It's Black Friday, the day that is more quintessentially American than the Fourth of July. I was reading in The Week about how Sandy “threatens holiday shopping” because the supply chain is slowing down and states hardest hit by the storm account for about 16 percent of all holiday spending nationwide. Seems customers are suffering from “post-Sandy traumatic stress, which will lower their inclination to spend.”
Or maybe, faced with all their flooded and ruined crap, they've come to the realization that many of us did after Iniki: stuff means nothing in the overall scheme of things. The things that matter most in life can't be purchased from a mall or ordered from Amazon.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor-elect Justin Kollar has announced his line up, which is definitely beefing up the OPA. Not surprisingly, First Deputy Jake Delaplane, bag man for defeated Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, has been axed.
Instead, Justin has chosen a first deputy who is actually qualified for the job: Kevin Takata, a highly experienced homicide prosecutor. Kevin also worked with the state Attorney General in cold case homicide prosecution. Besides carrying a caseload, he'll be engaged in — gasp — training the younger deputies. What a concept, as opposed to spending all the training money on your own travel, as Shay did.
Becky Vogt, who previously filed a discrimination lawsuit against Shaylene and the county, was named second deputy — a move that may render her legal action moot.
And Tracy Murakami will return to her old job as appellate and asset forfeiture attorney — the position that Charley Foster was given — minus the blogging duties that he performed. Charley, not surprisingly, was also given a pink slip, along with three others.
Justin did retain some of the current OPA staffers, including Lisa Arin, Melinda Mendes, John Murphy, Gary Nelson and Ramsay Ross. Justin also brought in Ginger Grinpas and Jenelle Hughes, who clerked for Judges Randal Valenciano and Kathleen Watanabe, respectively, as well as Teresa Tumbago.
Tim Tobin, who was previously screwed out of a job at the OPA by Shay, will be returning, which is kind of sad news, as he did some good work for defendants in cases that involved PASH and other Hawaiian issues. Who is going to step up and represent the kanaka now?
And Shauna Cahill, another former deputy who crossed paths with Shay, is also coming back.
Overall, it's a pretty strong line up. Now if Justin can just avoid the traps that Shay has set for him by forwarding the Janine Rapozo theft case to the state Attorney General and pushing the cops to do a little more investigation into the other suspect — the bad boyfriend — in the Sandy G murder case.
In any case, with the drama queen exiting stage left, things just might be able to settle down and return to some sort of normalcy at the OPA.
One thing's for certain, Justin's got an ample supply of tote bags, rally fans, bracelets and other junk. Too bad it's all black and orange — Shay's campaign colors.
In other news, Dupont Pioneer has co-opted yet another westside school — this time, Waimea Canyon Middle School — with one of its “educational grants.” This one is supposed to support the school's media center, which teaches kids journalism skills. Though you can be certain that the dirty business of growing pesticide-dependent GMO crops in their backyard won't be one of the stories they investigate on Dupont's dime.
Guess it's a lot cheaper to buy off the schools than clean up your act so the kiddies don't end up puking in the classroom again.
And finally, the Public Land Development Corp. has cancelled its November board meeting. Perhaps they are going to hold off and see what the Lege has in store. Even Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, who co-sponsored the bill, is now talking repeal.