"We Can Wait Around For The State...Or We Can Go Out And Do Our Part"

Hawaii lawmakers are pushing hard to get President Barack Obama's childhood home in Honolulu named a national landmark. If passed, it's sure to annoy Obama. Why? Well, if Polihale State Park on Hawaii's Kauai island is any indication, he'll have to roll up his sleeves and fix the plumbing himself.

Tired of waiting for help after flooding ruined facilities at the state park, nearby residents pulled an impressive DIY job and completed the estimated $4 million repairs just in time for tourist season.

From CNN:

"It would not have been open this summer, and it probably wouldn't be open next summer," said Bruce Pleas, a local surfer who helped organize the volunteers. "They said it would probably take two years. And with the way they are cutting funds, we felt like they'd never get the money to fix it."

Ivan Slack, co-owner of Napali Kayak, said his company relies solely on revenue from kayak tours and needs the state park to be open to operate. The company jumped in and donated resources because it knew that without the repairs, Napali Kayak would be in financial trouble....

So Slack, other business owners and residents made the decision not to sit on their hands and wait for state money that many expected would never come. Instead, they pulled together machinery and manpower and hit the ground running March 23.

And after only eight days, all of the repairs were done, Pleas said. It was a shockingly quick fix to a problem that may have taken much longer if they waited for state money to funnel in.

"We can wait around for the state or federal government to make this move, or we can go out and do our part," Slack said. "Just like everyone's sitting around waiting for a stimulus check, we were waiting for this but decided we couldn't wait anymore."

With the project finished, residents and business owners are now...waiting. The only thing left is having their home-made bridge certified, and of course, the tourists. But the folks deserve a shout out.

The challenge was borne out of necessity and the folks were probably not concerned with political labels. But the project is a great example of communities working (faster, and cheaper) without government. As Brian Doherty noted, in his recent Cato Unbound discussion with Seasteader Patri Friedman:

...an organized state with a monopoly on rule-making and force is not necessary to accomplish all vital social tasks...we can, if we are smart and brave, build something like our own culture from the ground up.

It's great to see real action put to a feasible and concrete use. Perhaps next, the residence of Kauai can establish their own police force and do something about one of Hawaii's biggest problems:

 High Five: The Big Rigg

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    Hawaii lawmakers are pushing hard to get President Barack Obama's childhood home in Honolulu named a national landmark.



    Can't we wait until presidents die before we bestow sainthood on them?

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    Perhaps next, the residence of Kauai can establish their own police force and do something about one of Hawaii's biggest problems:

    Amen to that. DtBH is a low life scumbag that found a job where those are the qualifications. We've already seen too much of him. The sooner he gets busted for doing the dirt the better.

  • Anonymous||

    Can't we wait until presidents die before we bestow sainthood on them?



    But then how would you know to worship the ground they're walking on now?

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    And after only eight days, all of the repairs were done, Pleas said. It was a shockingly quick fix to a problem that may have taken much longer if they waited for state money to funnel in.



    I'll bet they didn't pay the prevailing wage. I'll also bet the government inspector finds something amiss with the bridge. This is a precedent that will not be allowed to stand.

    The last was written half in jest.

  • B||

    Just when you thought the cult of personality couldn't get any fucking creepier...

  • Syd||

    This is trivial. There are thousands of National Landmarks. Don't you have better things to whine about?

  • Anonymous||

    Syd,

    How many sitting (and living) presidents' birthplaces are memorialized? How far into the term? After doing what?

    What purpose, other than to direct attention away from it, is served in dismissing yet another article in the cult of personality as "trivial"?

    Is it of immediate political importance? Probably not.

    Will it be used to beg the question of Obama's quality of substance? It already is.

  • max hats||

    An underfunded state park is an excellent argument that we should give less funding to parks.

  • Syd||

    Anonymous: Yes, it's trivial. He's the first president born in Hawaii and they're proud of it. Besides, they're pushing for it, they haven't succeeded in having it become a landmark. Yet.

  • Moneybags||

    Was the $4 million an estimate of how much they thought the job cost, or an estimate of what the merchants group paid during the eight-day project? Did they pay it in Berkshares? (Or in this case maybe they'd be paying in kauaipeks?)

  • ||

    It would be more fitting to recognize the efforts of the locals that fixed a problem faster, cheaper, and without the bullshit that comes with state projects.

    The folks wanting to seat Obama at the right hand of the Son maybe oughtta wait and see how this ride ends.

    J Sub, I'm with you, but not in jest. The state will surely poo poo the construction of the bridge. It wouldn't surprise me if they shut things down for a season or two to teach the locals that they can't just do things without the State.

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    Community of business owners with a financial interest: 8 days.

    Unarmed crew of American merchant sailors takes back ship from armed pirates.

    Funny how incentives to live and thrive get people moving.

    2 years for govt to do an 8 day project? WTF? It reminds me how they were gonna spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to re-sod the National Mall. They could have grabbed one of the homeless guys from the nearest subway entrance stairs, gave him some Scot's Turfbuilder and a drop spreader and said, "Just walk around and push this for a couple days, lunch is at Noon. Thanks." Probably would have cost them less than 300 bucks for the whole damn thing.

  • ||

    The state will surely poo poo the construction of the bridge. It wouldn't surprise me if they shut things down for a season or two to teach the locals that they can't just do things without the State.

    This is my fear, too. If anyone shuts these people down, someone deserves a beatdown.

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    I used to live way up in the hills in Santa Cruz, and we shared a private road with a couple of neighboring families. Fixing a road isn't nearly as difficult or expensive as governments would have you believe.

    -jcr

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    John C. Randolph

    It's funny. A few days ago there was a report about a homeowner in Seattle who was being assessed 13+K dollars for a sidewalk in front of his house that had an actual cost of around 3K.

    Problem was adding on all the engineering and environmental fees that were necessary.

    Now, lest you think that this is a run of the mill anti-intellectualism or anything, I am, for the record a highway engineer. Trouble is I know any any number of Italian or Afro-American cement finishers who could have built that sidewalk for the low price shown above that would have met all the requirements of the higher priced one above. And I know goddamn well which ones I'd've hired to build a sidewalk in front of my house.

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    Due to the miracle known as the permanent wave, I was, for a couple years in highschool in Mississippi in the late 70s, an afro- American.

  • ||

    Reminds of me of the massive snow storm in '96 in D.C. The city was so inept that major thoroughfares were still blocked by snow days after the story. Wealthy business owners finally hired private plows to clear the streets so customers could get to them. My observation at the time was this was a liberal wet dream - the most progressive possible tax to provide basic public service. Now if we could just convince them that if they just stopped offering (and paying for) services, the tax system would become even more progressive, we might have something.

  • economist||

    "How many sitting (and living) presidents' birthplaces are memorialized? How far into the term? After doing what?"

    When I become the god emperor, I intend to have my birthplace memorialized, and to start a religion around myself. I will also keep a ghola of my most faithful servant around for no apparent reason.

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