Wasting away again at the Ala Wai

·By Chad Blair

As the son (but not “the son of a son”) of a sailor man, I am intimate with the recordings of Jimmy Buffett. And so the issue of raising fees for live-aboards at small boat harbors at the Ala Wai and Keehi on Oahu is a sensitive one.

Two measures that call for that and other fee “adjustments” — House Bill 2582 and House Bill 2741 — are moving through the cash-strapped state Legislature.

The land board has wrestled for years with boaters over slip, mooring and other fees. Many boat owners admit they’ve had a pretty good deal on rent, even as they criticize how the state’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation spends their rent money.

Leadership at the boating division has changed in recent years, though, and millions of dollars have been spent on fixing Hawaii’s dilapidated docks. The changes are evident at the Ala Wai, where some docks have been replaced and where more work is planned. That costs money, and one solution has been the implementation of a paid-parking system in the harbor.

The spotless Ko Olina Marina in West Oahu is run privately. Maybe the state should just get out of the small-boat harbors management business? It needs money.

Sing it, Jimmy: “Don’t know the reason that I stayed here all season, with nothing to show but this brand new tattoo …”

About the Author

Civil Beat Staff

Chad Blair

Chad Blair is a reporter for Civil Beat. You can reach him by email at cblair@civilbeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @chadblairCB.
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