Monumental Decision - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

December 10, 2009

Monumental Decision

Once again a plan for the controversial and dilapidated Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium has been put forth, and once again, controversy reigns. A city task force voted a few months back to demolish the Natatorium while saving the historic arch fronting it, and Mayor Hannemann has accepted this decision. Now, there will be lengthy engineering studies, protests, environmental studies, and concerns over financing whatever is finally done- just like last year and the year before that.

It is estimated that IF this plans moves forward, the completion of this project would be in the year 2017. It seems to me that planning and financing, along with the inevitable lawsuits, could probably be accomplished in something less than eight years, but simple erosion of the venue over the next eight years might make the plans moot if, in fact, things actually do move forward. There are valid arguments in many areas of this issue- historical, moral, emotional, legal, physical, safety, pragmatic, etc. But there is no doubt that something needs to be done, and has needed to be done for decades.

It has been 30-years since this World War I monument was closed due to safety concerns. 30-years! It is located in a valuable and beautiful location. There is no easy answer; there is no one-size-pleases-all solution. But a solution has evolved, again, and action needs to be taken one way or another… before 2017. Think about it…

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