Editor's Notes

Editor’s note 12-30-2009

In this, the decade’s last edition of Honolulu Weekly, we’ve taken a light approach. Yes, dear cynics, that’s partly because sources (and staffers) are harder to come by during the holiday season. Mostly, though, it’s because this is a great time of year for good reads, and for newspapers that delight and inform more than they lament and despair. There’s plenty of time for that sort of thing in the other 51 issues.

Of course, there is the looming school bus crisis–Emily Hobelmann provides an update on this page on how budgeting failures have left students not only without enough classes, but now apparently without even the means to get to school. You know you’re in trouble when you can’t afford a school bus parents are already paying a fee for in the first place. Good grief.

Another lamentable bit of news this week is what looks like the imminent collapse of yet another attempt to bring professional basketball to Hawaii. Former University of Hawaii football star Darrick Branch and his partners in the sports marketing firm Aloha Soul Group issued a statement this week announcing their departure from the Honolulu Pegasus operation, complete with a disheartening list of allegations against team coach and owner LaShun McDaniel. We haven’t heard any final word on the Pegasus’ season, but Branch’s account–which describes virtually non-existent finances, a string of unmet commitments to players and staff and a series of cancelled games–appears to constitute last rites. For what it’s worth, Branch and his partners are asking the American Basketball Association to transfer ownership of the team to Aloha Soul Group. In any case, we’re glad we didn’t run our story on how this time was going to be different, and disappointed to see it go this way again.

Finally, then, to the fun stuff. On the facing page, Kevin O’Leary takes us inside recent discoveries that have shed some light on the previously elusive sources of Hawaiian agriculture in the generations before Captain Cook. That Hawaiians employed ingenious farming techniques is not news, of course, but as we increasingly look back in time for ideas on how to support a large population sustainably, the details matter. As O’Leary relates, the new findings are beginning to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of pre-contact (please don’t call it “ancient”) Hawaiian political economy.

On the cover this week we have a very human and funny account of an aging punk rocker struggling–if one can struggle ambivalently–to get his mates back together and open a show for the Misfits, one of the musical forms’ earliest and most iconic bands. The account by Dean Carrico, who was our Arts & Entertainment editor back when we had such things and now comprises one head of our first-rate film-review hydra, is the kind of thing that doesn’t come along very often, and we’re glad to have it in our pages.

It’s especially fitting to have it this week in our end-of-the-decade semi-spectacular–only one byline appeared more often in these pages during the ‘00s than did Carrico’s (Bob Green, as always, is the exception), and so there’s a kind of poignancy there as we usher the decades in and out to the accompanyment of Carrico’s drumsticks–and keystrokes.

Actually I’m not really sure it’s all that poignant–I’m just delighting in how much Dean will hate that line. So not punk.

Happy New Year.