Hawaii, Pt. 1

I recently returned from an 8 day stay at Waikiki. To the extent anyone is interested, I thought I would share some thoughts about Hawaii and the trip.

* The traveling public has grown far too picky. We made all our flights, everything was on-time, and all the reservations were there, available and correct. When you think of the logistics of 10 people traveling that far and back in two seperate groups, it reminds you that we as Americans are incredibly fortunate to live in an incredibly well-organized society. In other words, it works. Of course we have had our traveling glitches over the years, but the next time you are delayed miss a flight, or lose a piece of luggage, just remember it often works.

*I am not Kamaaina, but I have been to Hawaii a number of times over the years. There is really no other place like it. The people are friendly, the place is beautiful, and the weather cannot be beat.

*We in Great Falls often complain about our young people leaving to find opportunities elsewhere. I spoke with a local gal who explained they face the same problem but for a different reason. Many of the locals simply cannot afford to live in their home states. More later.

*Honolulu has a sign code, (see Article 14) but not as restrictive as ours. This trip reminded me what a bad, self-centered idea these codes are. Any place that depends on visitors, or at least wants to welcome them, hurts itself by limiting businesses' ability to communicate their locations and wares. On several occasions we had difficulty locating things due to lack of good signs. Our sign code is a bad idea (sure has beautified 10th Avenue South, huh?).

*Waikiki has a very strict smoking ordinance. You never notice it, except when you have to walk through huge knots of banished smokers. I guess Hawaii has busybodies too.

*I received a very good economics lesson from my wife. After complaining about being 'gouged' on a $7.50 Bud Light, she reminded me that there is no such thing is gouging. In fact, I could have purchased a whole 6-pack for less with just a short walk: the choice was mine.

*We should have a sales tax.
Maybe more later...

1 comment:

WolfPack said...

I have to disagree with you on the value of zoning codes. I think they do add to the overall value of the community. The trouble here is that we tinker with the codes before we have taken the trouble to enforce the old codes. How can you tell where we need code improvements if you can't see to any great degree what the existing codes if enforced would look like?

In GF we demand cosmetic improvements to plans for a new McDonalds on 10th but do nothing about the weed farms just up the block (you pick the direction). We have landscaping requirements that are only triggered by major expansions but not major remodels. Build a new building and you lose parking to landscaping but if you make due with a POS old building and fresh paint you go forward untouched. This penalizes businesses that expand and rewards those that don’t. If the rule makes sense and can be reasonably accomplished let all share in its burden not just expanding businesses. The best way to improve the look of 10th would be to require all to meet the same standard. Instead because of week leadership we only create rules for future business which leads to the piecemeal and patchwork look and feel of our city. Scrape off projects like McDonalds and Walgreens should be encouraged and maybe even subsidized, yet both have been met with obstruction from city staff/boards.