Tuesday, January 18, 2011


ROOT ROOT ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM: Government is really not that hard. Even for the ego-centric demagogue or the power seeking crook, the people aren’t really watching too carefully and if you can avoid major gaffs and blunders that evoke ridicule you’ll probably pass the test at the next election.

But on Kaua`i our leaders and institutions are so buffoonish sometimes that we have developed a special category for their foibles and blunders taken from a line spoken by the manager of dismally inept the 1962 NY Mets, Casey Stengle.

But because our editor thinks it’s dumb and nobody gets it, we’ve generally avoided the “Can’t anyone here play this game?” tagline lately.

But when the county’s civil defense telephones everyone on the island to tell them that “The Sky Is Falling” we have trouble thinking of anything more apropos.

Because while many ask “how could they send that out” we’ve gotta ask how someone could have even made that recording and then placed or left it in the system where if the wrong button were to be pushed it was capable of being distributed via the emergency notification system.

It’s bad enough that, in the middle of trying to hold back the flood waters, Auntie had to run into the house to answer the phone. But to think that, depending on her level of sophistication, her next move might be to make like chicken little, running down the street and screaming about the imminent collision of heaven and earth...

But of course it takes more than one head-scratcher to make a true CAHPTG moment.

The next day we were all greeted with a headline in the local newspaper announcing that

Civil Defense’s ‘sky is falling’ message sent in error

No kidding? We thought maybe they meant to do that to see if anyone was paying attention.

Of course Beth Tokioka, the fount of all county information- who has made it known that she and she alone is responsible for all county announcements- was the first to blame it on someone else, telling the paper

“We are in contact with Connect CTY to diagnose what went wrong to insure it does not happen again,” she said. “We sincerely apologize for the error.”

We’d normally sense a “heads will roll” moment in the making. Unfortunately this is Kaua`i and so that’s doubtful... and if anyone is fired you can bet it most certainly won’t be Tokioka.

Because in a place where, when it comes to hiring practices, competency is secondary to loyalty, you can expect anything but crackerjack proficiency at the old ball game.

1 comment:

KimoRosen said...

I bet someone dared someone to run the message for a fun bet and there it was...maybe money was made or maybe adults just having some adolescent fun?