Category Archives: Media

More souvenirs of Hawaii’s newspaper past

While sorting through another box of old folders and papers (one pile, trash; another pile, scan and trash; third pile, offer to other history buffs; final pile, keep), another unexpected bit of local history turned up in an old envelope.

Another remnant of Hawaii’s media history.

Recognize them?

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

They are pogs, the small cardboard pieces for the game originally played with milk bottle caps. It roared back into popularity in the 1990s, and the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, along with the old Star-Bulletin, got right into the spirit.

I’ve got eight of the dark rim version, and just two of the lighter, gray rim version.

I’ll split them into two sets, each with five pogs, including four of the dark version and one of the lighter design.

Free to the first two people who ask.

A few midweek media notes

Apologies.

I failed to post anything yesterday. That’s the first time I’ve missed a day in a while, as I usually get at least some kind of placeholder up. Not so yesterday, as I got caught up in pulling things together to write my weekly column for Civil Beat. The topic was a different look at the case pending before the Hawaii Supreme Court regarding ballot problems in the 2012 General Election.

After listening to the recording of the oral arguments posted on the Judiciary website, I tried to put the whole thing together in context. I don’t know that I succeeded. But the focus of the questioning by the Supreme Court justices certainly added another dimension to the story.

You can find the column posted at Civil Beat today (“Ian Lind: Justices Aren’t Buying That Voting Rights Weren’t Violated“).

Moving on…As a former Kaaawa resident, I always pay attention to news from the old neighborhood. I caught in passing a story on the television news last night of an accident in Kaaawa, so checked the Star-Advertiser this morning.

It wasn’t hard to find: “3 children, 1 woman injured in school bus-SUV crash in Kaaawa.”

In the third paragraph, the Star-Advertiser reported the location of the accident.

The crash occurred about 7:05 p.m. near Kualoa Regional Park and about 15 firefighters responded to the incident.

Then, at the end of the story, there was this information:

Police reported Kamehameha Highway was closed in both directions from Crouching Lion Inn to the 7-Eleven.

If you’re at all familiar with the area, you’ll recognize the error here.

Kualoa Regional Park is about 3.5 miles from the Kaaawa 7-Eleven store, and a little farther from the Crouching Lion.

For perspective, that’s about the distance from Kaaawa to Punaluu, the next community along the coast.

Or, if you spend most of your time on the Honolulu side of the mountains, it’s like saying the accident happened near the State Capitol, and then slipping in that it actually happened in front of the Honolulu Zoo on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. The two points are just about the same distance apart as Kualoa Park and the Crouching Lion.

I don’t know where the two different locations cited in the S-A story came from, but there should be some checking to avoid that kind of error.

And then there was the PBS Newshour last night, which featured a segment on geobiologist and author, Hope Jahren (“The secret life of plants — and ‘Lab Girl’ author Hope Jahren“).

Very interesting interview. Jahren has done lots of scientific writing, but has also been prolific in more general writing “about interactions between women and men and Academia” on her blog, hopejahrensurecanwrite.com.

What didn’t get any mention is that Jahren has been a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa since 2008, where she has her own lab (Jahren Laboratory) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.

And once you know that, the next question is whether UH can rise above its many problems to keep this kind of world class woman on its faculty?

Star-Advertiser editorial totally misses the mark

Did you happen to notice the Star-Advertiser’s unsigned editorial this morning on the issue of long security lines at the nation’s airports?

It’s very short. And oh, oh, so wrong.

Here’s the second and final paragraph:

Heading into the summer vacation season, experienced fliers already know to brace themselves for increased hordes of fellow travelers. But now, severe staffing and funding shortfalls at the Transportation Security Administration are exacerbating delays, with airport screening lines reported to be longer than ever. Words to the wise: carry-on bag.

Uh, hello?

Didn’t the editorial writers read the news? The back-up is in the TSA security screening lines, not the airlines’ ticketing and baggage check-in lines.

Avoiding checked luggage by taking only a carry-on will do absolutely nothing to get you through security any faster.

At least not in any airport I’ve been in recently.

Perhaps time for a quick edit on the punch line of that editorial?

In defense of legislative decorum

In my Civil Beat column last week, I took a slightly different position than usual, speaking out in support of the members of our legislature (“Ian Lind: Legislators, And The Political Process, Deserve More Respect“).

I was reacting to C-B columnist and retired UH Political Science professor, Neal Milner, who had criticized legislators for declining to speak “on the record” about internal legislative factions and political dynamics.

Milner accused legislators of “hiding out in the dark,” and said they were “too frightened to explain publicly to the voters how the Legislature really works.”

I took issue with that characterization, pointing out that there are many good reasons for not going public with all the inside gossip.

I would encourage you to read the whole column, and if you’re not a Civil Beat subscriber, find a friend who will share the column with you. Better yet, consider subscribing to Civil Beat. It’s no longer as expensive as it used to be.

Here’s one section of the column.

Simple good manners are one good reason that legislators might not want to offer up blunt and candid assessments of their colleagues for public consumption.

Working together in a setting as complex as a legislative body requires overcoming personal differences in order to build and maintain working relationships. People work together by finding areas of agreement and, for the sake of getting things done, overlooking their differences, at least temporarily.

In other areas of everyday life, we have things that we might say privately, among family or trusted friends, that we would never share publicly. This puts a limit on transparency that isn’t based on fear. It’s based on our common sense approach to getting along with others in the world.

The Legislature isn’t any different, just more complicated.

Eagle was spot-on when he described the Legislature as “organized chaos.”

I’ve often commented on the amazing complexity of the Legislature and what it takes to get things done. There are 76 legislators elected from their own single-member districts.

Back in their home districts, each is on his or her own. They seek office for different reasons, with different goals. Some believe in causes, some just in themselves. Some squeak in by a few votes, others are elected by broad margins.

They come from diverse backgrounds, and vary greatly in education, experience and innate abilities. All are almost by definition ambitious.

They’re divided by political party, by age, gender, ethnicity, state of origin, by the special interests of their districts and their islands, by ideology and by profession. Somehow they get themselves organized and select leaders through a baroque process of political barter and negotiation.

And only then do they start on the policymaking process of sorting through thousands of ideas, reducing them to bills and, somewhat miraculously, finding ways to reach agreement on at least some of them while in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a 60-working day session.

The legislative process depends on harnessing all those competing egos and interests so that they can work together toward at least some minimal version of a common interest. Throw in the pressures introduced by lobbyists, constituents and community groups, special interests, and those pesky reporters, not to mention personal or family demands, and it’s amazing that the process works at all.

Acknowledgement of expected indictment doesn’t make the morning newspaper

Well, the Kealoha saga at the Honolulu Police Department appears to be heading for the next, and more serious, phase.

Hawaii News Now reported yesterday that Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a top city prosecutor, now expect to be indicted by a federal grand jury and have retained defense attorney Myles Breiner (“Police chief’s newly-hired defense attorney: ‘We expect indictment’“).

It’s a dramatic turnaround for the high-profile couple, who previously had publicly maintained that they knew nothing about any grand jury proceedings.

The dramatic news doesn’t appear to be mentioned by the Star-Advertiser this morning, either in the print edition or the online edition, at least as of 8:40 a.m.

That’s something that likely wouldn’t have happened back in the days when we had two daily newspapers and a competitive news environment.