RELATED: KGI Poll on Kaua`i volunteer efforts
RUSH: CNN is reporting about what happened on the Hawaiian island of Kauai:
"Their livelihood was being threatened, and they were tired of waiting for government help, so business owners and residents on Hawaii's Kauai island pulled together and completed a $4 million repair job to a state park -- for free. Polihale State Park has been closed since severe flooding destroyed an access road to the park and damaged facilities in December. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources had estimated that the damage would cost $4 million to fix, money the agency doesn't have, according to a news release from department Chairwoman Laura Thielen. 'It would not have been open this summer, and it probably wouldn't be open next summer,' said Bruce Pleas, a local surfer who helped organize the volunteers. 'They said it would probably take two years. And with the way they are cutting funds, we felt like they'd never get the money to fix it.' And if the repairs weren't made, some business owners faced the possibility of having to shut down.
"Ivan Slack, co-owner of Napali Kayak, said his company relies solely on revenue from kayak tours and needs the state park to be open to operate. The company jumped in and donated resources because it knew that without the repairs, Napali Kayak would be in financial trouble. 'If the park is not open, it would be extreme for us, to say the least,' he said. 'Bankruptcy would be imminent. How many years can you be expected to continue operating, owning 15-passenger vans, $2 million in insurance and a staff? For us, it was crucial, and our survival was dependent on it. That park is the key to the sheer survival of the business.' So Slack, other business owners and residents made the decision not to sit on their hands and wait for state money that many expected would never come. Instead, they pulled together machinery and manpower and hit the ground running March 23. And after only eight days, all of the repairs were done, Pleas said. It was a shockingly quick fix to a problem that may have taken much longer if they waited for state money to funnel in."
Not just state money, state workers. Two years to complete the project, the state said, whatever it was, and four million bucks. And these people did it in eight days! Ivan Slack said,
"'We can wait around for the state or federal government to make this move, or we can go out and do our part. Just like everyone's sitting around waiting for a stimulus check, we were waiting for this but decided we couldn't wait anymore.' ... Now, because of their hard work, volunteers hope they'll be ready to send that positive message -- right in time for the tourist season."
Now, I love this story. Let me recap what this is. It shows us we do not need the government for much of anything. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources in Hawaii, the government, said that it would cost four million to fix damages to an access road to this park on Kauai after a flood damaged it. They said it would take two years and four million to fix it, and that was if, in these economic times, there was money in the budget to do so. So these people who depend on this park for their business and their recreation, decided not to sit around and wait for the government to do something. They came together.
The community came together. They did the repairs themselves. It took only eight days to finish all the repairs, compared to two years. It did not cost the taxpayers a dime. Anybody want to say, "Yes, we can"? Now, this illustrates many things, not just the fact that people can get off their butts and do things themselves. It illustrates the absolute screeching halt on progress that is represented by government. Four years and two million bucks, and these people found a way to do this with no charge to the taxpayers. It was important to them, their business derives from this. They did it in eight days. Eight days! Like I say, I can't believe CNN ran this story. Eight days they got this done. Now that the story has gone public, I hope that the residents of Kauai who participated in this effort are prepared for the fact that some other government agency is going to come out and inspect this, may come out and inspect your work and find that it doesn't meet their standards. You don't embarrass the government this way. You just don't do it. Eight days instead of two years and $2 million to fix a park and an access road.
I just love stories like this where people roll up their sleeves and do it themselves, rather than sitting around waiting. This is the kind of spirit that built the country, and in this case people just got fed up with waiting, and they got fed up with the bureaucracy. There was no sense of urgency anywhere to get this done, by a government that is existing primarily to serve the interests of the people. They were not interested in that at all. It's a great illustration of just how bloated and out of hand things have gotten at all levels of government.
READ MORE: RushLimbaugh.com , CNN report on Kauai volunteers , Residents on Kauai work for free to fix road to Hawaii state park (Advertiser April 7, 2009)