A Mayor's duties: Culture & The Arts, Parks & Recreation
I have a lot of friends in the arts. Strangely, I've recently learned how much a Mayor does in terms of cultural, artistic, recreation which is all tied into Tourism. And tourism is tied into culture & the arts.
Support of the cultural traditions and the Arts requires, first,
a strong economy, and that's only possible with a solid infrastructure
only PANOS can gradually provide.
I've gone through the grant process for the arts and realized the time spent in the intricate grant application process was more than the actual grant amount merited. I could have gone to work, donated the money gained in all those hours, and given myself a bigger grant! It's ironic.
The Royal Hawaiian Band, a long-time tradition and tourist attraction has been close to being dissolved, when actually we need more groups playing for tourists and VIPs arriving, as in old-Hawaii.
Dr. PANOS is an expert at prioritized spending (as opposed to management by crises), and an engineer is what we need in a Mayor (not a Karaoke singer.) We are fortunate he is willing to tackle the Honolulu county's great problems affecting tourism.
Tourism and Culture & the Arts, and Park & Recreation are intertwined.
Now that Maui and the Big Island have their own International airports,
some tourists can (and do) easily avoid Honolulu.
That's good for the other islands, but not for us. Honolulu has Culture & arts, and parks and recreation of its own. I can tell you, as an artist, Honolulu has a lot to offer, but it is not being utilized in full. Unique culture and arts have to be nourished like a baby.
We have art of International stature in Hawaii.
Art is not only something you hang on a wall (a picture or photograph). Art cannot possibly be only visual. Music is art too. Dancing is art. Handcrafts are art. Art is usually defined as having to do with aesthetics, and in turn with emotional responses to the aesthetic (whether positive, pretty or sad, somber, macabre).
Ask people what the definition of "art" is
and be ready for a multitude of explanations.
The same applies to the word "culture".
It's amazing we can talk about art without being able to define it, but that's because art is apparent on its own, it doesn't need justification. It is a natural human expression.
Parks, Tourism & the Homeless People
Art & culture & parks & recreation attract tourism to this island. Yet, taking care of the homeless situation (not "problem") is something that requires careful analysis, recognizing homeless people can live outdoors in Oahu, but would freeze in the Winter without a fire in the Mainland - specially in Alaska! Homeless feed off of the half-consumed food of the locals and tourists, and what restaurants throw away, or charitable donations no one knows about. People have plenty, so they throw away enough for homeless to survive. Tourists in a rush throw away entire sandwiches, rather than carry them around.
Homeless don't pay rent, though they are exposed to thievery and abuse. Some protect themselves with a stench, so no one comes near. These people are the result of an economy out of balance, like in a Third World Country. they generally stay out of trouble, but affect Honolulu's image to tourism. And tourism is one of the primary businesses in Hawaii. We can hardly compete in anything else with the Mainland. So, enhancing Tourism will be one of the Mayor's duties. We need tourists to visit MORE THAN ONCE.
One look at Dr. Panos and you realize he is a happy man, ready to participate in activities, ready to have fun at a party. Greek people put together great parties - they are, in general, festive people, who know how to celebrate.
To work hard, you gotta rest hard.
So Tourism is for us too - we are all Tourists sometimes in our "own" island. Need a break? Stay Kama`aina for a weekend at a hotel, or go to the beach on a day off. Sleep at a park, surrounded by green and a delightful breeze (experience homelessness for a while - the simple life...)
We need a systematic approach at Honolulu Hale. A Mayor's role shouldn't be political, but it is. It is a hands-on job dealing mostly with civil engineering problems. And when we have the ability to get around promptly, a place to live with a good sewer so we don't get sick, great Hawaiian drinking water, we can begin to celebrate and work.
Honolulu has clean air, and that attracts many people fleeing smogs
in other large cities. That's a GREAT resource!
We just need to elect someone with brains rather than someone with political power who owes everything to special interest groups. Which candidate can do more for us in the long-run?
A Major can do great things by encouraging what is unique in Hawaii, both old-time uniqueness, and modern uniqueness - new traditions though the term might sound contradictory. Traditions are expressions of a society, whether in the arts, or just how family life is experienced in Honolulu in a multi-ethnic American society.
Traditions are formed by gradual acceptance by many people,
and therefore represent what true Hawaii is really like.
Art that needs to be supported entirely by the City is not an expression of a society - it is favoritism. As in business, favoritism leaves some qualified people out of the competitive nature of the business. The same applies to art. We must let it be what it can be. And we won't be disappointed.
We live in the city which can become the most beautiful, orderly city in the World.
Artists, vote for PANOS, an engineer with a heart.