Cheers to Paul Mizue for his Aug. 21 letter, “Fixing Natatorium would be a waste.”
If this “bit by bit” repair is allowed to go on for the future years, we are going to be looking at millions and millions, and since the salt air will continue to tear at the structure forever, we will have to set aside money every few years for the continued upkeep of this memorial.
There is no end to this repair bill. For what?
Yes, we love our memorials, and we are steeped in traditions of the past. Yes, Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe trained there, and it was once a glorious swimming pool, fondly remembered by a previous generation. But Duke Kahanamoku has a wonderful statue right on the sidewalk. We don’t need any more expensive memories.
And didn’t we spend millions recently on it?
The point is, it will never end. And it doesn’t even work. In fact, if you read your history books, it never did work properly.
So, if it will never work, and we will forever be spending millions of dollars in repair work, why is it kept there? How much nostalgia is Honolulu willing to pay for?
It’s right smack dab in the middle of the most expensive and most visited real estate in the world.
We desperately need more beach and park areas and more parking. What we don’t need is wasting more millions of dollars on this ugly, crumbling and hopelessly outdated drain on our taxes.
As World War I fades into memory, and the Olympics of the 1920s is relegated to the history books, it’s time to think of the future, and our new young athletes and schoolchildren, and what they need to make them competitive in the modern world. And that’s not memorials.