first column shows their political contributions in 1990 dollars.

The second column shows those same contributions in today’s dollars, adjusted using the change in the consumer price index.

And the third column shows the contributions to candidates made in 2016 by the organizations that are still in existence and still participating in elections.

You can click to see a larger version of the table.

A few caveats. The contributions don’t cover the whole election cycle, only contributions made during the election year. And it doesn’t compare over corporate and pac election spending, which would include independent advertising and other kinds of expenditures. So it’s far from a complete picture.

But an interesting slice of the data, nonetheless.

1990 and 2016

Check out the interactive presentation of this newspaper series

A recent series by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette focused on the issue of probation and parole violators who go “missing” from the system.

Missing Fugitives” is interesting both because of the topic, which clearly could use some local follow-up here, and the interactive presentation of the series online.

Actually, I found the interactive layout confusing and somewhat difficult to navigate, but that’s because a traditional layout makes it easier to get to the meat of the story and skip the “color” or less substantive.

But I may just be too old school.

What’s your reaction to the immersive, interactive presentation? Is this the future, or just an interesting experiment on the way to the future?

Oh, thanks to IRE’s “Extra-Extra” blog for flagging the Post-Gazette series and other examples of good investigative stories (IRE, for those unfamiliar with the organization, is Investigative Reporters and Editors).

It’s that time of year again

We were well along on our early morning walk this morning when we met two friends coming along the beach in the other direction.

“Say ‘happy anniversary’,” Meda said.

One of them, looking quizzically, responded. “Happy anniversary.”

Meda replied with a smile.

“Thank you.”

Yup. The earth has completed another circuit of the sun, trees have added another growth ring, sea level has risen another tenth of an inch somewhere, and we’ve both survived another year together.

Just for fun, I dug out the photo record of our adventurous anniversary back a decade ago in 2006, when we made the rounds of some of Meda’s favorite thrift stores. Just click on the photo below to see more of that day.


Today will be different.

The longtime secretary of the Women’s Studies Department at UH Manoa passed away over the weekend, and as department chair, Meda will be dealing with the bureaucracy that goes with the sad occasion. With just a week before classes start, getting at least a temporary secretary is a necessity, but I doubt it’s going to be easy. And then she will spend the afternoon in a different personnel committee meeting interviewing candidates for a top Manoa administrative position.

Meanwhile, my sister is hoping to return to her apartment later this week after six weeks in the hospital and a Liliha nursing home, and there are a lot of loose ends that I have to nail down to ease the transition.

Not exactly the stuff that celebrations are made of, but it will have to do. Maybe we’ll stop and pick up some takeout tonight from one of our local Thai restaurants. Then we’ll get home, feed the cats, give Duke his evening insulin shot, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy what’s left of the day.

“Let the good times roll,” he said, his voice rich with irony.

Oh, here’s a photo from that Big Day long ago.

Wedding Day