The Latest Dire Threat To Hawaii

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - August 05, 2009
This detracts from our quality of life?

“It’s something that would detract from Hawaii’s unique beauty and lower the quality of life for our residents,” the civic-minded citizens of the Outdoor Circle announced recently.

Oh my goodness, what could be so hideous? We should all heed such a dire warning, shouldn’t we?

Hmmm? It could be a reference to the somewhat visually challenged route to Waikiki that exits the airport. Can you imagine that visitors, who for days, weeks or even years have conjured beauteous images of Hawaii are confronted with the dilapidated images lining Nimitz Highway? There isn’t much that “detracts from Hawaii’s unique beauty” like buildings in disrepair, overgrown vegetation and a dingy semi-industrial blight that greets our tourists.

I mean, forget the tourists for a minute. What about those of us who live here? That stretch of road is legendary for its diminished sense of attractiveness. Or “sense of place.” So, I suppose this is the “detraction” from “Hawaii’s unique beauty.”

Perhaps this statement is an indictment on the hyper-development of the Ewa Plain. There was a time when we could marvel at the vast, wide-open spaces stretching from the airport to Waipahu past Kapolei up to the beginning of Kahe Point power plant. Today homes appear to dot the landscape like measly bumps on a child. Now I am not anti-development, but it is what it is. One now sees houses on top of shopping centers on top of fast food restaurants on top of resorts on top of condos on top of expanding highways. This is the reality of the New Ewa Plain. Surely, this is what the statement is addressing.

“... and lower the quality of life for our residents.”


In the challenging times in which we live, we must do everything we can to mitigate the lowering of our life quality, don’t you think?

This part of such a profound statement surely must be addressing our overburdening taxation in Hawaii. We are the fifth highest-taxed state in the union. That means there are 45 other states that pay lower taxes. April 13 is our Tax Freedom Day in Hawaii. This means you work 102 calendar days simply to pay the government. Then, you get to keep the rest. Since there are 365 days a year, you are roughly working one out of every three days for the government.

The relentless pursuit of your money can be found at all levels. The feds will want you to pay for stimulus-this and cap-and-tax-that, the state’s gonna getcha with an inevitable GET increase and the city, well, all I can say is “choo-choo.” Clearly, the financial disempowerment of individuals, families and businesses is the greatest threat to “lowering the quality of life for our residents.”

If not, the time spent in traffic is one of the biggest of downers on the high of life. Let’s hurry up to get where we’re going so we can idle in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The sheer amount of irretrievable time lost translates into less time with your kids and adds extravagant cost to doing any and all business. The utter waste of costly and finite fuel while polluting our breathable air has got to be one of the most urgent issues facing us today.

I know there are many other causes that threaten to “detract from Hawaii’s beauty and lower the quality of life of our residents.” So if the ones I identified aren’t the ones, what could they be?

What scourge is among us that places our home and lives in jeopardy?

What could be responsible for endangering all that we hold dear?

I’ll tell you what.

The Wienermobile. That lovable, fun, wholesome icon of childhood and good times, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, is the great threat to our community.

Bob Loy of the Outdoor Circle was quoted in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin to say that the presence of the Wienermobile in our town is, and I quote: “It’s something that would detract from Hawaii’s beauty and lower the quality of life of our residents.”

Wow, Bob. Thanks for sounding the alarm. Because, who knew?

The Outdoor Circle, clearly looking for something to make itself look relevant, even took it upon themselves to tell Kraft Foods (the Wienermobile’s parents) that the Wienermobile is no longer welcome in Hawaii because it’s mere presence will, well, you get the picture.

Thank goodness for The Outdoor Circle. Maybe next week, Bob and the brute squad will topple over kids’ sandcastles, cut the strings on their kites and squish all their Play-Doh.

Oh, and don’t worry about all that other stuff about overdevelopment, real visual blight, over-taxation and congested roads. That other stuff pales in comparison.

At least we chased the blight of the Wienermobile out of Hawaii. Right on the heels of the Superferry.

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