Dan Inouye seeks stimulus feedback, Sam Slom says taxes matter more than civil unions, and a little poetry from Bill Merwin.

  • The full U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations will meet at the state Capitol next Wednesday. The program agenda is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 — Investment in Hawaii, featuring chairman Daniel K. Inouye “gauging the progress” of federal stimulus money.

  • The Honolulu City Council will tackle issues big and small today at Honolulu Hale. It includes bills on fireworks regulations, food concession contracts at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center and the Waikiki Shell, and — arborist alert — “amending the register of exceptional trees.”

  • “Insights” on PBS Hawaii Thursday evening features a live forum on Hawaii civil unions. Guests includes supporters and opponents, moderated by professor-host Dan Boylan.

  • Republican state Sen. Sam Slom says forget about House Bill 444, the civil unions bill. The head of Smart Business Hawaii says what should really worry citizens is all the tax hikes, new fees and other costs that go into effect today with the start of a new fiscal year.

  • Finally, in honor of the nation’s new poet laureate, W.S. Merwin, my favorite poem by the longtime Maui resident:

“For the Anniversary of My Death”

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

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