Category Archives: Uncategorized

2013: My Toughest Battle Ever

“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find happiness that has always eluded you.” — Lisa Kleypas #quote

Reflecting back on the year that was 2013 I can hands down say it was dually both the worst and the best year I ever had.

On one side it was one of the worst years ever. Between being hospitalized, being in a car accident, and having challenges in my career and personal life it was hands-down one of my worst years ever.

But in some ways it was also my best year ever. They say that what does not BREAK you makes you STRONGER. In the past month after passing through my Trial By Fire of the previous 11 months I can honestly say I survived the experience and came through it more powerful than ever. Gone are the chains that have held me back from being all that I ever could be. I stand here on the last day of 2013 looking back on the years of my life and I fully understand who it is I am, what I have accomplished, what has held me back and most importantly, what I am here to do and how I will do it.

I approach my life as a warrior. Always have, always will. Warriors go through life in a constant battle and I viewed 2013 as one my toughest battles ever and my toughest opponent as it literally kept knocking me down and did it’s best to keep me down.

I realized the person I was fighting was myself. And so I stopped fighting. Instead of conquering and defeating my opponent I simply looked at myself and said, “good fight kid.” I gave myself a hug and together we turned to face the oncoming 2014, our next opponent, merged into one and ventured off to meet the new challenger head on.

“Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.”

Celebrating the Career of Clara Iwata

On Saturday December 28, 2013 friends and colleagues of Clara Iwata gathered at the Empress Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Plaza to celebrate and honor her retirement after 41 years of service to the University of Hawai’i.  I was honored to have been asked to serve as MC for the gathering and share some opening remarks.  Below is a transcript of my remarks.

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Caption:  My wife Shelley and me with our dear friend Clara Iwata, Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank you friends for taking time out of your schedule to be here today to celebrate and honor our dear friend Clara Iwata as she retires after 41 years of service.  As I look out into the crowd I am amazed to see so many people many of whom I personally have not seen in years.  But we all have one thing in common:  we were all each impacted in our lives by this special woman Clara who we gather here today to honor.

For this part of the program we are going to give everyone a chance to take the floor for a few minutes to say their peace with Clara. I kind of liken this to a funeral but the difference is Clara is ALIVE AND WELL and she can hear all the great things we have to say about her and let her know how much we truly love her.  I’ll be going first and then afterward Beng Poh and Carl will take the floor to share their thoughts and then we’ll open up the floor to all of you.

So here are my thoughts when I think about Clara.

I truly believe in life that each person we meet or each person who comes into our life comes in for a reason and that there is a special lesson they teach us through their example.  When I think of Clara I believe the lesson she taught me is to “live simply, and love deeply.”

Clara leads a very simple life.  She catches the bus and walks EVERYWHERE.  She eats vegetable sandwiches each and everyday.  Very simple living.

But Clara also loves VERY DEEPLY.  I’ve lost track over the amount of times she would spend picking up lunch for the ENTIRE OFFICE walking all over creation to whatever restaurant it is we felt like eating that day at and she would pick up lunch for us — day in and day out.  She always put others before herself but she did it willingly and without complaint.

Clara spent her career as a clerk.  We all know how much clerk’s DON’T make but as you heard she was able to travel the world on her humble salary.  She led a blessed life because she lived simply and loved deeply.  So through Clara’s example we see that it’s not how much you make in life — it’s how you make the most of what you have.

And so that’s the lessons I take from my time spent with Clara seeing her do her good works and that’s what I pledge to take with me in the years ahead — to follow her example.  To live simply and to love deeply.

God Bless you Clara as you enter your next great adventure in life.  Thank you for all you’ve done for me and us.

Honoring A Beloved Mentor and Teacher

On Tuesday, December 10, 2013 the 3 PELP cohorts gathered to celebrate the retirement of our beloved leader, mentor, teacher and friend, Linda Johnsrud, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Hawai’i System.

I had the unique privilege of being asked to deliver some introductory remarks at Linda’s retirement party on behalf of the PELP cohorts.  Below is a transcript of my speech.
Linda's Retirement

Caption:  With UH Executive VP / Provost Linda Johnsrud at her retirement party, Tuesday, 12/10/13

Dear friends and PELP ‘ohana.  Good evening and welcome to our celebration in honor our of leader, mentor, teacher and friend Linda Johnsrud as she embarks on the next great adventure in her life.  My name is Jonathan Wong, a member of PELP Cohort II and it is my honor to deliver some short remarks to open our evening.  There’s no formal program to tonight per se but on behalf of us I did want to express to Linda how much she means to us and how much we’ll miss her.  Afterwards we’ll present her with some gifts and give her a chance to say a few words and then we’ll open the floor to all of you if you have some final words for Linda.

First things first, Linda.  On behalf of all of us we want to thank you for sharing with us your knowledge and your wisdom throughout the PELP experience.  I know for myself and I’m sure for most of us PELP was a career defining moment.  For me it put into the larger context the work we do as educators, as Hawaii educators, in helping our people achieve our potential as a community to remain globally competitive.  It made me realize that though we do great work there is much to do to get our people to where we need to be.  So for myself that gives me the resolve I need to show up to work each day despite all the challenges of the daily grind and the fortitude to push forward to achieve our strategic plan and our mission.

As developing leaders you set the example and are the gold standard.  When I think of the type of leader I hope to become that type of leader is the one modeled by Linda:  grounded yet with eyes on the big picture.  Firm but fair.

As educators we take on a sacred commitment to pass on to future generations our collective knowledge so that our children and our children’s children can lead better lives than we did.  Such to is the case when one generation of leaders passes the torch to the next.  Tonight we honor Linda Johnsrud as she retires from a textbook and exemplary career but we also gather as her PELP children.  Linda is but one woman — a remarkable one for sure, but as she rides off into the sunset she can rest assured that the next generation of leaders she raised — all of us, stands ready to continue the work she started.

Godspeed Linda, thank you from all of us and happy retirement 🙂

From the Archives:

 
PELP Graduation:  Diplomas

Caption:  PELP Graduation Day with UH President David McClain and VP Linda Johnsrud, Friday, May 8, 2009.

Example: Registration Starting Soon

Author’s Note:
This post is done as an example for a Social Media workshop. None of the content in here should be considered accurate or be used for decision-making purposes by students.

Attention Social Media majors!

Registration for Spring 2012 semester is coming up very soon. If you need to meet with an Advisor to register for classes feel free to visit the Advising Center in the Student Services Building.

Admin/Student Services

Counseling Desk

If you need an Instructor override to register for class you can get the Override authorization form from the Records office.

Forms Table

Quick reminder that all registration is done online via Portal. If you need a refresher on how to use Portal, you can view the tutorial below.

screencastdemo

– Jon
Social Media Advisor
Hawaii State University

RSPW 2009 Awards

The RSPW Awards are the Internet’s Oldest Awards (now in it’s 20th Year) commemorating the Best and Worse in Professional Wrestling each year.  Each year I post my picks as submitted on the official RSPW Awards Ballot.  You can check out my picks last year here.

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Best Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the athlete who was the best overall wrestler of the year.  This includes all facets of wrestling: workrate, technical ability,  interviews, charisma, value to his/her promotion, etc. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st:  CM Punk
2nd:  AJ Styles
3rd:  Chris Jericho

Throughout 2009 CM Punk, AJ and Jericho stood head and shoulders above everyone else.  I give the best wrestler of the year nod to Punk as it was a break through year of sorts for him.  He delivered in the ring as well as on the mic with a solid feud with Jeff Hardy and transitioned into a great heel.  In TNA AJ Styles had a banner year finally being pushed back to his rightful place at the top of the promotion.  As for Jericho, he’s Jericho and is always gold.  More on him later.

 

Best Tag Team

Award Description:

To be given to the tag team who were the best overall team of the year.  This includes all facets of wrestling: workrate, technical ability, interviews, charisma, hot team moves, value to their promotion, etc. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st:  Chris Jericho and Big Show
2nd:  Beer Money — James Storm and Robert Roode
3rd:   Beautiful People – Angelina Love & Velvet Sky

JeriShow take top nods for best tag team.  When you talk “Division Killers” these two of the definition as they maintained a dominant stranglehold as WWE’s Unified Tag Champs.  Beer Money, TNA’s top team and the Beautiful People round things out.

Best Heel

Award Description:

To be given to the person who was the best villain this past year. This person should bring out the fans’ wrath. Match quality is not paramount here; this award should be based primarily on how over the wrestler was in the past year.

1st:  Chris Jericho
3. 2nd:  Randy Orton
3. 3rd:  Miz

For the second year in a row I give Jericho the nod for Best Heel.  While he wasn’t the “dominant” heel that Randy Orton was booked as, NO ONE was more versatile as a heel than Jericho.  From punking out aged Legends to dominating the tag ranks as the cowardly heel hiding behind Big Show to delivering top notch singles matches with just about every face on the roster, NO ONE played the bad guy better than Jericho.  Orton (by default) and the coming on strong Miz round out the Top 3.

 

Best Babyface

Award Description:

To be given to the person who best portrayed the hero this past year. This person should get lots of fan support. Match quality is not paramount here; this award should be based primarily on how over the wrestler was in
the past year.

1st:  AJ Styles
2nd:  John Cena
3rd:  Rey Mysterio

My top nod for Best Babyface goes to AJ Styles who was allowed to reclaim his spot as the leader of TNA.  Cena (by default) and Mysterio (always the great sympathetic babyface) round things out.

 

Best Worker

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler with, on average, the best workrate. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall.  In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st: AJ Styles
2nd: Chris Jericho
3rd:  Matt Hardy

Styles, Jericho and Matt Hardy.  No one consistently had better matches with a wider range of opponents than these two.  Too bad Matt Hardy doesn’t get to do his thing at a higher spot on the card…

 

Best Flyer

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who did the most and the best high-flying maneuvers throughout the year. In 1994, this award was split into two:  North American and Non-North American.  In 1998, it was recombined.

1st: Kofi Kingston
2nd: AJ Styles
3rd: Evan Bourne

Kofi, AJ and Evan.  Nuff said.

 

Best Technical Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who has the most technical ability. The number of holds and moves you see this person do and the crispness with which the moves are executed makes his/her matches a pleasure to watch. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st:  Chris Jericho
2nd:  Kurt Angle
3rd:  William Regal

Jericho, Angle and Regal.  These three names are self explanatory.  My pick of Jericho for the top spot is based on the fact that Jericho had solid matches with just about everyone he got in the ring with over the year from guys like Cena to Mysterio to aged vets like Snuka, Piper and Steamboat.  Now that’s talent!

 

Best Brawler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who brawled his/her way through the year most convincingly. This award would go to Frank “Bruiser Brody” Goodish if he were still around. In 1994, this award was split into two: North American and Non-North American.  In 1998, it was recombined.

1st:  Samoa Joe
2nd:  Undertaker
3rd:  HHH

 

Most Favourite Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler you like the most, regardless of the reason.

1st:  Matt Hardy
2nd:  Chris Jericho
3rd:  CM Punk

I’m “Team Matt Hardy,” “Team Jericho” and “Team Punk.”  4 Life!

 

Most Improved Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who most improved himself/herself in all facets of the sport in the past year.

1st:  Miz
2nd:  Kofi Kingston
3rd:  Eric Young

Without a doubt, Miz is the most improved wrestler over the year.  He’s always had great mic skills and in 2009 his in-ring skills shot up considerably.  He’s most deserving of the push he’s getting and is definitely on his way to being, “Awesome!”  Kofi and Eric Young, two other guys who came on strong in 2009, round out the list.

 

Most Overrated Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who really has little talent, but has a large place in the spotlight nonetheless. This is a measure of how undeserved a wrestler’s push is.

1st:  Batista

I loved Big Dave just as much as everyone else did several years back when he made it to the top, but the recurrent injuries and what not just totally took his shine away.  The new push with Rey looks promising but it seems the ‘E’ wasn’t feeling him too much when they brought in Flair as his mouthpiece during the brief feud he had with Orton.

 

Best Wrestling Gimmick

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who had the best character gimmick in the past year.

1st:  Santino Marella as arrogant Italian
2nd:  Zach Ryder

Santino’s hilarious and Zach Ryder just cracks me up.  “Woo, woo, woo!!”

 

Best Wrestling Move

Award Description:

To be given to the move that is just the damn best thing you’ve seen this past year. This should probably be a “finishing” move or something really spectacular.

1st: Hernandez’s Border Toss crucifix powerbomb
2nd: Jay Lethal’s Lethal Combination

Big Toss (brutal) and Lethal Combination (sweet!).  Nuff said.

 

Best Feud

Award Description:

To be given to the feud that gave us the most heated and best wrestling match(es) of the year. In 1994, this award was split into two: North American and Non-North American.  In 1996, due to lack of participation on the non-NA side, it was recombined.

1st:  Main Event Mafia vs. TNA Frontline
2nd:  CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
3rd:  John Cena vs. Randy Orton

The Main Event Mafia and Frontline feud set the tone for TNA for it’s year.  It wasn’t booked as perfectly as it could have been, but it was innovative and different and gets my top nod for Feud of the Year.  Punk vs. Hardy and Cena vs. Orton round it out for me.

 

Worst Tag Team

Award Description:

To be given to the name tag team who were the worst overall wrestlers in the past year. Minimal technical ability, lousy interviews, non-existent workrate, the charisma of a rock, and lousy team moves should describe this pair.

1st:   Legacy – Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
2nd:  Bella Twins – Brie & Nikki

Legacy may have owned DX for a good portion of their feud, but those two guys are still Orton’s lackeys.  As a team they sucked.  I’d say the Hart Dynasty would have fulfilled the role of “Legacy” with more credibility than these two.

 

Worst Heel

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose casting as a bad guy just didn’t work well. Maybe there was just no heel heat drawn or maybe the fans actually cheered this person, but for whatever reason the heel image just didn’t get over.

1st: Dolph Ziggler
2nd:  Chris Masters

Dolph Ziggler’s too cool to be a convincing heel.  Chris Masters is booked too funny or to generically to draw any heat, face or heel.

 

Worst Babyface

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose casting as a good guy just didn’t work well. Maybe there was just no face heat drawn or maybe the fans actually booed this person, but for whatever reason the face image just didn’t get over.

1st:  Bobby Lashley

 

Most Deteriorated Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose skill has deteriorated the most over the past year. This person should be a shadow of his/her former self.

1st: Scott Steiner

 

Most Underrated Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose ability merits a far greater push than the person receives. There may be many such people, but the winner of this award should have the most ability with least push.

1st:  Matt Hardy
2nd:  Christopher Daniels
3rd:  Christian

Year in and year out I lament the lack of push of Matt Hardy.  I don’t know what the deal is.  He’s got the workrate, he’s got the fan support.  Last year he got the ECW belt.  His unreliable brother comes back (albeitly cleaned up) and is shot straight to the top.  Within months he flakes out, quits and winds up in trouble with the law.  Where’s Matt?  Back to jerking the curtain.  Yo, Vince!!!  PUSH “THE OTHER” HARDY.  Daniels is in a similar spot in TNA.  He was buried for a few years as Curry Man but made it back as himself and got a big initial push before being shuffled back to the undercard.  It looks like things are changing currently with the AJ feud but we’ll see what the next year holds.  Christian, being stuck in ECW Purgatory (albeit the top spot there), rounds out the list.

 

Worst Wrestling Gimmick

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who had the worst character gimmick in the past year.

1st: Manu as yet another Samoan barbarian
2nd:  Jesse as “Slam Master J”

Blink and you may have missed him, but poor Manu.  His push was so short and so generic.  Way to develop new stars!  Jesse as Slam Master J?  Funny in spots but there MUST be a better way to use this guy.

 

Worst Wrestling Move

Award Description:

To be given to the move that is the worst thing you’ve seen this year. This shouldn’t be given to a move that was flubbed by a wrestler – the move was performed correctly, but was just too stupid for words. This move should probably be a “finishing” move or something that was meant to be spectacular.

1st: Santino Marella’s theatrics & thrust to the throat

Santino’s super throat thrust is hilarious!  It would never work in a real fight, but it is entertaining!

 

Worst Match

Award Description:

To be given to the worst wrestling match you’ve seen this year, either live, on TV, PPV, or in an arena, or on tape. If it took place in the past year, it is eligible.

1st:  04/05/09 25 Diva Battle Royal

Diva Battle Royal at Wrestlemania.  Honestly, it looked like a bunch of blondes (so many couldn’t even tell who was who) fighting over stuff at a Black Friday sale.  Good for you Trish Stratus for declining the invite!

 

Most Disappointing News item

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestling news item that most disappointed you when heard of it. When you first learned of this news story, you couldn’t believe that it was true, and when you learned that it was, you were bummed out for a while.

1st:   TNA hires Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Ed Ferrara, lays off Jim Cornette
2nd:  Shane McMahon resigns from WWE
3rd:   Edge injured again

I like to keep an open mind and see the benefits of TNA signing Hogan, but seriously.  It DOES look like history repeating itself with Hogan, Bischoff, Russo and Ferrera coming in and someone well respected like Cornette going out.  Shane McMahon leaving WWE is pretty shocking!

 

Most Obnoxious Personality

Award Description:

To be given to the person who just rubs you the wrong way. This could be anybody involved in the wrestling biz.

1st:   Abraham Washington

Abraham Washington along with Tony “Ed McMahon” Atlas?  Oh boy!  Atlas’ McMahon bit gets quite trying after about 20 seconds…

 

Best Second

Award Description:

To be given to the manager who outperformed their peers at ringside and behind the microphone in interviews.  This award was discontinued after the 2001 awards and reinstated in 2006.

1st:   Natalya

Natalya’s a nice second.  She’d make an even better “first.”

 

Best Announcer

Award Description:

To be given to the commentator/announcer who makes the most insightful and entertaining comments while pushing his product.  “Ring announcers” don’t qualify here.  As of 1992, the difference between this and colour commentator will be enforced.

1st:   Jim Ross
2nd:  Matt Stryker

 

Best Colour Commentator

Award Description:

To be given to the colour commentator who provides the most insightful and entertaining comments.

1st:   Matt Striker
2nd:   Taz

Matt Striker’s totally awesome on commentary.  Much like Tazz or JBL, no one does it better than a guy who’s actually been in the ring.  He brings tons of credibility to the broadcast table.

 

Best Interviewee

Award Description:

To be given to the person who gives the best interview in the biz. This could be a wrestler or a manager.

1st:   Chris Jericho
2nd:   John Cena
3rd:   CM Punk

 

Best Angle

Award Description:

To be given to the best angle you’ve seen in the sport this year.

1st:   Sting wins TNA title, forms the Main Event Mafia
2nd:   CM Punk wants to rescue us from Jeff Hardy

The MEM angle in TNA set it’s stage for the whole year.  Sting gathering the veterans to “teach respect” to the young talent was a great concept as was Punk’s preaching to the audience about the evils of living Jeff Hardy’s lifestyle.  Both worked as there is grounding in truth to both premises.  Great angles.

 

Best Organization

Award Description:

To be given to the organization/promotion that has the best product. This is the organization whose TV and house shows you just can’t miss.

1st:  WWE
2nd:  TNA
3rd:  ROH

 

Best TV Show

Award Description:

To be given to what is on average the best wrestling TV show. In 1994, TV shows and major shows were given separate award categories.

1st:  WWE Smackdown
2nd:  WWE Raw
3rd:  TNA Impact!

 

Best Major Show

Award Description:

To be given to the best major event. This could be a pay-per-view, a TV special, or any big arena event. In 1994, TV shows and major shows were given separate award categories.

1st:   04/05/09 WWE WrestleMania 25

 

Best Promotional Move

Award Description:

To be given to the best move made by a promotion this past year. This could include giving somebody a push, demoting someone, firing someone hiring someone, or anything of a promotional nature.

1st:   TNA puts World title back on AJ Styles
2nd:  WWE makes CM Punk World Heavyweight Champ
3rd:   WWE uses Chris Jericho on all 3 brands

At a time when new talent needs to be developed I’m glad both WWE and TNA decided to push “newer” and reliable guys like AJ Styles and CM Punk back to the top.  AJ’s the guy TNA was built around at the outset before the import of “old talent” came.  With that ship having run it’s time to put him back on top.  Same deal with Punk.  Charismatic stars like Hardy are good, but it’s old (and clean) reliable talent like Punk (as was Bret Hart back in the day) who are the foundation of a company.  Rounding out the list is the E’s recognition of Jericho’s talent and featuring him on all brands as the Unified Tag Champ.

 

Worst Angle

Award Description:

To be given to the worst angle you’ve seen in the sport this year. It may be the worst because of taste or because of execution.

1st:   The Beautiful People as Sarah Palin groupies
2nd:  R-Truth wanders around arenas as Delicious Pretty Ricky

TNA’s Beautiful People as Sarah Palin groupies was just too horrible and insulting for words.  The skits were ridiculously long and totally unbelievable.  The Beautiful People are dumb blondes?  Ok, we get that.  There’s no need to subject as to 10 minute skits about it.  R-Truth as Delicious Pretty Ricky was just horrible and a bit offensive.

 

Worst Promotional Move

Award Description:

To be given to the worst move made by a promotion this past year. This could include giving somebody a push, demoting someone, firing someone hiring someone, or anything of a promotional nature.

1st:    TNA hires the players that brought about the demise of WCW
2nd:   WWE books weekly guest hosts for Raw
3rd:   WWE fails to push Christian to the top on his return

These “worst promotional” moves can go either way.  My top two picks, like most people, are the hiring of Hogan and crew by TNA (#1) and the WWE’s “Raw guest host” bit.  Hogan does bring great name recognition and will boost attention to TNA.  As a strategy it’s a good move to get more mainstream attention, no doubt.  Given that, hiring the same crew that put a multimillion dollar company out of business just looks as a no brainer recipe for disaster.  For TNA’s sake I hope history does NOT repeat itself.  Over on the ‘E’s side:  the guest host concept looks good on paper.  Again, you bring significant mainstream attention to the E and can create crossover appeal.  As a strategy it works.  In execution?  You get tons of flubbed lines, horrendously horrible skits, etc.  For every great host (ie — Shaq or Bob Barker) you get an equally horrible host (the NASCAR guys, Al Sharpton, etc, etc).  It’s hit or miss and as John Morrison puts it, “Raw’s become wrestling’s version of Saturday Night Live.”  Not what you’re really going for, or is it?

 

Other Awards:

BEST THEME MUSIC
1.  “Get Ready to Fly” — AJ Styles
2.  “Oh Radio” — Zach Ryder
3.  “Crank the Walls Down” — JeriShow
4.  “Just Close Your Eyes” — Christian

General Election 2K8: Hawaii Edition

Author’s Note: Today I cast my absentee ballot in the 2008 General Election. I’ll briefly go down the ballot and explain my choices as appropriate. I won’t discuss all of my votes at this time as I am currently hosting candidate forums for my students and it’d be inappropriate to the candidates for me to chime in at this time but perhaps in a follow-up post I will do so.

1. President and Vice President

(C) BALDWIN, Chuck for President
CASTLE, Darrell L for Vice President

(L) BARR, Bob for President
ROOT, Wayne A for Vice President

(R) MCCAIN, John for President
PALIN, Sarah for Vice President

(G) McKINNEY, Cynthia for President
CLEMENTE, Rosa for Vice President

(I) NADER, Ralph for President
GONZALEZ, Matt for Vice President

(D) OBAMA, Barack for President
BIDEN, Joe for Vice President

My Vote: Obama, duh!!! Although I do like Ralph Nader. Personally, I agree with Obama’s views and his plans for office. He may not be as experienced as a McCain but I believe in Obama’s vision for America’s future and seriously speaking — is McCain all that different from fucking Bush? (I am still VERY disappointed in the masses for putting that idiot back in 4 years ago – don’t get me started).

2. US Representative, Dist I

(D) ABERCROMBIE, Neil
(R) TATAII, Steve
(L) ZHAO, Li

My Vote: Abercrombie. He’s been a great Congressman and represented us and our needs well. There is no compelling reason to put him out. That and I’m thoroughly impressed at how he’s utilized modern technology to reach out to the constituency 🙂 (Having dinner with the guy a few months back in an intimate setting doesn’t hurt either).

3. Board of Education – Honolulu District (Vote Not More Than One))

LEE, Carol Mon
MATSUMOTO, Denise

My Vote: I’ll comment at a later time as I’ve done a candidate forum for this race.

4. Board of Education – No Departmental (Vote Not More Than Three (3))

AHU ISA, Lei
AIONA, Darrow Kanakanui
AKUNA, Janis
TOGUCHI, Garrett
TOM, Terrence
YEE, Randall

My Vote: I’ll comment at a later time as I’ve done a candidate forum for this race.

5. Office of Hawaiian Affairs At-Large Trustee (Vote Not More Than One (1))

APOLIONA, Haunani
HONDA, Helene
KIPPEN, Colin
NALUA’I, Sol

My Vote: I’ll comment at a later time as I’ve done a candidate forum for this race.

6. Honolulu Mayor

HANNEMANN, Mufi
KOBAYASHI, Ann

My Vote: Kobayashi. Don’t get me wrong. Mufi did an excellent job as Mayor. I do agree he managed the city well and expanded and made its services more efficient. So why Kobayashi? Two reasons: 1 – Word is the guy is gearing up for a run for Governor in 2 years. I personally would like to see a guy who is 100% committed to the job and intends to stick with the job. 2 – The entire rail issue is just too fishy. I am NOT a rail expert but I am inclined to believe the Steel on Steel opponents who say the system is too costly. Honolulu definitely needs a better mass transit system but Steel on Steel, from the sound of things, is not the best route to go.

7. CON CON: Constitutional Convention Question: “Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution.”

YES
NO

My Vote: “No.” In concept, I agree with the idea of holding a Constitutional Convention. It is always good to reassess where we are as a State. Times have changed since the last Con Con. I believe we have different needs which does necessitate a change in our Constitution. However, I at this point in time I agree with the opponents to a Con-Con. The cost for the process is prohibitive, in my opinion, given our current economic situation. Many opponents also cite how it will open up the flood gates to have many current entitlements taken away (mostly Hawaiian related). While I tend to not like to think from a defensive “look out for my own interests” mentality as I tend to like to think of what benefits everyone as a whole, I do think given our current situation it is probably best to maintain the status quo. The time for a Con Con will come again for sure — at a later time.

8. CON Amend: Age Qualification for Governor: “Shall the age qualification for the office of governor and office of lieutenant governor be reduced from thirty years of age to twenty-five years of age?

YES
NO

My Vote: “No.” With all due respect to the brilliant minds under 30 (I considered myself one), I feel that at the age of 25 the average person just doesn’t have enough perspective, life experience and skill to handle the responsibilities of running a State. Most people at 25 barely have the skills to take care of themselves much less several million – in my opinion.

9. City Charter Amend: “Shall the Prosecuting Attorney be allowed to initiate programs, projects and activities, as determined by the prosecuting attorney, on the subject of crime, including but not limited to crime research, prevention and education?

YES
NO

My Vote: “Yes.” Overall, I don’t see anything overly wrong with this. I do believe more resources do need to be devoted to crime research, prevention and education. Is the Prosecutor’s Office the best place for that? Probably not as I would think the Prosecutor’s Office should focus on prosecuting. I believe the crime research, prevention and education work should probably be done by a joint task force of the police department and prosecutor’s office or some permutation thereof but that’s more of a city org chart and delineation of roles and responsibilities thing. The bottom line is someone needs to do that job and at this point in time the Prosecutor’s Office is probably as good a place as any to start off.

10. City Charter Amend: “Shall the Revised City Charter be amended to authorize the city Ethics Commission to impose civil fines established by ordinance for violations of the standards of conduct committed by appointed officers and employees of the city who have significant discretionary or fiscal power?

YES
NO

My Vote: “Yes.” Hey, it’s all about accountability. People who wield great power should definitely be held to that higher standard. We need those checks and balances to ensure there’s no abuse of power. I would like to say though that I hope the violations they’ll be penalized for are things of substance that border on criminal as opposed to pettier things like sending porn or inappropriate jokes via e-mail which to me is just a very trivial issue to waste time and resources managing.  As long as it has no bearing on a person’s ability to effectively do the job why worry?

11. City Charter Amend: “Shall the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu 1973 be amended to conform to state law by specifying that the circuit courts of the state have jurisdiction of impeachment proceedings against elected county officers?

YES
NO

My Vote: “Yes.” I don’t see why not. I guess my question is, what jurisdiction does this fall under currently? Federal? State District court? I don’t believe there is a “county” court or anything like that so I don’t overly see a major problem with the state circuit court handling this.

12. City Charter Amend: “Shall the powers, duties, and functions of the city, through its director of transportation services, include establishment of a steel wheel on steel rail transit system?

My Vote: “No.” This question is specifically asking if we should implement steel on steel rail. It is NOT asking if we should implement a rail system in general. As the debates have shown there are multiple options for a rail transit solution. I think most people will agree that a rail transit solution is something we need (or at least a BETTER mass transit solution than what we have now). However, as opponents have shown (and have convinced me) steel on steel is not the best solution due to its cost (which WE will be paying for for years upon years in taxes). If we can implement a mass/rail transit solution at a lower cost that offers comparable performance than I say go for that. Unless you enjoy paying more taxes than you need to. I am all for rail transit — but it needs to be implemented at reasonable cost and I’m not convinced steel on steel is the best solution for our needs and situation at this time.