Monday, April 27, 2009

Following up on the bulldozer fiasco - pushing the story along

Aaron blogged about this letter to West Hawaii Today. The letter writer wonders, as I did, about the connection between C&H Ishii General Contractors. So I did a simple search for "Ishii" on the County website.

In 2005 a Ben Ishii appeared as representative of the Department of Public Works at this meeting and this meeting. He was still representing DPW in 2008 and 2009.

Is Ben related to C & H? Was DPW the agency involved in the bulldozer fiasco? Beats me, though Hilo readers (haha, if any) might know. Just trying to push the story forward.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How I spent the last few weeks

As I noted earlier, I've been cast as Boo Radley in Aloha Performing Arts Company's production of To Kill A Mockingbird, which starts May 8th at the Aloha Theater. Tickets here.

In the script (SPOILER ALERT) Boo, after saving Atticus' son Jem from his evil, drunk, racist attacker, is supposed to carry the boy to the Finch "house." The boy playing Jem is a healthy lad weighing about 155 pounds. I've lost enough weight (through exercising, nothing alarming) so that at this point I only outweigh the kid by ten pounds or so.

The first couple times, I had a difficult time picking the kid up, but, once I had him off the ground, managed carrying him the short distance OK. Then, on April 6, as I picked him up, I felt something "give" in my hip, then a fair amount of pain, and fell backward. Earlier that day, I'd started a prescription for levaquin, an antibiotic. The label gave the usual side effects for an antibiotic, nausea, diarrhea, stay out of the sun, blah blah blah, as did the main sheet that the drug store gave me. Inside the bag was a second warning sheet that I didn't see until later that evening, which gave additional side effects: tendonitis or tendon rupture, especially in patients over 60. (let's see, birthday 1947 - D'oh!) I didn't discover the second warning sheet until I came home, in pain and, not being able to sleep(because of another side effect, insomnia), went Google and found out through medical information sites and public feedback sites full off horror stories (posted, naturally, in ALL CAPS) from folks who had been HORRIBLY INJURED by the "POISON" Levaquin. In fact, I could (and, I suppose, still can) sign up for legal representation to sue the manufacturer.

When I went back to the doctor the next day, in pain but not in a very happy mood, the first thing he said, after hearing about the injury, was "It was the Levaquin!" Thanks, doc. He said I'd probably just strained a muscle and told me it would be better after a couple days rest. It wasn't. The next Monday, I got some X-Rays to rule out any structural damage, but everything seemed OK. Though I was still very sore, I resumed my walking regimen and was surprised to notice a suddenly appearing bruise behind my knee, which meant it had been not just a strain, but some tearing of the muscle where it joins the tendons at the hip. The "few days" was amended to (considering my age ) six weeks or more. Still due to the Levaquin, though.

Back at rehearsal, it was still too painful to pick the boy up from the floor, so they came up with the change that I would pick him up using the fireman's carry, which allowed me to get him on my shoulders from a standing position. Though my hip was still tender, that was workable. The pain was lessening, although there were minor setbacks when I rolled my foot on loose rocks while hiking up in Kaloko. Things were fine until they built the set last weekend. Now there's a stairway going up to the porch. Tuesday, I carried him just fine until I tried to take that first step, which really was a doozy. Once again, I crumpled to the floor (or in this case, the stage), hopefully not whimpering audibly.

Now, just for me (and my hip) the script has been re-written so I merely help Jem to his house. I'm still limping a tad, but thanks to the incomparable Therapeutic Massage of Sandra Bennett, LMT I'm doing much better. After all, the show must go on.

So I've spent the last several weeks resting, stretching, taking pain pills, and trying to sit on my right cheek.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pulitzer Prize for Maui Poet W.S. Merwin

Ian Lind notes the poor quality of the Honolulu dailies' coverage of the Pulitzer awarded to Maui poet W.S. Merwin and points us to the much better Maui News story. Missing from all the stories were any actual poems, so here:

For The Anniversary Of My Death

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveller
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

W.S. Merwin

Our County Government at Work - The Hilo Way

From today's West Hawaii Today.
First, you sell a bulldozer worth $125,000 for $60,000. The taxpayers are out $65,000.

Then, you lease it back for "at least" 5 years at $14,725 a month, so the taxpayers are out another $883,500.

That's $948,500, so far.

But wait, there's more! The county also has to pay maintenance, so the total may be up to a cool million.

The only question: Who is C & H Ishii General Contractors' connection with county government?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bees!

video

Good to see the bees swarming the newly-opening maiapilo.

I wrote in January about supposedly disappearing bees. This is a follow-up, so it's not quite as idiotic and useless as it seems.

Sunday, April 12, 2009