Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Genuine hero: Travel industry publisher pledges to buy shopping carts for Honolulu homeless (and other news)

by Larry Geller


Travel Industry publisher pledges to buy shopping carts for Honolulu homeless

“The eTN publisher pledged to purchase a number of shopping carts and donate them to the homeless”

Violent Hawaii State representative scares tourists and homeless in Waikiki

Tourism Paradise Hawaii: Waikiki lawmaker is attacking with a sledgehammer

It’s “aloha” for high-spending tourists and a sledgehammer for Hawaii’s homeless people in Waikiki.

[eTN Global Travel Industry News, 11/20/2013 ]

The article is critical of Honolulu’s efforts to assist the homeless, and pledges assistance:

The social service relies on churches. The State seems to care less, and the private industry is not ready to contribute to taxes necessary to resolve this problem once and for all.

The only belongings that many of the homeless have are kept in shopping carts taken from a grocery store – a convenient way to store what few items they have and transport them with ease.

The eTN publisher pledged to purchase a number of shopping carts and donate them to the homeless.

Publisher Juergen Steinmetz wants to encouraged every business on Oahu to also purchase a number of carts to give homeless citizens a legal way to carry their belongings and protect them from crazy politicians.

Steinmetz said: "If violent law makers come around wanting to destroy these carts it would force the Honolulu Police Department to arrest them. This would perhaps encouraged these law makers to look at the homeless problem more serious and actually do something to resolve it."

This is way flashier than, say, investing money in mental health programs, or making sure that Hawaii has plenty of low-cost housing. Maybe next Brower will address teen pregnancy by lighting fire to a big pile of tube tops.from a Portland Mercury article

The second Star-Advertiser article indicating that Rep. Tom Brower has put down his hammer has perhaps stirred a new round of coverage outside of Hawaii. The pull-quote above isn’t from a “troll,” it’s the view of the author of the article. Unfair? Maybe, but on the other hand, what did Brower expect, showing off for the cameras?

The audience reading about or viewing these stories must be huge.

New stories have appeared in PortlandDallas, on, Business Insider, Raw Story, in the New York magazineNew York Daily News, and on various Fox-affiliated TV stations. I don’t think Colbert has noticed yet.

From New York magazine:

… one state legislator decided to do something about [homelessness] by proposing programs to find homeless people jobs and shelter smashing unclaimed shopping carts with a sledgehammer to prevent homeless people from using them to carry their few meager possessions.

"I was thinking as a public servant, 'What can I do that would be practical and I can literally do overnight?'" Democrat Tom Brower said recently, explaining his foolproof plan to solve homelessness, or at least make the lives of homeless people a bit more difficult.

A few more months of this and Brower will have homelessness licked for good.

[New York, Hawaii Lawmaker Grudgingly Agrees to Stop Smashing Shopping Carts With a Sledgehammer, 11/20/2013]

Care2 make a difference has this article and has just started a petition:


Jerk Politician Wants to “Smash” Away Homelessness (11/20/2013)

A thoughtful commentary on Kauai’s The Garden Island website is here.


I thought Brower's job description was "Law Maker". A maker of laws.

Credit where credit is due...Larry you seem to be the only guy actually digging into the Brower matter and looking at the different sides of the issue. I am struck by how all other legislators have stayed mum on the vigilantism. The governor - silent. HPD - not available by phone. The Star Ad - weak beer op/ed and now the meme is that Brower had a minor lapse of judgement from which he bravely recovered and is now reformed. Not since the Senate waffled over Faye Hanohano's overt racism has a politician dodged responsibility for his actions. Meanwhile Hawaii got blasted nationally in news and blog entries, citizens were terrorized and their property destroyed, a terrible image was given to our children and where is the censure from other "law makers", the tourism industry, the Democratic Party for crying sideways?

This town (and this state) are, IMHO, trying to spend as little money as possible on the disadvantaged homeless. Same as they tried to spend as little money on special ed kids, and so forth. I say this with conviction, and during the Felix Consent Decree, Judge Ezra said it in his own erudite way. But he had the power to take away legislators' koa wood desks and auction them off, so they forked up the money.

Thank you for your kind words and for your comment.


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