A Few More Mysteries Of Life

Dan Boylan
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Wednesday - March 29, 2006
| Del.icio.us

It’s difficult for me to admit this, particularly to my 11 regular readers, but there are a few things I just don’t understand.

“A few,” I said.

Otherwise, I remain the all-seeing, all-knowing, utterly perceptive commentator on whom the 11 of you have come to rely for political wisdom. But there are a few things. For example:

Fire engines and ambulances. I live in the exclusive ridge community of Pacific Palisades in Pearl City. Ours is an aging community. I’m gray. Neighbors to the right and left and across the street are gray.


Indeed, some of us are beginning to fail. So, once or twice or thrice a week, a siren blares for a full five minutes as a Honolulu Fire Department rig, complete with a complement of three (or is it four?) firemen, hurtles up the hill do deal with an aging Palisadian’s heart palpitations or fall from a ladder - or worse.

What happens next? You got it. Five minutes later, another siren blares (more quietly, however) as an EMS ambulance speeds up the hill with a complement of two emergency (or is it three?) medical technicians to deal with the same aging Palisadian’s heart palpitations or fall from a ladder - or worse.

Now don’t misunderstand. As an aging Palisadian with heart palpitations or a fall from a ladder - or worse - in his own not-too-distant future, I’m awful glad our aging community is getting so much attention.

But why? HFD folks will tell you that they receive far more calls about medical emergencies than they do about fires. So why do they rush to the scene? Because there aren’t enough EMS ambulances and they’re not close enough to all the communities they serve.

“Why don’t we buy more ambulances,” you ask, “put one at each fire station, and dispatch them when there is a medical emergency - and leave those gas eatin’, siren-screamin’ full fire rigs at the station when the problem is medical rather than fire?”

I don’t know. I just don’t know. There must be a logical answer. Please help me, loyal readers.

Something else I don’t understand. Potholes. During the last painful year or two of Mayor Jeremy Harris’s administration, I listened to the incessant whining of my fellow citizens - and a couple of mayoral aspirants - over the presence of potholes in our beautiful city’s streets.

I too was aghast, shocked, appalled and occasionally rattled from okole to jawbone when I drove over a pothole. I’d find myself asking, “Why are there so many potholes in our roads?” And I heard myself answering, “Because we’ve had a *)-$#@+= of rain.”

Then I remembered the wisdom of my fellow citizens and a couple of mayoral aspirants and I corrected myself: “No, it’s because of that no good, rotten Mayor Harris. The dog.”

The past couple of weeks (maybe more like three) I’ve found myself dodging a lot of potholes. Bet you have too. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s because of that Harris guy. But you know, he hasn’t been in office for a couple of years now - one of those blaming mayoral aspirants is - and we sure have been getting a *-$#@+= of rain again.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s the rain after all. Again, I plead for someone to enlighten me.


Then there’s taxes and inspections. Now no one likes to be taxed (and, boy, we’re reminded of that at this time of year) or inspected. The first robs us of our hard-earned dollars, and the second can be annoying - as well as robbing us of our hard-earned dollars.

But whattaya do? For years, Democrats and Republicans alike, on the municipal, state and federal levels, found it too expensive to build the levees of New Orleans to the size and strength recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Too expensive,” the pols said.

So New Orleans lost 40 percent of its population, more than 1,000 dead, and billions of dollars in damages to a bitch of a hurricane named Katrina. The federal government, in reconstruction funds, will pay the price of building those levees to the recommended specifications several times over.

Then there’s Kauai. In a rare bipartisan move, both Democratic and Republican state administrations left the maintenance of Garden Island reservoirs to private owners - and inspected them irregularly. The result? Seven people died and damages in the millions.

Rain again, right?

There are just some things I don’t understand.

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