Honolulu Star Bulletin (12/30/00)
By Ray Pendleton
With New Year's Eve nearly upon us, I guess it's about time we give some thought to what sort of resolutions we ought to make for 2001.
One way to go about it is by creating a list from unkempt resolutions from the past.
In a Water Ways column a couple of years ago, I listed a number of resolutions I had hoped would be made by various people in the agencies that control much of our recreational boaters' environment in Hawaii.
While there seems to be several items on the list that still need to be resolved, it's heartening to notice nearly half have come to fruition.
My first pick for making a needed resolution in 1999 was for our state officials to finally agree to begin dredging the Ala Wai Canal. For years it has been designated Hawaii's most polluted waterway, and yet its dredging had been delayed by more than a decade.
Now, after innumerable meetings, planning sessions, and sediment testing, it appears the project will finally get under way this spring. Let's just hope our officials' resolve on this matter remains high.
A New Year's resolution I had hoped might come from those in the federal Environmental Protection Agency was to continue funding what was then known as the Ala Wai Watershed Improvement Project.
The resolution has apparently become reality. The project, which now is called the Ala Wai Watershed Association, has received more than $1 million for various community projects to improve the canal's water quality, and even more has been earmarked for the future.
The folks running the state's Boating Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources were some others I had wished would make a special resolution.
Hoping they would resolve to create an understandable version of their 600-plus page boating regulations, and to provide public education and enforcement of them didn't seem to be asking too much. But, unfortunately, such was not the case, and Hawaii's boaters still lack sufficient state oversight and direction.
Another resolution I had hoped would come from the DLNR's leaders was to work out new long-term leases with two of Hawaii's oldest boating institutions, the Waikiki and Hawaii yacht clubs. Surprise! By the end of 1999, the clubs had signed 35-year agreements to upgrade their facilities and now will be able to continue providing community boating activities.
As Honolulu Harbor's Aloha Tower Marketplace has always seemed to be a place recreational boaters might enjoy visiting by water (and the marketplace could use the business), I had envisioned the Department of Transportation finally resolving to allow the creation of a small boat marina near it for short-term mooring.
Apparently, I was doing some heavy dreaming there, as not even DOT's long-range plans call for such an innovative feature.
And finally, after going through the waterfront war zone atmosphere of 99's New Year's Eve celebration, I had hoped that Hawaii's lawmakers would finally resolve to never again allow the dubious thrill of exploding firecrackers threaten the community's health and property in the name of culture or tradition.
We will know by Monday if the new $25 permits have had any consequence in limiting the sales and use of firecrackers. If the pollution is still bad this year, we can put that one back on next year's resolution list too.
Hauoli makahiki hou!
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