Brandishing Carrots And Sticks
Wednesday - April 19, 2006
Auwe! to the Hannemann administration for chastising people for criticizing the delay of warning signs at public water spots following the nearly 50-million-gallon “SewerGate.” The problem was exacerbated when a female surfer suffered bacterial infections, which her attorney claims are due to the polluted water.
Mayor Hannemann’s response? “I think you have to be living in another country, another state not to recognize there were problems occurring in Ala Wai and Waikiki, and to be careful.”
If that was not bad enough, Dr. Libby Char, City Emergency Services director, topped them all by saying, “Unless they were living in a cave or something, I think to go out and post signs to warn people is kind of silly, in my opinion.”
Oliver Johnson, a man who found himself in the sullied water, ultimately died. Not only are Char’s statements dismissive of the general public, they are insensitive and inappropriate considering the scope and impact of the sewage spill.
Hooray! to the Hawaii Tourism Authority for releasing a survey of local attitudes toward our No. 1 industry. For the first time in almost 20 years, locals are expressing concerns that the state and city governments are serving tourists before residents. We see tremendous investment in marketing Hawaii as a vacation destination paying off with consistent increases in tourism numbers. However, locals are saying, “Enough with the visitors ... fix our roads, repair our sewers, improve public education and cut the price of gasoline!”
Tourism accounts for approximately 25 percent of our state economy. Granted, the value of the industry is obvious. But what about the other 75 percent?
Auwe! to state Rep. Jerry Chang, D-2nd (Hilo) for his failure to disclose his role in a potential land swap in Hilo with a DHHL parcel in Kalaeloa. What is interesting about this story is the controversial nature of Hawaii Raceway Park, the pursuit of state tax credits, the disposition of hundreds of race fans, and the murky relationships which were exposed in the legislative process. Why did Chang wait so long before disclosing to his colleagues the sensitive position in which he found himself?
Hooray! to Lost star Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) for his time and efforts on behalf of the Sex Abuse Treatment Center. He recently partnered up with actress Brittany Perrineau, wife of Lost star Harold Perrineau (Michael), at the state Capitol collecting donations to benefit the SATC at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. He signed autographs, posed for photographs and called attention good work the SATC does.
The Sex Abuse Treatment Center provides an incredibly valuable service to our community, and I hope it benefits greatly from the stars’ contributions. If you missed it the first time, please log on to www.midweek.com and read the recent excellent article by Alice Keesing profiling the Sex Abuse Treatment Center.
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