“Gateway to Waikiki” Now a Homeless Shelter

Hawaii's DoBOR Creates Giant, Dangerous Mess

- opinion -


Months later . . .

As you may remember from headlines a couple of months ago, the derelict 85’ 149 passenger Navatec II, recently renamed the SS Underwood by some area residents, was unceremoniously dragged off the bottom of the Ala Wai canal and onto dry land -– damaging retaining walls in the process -– and laid to rest on the State’s ill-fated wedding chapel property a short distance away.  

The rotting ship is still there, months later, despite DoBOR Administrator, Ed Underwood’s promise that it wouldn’t be.


Visioning for dollars

Hawaii’s Senator Sharon Moriwaki has renamed this site and its adjacent surrounds “The Gateway to Waikiki,” a catchy little ditty for use at Moriwaki-inspired so-called visioning meetings where, until recently, high-powered private interests attended for the purpose of deciding how they would cut up the pie when they’ve hit that magic payoff number with certain of our Hawaii lawmakers in exchange for privatization of the public's lands and assets.

HB 1032 was one such privatization attempt in 2019.  This piece of legislation was being groomed for law by some apparently cash starved lawmakers in an attempt to permanently crystallize privatization by edict. But the opposition was fierce and, fortunately, we’ve got a governor who saw straight through it and vetoed the scam.

Moriwaki is the State Senator for Oahu's Waikiki district, while Tommy “The Sledge” Brower is Waikiki’s State Representative.  Rep. Brower, by the way, has neither been seen nor heard from regarding any of the issues affecting the Ewa side of his district, a remarkable example of a popular political strategy that calls for “keeping a low profile” until just before the next election.  



Reported activity around the Navatec II in the late hours of the night concerning

Fast forward mid-July, 2019.  There have now been several reports of individuals around and on the Navatec II in the late night hours, looking, no doubt, for a safe place to get some sleep. This has raised concerns about injuries -– potentially serious -– as accessing the main deck of this ship can be dangerous.  A fall from the main deck would be some forty feet or more. A fall from the top deck would be some fifty feet.  This seems to be a lawsuit waiting to happen, potentially making the State and its taxpayers liable for hefty injury payouts, should there be an accident.


Recreational boaters to pay for disastrous handling of the Navatec II incident

Recreational boaters using the State’s public harbor system are being asked to pay for all damages, salvage, moving and collateral damage that the Navatec II handling incurs.  A commercial vessel of this size and girth should never have been allowed into the public harbor system.  The harbormaster at the Ala Wai Small Boat harbor said that it all happened over his head and he’d learned about the re-mooring of this commercial vessel the same way everyone else did, by reading the newspaper.  Boaters will now have to pay a hefty fee increase next month –- forcing some boaters out of the public harbor system -- as a result of this and similar DoBOR bungling.


Navatec admitted to recreational public harbor through back-door channels

As it turned out, the derelict 85’ 149 passenger commercial tour ship was admitted into the public harbor system through backdoor channels via DoBOR administrator, Ed Underwood.  The reports of homeless nighttime activity around the condemned ship have been unsettling, especially to those with interests in the Prince Waikiki next door.

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