Local Connection: Floatilla Fiasco

Independence Day is usually celebrated with patriotic events like barbeques and a sense of gratitude for this great country. It's not supposed to be a day for anarchy, but that's exactly what's happened in Waikiki -- twice.

It's called a floatilla -- a loosely organized, unregulated drinking festival in the shallow waters off Waikiki beach.

The reputation of Waikiki is at stake if we keep allowing this to repeat itself. We saw images of young people nearly dead from alcohol and heat exposure being treated on our famous beach. There was considerable inappropriate behavior and even violence and a total disrespect for the ocean environment.

It's aggravating that state and city government have been helpless to prevent these dangerous events. It looks like public drinking laws don't apply once someone steps into the ocean. That's ridiculous. That should have been fixed soon after the loophole became apparent after last year's Fourth of July.

We can only hope that this unacceptable situation is rectified before someone dies from alcohol, violence or drowning. Sadly, that's too often what it takes to get action out of our lawmakers.

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