Tin Can Beach…What a concept!

When you go on vacation to a tropical paradise you expect
great natural wonders, loving, caring and happy people. You
try and get away from the dark side that we face in traffic
jams on the 405 or in nasty parking lots with people that
have more concern for their cell phone than they do for their
fellow man.

When we got to Honolulu last week…we were lucky enough to
stay at the Ko Olina Marriot Resort…which is located a few
miles west on the HI Highway on the way to Makaha and Waianae.
Ko Olina belongs to the township of Kapulea. It accounts for
about 20 percent of the island of Oahu. Arguably, it is one
of the most beautiful places on earth. About 20 years ago
a rich Japanese businessman bought the property and rather
than just build Hotel rooms, strategized and created 4 large
man made Lagoons in addition to the three natural Lagoons that
existed on this incredibly large and beautiful section of lovely
tropical property.

The day we arrived, we were taken just by the design and
operation of this property which is gated much as any Naval or
Army installation. You are stopped at the Main Gate and asked
your destination. This is private property and treated as such.
You are directed to your hotel, yacht harbor, ownership condo or
time share with efficiency. Since our plane arrived early in
the morning….we arrived around noon time and were told that
our ocean front room would not be available until three in the
afternoon. Since we love the Makaha area and hadn’t been there
in about five years….we hopped into the rental car and headed
down the highway to Waianane and Makaha way.

When we first saw the homemade tents on the beaches on the way
to Makaha…we wondered if there was some sort of holiday that
we hadn’t taken into consideration. As the tents became denser
and ubiquitous we settled into a “culture shock”. Each tent was
unique, with barbecues, dogs, kids, bicycles and children’s toys
all occupying what had been empty, pristine beach areas just five
years before. We made our inquiries. But the miles and miles
and miles of tent populations kept growing.

When the questions were answered…..they were disturbing to say
the least. These were Hawaii’s Homeless population. In the city
Honolulu, there has been a huge redevelopment program going on.
You might not even recognize the Nimitz Highway to Ala Wai Blvd.
on the way to Waikiki….anymore. A whole new city has been
created between Honolulu Airport and the Hawaii Tower. The City
fathers determined that all the homeless that had occupied the
Ala Moana Park….had to go. They were disturbing the tourists
that wanted to buy at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. They were
removed and are being kept out of all of Honolulu and Waikiki.
The busts come frequently and quietly….but each homeless person
is ticketed and jailed…if necessary. The result is….that the
homeless flee to the outskirts and the underpopulated beach areas
on Oahu.

There is a huge argument going on now regarding fast speed ferry
travel between the out islands of Kauai and Maui…with Oahu and
the Big Island. All sides are afraid of a Homeless Invasion. The
Governor has placed the highest priority on getting “affordable
housing” for these Homeless. With unemployment rates of only
about 2 to 2.4 percent for all the islands…the Homeless have
jobs but just cannot afford to pay rent or buy. Here in Orange
County we need to watch carefully this chaos and trauma going on
in Hawaii, because it could easily happen here. Without government
intervention there is little doubt that the Homeless population
in Hawaii will grow.

In the outskirts of Huntington Beach on the way to Sunset Beach
was once a locale called Tin Can Beach. From the 20’s, 30’s and
40’s right into the 50’s…families occupied Tin Can Beach much
the same way that Hawaiians now occupy there beaches. The rusted
Tin Cans actually created tents..some covered with canvas, paper,
and sections of tin from military Quonset huts. These were just
immigrants from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. They had
brought mattresses on the tops of their cars and driven to the
Golden State. They were used to pick crops, used in Aircraft
factories, pick up jobs and day labor. The Grapes of Wrath by
John Steinbeck and the movie with Henry Fonda…tell this story.
Tin Can Beach finally went away in the 60’s…..but it will always
linger in the minds of those of us who saw the families, without
security, without food, without…………it is just as uneasy
now in Hawaii. It serves all of us as a warning of what can
happen when lean times come. The sub-prime and banking meltdown
may portend a disappointing future for many. We need to keep our
elected officials aware that their duty is to Preserve, Protect
and Defend – all of us!

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.