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Politics // Just Thoughts
Bob Jones

Time To Stand Up To Lousy Leaders

Something has gone seriously haywire in our governance.

I cannot say it has any connection to the influence of money because no evidence is in hand. It may simply be lousy thinking on the part of those who govern us and our institutions.

Look at the Waikiki Natatorium, the 26-story-tall tower approved for the Moana Surfrider and that absolutely nutty resolution of the UH athletic department mess.

The state has taken control of the fate of the nata-torium, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie is pondering putting a volleyball court there, maybe with or without the swimming pool. Senseless.

What families need is more beach space. That Kaimana Beach area has become overpopulated with canopies and one-man outriggers.

“The people in charge will just keep bumbling along. In private business, they’d be out the door tomorrow. In government jobs – they might even get a pay raise!”

And who needs all the noise that goes along with local beach volleyball?

And where’s the money to come from?

I’d rip that crumbling edifice down the first day I had control over it. Maybe do a Frank Fasi. You arrive one morning and it’s not there.

The Moana Surfrider tower approval for 26 stories on the beach where now there are only eight is an affront to everything I thought we might start doing right about our blighted Waikiki.

Is the extra revenue for Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts really that essential?

Moreover, will the revenue stay here? No.

Our planning approvers have steamrolled over common sense. Why did we bother passing a Waikiki Beach height-limit ordnance if we were going to ignore it?

Similarly, planners gave a variance for that new condo across from the Blaisdell Arena to be broadside-oriented, mauka-makai. That spits in the face of the Kekaako zoning we passed – for what?

The UH athletics thing is so smelly that if it were mine to do, I’d fire president M.R.C. Greenwood – tomorrow – without offering her a substitute job, giving her the same salary and condo rental.

And good-bye to Manoa chancellor Tom Apple. Goodbye to Jim Donovan and Rich Sheriff. Goodbye to all those overpaid PR people working for Greenwood and Apple. A total house cleaning.

Bring Richard Dubanoski out of retirement as a dean and let him run a real, clean, efficient, great academics university.

In fact, this fishy mess would justify the Legislature taking back the autonomy it granted UH.

The place is obviously as incompetently managed as the Hawaii County elections office.

Do you get the impression that I’m fighting mad?

You’re right. But I’m doubly angry because I know there’s nothing you or I can do about it. The people in charge will just keep bumbling along. In private business, they’d be out the door tomorrow. In government jobs – they might even get a pay raise!

If we lie down and let money be wasted on the Natatorium, let sun-blocking beach towers rise in Waikiki and let Jim Donovan get $210,000 because he was dumped as athletic director, we’re worse than those Old West weenies who let bullies with fast guns take over their towns.

What ever happened to marching in the streets the way people did during our civil rights days?

Is Hawaii so laid back that we just take it and say, “Thank you very much”?

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