Local Connection: Closing Kakaako Waterfront Park

Last week, Governor Ige held a press conference to announce a successful year for the Kakaako Family Assessment center. He proudly announced that of the 38 families that sought help, 35 now have homes.

But while he bragged, only yards away were about 150 squalid tents – housing maybe 180 chronically homeless people who refuse to leave Kakaako.

In fact, minutes before the press conference, signs were posted announcing that the park will be closed indefinitely to the public.

It's now to too dangerous because of aggressive dogs, leaking plumbing and exposed electrical wires. It will cost a half million dollars to fix, and the governor could not guarantee it won't happen again.

By itself, having to close Kakaako Waterfront park again – which was the original ground zero for the homeless battle – is an epic failure.

But for the Governor to go to the scene of that defeat and try to proclaim victory was just plain absurd.

It's been three years since the homeless crisis was acknowledged by the governor. In that time he may have found the will and resources to deal with it, but at this point what seems to be lacking, is competence.

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