Monday, October 03, 2011


APEC 2011 visitors sure to notice Hawaii’s high tech at the airport

by Larry Geller

Hawaii is trying hard to impress delegates to APEC 2011 in November with our high-tech expertise.

Hawaii will have to try a bit harder.

If delegates, their staff or families Google, they might discover that we can’t even keep the technology going at our airports. Check out Ian Lind’s  Lessons on our return flight (, 10/3/2011).

Or worse, they might visit Hilo and miss a return flight because they trusted an airport display that is still

stuck back at 3:57 a.m. on September 28, and showed the scheduled flights of that morning.

All delegates may not be flying directly in to Honolulu from other countries. Some may come early to check out the volcano on the Big Island, for example. So setting a target of a week or so before the APEC conference to get the TV gizmos working might be a good idea. Can we do it? Don’t they owe it to all tourists and Hawaii residents to keep systems in good shape:? Why no “Out of Order” sign on the display, or at least pull the plug out on the thing?

Ian Lind also noted that information services posted at Honolulu Airport aren’t there. Read his article. That’s not a unique Hawaii problem, though, but one that we might work at solving. By the time APEC visitors (which include their families and maybe kids) arrive, information should be easily available, maybe even in a couple of languages.

I said “not a unique Hawaii problem” because I was remembering an arrival at Newark, NJ airport and following the large overhead signs to passenger information, a long walk from the baggage turntable. On the wall was a sign just like the one Ian posted. It was above a bench in the seating area. I joked at the time that they had crowdsourced the information function—I was just supposed to ask one or more people sitting on the bench where the NYC shuttle reservation desk was located (there was no sign for that at all until you actually got to the desk).

By now Newark may have fixed up their airport, who knows. For us, time is running out. The Nimitz corridor is not the only thing that delegates will see when they arrive in Hawaii, and of course, we have learned that the alterations won’t be ready on time. And there are those dead hedges near Ala Moana Center, and the ugly posts in Chinatown….

It’s not like we don’t have time to fix this all up. We do. But will we?

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Agreed there are some spruce of things that we should do to avoid embarrassment, but on a early morning dog walk in Ala Moana (haven't been there in years) I was shocked to still see a SQUALID amount of homeless encampments or just bums sleeping on the ground.

I feel like we can't even use public parks anymore.

Ah, but at least our new cameras will work 24/7.

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