A COLD DAY IN HELL: As Sir Lancelot in the person of local newspaper reporter Mike Levine prepares for his Friday departure from the paper- and, we hear, the island - as this brief shining moment of journalistic Camelot ends he’s left us with one last accurate depiction of last Wednesday’s council debate on how best to keep the upcoming budget hearings from being viewed by the public.
But as we watched slack-jawed at the insipidly transparent tossing of anykine noodles against the wall by those opposing Tim Bynum’s and Lani Kawahara’s quest to open the process to televised scrutiny it seemed more like a cartoonish melodrama than a sober legislative hearing.
So we take you to Frostbite Falls and The Further Adventures of Rocky “Lani” J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle “Tim” J. Moose in:
“How Much Sunshine Does it Take to Melt a Snow Job?” or “A Crony Enslaved Is A Crony Earned”
When last we left our heroes moose and squirrel, the evil Pottsyvanian Boris “Darryl” Badenov and his paramour Natasha “Derrick” Fatale were plotting to perpetuate Fearless Leader’s (guess who) plot for council domination as Jay-Peabody and his pet boy Dickie-Sherman looked on.
Bullwinkle: What are we going to do Rocky? We can’t let these no-good-nics thwart the people’s right to see the way we’re spending their money.
Rocky: I know Bullwinkle- we’ll put the matter on the agenda and everyone will see their evil plans and the people will rise up and demand ...
Bullwinkle: Uh, didn’t we try that last summer Rocky?
But when the time for debate came to economically downtrodden Frostbite Falls, knowing the public’s traditional gullibility and short attention span Boris and Natasha had some tricks up their sleeve.
Boris: People of Frostbite Falls. We must stop moose and squirrel’s from letting world know of incompetence and corruption, er I mean wise and compassionate use of tax dollars. If we spend $17,000 on televising budget hearings that will be sole cause for county employees furloughs. And we must keep sessions secret so bond rating people won’t have a record of utter stupidity, er I mean brilliant money management. Otherwise world will know of our waste and pork-barreling, er I mean benevolent oversight.
Natasha: Good one Boris- why not tout slush fund while you’re at it.
Fearless Leader: Stick to the script you two or you’ll be sent to the civil service gulag.
So- will our heroes get the budget hearings on TV? Will Boris get his kickback? Will fearless leader run again?
Tune in again next time for “Powder-puff For The People” or “White Noise Is Good Noise”
(Commercial for next $1 million, unaccountable, unsuccessful, down-the-rat-hole tourism grant).
Now it’s time to tell some fractured fairy tales so let’s get into the way back machine.
Peabody: Now Sherman, remembering I’m both for televising the meetings and against spending the money what do you have to say for yourself?
Sherman. Why don’t you see- even if we televise them no one will ever get to see them. Each day’s session lasts eight hours so it will only air in the middle of the night before the next day’s session goes on the air... because as everyone knows the days are only eight hours long here in the past and weekends and the future don’t exist.
(Next commercial for multi-million $ helicopter-toy).
When we last left our intrepid duo they were being cut off by fearless leader after the double-talking bamboozling of the rest of the council.
Rocky: What are we gonna do now Bullwinkle? Look like, the local newspaper’s on-line streaming notwithstanding, there’ll be no TV for most of the people who don’t have or use computers?
Bullwinkle: I know- we’ll introduce a bill to allow more vacation rentals and strip all the protections in the last bill.
Rocky: How will that get the budget hearings on TV?
Bullwinkle: It won’t. But I’m moving on. People will only remember we fought for them and won’t care if we give up. This may not be Chinatown but it is Kaua`i.
So will our heroes get the hearings televised? Will the local newspaper simply tape their “feed” and submit it to public access TV? Will the administration find $17,000 after they stole $130,000 from the line item for televising meetings for an on-line streaming project that should have been in next year’s budget?
Tune in again next time for:
“Broadband Melody” or “A penny encumbered is a pound yearned for”.