Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Hawai'i Kai canoe hut may open in August

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

HAWAI'I KAI — The taxpayer-funded canoe halau at Maunalua Bay is completed, but the city is waiting for the plants to grow in before accepting it from the contractor.

The city is letting plants grow in at Maunalua Bay's new canoe halau, which will be named in honor of the late Myron "Pinky" Thompson.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

The city also wants to schedule the official opening of the halau for a time when the family of the late Myron "Pinky" Thompson will be available. The halau will be named after Thompson, the former Bishop Estate trustee who was a prominent member of Hui Nalu Canoe Club, which will be the primary user of the halau.

The 2,500-square-foot building cost $670,000 to build and $160,000 to design, city managing director Ben Lee said.

The city has no firm date for the opening, said Carol Costa, city spokeswoman. It has to wait out a 90-day contractual time period for the landscaping to grow in, Lee said. The city is aiming for a mid-August opening, with the contractor still taking responsibility for the landscaping.

The building is anchored by moss rock walls in the corners. It has decorative metal grilles on the sides for ventilation and a copper roof. The building is 21 feet high and can store 24 canoes and kayaks under lock and key to protect them from weather and vandalism.

The canoe halau is one of four the city is building to store club canoes, but would be the first to be named after someone. Seven more canoe houses are planned around the island.

The move to get a canoe halau at Maunalua Bay began in 1999. When the community heard about the canoe house last year several residents expressed concern that the building would block the view from Kalaniana'ole Highway. The city agreed to lower the roof to about 21 feet — shorter than most coconut trees, the city says — in deference to the concerns.

Bob Clark, a member of the Hawai'i Kai Neighborhood Board, said it is a waste of taxpayer money to build a halau for canoe enthusiasts and that it would block the view of the property owners who live on the mauka side of Kalaniana'ole Highway.

"It's bigger than I thought it would be," Clark said. "The open grille work makes it look like a jail. I'm not sure that's the intention. And architecturally I don't rate it very high. It doesn't look that good."

But members of the club and the city are happy with the outcome.

"I'm so pleased about the canoe halau," said Cynthia Bond, city vision team coordinator. "It's as pretty and unobtrusive as I had hoped."

John Kiner, a member of the Hui Nalu Canoe Club, said he hadn't heard one negative comment from anyone outside or inside the club.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful," Kiner said. "It's everything we had hoped it would be. It enhances the community, versus the Sahara Desert the park was before."