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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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One word out of place can make a big difference

November 28th, 2014 · 3 Comments

A sharp-eyed reader caught the headline for this little Star-Advertiser news brief which was posted Wednesday night and stayed up on the newspaper’s main page through Thanksgiving.

Former governor’s employee charged with theft

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 07:34 p.m. HST, Nov 26, 2014

LAST UPDATED: 07:34 p.m. HST, Nov 26, 2014

A state employee has been charged with stealing state funds while working for Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office.

The reader’s reaction? Former governor?

“guess headline writer can’t wait to see Neil gone!!!”

It might also have been an example of how word placement can make such a big difference, and fewer editors available these days to catch such things. The holiday certainly must of played a role,

It apparently wasn’t corrected or clarified until an updated and bylined version was posted online very early today.

Former Abercrombie worker allegedly pilfers state money

By Rob Shikina

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 28, 2014

Meanwhile, the original headline was still listed this morning (Friday) among the Star-Advertiser’s “most read” stories.

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→ 3 CommentsTags: Media

Feline Friday: The Nap is mightier than the Yowl

November 28th, 2014 · No Comments

Mr. RomeoMr. Romeo welcomes you to Feline Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. Some refer to it as “Black Friday,” but Harriet (our only partial black cat) doesn’t seem to think it’s anything special, so I won’t go there.

Romeo gets the central casting role today because I learned something about him yesterday. The nap is mightier than the yowl.

Cryptic, I know. Here’s the tale. It wasn’t quite a typical morning. I was trying to fight off an airline-facilitated cold which likely found me on our return flight from San Francisco on Sunday, so I decided to skip the morning walk in order to conserve energy. This meant I was home when Romeo started his fussing about going out. I was a soft touch, figuring…(1) it’s early, and less likelihood of meeting up with Lumber, (2) I’m home and could at least theoretically hear the initial stages of a nearby confrontation and intervene, and (3) he’s really a pain when he gets cranked up. So I opened the door and let him out.

He was quickly down the stairs and checking the ferns for any messages left by passing cats, then he headed under the house, as usual. I gave him the normal 15 minutes before I called for him. He didn’t respond. I waited another ten minutes or so, then did a walking tour of the yard while I called his name. Romeo? Romeo! No sign of said cat.

He had been out for nearly an hour when he finally responded to my calls, and he appeared to be returning from a tour of the yard next door. That’s a new part of his routine, if you can call it a routine when he only gets the opportunity occasionally. But he was without new scratches, hopefully with an emptied bladder, and everything seemed fine.

But the intense fussing to go back out started almost immediately. There was the yowling from window to window looking out, then the sudden collapse under my chair, along with the “discovery” that feet make great cat toys, complete with sounds when cat claws sink into them. With water bottle in hand, I tried to get the upper hand in the situation. It worked, for perhaps 15 seconds, then we were back in this intense interspecies psychological duel. And I was slowly losing.

Then I tried something new. I just went down the hall and went back to bed. By the time I got settled and had the pillows where I wanted them, Romeo had already jumped up, done a full-body walk-over, plopped himself down in the middle of the bed, leaning up against me, and happily started his pre-nap bath. You know, where the large feline tongue is used to clean off any offending spots or odors. And then he was down. Happily asleep, his yowling and fussing totally short-circuited by a simple nap.

I have to say it was a total surprise. I expected him to circle the bed with his loud plaintive yowl and try to totally disrupt my nap. Much to my surprise, that didn’t happen. He was happy. I was happy, And there’s the photo to prove it (just click on that photo to see a larger version).

The rest of the cats? You’ll have to check them out for yourself.

–> See all of today’s Friday Felines!

→ No CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs

Caution suggested when viewing video from local news

November 27th, 2014 · 3 Comments

Here’s something else to worry about–a friend reports that he picked up a a nasty bit of adware while watching a video from Hawaii News Now.

“Be very careful watching video from local news,” he concluded.

Here’s his email describing what happened.

I just had my first miserable experience with Adware on my new MacBook Pro.

The adware symptom was a mysterious unwanted popup blocker that could not be removed and seemed like a terrible Virus.

I got the Adware as it piggy-backed on what I though was a video update I assumed was legit while watching a recording of events from circuit court hearing on HawaiiNewsNow.

After much grief, the fix is AdWareMedic- which worked.

Be very careful watching Video from local news on Hawaiinewsnow.com or elsewhere.

I just tried to duplicate the dangerous and false download I fell for but I could not.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Computers · Media

Throwback Thursday: Last Thanksgiving with my parents (2007)

November 27th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Last Thanksgiving with my parents

November 22, 2007. My sister, Bonnie, drove my parents out to our home in Kaaawa for a mid-day Thanksgiving meal. We had a turkey and all the trimmings. It seemed like my parents, John and Helen Lind, were destined to live forever. They had always been there, and it seemed like that would continue, however improbable. At the time, my dad was just a couple of weeks short of his 94th birthday. My mother, then 93, baked a pumpkin pie or two for the occasion. We had no idea that this would be our last shared Thanksgiving.

The following year, just two days before Thanksgiving, my dad fell at home and ended up in Queen’s Hospital. He wasn’t seriously hurt in the fall, but he was very disoriented. After a round or two of tests, he was diagnosed as suffering from alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. He never returned home. He was transferred to a nursing home, where he spent almost two years before his death.

[From left to right: John Lind, Helen Lind, Meda Chesney Lind, and Bonnie (Lind) Stevens.]

→ 2 CommentsTags: History · Photographs

PBS Newshour explains what was wrong with the Ferguson grand jury process

November 26th, 2014 · 10 Comments

The PBS Newshour last night included a very enlightening discussion of the Ferguson grand jury that considered whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson (“What’s next for the city of Ferguson?“). The segment I found most interesting featured Christina Swarms, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and Susan McGraugh of Saint Louis University.

Their main point was that the grand jury normally is asked to decide whether there is enough evidence to file charges when viewed from the perspective most favorable to the prosecution. It’s normally up to a trial jury to listen to conflicting evidence and make judgements about who is to be believed and who is not, and to determine the weight of the evidence. In this case, however, the prosecutor put the grand jury in the place of the trial court jury, and never put forward the case more favorable to the prosecution.

Using the link above, you can watch the segment, listen to it as a podcast, or read the transcript.

So here’s an excerpt.

CHRISTINA SWARNS, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund: Yes, this was a remarkably unusual grand jury process.

I’m a criminal defense attorney. I have been a criminal defense attorney my entire career. I have put clients of mine into the grand jury, and I will say, in each of those cases, which in all the cases I handled were significantly much more minor offenses, you know, my clients were subjected to very real, very thorough, very aggressive cross-examination.

What you see here when you look at the transcript of Darren Walker’s (sic) testimony in the grand jury, that there was virtually no challenge to the testimony that he offered here. This was just absolutely unheard of.

I mean, additionally, you know, this prosecutor allowed all of the evidence that was available to be presented to this grand jury. And we have to be clear that the point of a grand jury is simply to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to charge, to file a criminal charge. It’s not about whether someone is guilty or innocent.

But that seems to be the way that this grand jury proceeding was handled, and that is simply unheard of. Many of my colleagues have opined and we have discussed amongst ourselves. I would love to have prosecutors handle my clients’ cases in the way this prosecutor handled this defendant’s case.

GWEN IFILL: We’re still trying to get our audio connection to Saint Louis. So, I want to stick with you for a moment, Christina.

Why isn’t it a grand jury’s job not to indict if the evidence supports it not? Are they only there to bring an indictment?

CHRISTINA SWARNS: No, they’re absolutely supposed to make a determination of whether there is or is not enough evidence to charge.

But, as you know, there is anecdotes — the anecdotes are legion about how easy it is to get an indictment before a grand jury. Right? The old quotation is, you can indict a ham sandwich. It’s not hard. The evidence is, is there evidence to support a charge?

In this case, there’s unquestionably evidence to support a charge. There is no dispute about whether the officer shot and killed Michael Brown. He concedes that when he testifies.

GWEN IFILL: But there’s plenty of dispute about exactly who caused this to happen and who started the fight and what the physical evidence was and the conflicting testimony. These are all the things that Robert McCulloch was detailing last night.

CHRISTINA SWARNS: Yes. And conflicting testimony is something to be resolved by a jury who makes a determination of guilt and innocence. That is not something that should be resolved by a grand jury, who simply decides, as I said, whether or not there is evidence to charge.

The issues are very similar to those presented by a Honolulu grand jury which failed to recommend charges against HPD Sgt. Darren Cachola after a physical altercation with his wife was captured on video and went viral.

→ 10 CommentsTags: Court · Politics