26 May 2006

Louis Erteschik's Short Term Wake Up Call

Your friendly local Hawaiian god thinks this article by Louis Erteschik is as short-sighted as his agenda, and possibly his experience.

With regard to Hawai'i's natural beauty, Erteschik argues that "we are killing off Hawaii's best asset in favor of short-term profit."

Short-term? It's been a long short-term since 1959*, and much, much earlier.

*Dats when statehood, air travel and tourism all converged in a "perfect storm" of economic growth, population and money started flowing into my islands.

Erteschik, apparently a lawyer, is apparently the "hearings officer for the state Department of Health." And on "Neighborhood Board Number 9," wherever that is. I never recognized neighborhoods, much less their boards. Me, who can properly appeal to Pele, among others, don't need no Numbah Nine to solve my problems.

Erteschik worries about high-rises, tourists and encroachment on the beaches of Waikiki and elsewhere. He should have been worried in 1959.

He thinks "the unthinkable has come to pass," with my islands awash in tourists and their money and their brokers' interests in building on every stinking piece of land on the islands.

What he don't know: Waikiki was a swamp befoah anyway, except for a couple pieces. The royals went upcountry whenever possible, to avoid the heat and stink. Now the tourists go down to the water, away from royals' memory and away from me, Thank Me.

Anyway, I think, Erteschik's perspective is skewed into ridicule -- if he has any perspective at all. Wonder when he flew here?

Because that overdevelopment stuff is OVER now.

Waikiki is SETTLED.

If Erteschik were a history major, instead of pre-law, he would possibly have had a better understanding of Hawai'i, tourism, and statehood.

He writes about "complacency" because we're all goo-goo'ing at our islands' beauty -- what the heck? Have da kine been complacent? I don't think so. The overthrow, the annexation, the statehood vote, the movements of the 1960s-70s (still going today among aging ethnocentrists and a few who got pakalolo into their brains) -- all speak to the political dynamic of Hawaiians. Complacent? Maybe to a haole's breathless self.

After reading Erteschik's words, I don't think he has a competent comprehension of what "short-term" or "mid-term" or "long-term" mean.

Unlike me. I've seen it all. Seen what came and went, and what stayed. Seen the past, Maybe friendly local Hawaiian god should run for memba of "Neighborhood Board Numbah Nine." Wherever that is. I bet I'm a shoo-in with the natives.


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