Wednesday, April 05, 2006


To swim in Waikiki or not to swim, that is the question

Now that the rain is over and the sun is smiling, it's time to get back to the ocean and enjoy.

Or is it? Check out these two headlines from today's Star-Bulletin:

State reopens Waikiki beaches


Man dying after fall into polluted Ala Wai

To swim or not to swim? You decide.

But more important: when will Oahu fix its chronic sewage problem? The same edition of the Star-Bulletin includes a commentary by Cynthia Oi that addressess the issue directly:
A single 48-million-gallon spill of sewage into the Ala Wai canal might be dismissed as a rare incident. Not so another. Not so the hundreds of smaller slips -- a million gallons here, 250,000 gallons there -- that befall the islands almost every week.

The tourism industry can't be happy with the "don't go in the water" images flashed on CNN and the front pages of newspapers across the country. For every visitor who accepted the situation without complaint, there were probably scores disappointed with the fouled shorelines. Their tales of a wastewatered Waikiki won't encourage the folks back home to fly out here.
Nor will a story of a man dying after a fall into the polluted water. What exactly will it take to get Honolulu to make long overdue repairs? I hope that there won't be much more talk about what to do with the "surplus". There isn't any surplus, just profit from long neglect.


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