Local Connection: APEC Success

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- APEC, Hawaiian style - it's turned out beautifully.

No way was this a foregone conclusion. Before the conference even began, a local man was shot to death. A state department employee was charged with murder.

There are so many things that could have happened after that. Instead, Hawaii pulled together.

We showed our Aloha to the delegates, the visiting press, and the security details.  We did it in the face of concerns about the shooting, and frustrations with traffic. Thousands of volunteers put in tens of thousands of hours helping visitors find their way.

Tourism officials sorted out problems, helping delegates and hotels work out any issues. Security officials adjusted barriers so local businesses could serve the delegates. The delegates said the traffic was smoother than at APEC summits in other cities.

And they said they met more local residents here than at any other conference.  Sometimes we get cynical about our own ability to perform on the world stage. And it's not the Hawaiian way to do a lot of blowing our own horn.

But I gotta tell you - you did good.

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