The Sour Poi Awards 2013
Celebrating the best of the worst of 2013 — the dumb, the deranged and the indefensible.
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Illustration: Andrew J. Catanzariti
A STICKY SITUATION
In September, a pipe operated by Matson spilled 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor. State officials have called it one of the worst environmental disasters ever recorded in Hawaii, as it killed hundreds of coral heads, and at least 26,000 fish. Environmental scientists predicted long-term effects, because, unlike oil, molasses sinks in water, making it all but impossible to clean up.
When State Rep. Faye Hanohano found out in February that none of the artwork being installed in her state Capitol office had been created by Native Hawaiians, she did not handle the news well. After calling the paintings “ugly,” she told the exhibit specialists, “Any work done by haoles, Japs, paranges, pakes, you can just take away right now.” She also said if she didn’t get any pieces from Hawaiian artists, she’d cut funding to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, which oversees the “Art in Public Places” program. Hanohano later made a public apology, but said her tirade was “intended to be an impassioned plea for increasing the visibility and support for Native Hawaiian artists.”
Kahului Airport lost power for about half an hour in February, after a chicken got too close to a Maui Electric Co. transformer in the area. No official word on the bird’s fate, but we’ve got a guess.
GREAT MOMENTS IN MARKETING
In January, someone running the Facebook page for radio station Island 98.5 thought it would be a great idea to get some listener feedback with a quiz. The post, which was quickly deleted, read, “It’s time to play the game show sweeping the nation … THE STEREOTYPE GAME!!!!!!! One word answers only, I give you the ethnicity you give the ONE WORD: MICRONESIAN.” The post was quickly deleted when, inevitably, racist answers started pouring in.
BLESSINGS FROM ABOVE
Maui police didn’t have to go far to arrest a trespassing woman in January—after allegedly entering the crawlspaces of the Kihei Police Station from somewhere outside the building, 34-year-old Sheryl Vazquez fell through the ceiling and landed on the floor of the prisoner processing room.