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Lifestyle // Island Matters
Mufi Hannemann

A ‘Poipourri’ Of News And Notes

Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson tackles Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph. ‘Star-Advertiser’ photo

Hawaii and the Pro Bowl It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Pro Bowl is poised to be rotated among Mainland cities after the February 2014 game is played here.

The National Football League has been hinting at this for years, particularly after Miami hosted the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl in 2010.

What’s unfortunate is that Hawaii doesn’t have an alternative plan to propose to the NFL for the years the game is being played elsewhere.

For some time now, I’ve recommended that the NFL be asked to help facilitate a pre-season football game in those off years as an option for the Hawaii Tourism Authority to help underwrite in lieu of the Pro Bowl.

Imagine the interest in having, say, the 49ers, Chargers, Seahawks or Broncos as the home team at Aloha Stadium?

The ultimate scenario – to have both a preseason game and Pro Bowl in sunny Hawaii in the same season – would be an 808 sports fan’s delight and a tourism promotion dream come true!

Read THE FUTURE Al Gore’s latest book, The Future, is testimony to the brilliant and creative mind of the former veep.

Prepare to be introduced to a host of new concepts and trends that will impact us globally for generations to come.

I still haven’t converted to an e-reader, so I continue to underline paragraphs that underscore important passages that I want to reread. Needless to say, my copy is “choke” with underlined pages.

Hawaii Book and Music Festival And for all you book lovers, isn’t it great that the Hawaii Book and Music Festival, now in its eighth year, has become quite a tradition in our city?

Two individuals who don’t get enough credit for their roles in bringing this idea to fruition are former Hawaii first lady Lynne Waihee and former Bank of Hawaii CEO Al Landon. It was Lynne, a literacy advocate, who brought the idea to me when I was Honolulu mayor, and it was Al who had Bankoh step up big time financially to kick it off.

The net result is that Peter Ho, Bankoh’s current chief, and the city continue to support this great family event.

Year of the Spurs My hoops buddies know I’ve picked the Spurs to win it all in the National Basketball Association this year. (Some of them will claim that I do it every year, but that’s not true.)

I know most folks are expecting LeBron James to lead the Miami Heat to its second straight crown. And who’s to argue – LeBron is the greatest player in the universe right now.

But look for the ageless wonder, 37-year-old Tim Duncan, aka The Big Fundamental; awesome point guard Tony Parker; and the league’s best coach, Gregg Popovich – the only coach to chide his superstars on national television to rise to the occasion, to “Spur” San Antonio to its fifth championship during the “Pops” era. Stay tuned …

Latest on Homelessness It’s going to be interesting to see if the city’s “Housing First” initiative to combat homelessness will be successful.

The good news is that the state government, for the first time, seems committed to partnering with the city on this issue.

The big key to the Housing First initiative that I advocated as mayor is whether communities are going to be willing to proclaim they want to be part of the solution. I don’t know of an area on Oahu outside of the Leeward Coast that has been willing to accommodate housing for the homeless in its community. Therein lies the challenge for Housing First: Compromises on housing sites and locations in areas where the homeless congregate in great numbers need to materialize. Absent that, it will be just another idea that sounds good but won’t happen.

It’s also important to remember that while permanent housing for the chronically homeless provided by this model is essential, existing programs for substance-abuse treatment, mental health services, and outreach and employment programs also must be supported.

Moreover, emergency onetime subsidies are just as critical to help prevent homelessness.

mufi@mufihannemann.com

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