Think About It: Waikiki War Not- atorium - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 28, 2014

Think About It: Waikiki War Not- atorium

The movie "Groundhog Day" comes to mind now whenever I hear about the plight of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. We keep reliving the same things over and over as nothing moves forward on what to do with the denigrating structure. Last week yet another meeting was held, this time in Kaimuki, to discuss the plight of the crumbling structure. 

And while some bona fide points were made about the sadness one might feel in removing the stands and the pool from this Waikiki landmark, the fact that nothing concrete is being done about the concrete is befuddling, to say the least. This issue keeps coming ashore like the waves lapping up against the Natatorium, over and over. We keep hearing about the need for a complete environmental impact statement, but that won't be done until spring of 2016, almost two years from now. I guess every single fish in the area will have to be interviewed before a complete report can come forth. Proponents of saving the structures talk about a retrofit, but have yet to suggest specifically where the money will come from, including upkeep costs. 

The idea to tear down the pool and seating stands does not appease many people who care deeply about the current structure and its obvious symbolism; tough decisions are called "tough" because, though consensus is reached and rational decisions are made after all of the debate, some people will never be happy. But spending yet another two years to analyze and discuss this monument is nothing more than political avoidance as those in charge simply push the problem down the road, or down the beach. In the meantime, rust never sleeps, the danger for an accident increases with a crumbling structure and ugly re-bar exposed, and the valiant warriors for whom this monument was built are not properly acknowledged with a fitting tribute for all to visit and enjoy for the next 100-years. Think about it…

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