THE HONOLULU WEEKLY is well into its 20th year and remains Honolulu’s best alternative news publication. Founder and Publisher, Laurie Carlson has put much of her adult life into it, somehow keeping her passion alive in the often-thankless, grinding process. New Editor, Lucy Jokiel brings a more professional journalistic approach to the job than some of her predecessors and that’s good to see in this era of abbreviated, watered down hard news that we see emanating from most of local media’s Mac-news rooms. Jokiel replaced Editor Ragnar Carlson who had seemingly run his course.
I was never able to establish much of a relationship with Carlson — despite my 20 years’ association with the Weekly and try as I may. I don’t think he ever understood that I am what many local reporters and editors call “a reliable source” and have been known to pass on some juicy headline-story leads. Others have related similar experiences. Carlson did cover Honolulu’s arts and music scenes rather well and we of course need that too. It certainly can be a lot more fun to write than the hard news stuff.
THE WEEKLY’S CURRENT POLITICAL CARTOON by artist John Pritchett is one of his best; literally made me laugh out loud. I won’t spoil it for you but I will say, Hawai`i State House Speaker Calvin Say won’t much appreciate the humor. At this late date, Calvin Say remains one vote shy of recapturing his powerful position. For the first time in memory, Say had to actually campaign during the 2010 elections; had two solid challengers in his District where the current House Speaker may or may not actually live. From time to time, some of the Electeds in this town indeed find themselves looking for a new political district in which to run for office, any office, and there are frequent mutterings heard from the electorate about Hawaii’s seeming-endless line of professional politicians sometimes “carpet bagging” — literally moving household — into an open district.
As with Say, this unusually only works when the Elected-without-puka is a true insider, a son or daughter, etc. of somebody important and can count on massive union and the rest of the Democratic Machine’s support. In any event, at this writing the State House of Representatives remains “unorganized” with many of the newly electeds working from temporary offices. That’s one of the more-powerful perks the Speaker has; deciding who gets what office and there’s a definite pecking order to the matter. Those in any Speaker’s hui get the best offices — and the plum Committee Chairs. This latter practice is particularly disconcerting with so much at stake — because we hapless voters can often wind up with some very incompetent people deciding the fate of important legislation of which they have not a clue as to the content or ramifications. Mercifully, here we should thank the Universe for many good professional career Committee Staff — where the institutional memory resides and the actual work is done.