Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RILED UP IN KONA

So there are a couple of ripples going through the triathlon community here in Kona. Nothing serious but here they are in no specific order:

TURN ON THE HEAT! The powers-that-be who run the island in all their wisdom (I'm being facetious - wisdom and county government are an oxymoron. Well, you can scratch off the "oxy" from that statement) have decided that heating our pool is a waste of money in our current economy.

True, the pool is a luxury item and I can see that spending taxpayers money to heat it rather than say, pay for council members traveling expenses to the mainland for "research" or to rent a bulldozer the county owned then sold then rented back for thousands of dollars a month, could be misconstrued as wasteful. (True story. The county sold a 1991 Caterpillar D8 for $52,083 in 2003, (they bought it for $276,000). It’s since spent more than $427,025 renting it back. A recent contract with the ’dozer’s owner will carry the county through June 30 for another $12,725 a month.) Like I said, an oxymoron!

More than just triathletes and swimmers use the pool, however. A lot of "normal" people use it as well.

My daughter, Rebecca, who is disabled and loves to exercise in the pool, no longer can because the temperature has dropped too low for her to use it and I'm sure there are a lot more people who no longer use the pool because the temperature has become too cold to tolerate. If you are a swimmer you can usually manage to move fast enough to get warm during your workouts, but people, such as my daughter, can't move fast enough to get warm.

You know the pool is too cold when you have to stop after every lap to chip the ice off your goggles, or when the U.S. Olympic speed skating team shows up at the pool for practice. Well, it's not that cold, yet, but I do hear talk that the Kona Ice Fishing club may be joining the pool.

(Need I say more?)

Below is a list of the decision-makers on the island. If you ever use our pool please e-mail them and politely ask them to turn on the heat. Not so much for us triathletes (the bain of existence for many nonathletic islanders) but for those who use the pool for physical therapy, water jogging and just to have fun. Thanks.

Mayor Bill Kenoi wkenoi@co.hawaii.hi.us 961 8211
Deputy Managing Director West Hawaii Wally Lau wlau@co.hawaii.hi.us
Parks and recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald parks_recreation@co.hawaii.hi.us
Aquatics Director Larry Davis aquatics@hawaii.hi.us
County councilman Kelly Greenwell kgreenwell@co.hawaii.hi.us

The other ripple in the tri community here is of great concern for Kona Ironman hopefuls. It seems Ironman is taking away more and more Ironman World Championship Big Island spots every year from the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 (Honu). For most of us that's our only way to qualify for Kona because of costs and travel etc. And to top it off, according to a local triathlete who interviewed an Ironman official, Ironman says that they do not owe the Big Island ANY spots.

Hmm! let's see. Most of us Kona triathletes (we are in the hundreds) volunteer every year at the two Ironman events if we aren't participating. When we participate, again in the hundreds,we pay our money - no discounts given. And we are big supporters of Ironman in the community.

I'm just wondering what would happen if us Big Islanders didn't support Ironman just one year? After all, it sounds like they don't need us, or maybe it's that they don't appreciate us, anyhow.

Well, like I said, there are a couple of ripples. Or maybe it's a splash or a wave, or it could be the beginning of a tsunami. Who knows? Nothing too serious unless you are the one affected. For either issue it may come down to seeing how much pull island triathletes/swimmers have. We do come with quite a support base, though. I mean there's our families, friends, and work associates just to name a few. Pretty much all vote and a lot volunteer at Honu and Ironman.

'Nuff said. On to the next post.

1 comment:

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I agree the pool should be heated for "normal" community members, which doesn't include me as I don't need it. However, hopefully there will still be room in the pool for these "normal" people to benefit from it, and that the pool will not be constantly used for activities that exclude "normal" people.
As for slots, maybe they should do away with them for BI residents and just let any BI resident take part who pays his or her dues and can complete Honu. It's not that there are so many of them that it would really make a difference. Age group talent is not spread evenly and some people have tried hard every year only to never have a chance of doing the real thing.

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